Category Archives: Concerts

Solo Cello Concert – Cork – 25/01/19

Solo Cello Concert
Friday, January 25, 2019
13:10 - All Ages Buy Tickets
Aula Maxima, UCC (map)
University College Cork,
Western Road, Cork
Cork, Ireland
Other Info
The new FUAIM series continues this Friday with a solo concert of Irish- and Celtic-influenced music performed with inspiring depth and vivacity by accomplished cellist, Ilse de Ziah.

Ireland-based cellist and composer Ilse de Ziah has a deep passion for composing and arranging music for the cello. Using traditional Irish melodies as source material, she creates contemporary arrangements perfectly suited for the cello. With the marriage of classical detail and folkloric tradition, this makes for a transcendent musical experience.

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Standing and playing (in a new opera)

I’ve been involved in a wonderful new opera composed and directed by John O’Brien with libretto by John O’B and Eádaoin O’Donohghue. It is based on the short story by Oscar Wilde ‘The Nightengale and The Rose’ A pretty sad tale, but the opera is full of characters to delight! I’m one of the 9 muses – Melpomone, muse of Tragedy and in my earthly guise a willow tree. (the programme shot below).

I stand as I play most of the time, as I am acting and dancing (sort of shimmying along). I just pull the spike out full, which on this cello is sturdy and long enough, and the spike has a stop so it doesn’t fly out completely. Playing standing without any strap, it’s essential to have a sturdy spike.

It is still difficult when playing in thumb position and high up the finger board (lots in this show) so for these I bend my left knee and press it against the back of the cello to give something steady. I also hook it over my shoulder for moves across the stage, and do various bad postures, but as long as I always come back to a strong straight back throughout, it doesn’t hurt or give me a crick neck! I keep looking at the Bloch cello strap but in the shows I do, I need to swing the cello off me quickly and slickly, and have a mixture of sitting and standing and sideways cello playing. I have used a belt tight around my waist joined with another belt around the cello. This gave some traction so it was sturdier. But again slow to unhook and put aside. When you are constantly on stage in character there can be no clumsy movements. Well that’s my aim. I have tried many versions of straps in fact and am still investigating this for myself! 

I’m also using an Arcus S8 bow, which is great for standing. (it’s in that photo above) I thought it might be too light initially, but it is much easier to handle on the cello than my other bows, and actually I discover whilst standing and playing light is better, as long as it has good grip. It’s a perfect show bow, clean long bowing, accurate. I’m going to do a video review of it actually, cause when I was looking at them after a colleague was raving, I couldn’t find one. If you’re in Cork, Dublin or Limerick you can catch me in The Nightengale and the Rose on these dates:

Only 3 shows left in Cork before the Nightingale takes flight to Dublin and Limerick!
Book today at the Everyman Cork
🌹The Civic, Dublin (23-24 Oct) |
🌹The Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick (27 Oct) |

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Precise in every detail of performance, the production glows with a rich inventiveness of colour, surprise and allusion…” Irish Times

★ ★ ★ ★ It is unlike anything else I’ve seen on the opera stage to date. The storytelling is vivid, the spectacle is intriguing and the music is attractive.” Irish Examiner

Have a great day!!!

Cumbrian Solo Cello Tour – Castle Carrock – 03/11/18

Ilse de Ziah Solo cello
Saturday, November 3, 2018
20:00 - Bookings: 01228 670054 - All Ages Buy Tickets
The Watson Institute (map)
Castle Carrock, Brampton
Carlisle, CMA
Castle Carrock, UK

also known as the Watson Hall or Village Hall

Other Info
“This is the cello as you've never heard it before.  Ilse de Ziah takes traditional Irish melodies and gives them a deep and fabulous transformation.  Sometimes rock ballad, sometimes irresistibly foot stomping, Ilse's solo show is utterly captivating and moreish.  Best of all are her own arrangements of the slow Irish airs - love songs and laments - sonorous and aching on her mellow instrument.  The cello produces melody and harmony so that sometimes you think you're listening to a whole band.  At other times a single haunting line says all that music can ever say.  Through it all Ilse's vibrant personality carries you along and transports you to a magically emerald musical landscape.”

