Classic duo bring talent to Kerry

Fergus Dennehy talks to one half of Ireland’s premier string playing duo in cello player Gerald Peregrine; Gerald talks about his and Elizabeth Cooney’s (violinist) upcoming show in the Tech Amergin Centre in Waterville on April 13 and in St John’s Theatre in Listowel on April 25.

Cellist Gerald Peregrine and violinist Elizabeth Cooney.
Cellist Gerald Peregrine and violinist Elizabeth Cooney.

Ahead of this week's interview with renowned cello player, Gerald Peregrine, I found myself drawn to re-watching that famous scene from 'Titanic' in which the band continues to play, even as the ship slowly sinks around them.

The combination of violin and cello in that scene as they play 'Nearer my God Thee' is hauntingly beautiful and one which sticks with the viewer long after the films credits have ended.

I don't know about everyone else but, I for one fell in love with the violin from that moment on.

With Gerald set to play on the cello and his fellow musician Elizabeth Cooney on the violin in the Tech Amergin Centre in Waterville on Friday April 13 and in St Johns Theatre in Listowel on Wednesday April 25, hopefully we can look forward to similarly beautiful music again on these two nights.

"We've both toured individually in Kerry over the years and we've always had great receptions down here," said Gerald, speaking to The Kerryman on Thursday.

"I, myself, have played the Tech Amergin three times now and I know that Elizabeth has played there and loved it there. St Johns in Listowel, Joe Murphy down there, he is very supportive of the arts and I've been lucky enough to play there as well a few times," he continued.

"The Tech Amergin Centre, it's just so lovely down there. There's that great historical connection down there too with Charlie Chaplin. It's definitely worth the trip down there for sure, even if just for that drive along the coast," he continued.

"We're just delighted to be able to come back to the Kingdom and play to some great audiences," he said.

Gerald is an an established soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, who regularly performs in Ireland, Europe, the Americas and Asia, and someone who has gained huge critical acclaim as both a soloist and chamber musician.

He has performed in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Great Hall in Beijing, Cadogan Hall and Tchaikovsky Hall.

Elizabeth, who is based in London and performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician in a number of orchestras, has perforned with the WNO Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, ECO and Aurora as well as touring throughout the world.

As a soloist, Elizabeth has recorded for BBC Radio 3 and has toured with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Liszt Chamber Orchestra of Hungary and the Slovenian Philharmonic in Geneva in Switzerland.

"We've known each for years now and we are great friends. We are like brother and sister at this stage," he laughed, "there's not too much fighting on stage!" he joked.

With regards to the upcoming show, Gerald has said that people can expect a very varied night of music.

"We've chosen music that are very, eh, virtuosic or challenging, so we've definitely chosen a more difficult path for ourselves, but we that's what we like. We decided to pick the hard pieces, both technically and musically, there will definitely be some musical fireworks on the night!" he said.

"So, we're expecting an exciting and varied night of music. We're going to have new pieces from young compsers and we are going to be putting in some old classics such Beethoven, Ravel, Handelm Martinu, all of which have some charming pieces," he finished.

Tickets for the the two Kerry dates on the tour - a tour which Gerald says is kindly supported by the RTÉ'S 'Supporting The Arts' are currently on sale from the Tech Amergin Centre in Waterville and St Johns's Theatre in Listowel.

Tickets are set to cost between €18 and €22 - don't miss out on this wonderful night of beautiful classical music.

PS: Make sure you re-watch that Titanic band scene - you'll thank me later.