Esker Festival Orchestra Irish Summer Tour

Miriam Kaczor

Conducted by Rodrigo Sámano (Mexico), with Phoebe White (Dublin) as soloist (Violin) and featuring the World Premiere of ‘MACHA’ Tone Poem for Orchestra by composer Kellie O’Neill (Dublin)

·      Friday August 19th 2022, 8pm – Galway Cathedral

·      Saturday August 20th 2022, 6pm – Curtis Auditorium, MTU Cork School of Music, Union Quay, Cork in association with MTU Cork School of Music

·      Sunday August 21st 2022, 2pm – Capuchin Friary, Church Street, Dublin 7

The Esker Festival Orchestra – a dynamic, educational collaboration of established and emerging classical music talent – will return this August for its 9th annual residential and summer tour in Galway, Cork and Dublin. This year’s programme presents one of Esker Festival Orchestra’s most ambitious programmes yet and, under the baton of gifted young Mexican conductor Rodrigo Sámano, will feature a performance of Gustav Mahler’s titanic First Symphony as well as the beautiful ‘Poème’ for Violin and Orchestra by Ernest Chausson, featuring exceptional Irish violinist Phoebe White. There will also be an exclusive, world premiere of ‘MACHA’ – Tone Poem for Orchestra by talented young Irish composer, Kellie O’Neill.

Based in Galway, the Esker Festival Orchestra was set up in 2014 by conductor, composer and instrumentalist, Peter Joyce, in order to provide a high quality, beneficial and meaningful musical opportunity for young emerging musicians from Ireland and beyond. In founding what has become Ireland’s most dynamic and established peer-led orchestra, Peter sought to fill a musical and social void that he perceived for young musicians in Ireland to not only perform together, but also socialise and build the relationships that will be essential during their personal and professional lives.

Peter Joyce, commenting on the ethos behind the orchestra,

“Since its beginnings, the Esker Festival Orchestra has strived to provide the most beneficial and affordable musical experiences possible to our talented young emerging Irish and international musicians. We aim to innovate and create an exciting space that supports and develops orchestral music in Ireland by nurturing the talents of our emerging musicians and by helping to relieve the financial burden on the musicians themselves as much as possible. Our organisation is unique in that it is entirely led and run by its members, for its members.”

As a conductor, composer, and instrumentalist Peter has enjoyed a long-standing and successful career and has worked with groups and artists such as the National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, Orchestra of the Baden State Theater, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Imelda May, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Hozier, Nathan Carter and Booka Brass Band, among many others.

Peter concluded,

We are so thrilled to be back performing in person this year after the disappointments wrought by the pandemic. In these performances we want to deliver every bit of the energy and passion that we have missed in performing to the public over the last two years and look forward to a fantastic series of concerts this August!”

The Esker Festival Orchestra is supported by the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, The Arts Council, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, NUI Galway and MTU Cork School of Music.

Tickets are available at or on the door for each venue (€15 / €10 concession).

Full concert and tour details can be found at

Pic Credit: Tara Thomas

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Sarah Brooks

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