Limerick International Music festival returns this month

FORGET Electric Picnic or Oxegen.

FORGET Electric Picnic or Oxegen.

Limerick’s biggest musical festival is approaching this May.

But instead of Elbow or Lady Gaga, get ready for the sound of Ireland’s eminent tenors and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

The five-day MBNA Limerick International Music Festival is one of the city’s annual cultural highlights.

It not only offers a national and international platform for the Irish Chamber Orchestra, but also for world-renowned artists.

The festival, which runs from May 24 to 29, has long attracted tourists and music lovers to Limerick.

Limerick born tenor Paul McNamara will be among the highlights of the festival, with a performance in St Mary’s Cathedral on Friday, May 27.

This year, the children of Limerick’s regeneration areas will take centre stage during a live concert at St. Mary’s Church, Athlunkard Street at 1pm on Tuesday, May 24.

The performance is the result of the ICO’s community initiative Sing Out with Strings, which benefits children living in Limerick’s regeneration areas.

The pupils from the three participating schools, Galvone National School, Southill Junior School and St. Mary’s Boys School have used popular books to inspire their latest music compositions.

MBNA continued to sponsor the ICO’s music festival, which has been vital to its success.

It is supported locally by Shannon Development, Failte Ireland, Limerick City and County Councils. The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Every time an ICO concert ticket is purchased, it directly supports the ICO’s community engagement programme.

On Saturday, May 28, the ICO will hosts a gala fundraiser for its Sing Out With Strings initiative at University Concert Hall at 8pm.

Gabor Takács-Nagy will conduct a Hungarian Night in what is billed to be the highlight of this year’s festival. He performs Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, one of the finest concertos of the nineteenth century. An event for the family will be held on Sunday, May 29 at 3pm in the University Concert Hall.

Call 061-331549 to book.