Belfast Telegraph

Highlights of music @ #BIAF19

By Belfast International Arts Festival

This year's Belfast International Art's Festival is bringing to you a host of unique music shows, to catch the latest highlights, dates and times please see below.


ASUNA- 100 keyboards, Thurs 17 – Sat 19 Oct, The MAC

Pioneering Japanese sound artist ASUNA presents 100 Keyboards (literally!) featuring 100 battery operated keyboards, which create an intriguing and fascinating ambient wash of overlapping notes and sonic textures that envelop the audience from every direction.  A truly unique performance!


La Dame Blanche, Fri 18 Oct, The Empire Music Hall

Hip-hop, cumbia, dancehall and reggae collide in this powerful performance.  Hailing from Cuba where her father, Jesus ‘Aguaje’ Ramos, is the artistic director of the Buena Vista Social Club, La Dame Blanche delivers an irresistible Afro-Cuban mix, which compels the body to dance! Selling fast.


Glen Hansard, Tues 22 & Wed 23 Oct, Grand Opera House- SOLD OUT

Set to be a concert for the ages, singer songwriter Glen Hansard and his band return to Belfast, marking the opening of his European Tour.  For those who haven’t seen Hansard perform live- he channels absolutely everything into his performance. A handful of tickets remain.

Joshua Burnside, Fri 1 Nov, The Empire Music Hall

This acclaimed local lad has chalked up over 10 million streams on Spotify, featured extensively on BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music, and was the 2017 winner of the NI Music Prize.  Burnside is a truly unique, experimental Northern Irish Folk artist- well worth seeing.

Brian Ó hEadhra & Fiona Mackenzie, Fri 1 Nov, Aras Mhic Reachtain

“Ethereal and evocative” are the words used to describe the live performance of acclaimed Scottish singer songwriters Brian Ó hEadhra & Fiona Mackenzie who draw upon their traditional Gaelic roots as well as from other musical genres including Nordic, Eastern European, Americana, Indie and Electronica. 


Beloved Clara, Sun 27 Oct, The MAC

Internationally renowned pianist Lucy Parham is joined by acclaimed actors Juliet Stevenson (Truly Madly Deeply) Michael Maloney (Truly Madly Deeply, The Young Victoria) to commemorate the bicentenary of Clara Schumann in this compelling yet tragic story of the volatile relationship between Clara, her husband Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Tickets are selling fast.


Darragh Morgan & Ruth McGinley, Sun 20 Oct, Harty Room, Queen’s University

Marking the start of this year’s Northern Lights Mini- Fest these Northern Irish artists make their first performance as a duo.  Critically acclaimed McGinley has performed with the BBC Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra.  Irish Violinist Morgan is known for his impeccable technique and versatility, performing everything from baroque to contemporary styles.

Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble, Fri 25 Oct, Harty Room, Queen’s University

The only professional musical ensemble in Northern Ireland to specialise in the performance of modern and contemporary repertoire. Their Mini-Fest programme features two giants of 20th-century music, Quartet for the End of Time and Quatrain; works that are haunting and beautiful in equal measure.

Kristan Swain and Máire Carroll, Sat 2 Nov, Harty Room, Queen’s University

Having both began their musical careers at a young age, Kristan has gone on to play with the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nash Ensemble and the London Sinfonietta, whilst Máire has performed across North America, Europe and Asia.  Their Mini-Fest programme is a tour de force of flute and piano music, culminating in Saint-Saёns’ exhilarating showpiece.


Two Door Cinema Club, Wed 16 Oct, The Telegraph Building

These Northern Irish heroes need no introduction as they return home to play the Telegraph Building as part of their UK & Irish Tour.  Since bounding onto the scene in 2010, Two Door Cinema Club have captured the hearts of audiences globally and have firmly cemented their position as one of Ireland’s finest live indie rock bands.

The Selector, Fri 1 Nov, The Limelight

Iconic frontwoman, often referred to as the Queen of Ska, Pauline Black, alongside original member Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson visit Belfast for their landmark 40th anniversary tour.  The iconic 2-Tone ska revival band The Selector will be playing an extended, hit-rich set with some added live favourites and surprises.


Ulster Orchestra | Litton Crosses Continents, Fri 18 Oct, Ulster Hall

The Ulster Orchestra welcomes Andrew Litton, following his outstanding Prokofiev 4 last Season, and guest soloist Kurt Nikkanen, Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet, as two very special American musical envoys to Belfast. Searing raw passion is brought to life on the Ulster Hall stage in this thrilling performance.

The Night With… Garth Knox, Mon 21 Oct, Black Box

A specialist in contemporary music, Knox presents a programme of music for viola d’amore and electronics featuring music by Simon Mawhinney, Olga Neuwirth, Ed Bennet and Marin Marais.

Ulster Orchestra | Classical Favourites, Thurs 31 Oct, Ulster Hall

Conductor Roberto González-Monjas brings us on a delightful journey through classical favourites featuring Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture, the ever-popular Concierto de Aranjuez and a Classic FM playlist favourite, Pictures at an Exhibition.

Albion Quartet | BBC Radio 3, Wed 16- Fri 18 Oct, St Mark’s Church

Founded in 2016, the Albion Quartet unites four outstanding young string players, brought together by a shared belief in the visceral power of the string quartet.  To apply for free tickets (available from Mon 16 Sept), visit

Why not make a night of it and stay over? Hastings Hotels are offering special Belfast Festival accommodation packages, starting at £45 B&B pps in the Europa and from £65 B&B pps in Grand Central.

Visit for full details and booking links or book in person at the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, Donegal Square North, Belfast or by telephone: 028 9024 6609. 

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