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President Mary McAleese launches Aloys Fleischmann Centenary Celebration in City Hall, Cork – 22.1.10

The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese today (22.1.10) opened the special celebrations organised by Cork City Council to mark the centenary of the birth of Aloys Fleischmann (1910-1992), the renowned Irish composer, conductor, scholar, campaigner, organiser, Professor of Music at University College Cork and Freeman of Cork.  

Ruth Fleischmann said “It is a great honour that the celebrations marking the centenary of our father’s birth have been launched by President McAleese; the Fleischmann family is deeply grateful to her. We would like to express our thanks to Cork City Council, to the Arts Office and to the Fleischmann Centenary Celebration Working Group under its chairwoman Dr. Máirín Quill, who have made this possible and who have given so unstintingly of their time and energy.” 

Aloys Fleischmann is without doubt one of the most important figures in music in Ireland in the last century and to mark his centenary celebration a host of concerts, recitals, exhibitions, dance performances, public lectures, conferences and special tributes will take place in Ireland, Germany, England, America and China throughout 2010. 

Fleischmann’s works will be performed at 50 concerts; a special Fleischmann RTÉ Lyric FM CD featuring four orchestral works recorded by the RTE Symphony Orchestra will be launched and several books including The Fleischmanns: A Remarkable Cork Family - A Companion to the Fleischmann Centenary Celebration will be published. Fleischmann’s parents will also be commemorated, both in Cork and in the Bavarian town of Dachau from which Fleischmann’s grandfather first came to Ireland in 1879. 

The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Dara Murphy welcomed the centenary, “Our city is one of music, education and the arts.  Aloys Fleischmann gave so much during his life to each of these sectors and helped to create the cultural mix that is such a rich aspect of Cork. It is right we come together and celebrate the man and his music throughout 2010.” 

Aloys Fleischmann's contribution to music and culture in Ireland is immense and over 75 organisations are participating in his centenary celebration. All over Ireland cities and towns including Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Belfast, Maynooth, Killarney, Dundalk and Tralee are organising events to honour the life and work of Aloys Fleischmann.  

A host of concerts, recitals, performances and exhibitions will take place in Cork where Aloys Fleischmann lived and spent the majority of his life. The year began with Fleischmann senior’s Christmas Tower Music for wind ensemble being played all over County Cork; his Nativity Play was performed in Cork City Library on  6th January to general acclaim. His 130th birthday will be celebrated on 24th April with a Civic Mass in the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne, where he worked as organist and choirmaster for 55 years.  

The Defence Forces Massed Bands will perform Four Fanfares in February in City Hall, a special centenary concert presented by the Cork Orchestral Society in association with the CIT School of Music and the RTE Vanbrugh Quartet and Hugh Tinney will take place on 13th April, the birthday of Aloys Fleischmann, while the West Cork Chamber Festival will commemorate Fleischmann in June with a performance of his Piano Quintet at the opening concert. 

Aloys Fleischmann founded the Cork International Choral Festival in 1954 and this year the Festival is paying a special tribute to the work and music of its founder. Fleischmann’s Song of the Provinces will be performed by CIT Cork School of Music Orchestra, Fleischmann’s Choir and the Dachau Liedertafel Choir at the Festival’s Opening Gala while his Bata na bPlanndála will be celebrated by the Kerry Fleischmann Choir and Kerry Chamber Orchestra at the Festival’s Closing Gala in May, re-choreographed by Fr Pat Ahern, the founder of Siamsa Tíre.

Throughout the year exhibitions on the life of Aloys Fleischmann and his family will take place all over the city including Aloys Fleischmann, Family and Friends in Cork City Library, Three Generations of Fleischmann Musicians in Cork Public Museum, Aloys Fleischmann - The Man and his Music in Cork School of Music, Aloys Fleischmann - Music in the University, in the City, International Links in the Boole Library, UCC and From the Sources in the Glucksman Art Gallery. An exhibition of paintings from the artists’ colony of Dachau will be hosted by Cork Public Museum in the summer. The Crawford Art Gallery have produced a special 2010 Aloys Fleischmann Calendar which commemorates Fleischmann and contains beautiful images all which share a musical theme. 

For 45 years Aloys Fleischmann co-operated with Joan Denise Moriarty to foster ballet in Ireland. To honour Fleischmann’s contribution to dance, a special exhibition The Music for the Ballet will take place in the Firkin Crane in April.  Cork City Ballet will perform dances from Fleischmann’s The Golden Bell of Ko in April and Cork City Ballet’s Swan Lake in the Cork Opera House in November will be dedicated to his memory. 

A series of public lectures will occur all over Ireland. In February Harry White will deliver a lecture to the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin called Fleischmann and the Development of Musicology in Ireland, Michael Murphy will present Virtuosity, vigour and vehemence - Fleischmann the composer in the University of Limerick in April while Seamus de Barra will give the Sean O’Riada Memorial Lecture entitled: Re-visioning Tradition - Aloys Fleischmann and the Making of Modern Irish Music in UCC in February. 

The First International Conference on Irish Music and Musicians with a special section on Aloys Fleischmann will take place in Durham University School of Music in July while a weeklong celebration honouring the life of Aloys Fleischmann and his family will take place in Dachau in October.  

The full programme of the Aloys Fleischmann Centenary Celebration of Events is available on www.corkcity.ie/aloysfleischmann

 

 

 

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