Cork International Choral Festival

Since its establishment in 1954, the Cork International Choral Festival has remained a vital force in nurturing choral music in Ireland. Taking place annually over five days leading up to the first Monday in May, this esteemed festival sprawls across various venues in Cork, with the iconic City Hall serving as its focal point, renowned for its remarkable acoustics. Recognized as one of Europe’s foremost choral gatherings, the festival stands out for its unwavering commitment to excellence, offering a diverse and extensive program that reflects its inclusive ethos and warm hospitality.

Drawing choirs from all corners of the globe, Cork transforms into a vibrant hub of musical celebration, hosting Gala concerts, Schools Concerts, and both National and International Competitions. The highlight of the event is the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy, which sees elite amateur choirs vying for top honors. Beyond the formal competitions, the festival buzzes with Fringe concerts, Church Interchange programs, and impromptu Public Performances, where choirs surprise audiences with their talent in unexpected locales. This convergence of international and local talent not only enriches the cultural tapestry of Cork but also offers audiences a rare opportunity to experience a kaleidoscope of choral traditions and repertoire from around the world.

2024 Dates

May 1 – 5, 2024

2025 Dates

April 30 – May 4, 2025

2026 Dates

April 29 – May 3, 2025


2024 Festival Events

Wednesday, May 1

  • 11:00 AM – National Competition for Schools – Section 1 Primary School Choirs
  • 11:00 AM – Choral Trail at The Atrium Coffee Dock, Cork University Hospital
  • 11:50 AM – “Let Us Perform” Workshop led by Kelly-Ann Healy, Andrew Lane, and CADA Performing Arts
  • 1:00 PM – Choral Trail at Forde’s Bar
  • 2:00 PM – Choral Trail at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral
  • 2:00 PM – Choirs at the Honan Chapel
  • 3:00 PM – Choral Trail at Blackpool Library
  • 8:00 PM – Opening Gala Concert

Thursday, May 2

  • 11:00 AM – National Competition for Schools – 3 Post-Primary Mixed Voices
  • 11:00 AM – Choirs at The Goldie Chapel
  • 12:00 PM – Choral Trail at Blarney Library
  • 12:00 PM – Choral Trail at Central Library, Cork City
  • 12:10 PM – Workshop for Post-Primary Schools, led by Patrick Barrett
  • 12:30 PM – Choral Trail at Hollyhill Library
  • 1:10 PM – Choirs at Griffith College
  • 1:10 PM – Choirs at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral
  • 2:00 PM – Choral Trail at Mayfield Library
  • 2:00 PM – Choral Trail at Lavit Gallery
  • 2:00 PM – National Competition for Schools – Section 2 Post-Primary Equal Voices
  • 3:00 PM – Choral Trail at Douglas Library
  • 4:15 PM – Alexander Technique Workshop with Mary Shorten
  • 7:30 PM – State Choir LATVIJA

Friday, May 3

  • 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Choral Conducting Workshop with Chamber Choir Ireland
  • 11:00 AM – Choral Trail at Blarney Castle
  • 11:00 AM – Choral Trail at Central Library, Cork City
  • 11:00 AM – Choir Meet and Greet: International Non-Competitive Choirs
  • 11:00 AM – Choirs at the Freemasons’ Hall
  • 11:30 AM – Choral Trail at Bishopstown Library
  • 1:10 PM – Choirs at the Sirius Arts Centre
  • 1:10 PM – Music at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral
  • 2:30 PM – Choral Trail at Ballincollig Library
  • 3:00 PM – Choral Trail at On The Pig’s Back, Douglas
  • 3:00 PM – Choral Trail at Glanmire Library
  • 3:00 PM – Choral Trail at Tory Top Road Library, Ballyphehane
  • 4:00 PM – Choir Meet & Greet: Fleischmann International Trophy Competition Choirs
  • 4:00 PM – Rewire Your Choir: Embracing Neurodiversity, with Dr. Eva McMullan-Glossop
  • 5:00 PM – Choirs at Christ Church, Cobh
  • 6:15 PM – Choral Evensong at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral
  • 7:00 PM – Choral Trail at Tequila Jacks
  • 7:30 PM – Choirs at St Colman’s Cathedral
  • 7:30 PM – Chamber Choir Ireland
  • 10:00 PM – EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble

