Music for Galway announces



An International Cello Festival on the Edge of Europe – 18th to 25th May 2024

CELLISSIMO is an International Cello Festival on the Edge of Europe that celebrates “... this fabulously versatile instrument with its extensive range, noble sound and curvaceous body!” as artistic director Finghin Collins puts it, in the backdrop of the breath-taking region that is Galway City and County. It is a triennial event and its first edition was held at the end of March 2021.

Cellissimo Fundraiser

Help us bring together the big cello stars along with cellists of all ages and skill levels in Galway to celebrate one of the most beautiful and versatile instruments in the world!

To donate, click the button below to go to our fundraiser page. Thank you!

A special strand in Cellissimo 2024:

Creative Europe Cooperation Project SONGS OF TRAVEL

We initiated the SOT project as part of Cellissimo with Anna Lardi devising its basic concept. Her inspiration grew from two experiences that were both based in the first Cellissimo :
When booking the Swedish cellist Jakob Koranyi he insisted on travelling slow. This was back in 2018 and was the first time such a request was ever made to her.
Being deeply struck by a conversation with a musician and refugee who was coming off stage right after a concert that had been presented by MfG as part of the first edition of Cellissimo. He told her that this was the first moment in which he felt himself again since the time he had to leave his country.
Our planet - the plight of people who are displaced. Would it be possible to use the strength of music to increase audiences' empathy towards these burning issues? Songs of Travel was born.

We are hugely excited and delighted that our partners from Fair Play Chamber Music in Järna (Sweden), Sommersymfoni in Valdres (Norway), Piano Biennale (Netherlands) and the endlessly creative team of video game developers from Causa Creations (Austria) have come on board to bring it all together.

Together we have commissioned five new pieces of music from composers who are composing with migration and sustainability in mind. They will be presented in our festivals along with talks and panel discussions. One of the pieces will become the soundtrack to a new interactive motion comic game Songs of Travel that tracks the story of five migrants.

The artists who are travelling to the festivals for SOT will all travel slow.

Together we are drawing up a green policy that will help us (and hopefully many other similar festivals) to deliver events more sustainably. A team of researchers from University of Galway and Trinity College Dublin will help us in devising the policy and also to track our success rate in terms of influencing the audiences, musicians and all other stakeholders (hotels, tour operators to name a few) involved.

We are grateful to Creative Europe for the support for this exciting project and look forward to share the music and the talks with you all! See you on the bus, the bicycles and the footpaths 🙂

Impressions from a cello festival delivered online:

Over 8 days, audiences can expect sumptuous orchestral galas, solo cello recitals in the most surprising of locations, intimate chamber music concerts, established repertoire and newly commissioned music, all performed by top musicians from around the world.



As part of an international masterclass programme, eight young cellists from all over Europe will have the chance to come to Galway and learn from their masters and perform in front of audiences here. HOME, a new play developed in partnership with Branar with and for school children will show a very different side to the cello. A very special day for those who like the outdoors will be the Inishbofin Cello Trail Day, where we take a group of revelers to the island and let them discover the cello as they ramble through the landscape. The Galway Cello, a very special instrument that was commissioned for the first edition of the festival and built of timber from Galway, is currently in the hands of the CELLISSIMO Ambassador Catherine Cotter. During the festival it shall find its new ‘owner’, the CELLISSIMO Ambassador for the period 2024-2027.


Featured artists: Mischa Maisky, Lily Maisky, Marc Coppey, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Jakob Koranyi, Hannah Roberts, Finghin Collins, Adrian Brendel, ConTempo Quartet, Adrian Mantu, Christopher Marwood, William Butt, Christopher Ellis, Tatjana Vassiljeva, Naomi Berrill, Natalie Haas

Artistic Director: Finghin Collins | Festival Director: Anna Lardi