Saturday 27 September
Seamus McGuire & Niamh Crowley – violin; Ken Rice – viola; Neil Martin – cello
Formed in 1999, the West Ocean String Quartet’s vision, eclectic repertoire and style have won them global praise. Their music, most of it written and arranged by Neil Martin, lies somewhere in between the worlds of classical and traditional music. Disregarding rules and boundaries, they have found for themselves a unique voice, and have collaborated with many leading artists, both on stage and in the studio, including Christy Moore, Mary Black, Liam O’Flynn, Matt Molloy, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill and Brian Kennedy.
The quartet’s debut album, Unwrapping Dreams (2004), was released to very considerable acclaim both in Ireland and around the globe. It won the award for Best Newcomers Album in Chicago’s American Live Ireland Awards that year and a BBC television documentary on the quartet followed. Universal praise continued with their second release, The Guiding Moon (2006) featuring The Chieftains’ Matt Molloy. Their third album, Ae Fond Kiss (2009), with special guest Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, similarly garnered applause worldwide.
The quartet has performed widely, including sell-out performances in Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Belfast’s Waterfront Hall and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. Their music has taken them to USA and France and their appeal is truly universal – all three of the quartet’s albums were played aboard the International Space Station during the first half of 2011.