After two years of alternative pandemic programming, the Boyne Music Festival is back and welcoming live audiences to events across Drogheda this weekend. In its ninth year, the 2022 Festival explores the theme “Beauty, Love, and Justice” in events curated to inspire and challenge audiences. With concerts, children’s events, and talks, artists include singers Naomi Louisa O’Connell and Joshua Stewart, violist Paul Cassidy, cellist Jacqueline Thomas, clarinettist Jessie Grimes, and pianist Deirdre Brenner.

Festival highlights include the world premiere performance of ‘The Magdelene Songs’ for mezzo-soprano and piano, composed by Rhona Clarke, Deirdre Gribbin and Deirdre McKay as a collaborative co-commission with the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. Given as part of the ‘Justice’ concert on Friday 29 June, this will be preceded by a special pre-concert talk by members of the Justice for Magdelenes Research Group who will give background to the institutions and discuss their advocacy work for survivors.

Deirdre Brenner (piano), Naomi Louisa O’Connell (mezzo-soprano) ©Dan Butler

The concert titled ‘Love’ on 30 June includes Adolphus Hailstork’s setting of words by Martin Luther King, alongside songs by the pioneering Black American composer Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery’s ‘Peace’ for clarinet and piano, and music by Samuel Barber and Marc Blitzstein. The closing concert of the festival (‘Beauty’) draws together Schumann’s Piano Quintet Op. 44 and Mozart’s much-loved Clarinet Quintet, alongside a feast of French art songs.

Events will take place at the BMF’s home, Townley Hall, as well as the Highlanes Gallery and St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda. For more information and tickets, see: