A new project from pianist Thérèse Fahy involves a series of workshops and performances of six new works

Therese Fahy

Therese Fahy

Handprint is a new project by pianist Thérèse Fahy, in which she is developing a recital programme around six newly commissioned works by Irish composers Raymond Deane, Siobhán Cleary, Benjamin Dwyer, Gráinne Mulvey, Michael Holohan and Bill Whelan. Funded by the Arts Council, the project was born of a conversation Fahy had with composer Raymond Deane about the fact that the vast majority of contemporary pieces are written for large hands, leaving a huge portion of the piano repertoire simply unavailable to female pianists.

The six commissioned pieces, together called The Handprint Collection, were written specifically with smaller hands in mind, with the intention of creating a body of work accessible to all pianists, regardless of hand size, while being no less technically and musically challenging. The six works will receive their premiere at 2014’s New Music Dublin festival in March at the National Concert Hall on 8 March, and will also be the basis of a short concert series at the Hugh Lane Gallery called Handprint: Before and Beyond. Central to each concert is two of the new works, and pieces specially selected by the composers as ones that have had an influence on their work, and by Fahy to complete the programme.

Ahead of the premieres will be a series of public workshops, co-hosted by the Contemporary Music Centre, which will see the composers in conversation with Thérèse Fahy discussing both compositional and pianistic elements of their piece, including live performed examples. Taking place at the Kevin Barry Room, the workshops are free entry, but places are limited, so booking at www.nch.ie is advised.

Premiere Programme:
Raymond Deane – Legerdemain
Benjamin Dwyer – Étude
Michael Holohan – The Forge
Grainne Mulvey – Calorescence
Bill Whelan – Waiting for Riad
Siobhán Cleary – Leda and the Swan

Handprint Workshops, Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall
6pm, Jan 17 – Benjamin Dwyer
7pm, Jan 17 – Michael Holohan
6pm, Jan 30 – Siobhan Cleary
7pm, Jan 30 – Raymond Deane
6pm, Feb 8 – Grainne Mulvey

Handprint: Before and Beyond, Hugh Lane Gallery
4 May, 12.00pm
Ravel – Le Tombeau de Couperin – Prélude; Miroirs; Jeux d’eau
Whelan – Waiting for Riad
Scarlatti – Sonata in D minor, Kp 213
Dwyer – Étude
Granados – Goyescas – The Maid and the Nightingale, Los Requeibros

1 June, 12.00pm
Mozart – Fantasia in C minor, K475
Schoenberg – Six Little Pieces Op. 19
Scriabin – Danses, Op. 73 – Guirlandes
Deane – Legerdemain
Mulvey – Calorescence
Debussy – Préludes Book 1 – Voiles
Préludes Book 2 – Feux d’artifice
Messiaen – Préludes – La colombe

29 June, 12.00pm
Debussy – Estampes – Pagodes, Soirée dans Grande, Jardins sous la pluie
Heaney – The Forge (recited by Donal O’Kelly)
Holohan – The Forge
WB. Yeats – Leda and the Swan (recited by Donal O’Kelly)
Cleary – Leda and the Swan
Ravel – Gaspard de la Nuit – Le Gibet, Ondine

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