Belfast Telegraph

Russian revolution as Clandeboye Festival marks 15th birthday

By Allan Preston

A Russian invasion is planned for the 15th Clandeboye Festival next month, with an exciting classical music programme celebrating some of the country's greatest composers.

The Co Down event will welcome a range of international performers this August, with a schedule mixing the best in Russian and Irish classical music.

This year, the festival's artistic director, Barry Douglas, will be celebrating his 30th anniversary of winning the esteemed Tchaikovsky Piano Competition.

To mark the event, he will perform with the Ulster Orchestra in a special concert at the Ulster Hall.

"It is very exciting for us at the Clandeboye Festival to be welcoming artists from the US, Chile, England, Scotland and Ireland, and this year three Russian musicians, the violinist and conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky, pianist Boris Berezovsky and soprano Maria Ostroukhova," he said.

"We will be concentrating on the music of Tchaikovsky, not only his piano music, songs and orchestral pieces, but also all three of his string quartets, performed by the Ortus Quartet."

"As a prelude to our festival, I am also delighted to be playing with the Ulster Orchestra in a BBC Summer Invitation concert at the Ulster Hall."

Irish music will not be left out of the programme, with John Field's nocturnes and an evening of traditional Irish and Scottish music arranged for Scottish musicians Chris Stout and Catriona McKay and local flautist Eimear McGeown.

Running over two weeks from August 12 until August 20, the programme will have evening concerts and a Sunday afternoon concert, in addition to one-hour lunchtime events.

The Clandeboye Festival will also be a homecoming for the all-Ireland chamber orchestra, Camerata Ireland.

Since the last Festival, the group has toured extensively, enjoying success at home and abroad, including visits to China, Latin America and Washington DC.

Tickets for the festival are on sale from the Grand Opera House box office and on the night at the door. For further details visit

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