Artistic adventures in Ireland's medieval city - 9th to 19th August 2018 - Now entering its 45th year. Features following art forms; Theatre & Dance, Classical Music, Music, Wired, Street, Literature, Visual Art and Craft. Committed to the presentation of a unique, distinctive and inspiring programme.
About the Festival
Since its foundation in 1974, Kilkenny Arts Festival has gathered many of the world’s finest musicians, performers, writers and artists in Ireland’s medieval city each August. For ten days, the city’s historic churches, castle, courtyards, townhouses and gardens offer a magical setting for unique collaborations and intimate encounters between audiences and artists.
From the beginning, classical music has been at the core of the programme, featuring globally acclaimed artists such as Victoria de los Angeles, Alfred Brendel, Jordi Savall, Steven Isserlis, Dawn Upshaw, Nigel Kennedy and Joshua Bell among many others. Last year, the Festival presented its most ambitious musical project to date: Beethoven's complete string quartets and piano concertos in 12 concerts across ten days. The Festival has also frequently showcased Kilkenny's exceptional local tradition of baroque performance, not least through the performances of Camerata Kilkenny (which was founded at the Festival in 1999) and its co-founders, violinist Maya Homburger and organist/harpsichordist Malcolm Proud. True to our vision of championing excellence without regard for musical genres, 2014 also saw the Irish debuts of the Basiani Ensemble (Georgia), the Early Opera Company (UK), Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (Italy) and La Chiva Gantiva (Colombia).
Over the decades the Festival has staged major open-air productions of Shakespeare, and has recently built on this tradition, hosting from 2012-14 annual residencies by Shakespeare’s Globe in the historic Castle Yard, Ireland’s finest open-air theatrical space. Other theatre artists presenting work at the Festival in recent years have included the legendary Peter Brook and a residency by the Free Theatre of Belarus.