Good things come to those who wait...

We have been waiting (very actively) for this moment, and I am delighted to be writing these lines of welcome to Cellissimo 2024. Waiting has now become a motif throughout Cellissimo. We have been waiting for nearly four years to present this exciting festival for real in Galway - waiting for answers from sponsors, funders, artists...

It has been possible to make Cellissimo 2024 a festival of such heft thanks to its important strand, Songs of Travel, a Creative Europe Cooperation Project principally co-funded by Europe and the Arts Council. With our  three partner festivals (Fairplay Chamber Music, Sweden; Valdres Sommersymfoni, Norway; Piano Biënnale, Netherlands) and the fourth partner, the boutique gaming company Causa Creations (Austria), we are aiming to  present co-commissioned music in such a way as to increase empathy in all of us towards two burning issues of  our time: climate change and migration. Both of these issues do need attention from all of us. Waiting in this case is no longer an option – we all have a responsibility to act.

By coincidence, Elaine Agnew, the composer of the soundtrack to our interactive motion comic (a video game of  sorts) Songs of Travel, has decided to call the concertante version of the score ‘Waiting’. This is because she noticed that in all five migrant stories that are told in the game, waiting is such a big part – waiting for the passport to arrive, waiting for the opportunity to flee, waiting for news from loved ones, waiting for their status to be confirmed...

Good things come to those who wait – we have been blessed with what has come our way in terms of funding, sponsorship, support (please note the funders page 36), artistic partnerships, team members, and the most wonderful artists who are making their way to Galway (many of them by land and sea!).

I would like to thank all in Music for Galway, especially the Board, our artistic director Finghin Collins, and programme administrator Suzanne Black, for staying the course.

We are proud to present a beautiful and diverse programme in Cellissimo 2024. Some of it certainly seeks to  entertain but some also aims to challenge, inspire and influence. We look forward to welcoming you on opening day, May 18th, when the wait will truly be over!

Anna Lardi, CEO Music for Galway

Celebrating the cello

It gives me huge pleasure to unveil the programme for Cellissimo 2024, the fruit of many years’ labour! We have brought together a rich array of the finest cellists, composers and other artists and thinkers to celebrate the cello in the most wide and inclusive way. We are delighted in particular to welcome the National Symphony Orchestra to perform two very contrasting programmes, presenting Galway-born conductor, composer and Music for Galway Laoch Ceoil, Eimear Noone in her Galway début. The Irish Chamber Orchestra join with French sensation Camille Thomas to tell the story of a very special Stradivarius. We are very proud to present six newly commissioned cello pieces by six Irish composers to accompany the six Bach cello suites, performed in both city and county.

Our Songs of Travel strand, at the core of our festival, shines light on migration, sustainability and environmental issues, and also features five newly commissioned works all including the cello in various shapes and forms. The
core classical repertoire is the focus of our “Classic Hour” concerts as well as our “Nicolas Altstaedt and Friends”
chamber concert.

We welcome eight outstanding young cellists to Galway for the International Student Programme with masterclasses, pop-up concerts and a showcase concert. Together with Branar, we have commissioned a new  theatre piece for children exploring the concept of home and how music can realise it. Above all the festival is a showcase of Galway city and county, with concerts around the region, a cello trail to Inishbofin, and nightly trad sessions curated by Galway musician Michael Chang. A new Cellissimo Ambassador will take over the Galway Cello for a further three years.  The climax of the festival comes with our Cellissimo Spectacular, where cellists
from far and wide, young and not so young, can join in and feel the passion. We’ve had huge pleasure putting  the programme together. How ever you have travelled to us, wherever you have come from, we hope that you  will be entertained, challenged and stimulated by what you hear.

Finghin Collins, Artistic Director,
Music for Galway / Cellissimo


Many hands make light work!

Jennifer Ahearn
Light Almelkawi
Pete Ashto
Katharina Baker
Tania Banotti    Cormac Barden  Joanne Beirne
Norman Black
Anne-Marie Bell
Mairead Berrill
Simon Bopp
Magda Boreson
Fr. Eugene Boyle
Niamh Butler Thornton
Julien Cagnetta
Sarah Callaghan
Eszter Cetinceviz
Michele Cicora
Dr. Eoghan Clifford
Dr. Liz Coleman
Sarah Comer
Leona Cully
Sybil Curley
Ciaran Day
Mary Day
Pearse Doherty
Louis Donnellan
Johan Dorrestein
Anne Marie Dowd
Alistair Doyle
Aisling Drury-Bryne
Eamonn Dunne




Jacinta Dwyer
Ellie Farrell
Dr. Orla Flynn
Philip Fogarty
Mary Folan
Kristyn Fontanella
João Frias
Caroline Gannon
Nicola Geddes
Tracey Geraghty
Jean-Marc Grob
Damian Grogan
Jack Gutmann
Helen Hancoc
Orla Henihan              Jen Hesnan
Adrian Herlihy Lorraine Higgins
Carol Hinch
Georg Hobmeier
Zane Howard Revill
Margaret Jenkins
Peter Friis Johansson
Liz Johnston
Natasha Johnston
Gerry Keenan
Dermot Kelly
Lucy Kelly
Garry Kendellen
Mona Kleven
Guro Kleven




Hagen Norbert Kögging    Daniel Kolstad Gimle
Jakob Koranyi
Ewelina Kowalczyk
Barbara Kretschmeier
Silke Küster
Margaret Lavell
Paul Leamy
Katie Lowry
Leslie Lyons
Marc MacLochlainn
Katharine MacMághnuis
Maria Vittoria Marra
Ailish McDonagh
Roisin McGee
Bernard McGlinchey
Fergal McGrath
Sarah McKibbin
Luke McManus Doyle
Megs Morley
Maarten Mostert
Patrick Murphy
Andrew Murray
Jill Murray
Shaun Naughton
Donal Nelson
Michaël Neuburger
Seona Ní Chonghaile
Colm Ó hEocha
Tara O’Connor
Eamonn O’Donoghue
Dr. Denis O’Hora



Dairne O’Sullivan
Provost Lynda Peilow
Raoul Petersen
Vũ Vân Phạm
Mary Robinson
Chris Rueben
Ciaran Ryan
Eveanna Ryan
Annica Sand
Wouter Schmidt
Seamus Sheridan
Cathy Stokes
Rod Stoneman
Dr. Aidan Thomson
Kuros Torkzadeh
Aoife Tunney
Hasan Ulukisa
Daria van der Bercken
Leticia Wade
Ben Wahl
Ольга Гвоздикова

Thank you to the Cellissimo Volunteers!

Special thanks to Mary Deely for her invaluable work in making SOT happen






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