Cultural Tour of Ireland – West Cork Chamber Music Festival

Ireland has a great tradition for music but for something a little different why not head to Bantry for the West Cork Chamber Music Festival that is taking place in late June early July, and consists of a wide range of classical performances from a broad range of international and local groups.

The West Cork Chamber Music Festival is a classical music festival taking place in Bantry, County Cork. The festival was started in 1996 to promote classical music and also to help draw visitors to the area. Since that time the popularity of the event has led to it expanding to a 9-day event with 4 concerts a day and a number of side events. In 2008 the event runs from Saturday 28th of June to Sunday 6th of July.

Most of the events are taking place within Bantry House itself which is a stately house that overlooks Bantry bay and has beautiful gardens that are definitely worth exploring in-between concerts.

This event includes talent from home and abroad with groups from Poland, Finland, the USA, Switzerland and Argentina, all converging on Bantry for this festival. The Rosamunde Quartet is a Polish Quartet and as we grow closer together in Europe you can be sure you will see more such groups, this one will be performing Schubert Quartet in E flat on Saturday 28th.

The side events include such activities as an exhibition on violin and bow making, and a masterclass series to help teach young musicians. On the last day of the festival, July 6th, all the students in the masterclass will be putting their new found skills to the test by performing a concert, definitely worth a look.

How to get there: If you heading to West Cork for this festival then you will want to drive as public transport in this part of the country is somewhat limited. Starting from Cork City you will want to head west on the N22 for Killarney. Just as you are entering Macroom (after about 30kms), you should see a sign on the left for Bantry, take this road the R584. After about 40kms you will come to the N71 coast road, turn south and you will arrive in Bantry after about 6kms.

For other ideas as for things to do while you are in Ireland have a look at our other car hire Ireland blogs. Since you will probably be driving to West Cork why not give our car hire Ireland options give us a go?

Just remember to enjoy your trip to Ireland and if you have any tips or questions of your own, why not post a comment below?