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Barry Douglas will showcase talent on orchestral tour in South America

By Lesley Houston

Leading local musicians are among an elite troupe of artists showcasing Ireland's orchestral talents during a tour of South America.

World-renowned pianist Barry Douglas will conduct solo flautist Eimear McGeown from Armagh and the rest of Camerata Ireland ensemble as it kicks off the tour with a concert today in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

The chamber orchestra, which will perform in some of the Continent's premier theatres, is also headed for Chile and Brazil.

Camerata, founded by Douglas, begins the tour at the Teatro Coliseo.

It will remain in Argentina for a performance at the Teatro El Círculo Laprida in Rosario and, on Friday night, will give a concert at the Teatro del Libertador in Córdoba. Finally, it will head to Santiago de Chile for the final instalment of its South American tour, performing in the Teatro CorpArtes.

Douglas and McGeown, a distinguished musician who has established a busy and varied career since winning Camerata Young Musician of the Year in 2006, will then take to the stage for a special performance at the British Consulate in São Paulo, Brazil.

The ensemble, featuring musicians from north and south of the border, first performed together in 1999.

The Queen and Irish President Michael D Higgins are currently its patrons.

The musicians are sponsored by Randox Laboratories and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion, and Culture Ireland. Douglas, Camerata Ireland's artistic director, said music, like nothing else, had the ability to connect with diverse cultures across the world.

"Music as a universal language can be understood and appreciated by anyone, and we are excited to be able to convey an image of Ireland to audiences across South America, through our performances," he said.

"We are equally delighted that we can share this experience with Randox Laboratories, who continue to help the growth and development of our orchestra, and we couldn't have achieved our internationally-acclaimed reputation without them."

Dr Peter FitzGerald of Randox said: "We are delighted that Barry Douglas and his orchestra continue to showcase our Irish musical talent across the globe, and it brings us great joy knowing that Randox can simultaneously support our young Irish musicians in their careers while also strengthening key business relationships and promoting exports."

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