Boyne Music Festival goes online for 2021 programme

Jacqueline Thomas performing at Boyne Valley Music Festival 2021. Picture by Dan Butler Photography

THE Boyne Music Festival has gone online for 2021. In the wake of last year's festival being cancelled due to Covid, directors Aisling Brenner, Julie-Anne Manning and Deirdre Brenner were determined to stage this year's event in whatever capacity possible.

Thus, they assembled a team of musicians at the festival's traditional home of Townley Hall in Drogheda to perform a series of classical concerts which were recorded and are available to watch online now.

In order to get a live concert together in July this year, the directors had to think outside the box – which resulted in the artists performing outside the windows. A pastoral concert theme of Forest Scenes inspired by nature was chosen and performed to audience members (and local livestock) who sat in socially distanced bubbles on Townley Hall's picturesque grounds.

The performers spent a demanding week in Drogheda rehearsing every day and recorded a series of five different concerts which are now available for music lovers to enjoy online.

Julie-Anne Manning said: "We had such a wonderful time performing Forest Scenes. Being able to play for live audiences once again was very special. It is certainly a concert I will never forget."

The online festival also features Roaring 20s, an exuberant, free-wheeling jazz concert full of music, dance and song, and jazz quartet Babelfish live at London jazz club The Vortex featuring Brigitte Beraha, Barry Green, Chris Laurence and Paul Clarvis collaborating on an experimental cross-genre performance.

The Enchanted Forest is the final concert the musicians recorded at Townley Hall this summer, a family programme featuring music by Bolcom, Schubert, Gershwin and others.

Deirdre Brenner said "A lot of hard work has gone into creating these programmes and we are so delighted to be able to share them with audiences near and far. Hopefully this will inspire more people to join us for the summer 2022 festival, and to experience the magic of the Boyne Music Festival in person."

The Boyne Music Festival is committed to supporting the next generation of up-and-coming artists. This year Deirdre Brenner and opera singer Naomi Louisa O'Connell held a masterclass with rising soprano Eimear Harper and pianist Luke Lally Maguire, who then recorded a performance for the programme, No Far Shore, which also featured a poetry reading by Irish poet, Anne-Marie Fyfe.

A romantic programme of chamber music including works by Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky titled Souvenirs was filmed in St Peter's Church of Ireland, Drogheda and is now available to watch online until Saturday September 18.

No Far Shore, Babelfish at The Vortex and the Roaring 20s are available until Thursday September 30. The family concert, The Enchanted Forest is available to stream now on YouTube.


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