Tullamore concerts now part of the national cultural calendar

One of mid-Ireland’s “most interesting and appropriate music events” enters its fourteenth year with a sustained achievement in attracting leading performers from across the world.

One of mid-Ireland’s “most interesting and appropriate music events” enters its fourteenth year with a sustained achievement in attracting leading performers from across the world.

That’s according to the organisers of the Tullamore International Summer Organ Series (TISOS) who have just announced their 2012 programme, which features organists from four countries, as well as a leading local ensemble.

“The series is now well and truly established as part of the national summer cultural calendar,” says series artistic director, former Maynooth Professor of Music Gerard Gillen.

The 2012 schedule covers four performances (one in each month from June to September), and uses the Frobenius organ at the Church of the Assumption in the Co. Offaly town.

Both the church and the organ are remarkable: the building itself is a modern reconstruction following the fire in 1983, and the magnificent organ is a gift from the parishioners of Copenhagen’s Lutheran cathedral, Vor Frue Kirk (Church of Our Lady).

Professor Gillen has brought together a combination of established and new talent in the 2012 programme – from the young Dublin-based organist and teacher Aleksandr Nisse to the major international figures John Kitchen (Edinburgh) and Ignace Michiels (Bruges).

The full range of almost forty pieces to be performed during the series covers the entire spectrum of church and secular music, from early exponents like Buxtehude, Praetorius and Prachelbel to modern composers such as Durufle and Dupre.

Along the way there will be a chance to hear some of the great works from mainstream classical composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, whose organ works form such an important part of his appeal, and lesser-heard works from a wide range of 18th. century artists (Johan Ludwig Krebs, William Russell).

The Michiels programme will feature seven 20th-century exponents including names like Litaize, Dubois, Mailly and Ralph-Driffl.

The organising group believes that the concerts offer exceptional value for money, at €10 general admission and €6 concession. The series, which is supported by The Arts Council and Offaly County Council runs on Tuesday evenings (June 26, July 24, August 21 and September 25).

The entire programme, together with some background information on performers, places and connections, is available on the web at www.tisos.org.