A festival is taking place in Galway from this Saturday, September 10, to Saturday, September 17, to celebrate one of Poland’s most popular and best-known writers, Henryk Sienkiewicz.
The Quo Vadis – Henryk Sienkiewicz Festival will mark the life and work of the novelist, journalist and Nobel Prize laureate who died 100 years ago this year.
The Polish Senate designated 2016 as The Year of Henryk Sienkiewicz, with events taking place all over the world to mark the centenary of his death and celebrate his work.
Galway City is the only Irish city taking part in the commemoration.
The festival will kick off this Saturday, September 10, when Galway City Library on Augustine Street, will host a public reading of Sienkiewicz’s novels for children. A similar reading will be held on Saturday, September 17. These will take place at 1pm on both days and will be family-friendly readings, which children of all ages are invited to attend. Like all events in this festival, they are free.
The City Library will also host an exhibition of Polish illustrators for the week.
Meanwhile, from next Monday, September 12, until September 17, Nun’s Island Theatre will be transformed into a desert and jungle environment for children. In Desert and Wilderness was one of Sienkiewicz’s most celebrated novels for young people, an adventure across the deserts and jungles of Africa. The re-imagined theatre will allow the children to experience aspects of the book and learn about the author in a fun and interactive environment. Big groups are advised to pre-book by calling 086 2016339.
Next Friday, September 16, there will be a film screening of With Fire and Sword at Galway City Museum, Spanish Arch, at 9pm. This action-packed novel was adapted for screen a number of times, most recently in 1999. A thriller, it chronicles the nobility of 17th century Poland and the era of partition in Poland. Warm clothes are advised for the outdoor screening, which will be presented as part of the Culture Night programme of events.
Also on Friday, a new mural created by local artist Finbar 247, will be unveiled. Located next to the Galway Picture Palace on Lower Merchant’s Road, the mural has been influenced and inspired by Sienkiewicz’s writing and is a celebration of Polish culture in an Irish context. A small reception will take place at the mural at 7pm on Culture Night.
This new Festival is being organised by the Bardzo ladnie Foundation, which was was established in Poland in 2014 as a not-for-profit organisation which aims to celebrate Polish culture, traditions and art.
The foundation moved to Galway in 2015 and aims to create better Polish/Irish relations through artistic projects such as this one.
This Festival has been supported by Galway City Council, the Polish embassy in Dublin and the Polish Government.
■ For more information, follow the Festival on Facebook at Quo Vadis-Galway or visit www.bardzoladnie.org
Folk duo launch What Will Be Will Be
Folk duo Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce are launching their new album What Will We Be, a blend of folk, Americana and acoustic music, this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in An Taibhdhearc.
The success of their well-received 2020 release Taobh le Taobh, as well as recent successes at the Pan Celtic and Oireachtas Song Contests, spurred the duo on to record this new album which represents many years of collaboration and musical development.
It features Niall and Pádraic on vocals, harmonies, and acoustic guitars, Maidhc Ó hÉanaigh on double bass and Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle. The catchy title track, What Will We Be, features contributions from percussionist Jim Higgins (The Stunning, Christy Moore, Paul Brady) and haunting, driving melodies on vocals, guitar, and fiddle.
Themes of love and hope are woven through Come Away with Me which features interplay between piano and fiddle as well as rich vocal harmonies.
People, places, and broken dreams are celebrated and lamented on Martin and Tom, Guitar Gold, Memories of You and Achill Island. The influence of David Henry Thoreau’s novel Walden features on the tracks Simple and Wise and Walden, with the beauty of nature, escape and simple pleasures at their core.
The album moves from minimalistic folk ballads such as Galway Ghost to swirling, string-laden arrangements on the song Neptune, both of which are influenced by maritime tales from Galway. Much of the work on this album was supported by the Arts Council, including work with musical arranger Eoin Corcoran and the string ensemble Treo.
The album will be launched this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in an Taibhdhearc. Tickets €22, plus booking fee at Eventbrite.ie.
All roads lead to Dunmore as town tunes up County Fleadh
Dunmore is the place to be this weekend for lovers of traditional music, as the Galway County Fleadh will take place there from this Friday, May 19, to Sunday, May 23.
It is 10 years since Dunmore last hosted a fleadh and the local Comhaltas branch, which has re-formed since Covid, is looking forward to facilitating this gathering of music, song, dance and craic.
The official Opening Concert will take place in Dunmore Town Hall this Friday at 8pm with the acclaimed Mulcahy family from Limerick. Mick, Louise and Michelle are well known throughout the country, thanks to their live performances, television appearances and numerous CDs. They were the winners of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Grúpa Ceoil Award for 2023. Tickets for their concert can be purchased on the door and a great night of music is promised.
Two days of competitions will kick off this Saturday at the town’s Community School, with more than 1,500 competitors taking part. Participants will be hoping to qualify for the Connacht Fleadh 2023, which will be held in Ballina, County Mayo, from June 23 to July 2.
Competitions for those aged Under 10, Under 12 and Under 15 will be held in a large variety of instruments on Saturday, as well as in singing and Comhrá Gaeilge. Sunday’s competitions will be for the Under 18 and Over 18 ages groups, as well as in dancing.
On both days a large entry is expected for Grúpaí Cheoil and Céilí Band competitions across all age groups.
Seventeen Comhaltas branches from across Galway will have participants in this weekend’s competitions, which will result in a large number of visitors to the Dunmore area.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the competitions, which offer a great opportunity to hear and see the talent on display. There will be sessions in local pubs over the weekend as well and everybody is welcome to attend these.
For more information on the County Fleadh, go to www.galwaycomhaltas.ie.
Piano concert rescheduled for Tuesday
Music for Galway’s concert with renowned Swiss pianist Cédric Pescia which had been due to take place on April 27 but which had to be deferred, will now take place next Tuesday, May 23, at 8pm, in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall at the University of Galway.
This concert of German classics with Bach at its core, will brings the Bach element of Music for Galway’s 41st season to an end.
This world-class pianist who won the famous Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, has a repertoire that spans many eras from baroque to contemporary and he is widely known for his elaborate programmes. Cédric Pescia describes music as ‘language and movement at the same time’.
Audiences will have a chance to experience his soft, clear touch as he performs a programme for solo piano that will include classics such as Schumann’s popular Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), a suite of nine short pieces, and the penultimate of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, No. 31. These pieces will be interspersed with French Suites by Bach.
■ Ticket for Cédric Pescia’s concert are available at www.musicforgalway.ie, or by phone 091 705962 and on the door on the night. They cost €20/€18. The price for fulltime students of all ages is €6 while MfG Friends can avail of the friends’ rate of €16.