The tenth Waterford New Music Week will run at three venues from February 3rd to 8th and this year will feature the work and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of French composer, Oliver Messiaen. This week is a co-production between Garter Lane and W.I.T. Messiaen’s work has been considered difficult and certainly spans the horrors of two world wars and times of despair and nihilism. His famous Quartet For The End Of Time was composed while he was a prisoner in a concentration camp in Silesia in 1940.

Yet, world famous pianist Jeremy Denk describes this Quartet as having moments of absolute tenderness with human expressions of love and beauty. Chords are pulsing, hypnotic and reverberant, some too beautiful to be stable.

Over two days at lunchtime sessions at Christ Church Cathedral, 4th and 5th February, the Northern Pianist Simon Mahwhinney will perform Messiaen’s Vingt Regards Sur l’Enfant Jesus and is a mystical contemplation of the birth of Christ.

WIT postgraduate students on Thursday 7th February will explore influences from Messiaen’s famous Quartet and will feature new work from Greg Scanlon and Bro. Ben Hanlon, among others.

The Barrack Street Band will feature contemporary compositions for Wind Band at Christ Church on Sunday 3rd February. This will feature work by Waterford’s Fergal Carroll alongside original work by A. J. Potter, Elaine Agnew, T. C. Kelly and Eibhlis Farrell. This should be a gem of an evening concert.

A 6.00pm concert at the Good Shepherd’s Chapel will feature a first performance of African Suite by Phil Collins (for two pianos with Una Connery). That superb violinist Paddy Fitzgerald will perform on Messiaen’s Themes And Variations.

A Garter Lane concert at Lunchtime on Wed. 6th by John Feeley (guitar) and Bill Dowdall (flute) will feature work from Eric Sweeney, John Buckley and Ravi Shankar.

Other concerts will feature the Fidelio Trio and Roger Heaton (clarinet).