Life

Friday 23 August 2019

My Cultural Life: Finghin Collins, pianist

Finghin Collins
Finghin Collins
Everybody Knows
Salamanca
Barbara Kingslover

Award-winning pianist Finghin Collins has a flourishing international career as a concert pianist, taking him all over the world to perform. He is artistic director of both Music for Galway and the New Ross Piano Festival. He's single, and lives in Dublin, and loves entertaining friends and going to cultural events in the city. As a former student of piano with John O'Conor at the RIAM, Finghin performs in 'Dublin Musical Saunter - John O'Conor Celebration' at Castle Hall, Dublin Castle on June 16 at 12noon, as part of Great Music in Irish Houses festival. greatmusicinirishhouses.com

Film: Everybody Knows

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Everybody Knows
 

I recently saw a wonderful Spanish film called Todos Lo Saben - 'Everybody Knows'. It's all part of my project this year to learn Spanish. It was about a wedding in Spain where the bride's teenage niece, who has travelled with her family from Argentina, is kidnapped during the festivities. Starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, it's dark, exhilarating and quite emotional. I was hanging on to the subtitles for dear life, though!

Artist: Canaletto

The Canaletto Exhibition at the National Gallery earlier this year was just so beautiful. I love smaller, manageable exhibitions which fit into about five or six adjoining rooms and I am much more likely to enjoy them (or even attend them) than trying to get around the Prado or the Louvre in a day! The splendour of the Canaletto made me want to book a flight instantly to Venice, but I haven't managed to do it yet.

Design: Salamanca

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Salamanca
 

I'm just back from a three-day trip to Salamanca, another part of my Spanish-learning exercise. Everywhere you look there are palaces, churches, monasteries, mansions and the most beautiful cloisters, all hewn from the soft, golden stone of the quarries of Villamajor. Can any modern designers come close to the exquisite refinement of these centuries-old buildings, to their majesty, their extravagance, their deeply satisfying cohesion? I doubt it.

Musician: Marc-Andre Hamelin

The outstanding Canadian pianist gave a very impressive performance at the National Concert Hall recently. Control was everything in the performance, not letting himself get carried away seemed to be the key. One can learn a lot from such experiences.

Author: Barbara Kingsolver

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Barbara Kingslover
 

Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver, the tale of two families living in the same house more than a century apart. Tenderly narrated, it touches ever so gently on topical matters such as housing difficulties, climate change awareness and the man in the White House.

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