Feis Ceoil 2023 – 127 years of giving young classical musicians the opportunity to perform live as Ireland’s newest music talents in the country converge to make their mark:
The annual Feis Ceoil (‘Festival of Music’) is Ireland’s leading national classical music festival, that platforms many of Ireland’s young gifted musicians over 12 days this March. This intense competitive live performance setting for judges and audiences alike, aim to find the newest talent in the country. The 2023 festival runs at the RDS, showcasing the best classical music as the competitions are fully live with some highlight events being recorded and broadcast later for those who can’t make it to the in-person performances in Dublin.
Supported by the RDS, the Feis Ceoil is an essential element in the musical infrastructure of the country, and throughout the decades almost every classical Irish musician has competed at the Feis. Thousands of young classical musicians from the 32 counties of Ireland compete in over 190 individual music competitions at the festival. Well over half a million musicians have competed at the competition since it began in 1896, with past competitors including James Joyce and Count John McCormack and more recently, pianists John O’Conor and Finghin Collins, singers like Tara Erraught & Celine Byrne and comedian Risteard Cooper.
Laura Gilsenan, CEO of the annual Feis Ceoil Competition and Festival says; “For the first time since 2019 Feis Ceoil will be fully live at the RDS. We are delighted to be able to welcome choirs, orchestras and audiences who were sorely missed during the pandemic years. While it is great to have an online offering to engage our remote audience, the immediacy of live performance and audience reaction is what we most look forward to!”
Geraldine Ruane, Chief Executive of the RDS says; “2023 marks the 40th Anniversary since the RDS first hosted Feis Ceoil. The RDS is delighted to continue its support of the Feis Ceoil, which is widely recognised as the most important classical music competition in Ireland. This support from the RDS to our young musicians is another tangible way in which the Society realises its Mission of seeing Ireland thrive culturally and economically.”
This year, certain competitions will be filmed and videos posted online the day following the competition:
Feis Ceoil will continue to engage their online audience by recording a selection of the most popular competitions, and posting them online the following day. This will give viewers a good overview of the Feis and the incredibly high standard of performance of their competitors from wherever it best suits.
A selection of the most outstanding competitors from this year’s Feis Ceoil will be showcased at a special Gala Concert in the National Concert Hall on Wednesday 26 April, at 7.30pm. The Gala Concert will be hosted by Laura Gilsenan, CEO of the Feis Ceoil Association and promises to be a triumphant finale to conclude this year’s event. Tickets, from €12.50 on sale from nch.ie !!
2023 FEIS CEOIL HIGHLIGHTS
RDS Concert Hall
Monday 20th March, 2pm, Senior Musical Theatre
Competitors will perform a piece from the musical theatre repertoire.
Tuesday 21st March, 7pm, Choir of the Year Final
The winning choirs from each of the choir competitions will compete against each other in the final for the title of ‘Feis Ceoil Choir of the Year 2023’ and a €3,000 award.
Friday 24th March, 7pm, Dramatic Cup (Opera) Final
Competitors will perform two contrasting operatic arias for the 1st prize of €4,000.
Thursday 30th March, 7pm, Morris Grant Bursary (Senior Piano Final)
The winners of 7 senior piano competitions will compete against each other for this €2,500 Bursary.
Friday 31st March, 7pm, Gervase Elwes Memorial Cup (Senior Vocal Final)
The winners of 9 senior vocal competitions will compete against each other for the award of €1,000.
RDS Dodder Room B
Saturday 25th March, 2pm, Chamber Music Cup
Ensembles of between 3 and 9 musicians perform from the Chamber Music repertoire.
ABOUT: Feis Ceoil
Since its inauguration in 1896, the Feis Ceoil has remained at the heart of Ireland’s vibrant music tradition. A bastion of excellence in the promotion of education and performance, the Feis has played a significant role in the lives of many successful musicians, actors and writers.