The Santa Rita Concerts: Michael McHale


Music by Viennese Classical master, Franz Schubert, with complimentary contemporary pieces by Irish composers Simon O’Connor, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Garrett Sholdice, performed by rising star Michael McHale. The evening begins at 7pm with a Santa Rita wine reception, pre-concert interview with the performer and album launch. The performance begins at 8pm sharp. Tickets €13 pre-booked; €15 on the door.

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“McHale played with cool authority and understated panache as one expected from a young pianist whose international career is in serious take-off mode…” – The Sunday Business Post

What better way to begin the New Year than with a recital of supremely elegant piano music by Viennese Classical master, Franz Schubert, performed by ascendant young Irish pianist Michael McHale?

This recital sees the premiere of the “Schubert Project”, in which Ergodos co-directors, composers Garrett Sholdice and Benedict Schlepper-Connolly, along with regular Ergodos collaborator, composer and Little Museum of Dublin curator, Simon O’Connor, engage with the beguiling beauty of Schubert’s Opus 90 Impromptus for solo piano. These works, like much of Schubert’s astonishingly large output, are remarkable for their limpidity of melody and Baroque-like invention. They are some of the best-loved and most performed pieces of the 19th century Romantic piano repertoire.

McHale will perform the Opus 90 Impromptus in their entirety. Interspersed between each he will premiere a new interlude, specially composed by each of the three Irish composers – three highly personal reponses to Schubert’s masterpiece. The careful combination of new and old intensifies both – perceptions of the familiar and the unfamiliar become inverted and listening experiences become charged in new ways.

Belfast-born Michael McHale is one of Ireland’s leading pianists. Since completing his studies at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, he has developed a busy international career as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. He has performed at many important musical centres including Suntory Hall, Tokyo; Wigmore Hall, London; Lincoln Center, New York; Symphony Hall, Boston; Konzerthaus, Berlin, and the Ushuaia, Chopiniana and Tanglewood Festivals. Critic Norman Lebrecht described Michael’s début solo album, The Irish Piano, as “a scintillating recital…fascinating from start to stop”. January 2015 saw the release of Miniatures and Modulations, featuring music by Philip Hammond, and a disc of clarinet sonatas by Brahms and Reinecke with Michael Collins (Editor’s Choice in Gramophone).

The Ergodos “Schubert Project” is supported by a Project Award from the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

The Santa Rita Concerts provide a unique, deeply immersive audience experience. Each evening begin at 7pm with a Santa Rita wine reception, and a pre-concert interview with the evening’s musicians. The performances take place at 8pm in the museum’s beautifully resonant downstairs gallery. The space is candlelit and the atmosphere highly intimate – a concentrated ritual shared by performer and audience.

The Santa Rita Concerts are curated by Ergodos, a Dublin-based record label and production company run by composers Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Garrett Sholdice. The programme features a distinctive and diverse mix of soloists, ensembles, singer-songwriters and sound artists. Full details can be found here, and a discounted season ticket may be purchased online here.