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Isabelle O’Connell, piano

Pianist Isabelle O'Connell performs works by Claude Debussy, Caroline Shaw and Jane O'Leary.

26 July - 28 July

North Rhine-Westphalia

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Photo: Stefan Seyfert

Photo: Stefan Seyfert

Internationally acclaimed pianist Isabelle O’Connell brings her solo programme entitled Breathing Spaces to Germany for the first time, with works by Claude Debussy, Caroline Shaw and Jane O’Leary.

Each work is inspired by visual art and architecture – from the Impressionist paintings that inspired the musical canvases of Debussy, to painter and photographer Gustave le Gray’s experiments with light, layers and time that provided inspiration for Caroline Shaw’s musical portrait.

The centrepiece of this programme is a work entitled Breathing Spaces by Irish composer Jane O’Leary. Commissioned by pianist Isabelle O’Connell with funding from the Arts Council in 2010, this continuous five-movement work was inspired by the architectural space of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. This will mark the German premiere of this work.

Since her acclaimed New York debut recital at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in 2002, pianist Isabelle O’Connell has developed a thriving international career that has taken her across four continents. As soloist and chamber musician she has performed around the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, at venues such as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Cleveland Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Time:Spans Festival, MATA Festival, Belfast Festival, St David’s Hall, Cardiff and the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

Isabelle has a reputation for being a dynamic interpreter and energetic advocate of music by 20th and 21st century composers. In 2010 her debut solo album Reservoir, featuring solo piano music by contemporary Irish composers, was released to critical acclaim and The New Yorker called her “the young Irish piano phenomena”.

As concerto soloist, Isabelle has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and is co-founder of Grand Band, New York’s new music piano sextet, described by the New York Times as “six of the finest, busiest pianists active in New York’s contemporary-classical scene”.

As chamber musician, Isabelle has performed with John Adams at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, with Meredith Monk at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, and with the New Zealand String Quartet at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada.


Kunstwerkstatt am Hellweg
Wattenscheider Hellweg 9
44869 Bochum-Wattenscheid

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