Galway International Arts Festival’s Autumn Edition

Venue: St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, Galway City

Date: 21 September 2020 at 6pm

Price: €8-12 per concert or €30-38 for the series

From 22-25 September in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, ConTempo Quartet will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with an exploration of some of his most celebrated works for string quartet.

Beethoven’s middle period was one of great productivity and optimism for the composer and many of his most popular works were created during this feverish time of writing. Among the middle works are five string quartets, which ConTempo Quartet will perform during this series of evening concerts.

The Rasumovsky Quartets (Op. 59) were commissioned by Count Rasumovsky, Russian Ambassador to Vienna. These three fiery quartets, which nod to Russian themes throughout, were longer and more emotionally intense than the music of the day, demonstrating Beethoven’s ability to compose beyond his years. Nos. 1, 2, and 3 can be heard on 22, 23 and 24 September respectively.

The ‘Harp’ Quartet (Op. 74) gets its nickname from the characteristic pizzicato sections of the first movement. It is a good-natured, graceful piece, typical of Beethoven’s ‘Heroic’ middle period.

The ‘Serioso’ Quartet (Op 95), the last of the five middle quartets, is true to its name. Indeed, it points to what was to come in Beethoven’s intense and tormented late works. The series will culminate with a performance of both works on Friday 25 September.

Each concert begins at 6pm. The duration of concerts on 22-24 September is 50 minutes. The duration on 25 September is 1 hour and 10 minutes. There will be no interval. Tickets for this series are now sold out. For full details see Follow Galway Music Residency and Galway International Arts Festival on social media for any ticket updates. For details on safety procedures at these events, visit:

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