Classical & Irish Flute 
Eimear McGeown

Eimear McGeown

Classical & Irish Flute

CONCERT REVIEWS AND PRESS QUOTES


 CONCERT REVIEWS


 
RECITAL AT CLANDEBOYE FESTIVAL 2012

The fast-developing talents of Craigavon-born flautist Eimear McGeown, a former Clandeboye Young Musician of the Year now based in London, took centre-stage at the third and final lunchtime concert of this year’s festival. McGeown played an agreeably varied programme, launched by a chirpy performance of Mercadante’s E minor Flute Quartet. Her chirruping trills in the opening Allegro maestoso, the bird-like clarity of her legato in the shapely Largo, and the rhythmic snap of the Rondo Russo finale, cast mood-brightening rays of musical sunshine across a Clandeboye chapel mired in miserable August weather. Two solo pieces followed, both of a more contemplative nature. In selections from Marin Marais’s Les folies d’Espagne McGeown gently probed the languid melancholia implicit in the melodic writing, while in Debussy’s Syrinx the poise and elegance of her playing, bright-toned with minimal vibrato, were particularly striking. McGeown is also a highly gifted exponent of Irish traditional music, and was joined by guitarist Jonathan Toman for four assorted sets of slip-jigs, reels and hornpipes, including a couple of her own excellent compositions. McGeown’s flair and fluidity on the traditional instruments she used was invigorating, and her deeply-felt performance of a keening solo “Lament” was arguably the most memorable moment of the entire recital. Northern Ireland has, in Sir James Galway, already given one outstanding flautist to the world of music. Eimear McGeown is well on her way to being another. BELFAST TELEGRAPH - AUGUST 2012

Terry Blain

 
 

ST. MARTIN IN THE FIELD'S RECITAL REVIEW

The lunchtime recital promoted by the Concordia Foundation Series at St Martin-in-the-Fields on April 20 was given by the outstanding young Ulster-born flautist Eimear McGeown with Alexsander Szram pianist. The programme unusually for such a venue and time, concentrated upon modern works, in which Katherine Hoover’s Kokopeli for solo flute and Mel Bonis’s Sonata for flute and piano made very strong impressions – particularly the Scherzo of the latter work, a reminiscence, perhaps, of the Scherzo from Mendelssohn’s Midsummernight’s Dream music. Both were quite brilliantly played, and the recital ended with the premiere of a new version of Dave Heath’s Home from the Storm for flute and piano, a most lyrical and melodically attractive short study. This was preceded by a traditional Irish reel, played on a traditional Irish flute; the programme began with JS Bach’s Sonata in E minor, most musically and intelligently phrased by these very gifted artists.

Robert Matthew-Walker

Reviewed for 'Classical Music Opinion' - Britains Oldest Classical Music Magazine

 

YOUNG CAMERATA IRELAND TRIO CONCERT REVIEW - NCH, John Field Room, Dublin, Irish Times

"First convened by Barry Douglas at last year's Clandeboye Festival, the Young Camerata Ireland Trio includes the festival's 2004 and 2006 Young Musician laureates, pianist Michael McHale and flautist Eimear McGeown. Their performance in the National Concert Hall's Summer Sounds at Lunchtime series reached the high standards of technical assurance, instrumental balance and interpretive insight you'd expect from Douglas's protégés. Three individual musical personalities were nonetheless strongly present. In Weber's striking Trio in G minor Op 63, McGeown's sensitive intonation and seemingly inexhaustible breath control revealed an unfamiliar, darkly romantic side to her instrument. Her formidable tongue-and-finger coordination was at its finest in the cascades, trills and chirrups of the Sonate en concert Op 17 (1952) by Jean-Michel Damase." IRISH TIMES

 


CHELMSFORD RECITAL REVIEW

 
 
Flautist Eimear McGeown was born in Northern Ireland, as was the composer of her first piece, Hamilton Harty's elegiac, energetic “In Ireland”, which finished with a joyful jig.

The talented and versatile musician showed her classical credentials with a Fauré test piece and a favourite Bach Sonata.

But most of this recital was devoted to traditional forms and new music, including the première of a Romance by Jeffery Wilson, butterfly flute darting around above the wind-stirred foliage of the piano accompaniment [Aleksander Szram].