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Cumbrian Solo Cello Tour – Skirwith – 02/11/18

Ilse de Ziah Solo Cello
Friday, November 2, 2018
20:00 - £10/£5 Bookings: 01768 88234 or email - All Ages Buy Tickets
Skirwith Village Hall (map)
4 Church St, Skirwith, Penrith
Skirwith, UK CA10 1RG
Other Info
"This is the cello as you've never heard it before. Ilse de Ziah takes traditional Irish melodies and gives them a deep and fabulous transformation. Sometimes rock ballad, sometimes irresistibly foot stomping, Ilse's solo show is utterly captivating and moreish."

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Cumbrian Solo Cello Tour – Alston – 31/10/18

Ilse de Ziah Solo Cello
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
19:30 - £8 adults /£5 children - All Ages Buy Tickets
St Augustine’s (map)
Front St, Alston CA9 3QW, UK
Alston, UK CA9 3QW
Other Info
"This is the cello as you've never heard it before. Ilse de Ziah takes traditional Irish melodies and gives them a deep and fabulous transformation. Sometimes rock ballad, sometimes irresistibly foot stomping, Ilse's solo show is utterly captivating and moreish."

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From Irish Airs to Deep Space – Blackrock, Cork – 22/10/17

Eventbrite - From Irish Airs to Deep Space

From Irish Airs to Deep Space
Sunday, October 22, 2017
14:00 - All Ages Buy Tickets
Castle Road
Blackrock, Cork, Ireland
Other Info
On Sunday afternoon 22nd October a serene event will take place at the Cork Blackrock Castle Observatory, bringing together the magic of Ilse de Ziah's cello playing and the elegant style of Maarten Roos' filmmaking. Two films will be featured, their award winning Irish music film Living the Tradition, followed by the exquisite Serene Universe with live voice over from Ilse de Ziah and music by William Zeitler. Between the films, Ilse will perform live on cello.
For an afternoon delving deep into space and being transformed by the journey From Irish Airs to Deep Space.
All ages welcome.
Living the Tradition, an Enchanting Journey into Old Irish Airs a film by Ilse de Ziah & Maarten Roos had its premiere at the first Midleton Arts Festival and went on to win best feature documentary in the Eerie International Film Festival.
Behind every Irish tune is an ancient tale of love and loss, of history and heroes. Living the Tradition is the journey of cello player and composer Ilse de Ziah around Ireland in a search for undiscovered secrets of ten Irish Airs. Along the way she meets with renowned Irish musicians, scholars and local characters who share with her the history and stories behind the music. Ilse performs each of these intensely beautiful pieces in the settings they were written. Filmmaker Maarten Roos captures the landscapes, the charm of the Irish people and the powerful resonance of the cello, creating a fresh account of Irish music and culture.
"Beautiful in every way. Ilse de Ziah and the artists she interviews plumb the depths of melancholy beauty in each of the ten airs they perform. An outstanding film."
Serene Universe by Maarten Roos is a unique film experience in which images of the cosmos and a beautifully composed soundtrack are intimately intertwined. Starting on our planet Earth, Serene Universe takes you out and into the Solar System, the Galaxy, Deep Space and finally your inner space.
"Beautiful to watch and calming to listen."

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Meditations – Krakow – 01/10/17

Sunday, October 1, 2017
13:00 - All Ages Buy Tickets
The Chamber Hall (map)
ICE Krakow Congress Centre
Krakow, Poland
Other Info
Performed by Quiet Music Ensemble
The sad first anniversary of death of Pauline Oliveros, an outstanding and important composer of post-war electronic minimalism and the creator of deep listening practice, will fall in November 2017. Her composition The Mystery Beyond Matter will be performed to the spatial, multi-channel screening and electronic processing of sound. The piece will be performed by Quiet Music Ensemble. Its name speaks for itself, suggesting what kind of experience will be offered. The concert will consist of three parts and will last more than three hours, presenting amplified instrumental (Oliveros) and acoustic (Lucier) minimalism, along with David Toop’s sonorist and onomatopoeic piece and a premiere composition by Rishin Singh who is back to Krakow again). For a change, in-between, the pieces by Jennifer Walshe – energetic, humorous and full of postinternet excess Dordán and An Ghléacht are multimedia compositions, accompanied by synchronised visualisations developed by the composer.


