Finghin Collins – 13 Oct

Programme

  1. Mozart Sonata in A major “Alla Turca”
  2. Ros Tapestry Suite – a selection
  3. Schubert Sonata in A major, D. 959

First, it’s pronounced Fineen.

One of Ireland’s most successful musicians, Finghin Collins was born in Dublin in 1977 and, following initial lessons with his sister Mary, studied piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music with John O’Conor and at the Geneva Conservatoire with Dominique Merlet. Winner of the RTÉ Musician of the Future Competition in 1994 and the Classical Category at the National Entertainment Awards in Ireland in 1998, he went on to take first prize at the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Switzerland in 1999. Since then he has continued to enjoy a flourishing international career that takes him all over Europe and the United States, as well to the Far East and Australia.  In October 2017, the National University of Ireland conferred on him an honorary Degree of Doctor of Music.

In 2016 Finghin made his debuts in Turkey, China and Australia as well as performing throughout Europe. In 2017 he celebrated his 40thbirthday with a solo recital at the National Concert Hall in Dublin as part of the Hall’s International Concert Season; other highlights included his debuts at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Zermatt Festival and return engagements with the RPO and in China.  In 2018 Finghin makes two appearances at the Wigmore Hall in London, participate in the Jury of the Dublin International Piano Competition, and perform in Ireland, the UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Cuba and Greece.

Over the past decade Collins has developed a close relationship with Claves Records in Switzerland. A new Chopin recital CD was released in September 2017, a co-production between RTÉ lyric fm and Claves Records.

Finghin Collins has been Artistic Director of Music for Galway since 2013 and is also the founding Artistic Director of the New Ross Piano Festival.

And yet, something different happened: he played in a way that made you all but forget how these pieces were technical nightmares. His mastery was so assured and complete. He tamed them. Technique departed centre-stage. He didn’t play as though trying to prove something, but rather as though recounting some little story he had uncovered in each one. This was transcendent playing. Collins transcended Chopin’s technical minefield, filtered out all the noise of physical overachievement, and reverted to music-making. It was spellbinding stuff that reached deep.

Michael Dungan, The Irish Times

It’s clear that Finghin Collins delights in Mozart and the four concertos here are the fruits of his time as Associate Artist with the RTE National SO, which he directs from the keyboard. The works range widely in mood, from the relatively carefree K415 to the proto-Beethovenian K466, and Collins is alive to their different personalities and at pains to give each phrase apt contour and detail. The long lines of the slow movement of K415 are finely wrought in what is perhaps the most compelling performance in the set.

Harriet Smith, Gramophone

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