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Jan 19 2021

Music for Galway Midwinter Festival GOLDBERG

Music for Galway is to stream its Midwinter Festival GOLDBERG from three separate locations over the weekend of 22 - 24 January to ensure the safety and peace-of-mind of participating artists and personnel.

See link to tickets for live streams below

The full festival was originally to be presented from St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church Galway but the three concerts are now to be presented from separate locations:

Friday, 22 January / 8pm
The festival opens with the original version for harpsichord of JS Bach's Goldberg Variations performed by Malcolm Proud from his home in Kilkenny.

Saturday, 23 January / 8pm
Xenia Pestova Bennett (piano) with her husband Ed Bennett (electronics) perform Gold.Berg.Werk, a new version for piano and live electronics by Karlheinz Esssl, from St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church Galway.

Sunday, 24 January / 3pm
Maia Cabeza (violin), Sergey Malov (viola) and Natalie Clein perform Dmitry Sitkovetsky's iconic string arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations from Berlin.

As originally planned, the Midwinter Festival GOLDBERG closes on Sunday evening with the film of Bruno Monsaingeon, The Goldberg Variations - Glenn Gould Plays Bach. It will be available from 8,00pm for 48 hours.

Anna Lardi, Executive Director, Music for Galway commented:

"MfG’s Midwinter Festival was created to bring some light into the depths of winter and has become a much anticipated chamber music event in Ireland's cultural calendar. Due to the Covid pandemic, and in order not to disappoint this year, we announced we would present our 2021 festival online. Since the move to Level 5 and with numbers still escalating, we're now taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our artists and personnel by streaming live from three venues instead of one. To help alleviate this particularly bleak January, we hope our Goldberg programme of concerts raises people's spirits and brings them joy."

For the 2021 Midwinter Festival, Music for Galway's Artistic Director Finghin Collins has chosen to focus on a single work, Bach's masterful Goldberg Variations, inviting world class musicians to perform it over the festival weekend.

Speaking about the programme, Finghin said:

"I think it will be fascinating to hear different versions of the Goldberg Variations four times over one weekend. It's such a rich work that it will generously repay such repeated attention, allowing people to make comparisons between the different versions. The festival will be streamed for the first time ever, enabling a global audience to savour the intimate and enjoyable experience of our Midwinter Festival GOLDBERG."

Bach's 30 variations created around one opening aria represent the most joyous and contemplative of music, reaching a pinnacle of musical invention. They were written originally for harpsichord and it is believed that Bach composed them as a balm to cure a nobleman’s insomnia.

Tickets: €12 per concert, €8 for film documentary, €40 for a festival ticket

Booking: Tickets for live stream links to festival events can be purchased on