Clandeboye Festival 2020

The Clandeboye Festival 2020

14 – 22 August

Stay tuned for more details…!

The Clandeboye Festival is an annual chamber music festival celebrating the best in local and international music making.   Each August, Barry Douglas and the orchestra of Camerata Ireland are joined by a host of world-class international soloists for a unique week of music making, all in the beautiful setting of the Clandeboye Estate.

We’ll be launching the programme for 2020 in the spring.

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This Festival receives programming funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and is supported by Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Details subject to change.


Camerata Ireland Academy at

The Clandeboye Festival 2020

14 – 22 August

Each year at the Clandeboye Festival we invite a number of young musicians to take part in the Camerata Ireland Academy.

The festival offers an opportunity for young musicians to work with the Artists-In-Residence as they teach, rehearse and perform in the beautiful surroundings of the Clandeboye Estate just outside Belfast.

Applications are invited from students of:

  • Piano
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Wind
  • Brass
  • Voice

Nearly 150 young people have taken part in the Festival over the years, many of them going on to play with the orchestra on international tours and others performing at the Festival each year.

Applications for 2020 will open in the spring.  To register your interest, please email office@camerata-ireland.com


Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Where are they now?

This concert is a fantastic opportunity to hear the brightest developing talents that Ireland has to offer.  Many alumni of the Clandeboye Young Musicians course go on to have successful solo careers, with many joining Camerata Ireland as orchestral players.

Ruth Gibson | Viola

Ruth Gibson | Viola

Irish Violist Ruth Gibson manages a busy career of solo and chamber work.  In 2009, she graduated with First-class honours from the Royal Northern College of Music and completed her Masters in Performance with Lawrence Power at the Royal College of Music in 2011.

In 2011 she was soloist with the Bournemouth Symphony where she played Holst’s elegiac Lyric Movement for Viola and Orchestra under Sir John Elliot Gardiner. Ruth performs with the Mercury Piano Quartet, the Barbirolli and Benyounes String Quartets, and has collaborated with numerous notable soloists including Erika Raum, Philip Graffin, Andrés Díaz, Barry Douglas, and Amy Norrington.
Ruth plays regularly with Camerata Ireland, and led the viola section whilst the orchestra was on tour in South America, Russia, Finland and France.

Ruth returns to Clandeboye this year to tutor this years students and perform in various chamber music concerts.

Eimear McGeown | Flute

Eimear McGeown | Flute

Irish flautist Eimear McGeown has established a busy and varied career since graduating from Trinity College of Music with First-class honours in 2005. Whilst a student at Clandeboye in 2006, Eimear gained the title of Camerata Ireland Young Musician of the Year.  Since then her career has blossomed. Highlights include her solo performance with the Ulster Orchestra at the BBC Proms in the Park as part of the 2012 Last Night of the Proms celebrations, premiering David Morris’ Concerto for Flute in the Library of Congress in Washington DC, and performing as a concerto soloist with Camerata Ireland.

As a talented classical and folk musician Eimer’s Irish heritage is evident in her playing. She gives recitals on both classical and traditional flute regulalry  and has recently worked playing both instruments in the West End production of the Lord of the Rings musical.  She also plays with pop and rock artists regularly, touring with Matt Cardle, Alison Moyet, and LeMar, with a Glastonbury performance with folk/rock band Amsterdam in 2008.

Eimear’s versatile and successful career is grounded in her Clandeboye experience, and she will return in 2016 to perform in a number of concerts.

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Jessie Grimes | clarinet

A former Clandeboye student and regular member of Camerata,
Jessie teaches clarinet at the Royal College of Music (RCM) JD and is also an outreach mentor for their degree students.  As an animateur she has presented live on BBC television, is a Live Music Now Artist and regularly leads workshops, residencies and pre-concert talks.

As an orchestral musician, Jessie been principal clarinet of the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra for the past three seasons and regularly works with the BBC and the RTE Orchestras. As a student she enjoyed many tours with the European Union Youth Orchestra as principal bass clarinettist.

Michael McHale is a London based pianist who was one of the first musicians to take part in the Clandeboye Festival Young Musicians Programme.  After studying at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music, Michael has embarked upon a varied and exciting career as a soloist and accompanist.   He has recorded and performed with many notable artists, including Flautist James Galway, and Clarinettist Michael Collins.  His solo CD The Irish Piano is available on the RTE Lyric FM label.

Michael’s time at Clandeboye, and his relationship with Barry Douglas played a pivotal role in shaping his career:

Barry Douglas has been a real mentor and support to me over the years and now I would call him a friend. He really does a lot of work behind the scenes to support young musicians, from both north and south, and any time that I get with him is worth so much to me as I learn so much.
Michael McHale

For more information on the Clandeboye Young Musicians course, please contact

info@camerata-ireland.com