/ 69'
David Toop – night leaves breathing (2009) 20’ [Polish Premiere]
Alvin Lucier – Shadow Lines (2008) 14’ [Polish Premiere]
Rishin Singh – Grisaille no. 1 (2017) 35’ [World Premiere]

*** / 20'

/ 65'
Jennifer Walshe – Dordán (2013) 35’ [Polish Premiere]
Jennifer Walshe – An Ghléacht (2015) 30’ [Polish Premiere]

*** / 20'

/ 60'
Pauline Oliveros – The Mystery Beyond Matter (2014) 60’ [Polish Premiere]

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German trip and film release!

I got back from Germany this week, after a wonderful couple of concerts and a short cello workshop. The first concert was in the Fischereimuseum in Bergheim an der Sieg.

I started the evenings performance with a short version of my film ‘Living the Tradition’. This new version has be re edited by filmmaker Maarten Roos and we are very happy to announce that it is now available on Amazon Prime to rent or watch immediately if you are a subscriber. Also available to stream on my Play Cello Music Store. If you are very good, and want me to feel warm and fuzzy about you, you can even give a positive review of it and lots of stars!

After the film, I played some new pieces I wrote, and new fishing related ones I learned especially for the concert… I can now say cockles and mussels in German (Herzmuscheln und Meesmuscheln)… maybe you can  guess what I sang with the audiences help!

It was wonderful to have a tour through the history of the brotherhood of fishermen by Dirk Ortmann who is involved in running the museum. He also made everything run smoothly on the night, and took a cool photo afterwards at the lake on a steep incline!

The review sounds good as far as I can tell from my German. I did introduce every song in German, making myself learn and improve!

I also gave an improvisation and Irish music workshop to three cellists from the Bonn area. We had lots of fun and learning! Isabel Grautstuck organised the museum concert and workshop and did such a wonderful job. The concert was a huge success and sold out before the day of the concert. A huge thank you to her!!

Cellists Ilse, Bettina, Isabel, Louisa

Onward to Hanover via the wonderful Cologne cathedral and Philharmonic hall…

And Saturday morning after rehearsing with Jan Allain at our wonderful friends’ place near Hanover on Friday night, we zoomed over to Braunschweig in the Commando Jeep. Jan and I played together for many years, touring throughout all the German speaking countries, France, Australia and probably elsewhere, sometimes 12 tours a year, our first tour being 6 months. We made incredible friends along the way and had a crazy time. We last played at the same event, the Sommerloch CSD day festival in Braunschweig in the early days…1998! Wild to meet people from on the road that I hadn’t seen for years. Wild to see who performed on stage!

mad horn players!

I finished my short trip with a day of holiday at Petra and Andrea’s place. Swam, sat in the sun, laughed, basically a rare day of summer for me living in Ireland where summer only visits for an hour here or there.

Petra, Jan & Ilse

Thank you to all the people who made the trip possible, especially Isabel, Dirk, Maarten Roos, Jan Allain, Petra, Andrea and Andreas.

Please visit to see the new version my Irish music film ‘Living the Tradition’!

Magic Irish Airs in the Fischerei Museum- 27/07/17

Magic Irish Airs
Thursday, July 27, 2017
19:00 - Anmeldung erforderlich unter oder 0228 90827960 - All Ages
Bergheim - Sieg
Other Info
27.07.2017 - 19:00 bis ca. 21:00 Uhr - Eintritt 10,00 €

Ilse de Ziah: Magic Irish Airs

In wundervollen Landschaften machte sich die Cellistin des Opernorchesters Cork,

Ilse de Ziah, auf die Suche nach den Ursprüngen irischer Musik.

Gefunden hat sie sanfte und klanggewaltige Töne, die die Seele berühren.

Auf der Solotournee gastiert sie im Fischereimuseum.

Ein kurzer preisgekrönter Film über ihre Recherchen zu den

traditionellen irischen Klängen stimmt auf diese Konzerterlebnis ein.

Anmeldung erforderlich unter oder 0228 90827960

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