World-class musicians return to Derry for 10th anniversary celebrations of Walled City Music Festival

Cathal Breslin
Cathal Breslin

The Walled City Music Festival has announced a stunning line-up of world-class musicians for this, its 10th anniversary, taking place from 7 to 10 March. The north-west’s premier classical music festival, which will take place in the Guildhall, the Great Hall Magee and Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, will feature return appearances by some of the outstanding performers from the festival’s first decade, including Dimitry Sitkovetsky (violin), Kirill Troussov (violin), Sylvain Blassel (harp) and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello). Artistic Director of the festival, Derry-born Cathal Breslin, will perform in all four of the concerts, both as a soloist and with his Trio Festivale, which also features fellow Artistic Director Sabrina Hu (flute) and Gerald Peregrine (cello).

In addition to the impressive concert series, the festival will run an extensive outreach programme in primary schools throughout Derry and the surrounding area. These highly interactive workshops will include a performance of a new commission by Joe Csibi based on the tale of The Children of Lir, incorporating well-known excerpts from classical and Irish music repertoire.

The festival’s opening concert in Magee will herald the imminent arrival of spring with Beethoven’s ever popular Spring Sonata, Spiegel im Spiegel by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt and masterpieces by Debussy and Ravel. This is followed on Friday by a chamber recital in the Guildhall focusing on the wild and romantic side of classical repertoire, with works by Liszt, Bartók, Wagner and Sarasate.

Saturday sees a double-bill of UK premieres written in the past year. Ian Wilson’s The Great Hunger, commissioned for Trio Festivale, takes as its starting point the epic poem by Patrick Kavanagh and complements the exhibition of Great Hunger artworks running at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin. This concert also features Jeffrey Zeigler, one of the world’s foremost contemporary cellists and a former member of the renowned Kronos Quartet, who returns to the festival with a trio of works from the cutting edge of New York’s new music scene.

The 2019 Walled City Music Festival comes to a rousing conclusion with a return visit by the Ulster Orchestra, performing with the festival’s guest artists in an evening of overtures, concertos and solo works, ranging from Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp to the richly romantic music of Tchaikovsky’s Concertos for Violin and Piano. Conducted by the orchestra’s former Principal Conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky, and showcasing some of classical music’s most iconic repertoire, this concert promises an experience to remember.

The Walled City Music Festival will take place from 7 to 10 March and tickets are now available via the Millennium Forum Box Office or online at

For more information visit