A Year in a Life of Music

Date: 28 Sep 2023
Time: 7:45pm
Duration: 105 mins
Location: Downstairs at the MAC
£14 - £30
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£5 tickets for 16 - 24s

Are you 16 -24? Then we’ve just the deal for you. Apply for our 16=24 membership scheme and get one £5 ticket for this show (subject to availability). More info here.

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Dates & Times

Dates & Times for The Glimmer...A Year in a Life of Music
Thu 28 Sep 2023 7:45pm £27.50 Book Now



Ruth McGinley

By the age of 17, Derry native Ruth McGinley had already gained widespread recognition as one of Ireland’s leading pianists, winning countless accolades including both the piano finals of both the BBC and RTÉ Young Musician of the Year awards. Since then, her career has been wide-ranging and daring, collaborating with some of the most acclaimed musicians working today, and straying from the typical classical-pianist journey.

It is perhaps the spaces between where Ruth’s interests really lie. A determination to walk her own path, Ruth’s love of music goes far beyond the classical world. A highly sought-after collaborator, Ruth works with musicians from many backgrounds including jazz, folk and electronic.

Interviewer: Glenn Patterson

Glenn Patterson’s latest book Two Summers will be published (when else?) this autumn. He has previously published eleven novels and five works of non-fiction. With Colin Carberry he wrote the feature film Good Vibrations (BBC Films), which the pair later adapted for stage. He is Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.

Neil Martin

Belfast-born Neil Martin is a composer and musician with an international reputation who enjoys a most varied and rewarding career encompassing dance, opera, theatre, film, television, radio, concert hall and studio.

Recent compositions include an opera, Nobody/Somebody (2023); a violin concerto, dall’ombra (2022); the RTS award-winning score for a 90-minute tv film, Lost Lives (2020), theatre scores and chamber music. Amongst other works are – Sweeney (2018), an orchestral song cycle based on Seamus Heaney’s Sweeney Astray; an octet, The Helping Hand (2017); this is an Irish dance (2015) a duet for dancer and cellist, co-created and performed with Jean Butler; a score for Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis (2017); along with librettist Glenn Patterson, an opera - Long Story Short: The Belfast Opera (2016); the choral symphony OSSA (2007). His first major orchestral work was No Tongue Can Tell (2004), a concerto for uilleann pipes, written for Liam O’Flynn.. Current work includes an opera, a concerto and chamber music.

A cellist and an uilleann piper, Neil has collaborated with many leading artists, from Liam O'Flynn, Bryn Terfel, Sam Shepard, Christy Moore, Stephen Rea, Josh Groban, Jean Butler and Barry Douglas to the LSO, RPO and all the principal orchestras in Ireland. He has scored music for plays on Broadway, in the West End and in Europe, and has contributed to more than a hundred albums. Performance venues range from Carnegie Hall to the Palazzo Vecchio and his ground-breaking work with the West Ocean String Quartet has been lauded globally, and beyond – their recordings have been played aboard the International Space Station and the most recent album, Atlantic Edge, was released in April 2020.

Kate Ellis

Cellist Kate Ellis is dedicated to the performance and exploration of all things new in music with collaboration at the heart. Kate is Artistic Director of Crash Ensemble, cellist with Martin Hayes’ Common Ground Ensemble and toured with Bono as part of his Stories of Surrender show 2022-2023.

Kate has collaborated with, commissioned, premiered and recorded works by numerous Irish and International composers including Steve Reich, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Nico Muhly and Donnacha Dennehy and continues to push musical boundaries performing and recording with a diverse range of musicians including Bono and the Edge, Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon Giddens, Martin Hayes, Ye Vagabonds, Laura Cannell, Iarla O Lionaird, Yurodny, Gavin Friday, Lisa O'Neill, Glenn Hansard and Karan Casey.

Kate has toured and broadcast in Australia, the USA, Europe and China, performing at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Centre, Shanghai EXPO, Istanbul Akbank Jazz Festival and Edinburgh International Festival with releases on Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Rough Trade, Brawl Records, Bada Bing, Crash Records, Claddagh Records and Vertical Records and is published by Mute Song.

Projects for 2023 include the release of a major new work for solo cello by Northern Irish composer Ed Bennett on the Ergodos label, a duo collaboration with Martin Hayes, curation of a contemporary music series ‘Europe: Here and Now’ at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, artist in residence at Sounds From A Safe Harbour festival 2023 and the creation of new music for the Multi-Traction Orchestra’s album ‘Reactor One’ and ‘Echolocation: Resonate from Here’ a collaborative album with UK and US based musicians.

Philippa O'Hara

Philippa O’Hara is a professional actor and singer from Belfast. She has been lucky enough to tour Ireland, China, Norway and America five times with various theatre shows with Cahoots N.I. She is a guest vocalist with Lush! Classical and Cream Classical performing in huge venues with full orchestras in front of up to 18,000 people, videos of which have garnered over 8 million views on YouTube. She performs regularly with her sister as the O’Hara Sisters at prestigious events all over the U.K. and Ireland including The Players’ Dinner at The Open 2019 and at extremely exclusive, bespoke events at The Tate Modern, London. Her recent theatre credits include Secrets Of Space USA tour, Cinderella at the MAC, and One Saturday Before The War with Bright Umbrella. Next, she is off to Broadway with Cahoots N.I’s brand new production, The Vanishing Elephant. She has been a huge fan of Ruth’s for many years and is so excited to be sharing the MAC stage with her for this very special night of music.

Gemma Doherty

Gemma is a harpist, singer and composer/producer, best known as one half of Irish electronic-folk duo Saint Sister. Having toured around Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico and Australia, Saint Sister performances include an NPR Tiny Desk Concert, Glastonbury, and support tours with Hozier, Tori Amos, Keane, and Lisa Hannigan. Their self-produced 2021 sophomore album won ‘Best Album’ in the Northern Ireland Music Prize, and received Album of the Year nominations in the Choice Music Prize and RTÉ Folk Awards.

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