Canadian composer Katherine Hoover evoked the wide open spaces in her Kokopeli, influenced by Native American music, and ending with a dying diminuendo, beautifully controlled. Ian Clarke's Hypnosis was predictably soporific, with a minimalist piano part, while his ingenious Great Train Race was an exhilarating exploration of the instrument. The Sonata by French pianist/composer Mel Bonis was a varied, constantly engaging piece, with a delicate accompaniment.

Eimear's Irish flute featured in the gentle Give Me Your Hand, and some toe-tapping reels, whilst her two whistles [one in D, one in B flat] were used for a couple of slip jigs and Mahoney's Reel.

The audience rightly demanded more from these two charismatic musicians, and we were rewarded with Phil Coulter's sentimental Home Away from Home.
 
Michael Gray
 
 
 

CLANDEBOYE FESTIVAL - EVENING RECITAL 2007

"The opening concert of the 2007 Clandeboye Festival on Sunday saw last year's winner, flautist Eimear McGeown, present a varied programme of Classical and Traditional music. McGeown opened the concert with Great Train Race by Ian Clarke, a contemporary piece for solo flute. Full of elaborate extended techniques, it was clearly a demanding work. McGeown's performance was a dazzling display of flute virtuosity. McGeown followed this with a duet with McHale. The pair performed Out of the Cool by Dave Heath. Solemnly opening on piano, the piece was full of lush piano arpeggios and all manner of modal melodies. The duo played with a sensitive understanding of timing and displayed a flair for powerfully conveyed dynamics.

 

 Weber's Trio for flute, cello and piano was next. Introduced as "deeply romantic", McGeown, McHale and Peregrine brought the notes to life with delicate emotion that built to a spellbinding close. The first half of the programme came to an end following a performance of Frank Martin's Ballade, a modern piece of music full of dark, brooding passages, rapid scale phrasing, and clever flute cadenzas, and Spiral Lament by Ian Clarke, an exotic and sorrowful piece of music, reflective in nature, which served as a suitable showcase for McGeown's versatility.The second half of the evening was a different but no less enjoyable an affair. Consisting of a number of traditional Irish pieces, the ambience in the intimate setting of the Clandeboye was relaxed and lively. McGeown and Toman gave an engaging, toe-tapping performance." Belfast Telegraph Review, Clandeboye Festival 2007.

 
 
PRESS QUOTES
 

"McGeown, for whose wide-ranging talents this single-movement piece was written, made its loose agenda of contemporary and traditional styles surprisingly persuasive." McGeown, Camerata Ireland/Douglas Review, Irish Times May 08

 
"Ms McGeown evoked the suave and seductive charms of Faure’s Fantaisie with impressive sensitivity…” Irish Independent 2006

 

“Concerto in E minor by Mercadante proved to be a brilliant vehicle for Eimear McGeown who shone with beautiful playing and impressive technique…” Pan Flute Magazine 2007

 

“McGeown's sensitive intonation and seemingly inexhaustible breath control revealed an unfamiliar, darkly romantic side to her instrument." Irish Times Aug 2007

 

“McGeown's performance was a dazzling display of flute virtuosity."  Belfast Telegraph 2007

The second soloist was stunning in more ways than one. Eimear McGeown comes originally from County Armagh. She is young and beautiful - positively glamorous and elegant in her royal blue strapless, full length dress. She played her flute sensuously while captivating the audience with a most accomplished rendition of Liebermann's Flute Concerto. Here is no ordinary flautist: Miss McGeown must easily be one of Ulster's finest. Remember her name and relish watching her too! Ulster Orchestra Concerto review 2009

 
"The performance was delayed by the presentation by President Mary Mc Aleese of the 2006 Accenture/Camerata Young Musician of the Year award to Craigavon born flautist, Eimear McGeown, who then gave a deft performance of Faure's Fantaisie." NCH, Dublin, Irish Times, Dec 06

"The Craigavon born flautist proved to be the most resilient performer on the night, with a consistency of tone and projection that underpinned an engaging and energised performance." Belfast Telegraph, August 2006
 

"Given that Mozart's option of dispensing with the concerto's wind parts had been taken, the inclusion of an item with solo flute was especially welcome. The advocacy of flautist Eimear McGeown made it all the more so. The Magnificent Peak by Northern Irish composer David Morris might be described as a continuum of free variations from which the theme, An Speic Seoigheach, ultimately emerges. McGeown, for whose wide-ranging talents this single-movement piece was written, made its loose agenda of contemporary and traditional styles surprisingly persuasive." McGeown, Camerata Ireland/Douglas Review, Irish Times May 08


Copyright©2008 Eimear McGeown