Saturday 22 September 2018

My cultural life: Mairead Hickey

Nine Lives
Nine Lives
Inland Empire
The Port of Collioure by Andre Derain

One of Ireland's most accomplished violinists, Mairead Hickey was NCH Irish Young Musician of the Year 2010-2011. The 21-year-old is studying with Michaela Martin at Kronberg Academy in Germany. She has performed in every major venue in Ireland and internationally in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, and Beethoven-Haus in Bonn. She has performed as a soloist with both the RTE Symphony and Concert Orchestras and has collaborated with many renowned artists such as Barry Douglas, Tabea Zimmermann, Fazil Say and Boris Berezovsky.

She plays traditional Irish music and is the winner of eight world Irish Fiddle titles. Her love of chamber music led her to co-found the Ortus Chamber Music Festival in her native Cork, along with her friend, and fellow musician, Sinead O'Halloran. The Ortus Chamber Music Festival takes place across Cork city and county from February 23-25.

Film: Inland Empire

I recently watched Inland Empire by David Lynch (below). It absolutely terrified me but I was infinitely impressed by the cinematic techniques used and the point to which he is able to play with the emotions of the audience just by using different lighting, camera angles and music. I don't get time to go to the cinema as often as I'd like.

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Inland Empire

Music: Schubert String Quartet

Difficult ask as there are so many genres of music to choose from… but Schubert String Quintet is possibly my favourite piece of music ever written. I've been playing chamber music ever since I was 10 years old, thanks to my teacher and mentor at CIT Cork School of Music, Adrian Petcu. I believe that a lot of the best music in the world is chamber music and I would encourage anyone who has a chance to go and listen to a live chamber music concert. I will be playing other favourite pieces, including the Brahms Piano Quintet, during Ortus. My friends, and fellow Cork musicians including Sinead, Cian O Duill, Fiona Kelly, Brendan Garde and Ellen Jansson will also be performing at the festival alongside Ella van Poucke from the Netherlands and Yoan Brakha from France.

Artist: Andre Derain

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The Port of Collioure by Andre Derain
 

The Port of Collioure (above) was painted by Andre Derain in 1905. It always reminds me of a holiday I went on with my mum and a teenage summer romance. Collioure is a beautiful little town on the Mediterranean coast in the south-east corner of France.

Design: Giovanni Tononi violin

The beautiful Giovanni Tononi violin I am lucky enough to have on loan at the moment through the Beare's International Violin Society. Playing on an instrument you love is of fundamental importance to all musicians. Giovanni Tonino was a leading violin maker in Bologna in Italy and mine would have been made around 1680.

Book: Nine Lives

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Nine Lives
 

Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India by the travel writer William Dalrymple opened my eyes to the fascinating mix of religion and culture in today's multi-dimensional India. As soon as I have a free month (unfortunately not in the near future!), I plan to go there and experience it for myself!

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