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Louth Contemporary Music Society Announces Folks' Music Midsummer Festival

Musician Zoe Conway at the programme launch of Louth Contemporary Music Society's midsummer festival

Composers, musicians and contemporary music fans from around the globe will converge in Dundalk this June 16–17 for the Louth Contemporary Music Society’s midsummer festival.

This year’s event is entitled “Folks’ Music” and will showcase an array of talented performers, including international stars and renowned local artists hailing from Italy, Canada, the United States and England as well as Ireland. This year marks 17 years since Louth Contemporary Music Society's inception to promote contemporary music in Ireland - a feat that has transformed Dundalk into one of Europe's premier destinations for contemporary music performance.

Amongst this year’s festival lineup acclaimed US composer and performer Caroline Shaw will be making her first ever Irish visit. Shaw, who has previously received the Pulitzer prize, picked up a Grammy-award this year for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. In 2015, Shaw had a chance encounter with rapper Kanye West backstage after her performance in Los Angeles. This meeting sparked an incredible collaboration between Shaw and West which culminated in their work together on West’s The Life of Pablo album and a tour of the US in 2016. Known for creating symphonies, theatre pieces and works for ballet all around the world, the multi-talented composer, violinist and vocalist will make her much anticipated Irish debut performing alongside the Esposito Quartet at Dundalk’s music bar, The Spirit Store, on Saturday 17 June.

Described as the UK’s top New Music band, Explore Ensemble will also be making their first trip to Ireland. They’ll be performing pieces by Clara Iannotta, one of Europe’s most sought after composers, at Dundalk Gaol. New works by Linda Catlin Smith and Cassandra Miller will also be performed by the Chamber Choir Ireland at St Nicholas Church of Ireland. Meanwhile, the acclaimed Spanish saxophone quartet, The Sigma Project, will be bringing their lively and somewhat theatrical performance to St. Vincent’s Chapel.

Composer Caroline Shaw will make her first visit to Ireland as part of the Louth Contemporary Music Society's "Folks' Music" festival

A highlight of the festival promises to be an innovative adaptation of legendary composer Terry Riley’s iconic “In C”. For the first time the piece will be performed, by a collection of Ireland’s leading traditional musicians including Zoë Conway, Donal Lunny, Paddy Glackin, Máirtín O’Connor, Mick O’Brien, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy at St Nicholas Church of Ireland.

Speaking ahead of this year’s festival programme, Louth Contemporary Music Society’s director Eamonn Quinn invited audiences to come and be inspired:

“Our annual concert promises to be an unforgettable musical experience for all! This year, attendees will embark on a global journey across various obscure and diverse styles of contemporary music. From Spanish Sax Players to Caroline Shaw to Traditional Irish Musicians - everyone is sure to find something that speaks volumes with them. We’re especially thrilled as this festival also includes 4 world premieres of new commissions – come prepared and get ready to expand your horizons!”.

Founded in 2006, Louth Contemporary Music Society is a non for profit organisation aiming to bring world renowned contemporary musicians, performers and composers to play and educate in Co Louth.

“Folks’ Music” the festival, will take place at various venues around Dundalk from June 16-17. Tickets to the individual concerts start at €5 with a ticket to attend all of the concerts priced at €30. Tickets available from

Funded by the Arts Council and Create Louth. Supported by RTÉ Supporting the Arts and with the friendly support of Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

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