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Wednesday, 10th July 2019

Music, Poetry and Whiskey Galore at Boyne Music Festival

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Zoe Conway and John McIntyre pictured performing with the RTE Concert Orchestra at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2018 in Drogheda. You can catch them again on Thursday night, August 8th, at a special Boyne Music Festival opening concert at the Boann Distillery in Drogheda.  Photo: Robbie Reynolds.

Music festival draws international artists to Drogheda

The seventh annual Boyne Music Festival returns to Drogheda on August 8th to the 11th.  The four day event brings together internationally-acclaimed artists in a dynamic programme which includes concerts, tours, workshops, talks and more. 

Classical chamber music forms the core of the music performed at the Boyne Music Festival each summer. The BMF aims to feature additional art forms in its programme as well and this year is no exception.

The festival opens on Thursday night, August 8th with a unique event at the Boann Distillery in Drogheda. Award-winning poet Neil McCarthy joins forces with the highly celebrated folk duo of Zoë Conway (fiddle) and John McIntyre (guitar). Music and poetry will weave through the evening as guests are invited to try Boann’s selection of fine whiskeys as well as the beer brewed on site by Boyne Brewhouse. 

The BMF then returns to its home at Townley Hall. The glorious mansion designed in 1899 by Francis Johnston offers guests the opportunity to experience world-class chamber music in an intimate setting.

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Three evening concerts will feature artists including Rita Manning, Robert Cohen, Carmen Flores, Chris Laurence, Margaret Plummer, Vourneen Ryan, Robin Panter and many more. The programme on Friday evening, August 9th features music for voice, strings and wind instruments by French masters including Debussy, Poulenc and Farrenc.

On Saturday, August 10th, great works of classical Irish chamber music meet new works and traditional Irish music in a programme which again features the duo of Conway and McIntyre. The festival closes on Sunday, August 11th, with an evening programme which includes powerful chamber works by Schumann and Brahms as well as a song cycle for voice and string quartet by the American composer Jake Heggie. 

Children and young people form a significant part of the Boyne Music Festival each year. On Saturday morning, August 10th, children are invited to Townley Hall for an imaginative workshop on music creation and dance.

Following this playful morning session, the festival then presents a light-hearted family concert entitled “Music from Home”, exploring music from the BMF performers places of origin. Always a highlight of the festival weekend, this is a programme designed to inspire both the young and young-at-heart. 

On Sunday afternoon, August 11th, the Festival will present a conert featuring this year’s BMF Young Artists, rising stars selected through a competitive selection process who receive coaching from Festival artists. 

To round out the weekend there will be guided tours of historic Townley Hall and the Battle of the Boyne site, a poetry writing workshop given by Neil McCarthy as well as a pre-concert talk by Robert Cohen. 

The Boyne Music Festival was established in 2012 by sisters Aisling and Julie-Anne Manning of Ravensdale, Co. Louth, and their cousin Deirdre Brenner of the United States.  

The Festival is generously underwritten by the Arts Council, Create Louth, local business and individual sponsors. For more information regarding programmes, tickets and performers, please see the festival website at or phone +353 (0) 87 981 3926. 

Here are some highlights from last year's Boyne Music Festival:

Thursday, 8th August, 4pm – Workshop: Writing Poetry

Thursday, 8th August, 8pm – Opening Event: Music and Poetry at Boann Distillery

Friday 9th August, 10:30am – Tour: Battle of the Boyne

Friday, 9th August, 6pm–  Pre-Concert Talk: Robert Cohen

Friday 9th August, 8pm –  Concert: French Masters
Saturday 10th August, 10:30am  –  Tour: Townley Hall
Saturday 10th August, 10:30am  –  Childrens' Workshop: Music and Dance
Saturday 10th August, 2pm  –  Family Concert: Music From Home
Saturday 10th August, 8pm  – Evening Concert: Irish Night
Sunday 11th August, 12pm  – Tour: Townley Hall
Sunday 11th August, 2pm  –  Concert: BMF Young Artists 
Sunday 11th August, 8pm  –  Closing Concert: Into the Fire







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