Saturday, May 4

  • 9:30 AM – National Competitions – Lower Voices, Chamber Choirs, Upper Voices, Ibec Workplace Choir of the Year
  • 11:00 AM – Choirs at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral
  • 11:00 AM – Choirs at St Colman’s Cathedral
  • 11:30 AM – Medieval Chanting Workshop with Bruno de Labriolle
  • 12:30 PM – Choral Trail at Fota House & Gardens
  • 12:30 PM – Afternoons in the Atrium, Clayton Hotel
  • 12:40 PM – Choral Trail at the Marina Market
  • 12:45 PM – The Big Sing
  • 1:00 PM – Cobh Choral Trail
  • 1:10 PM – Choirs at Triskel Christchurch
  • 1:10 PM – Choirs at The Goldie Chapel
  • 2:00 PM – Utilising Eurythmic Movements to Promote Effective Vocal Pedagogy with Choir Singers
  • 2:30 PM – Choirs on the Court
  • 3:00 PM – Fleischmann International Gala Concert – Session I
  • 4:00 PM – Choral Trail at Fota House & Gardens (Evening)
  • 6:00 PM – Sacred Trail
  • 7:00 PM – Choral Trail at Tequila Jacks
  • 8:00 PM – Fleischmann International Gala Concert – Session II
  • 10:00 PM – Festival Club at Clayton Hotel

Sunday, May 5

  • 9:30 AM – Youth Choirs, Mixed Voices & Ireland’s Choir of the Year Competitions
  • 10:00 AM – Sacred Trail
  • 1:00 PM – Afternoons in the Atrium, Clayton Hotel
  • 1:00 PM – Cobh Choral Trail
  • 2:30 PM – Church Music Competition
  • 2:30 PM – Light, Jazz & Popular Music Competition
  • 3:45 PM – Choirs at Nano Nagle Place
  • 5:30 PM – Awards Ceremony
  • 6:00 PM – Choirs at St Anne’s
  • 6:15 PM – Choral Trail at Tequila Jack’s
  • 8:00 PM – Closing Gala Concert
  • 10:00 PM – Festival Club at Clayton Hotel

Adjudicators

Angeliki Ploka

Greek choral conductor Angeliki Ploka has worked with ensembles in Greece, Hungary, Spain, and the Netherlands. In Holland, she is the artistic director of Leiderdorps Kamerkoor and Kamerkoor Lux and is a member of TENSO’s young conductors team. In 2020, she became chief conductor of the Greek Radio Choir, where she created innovative programming and opportunities during the pandemic. She teaches at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague and collaborates with Nationale Koren. As a singer, she has performed with the Dutch Radio Choir and Orkest de Ereprijs. Angeliki holds degrees from the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, Liszt Academy of Music, and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and has received several scholarships.

Kaija Viitasalo

Musiikkineuvos Kaija Viitasalo, a Sibelius Academy graduate, is celebrated for revitalizing women’s choir music and her excellence in music education. Since 1989, she has conducted the KYN women’s choir, achieving national and international acclaim. Her honors include conductor awards at the Klemetti Competition (2007) and Tampere Vocal Music Festival (2011), the Women’s Choir Association’s golden merit badge (2018), and Choir Conductor of the Year (2021). In 2022, she received the Klemetti Prize from Sulasol. Kaija also serves as a jury member for choral and composition competitions and lectures in music at the University of Helsinki’s Viikki Teacher Training School.

László Nemes

László Norbert Nemes is the newly appointed co-artistic director of the Nationale Jeugdkoren of the Netherlands, alongside Irene Verburg. He previously contributed to the prestigious Hungarian Radio Children’s Choir and has been the artistic director of the New Liszt Ferenc Chamber Choir since 2014. In 2018, he co-founded the National Youth Choir of Hungary. László has an extensive teaching career, having directed the Kodály Institute for fifteen years and currently teaching at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. His expertise includes Kodály Concept musicianship training, choral conducting, and choral music education. He has conducted and taught internationally and received the Bartók-Pásztory Award and the Golden Cross of the Hungarian Cross of Merit.

Mark Duley

Mark Duley, born in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, studied at Auckland University, the North German Organ Academy, and Amsterdam’s Sweelinck Conservatorium. Since moving to Ireland in 1992, he has held major posts including organist and director of music at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, chorusmaster to the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, and artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Pipeworks. He has performed with most major Irish ensembles and given recitals in Ireland, the UK, and New Zealand. A renowned choral specialist, Mark leads workshops and masterclasses across Europe. He is currently the organist at the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, Galway, founder-director of St Nicholas Schola Cantorum, and artistic director of Resurgam.

Petra Grassi

Petra Grassi leads the VIKRA Chamber Choir from Trieste, winning the GRAND PRIX at the 2021 “Seghizzi” competition, including best conductor and best repertoire. She co-directed the Italian National Youth Choir (2020-2022) and has conducted the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir. As principal guest conductor of DEKOR Chamber Choir, she won the 2018 National Choral Competition Naša pesem and was named best conductor. She has received awards from several international competitions, including the World Choral Conducting Competition (2019). Petra has served as director of the Regional Youth Choir of Friuli Venezia Giulia, is a jury member in international competitions, and teaches conducting across Europe. She collaborates with the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, joined the artistic committee of FENIARCO in 2023, and lectures at the “F. A. Bonporti” Conservatory of Trento.

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