Sheer musical class the order of week at St John's with arrival of masterly acts

Eve Dowling

Sheer classical genius is the order of the week at St John's with the arrival of two brilliant acts - The Vanbrugh Quartet and classical guitarist Pat Coldrick.

The Vanbrugh (Gregory Ellis, Keith Pascoe, Simon Aspell and Christopher Marwood perform tonight (Wednesday, February 7), at St John's with gifted pianist Michael McHale in a programme to feature works by Mozart, Stanford and Dvorak.

The Vanbrugh established themselves as one of the nation's best-loved quartets after responding from their then London base in the 1980s to an advert for the position of resident string quarter to the RTÉ.

Accolades by the truckload followed, with the quartet appointed artists-in-residence to UCC in 1991. They also founded the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Bantry - now a massive draw for classical masters from near and wide and established the National String Quartet Foundation in 2015 as their legacy.

Doors open at 7.40pm with admission priced at €15.

The classical brilliance returns to the St John's stage two nights later with guitarist Pat Coldrick - one of the country's most revered masters of the instrument - on his national Classical Gas tour.

A virtuoso interpreter of classical favourites and composer of work that is every bit as inspired and brilliant as the standards, Coldrick is described as a 'unique experience' live. His interpretation of the signature piece of the tour, Classical Gas (by Mason Williams), is a joyful experience - just check it out online; much like his own compositions are, including the powerful Lament, a piece he has performed with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

A regular on national radio and TV, he has studied with world-renowned guitarists David Russell and Gabriel Esterellas; and counts a certain Joe Walsh, guitarist with The Eagles, among his fans. "What a great player. I thought I was safe. Love his style. Cayendo was immense but this tops it," said Joe of Pat's album CityJam. Coldrick has also sold out the National Concert Hall on several occasions. Doors open at 7.40pm on Friday, February 9, tickets €12.