Box office in City Hall during the Festival days

Reminding all that our box office has moved to City Hall today!

You will find us there until the end of the Festival, on Sunday 5th May (open at 10am daily until performance time).

Looking forward to having you with us for the 65th year of the Cork International Choral Festival!

For box office queries, please contact us at 083 400 7059 .

New! - Box Office on Grand Parade

Box office for the Gala Concerts is now open on Grand Parade, Cork City!
Book your ticket and make the perfect gift for your loved ones! You can book online, by phone or in person.

By phone: 083 400 7059
Lines Open: Mon-Fri: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Please note that all bookings are subject to a handling fee of €1 per ticket.

In person: Festival Office, English Market, Grand Parade, Cork City
Opening hours
Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th April, 10am – 5.30pm
Tuesday 23rd – Saturday 27th April, 10am – 5.30pm
Monday 29th & Tuesday 30th April, 10am – 5.30pm
Following these dates, the box office will be available at Cork City Concert Hall foyer from
Wednesday 1st – Sunday 5th May, open at 10am daily until performance time.

Group rates
(Applicable to groups of 10 persons or more): 15% off marked price.
For any further queries regarding ticketing please contact

Solidarity for Christchurch


The Cork International Choral Festival expresses solidarity with New Zealand people after the dramatic attacks of 15th March in Christchurch. We must stand unite against all hate.

We would like to share the meaningful words of John Rosser, Artistic Director of the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music which will take place in Auckland in 11-18 July 2020.


To all of our WSCM2020 supporters
You will be aware that New Zealand has been in international news this past week, following a devastating terror attack in Christchurch. 
We are a nation in mourning, attempting to come to terms with what has happened. However, to paraphrase the words of our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, we should remember that we were targeted not because we condone racism, extremism or hate, but for the very fact that we are not those things – because we represent diversity, compassion and a home for those who share our values. We cannot let this act change us.
As representatives of NZ’s vibrant choral scene, we have the privilege of hosting an event next year that will bring together a rich and diverse mix of people from all around the world. The Symposium exists to celebrate the joy of choral music through cultural co-operation and exchange. It is, in a very real sense, a direct response to the kinds of attitudes that resulted in last Friday’s atrocity.
Thank you to all those in the international community who have reached out to us and sent your aroha (love) and support. Your kind words carry great power. If you wish to contact us further about what has happened, please don’t hesitate to do so by replying to this email. Should you be wondering how to help the victims of the shootings, you may wish to visit this page for more information. 
Our hearts are with all those whose lives have been so tragically affected. We stand with the people of Christchurch and with the whole Muslim community here in Aotearoa New Zealand. 
Aroha nui
John Rosser
Artistic Director
The 12th World Symposium on Choral Music

Call for volunteers!


Want to be a part of something amazing?

Volunteering with the Cork International Choral Festival is an opportunity to be a part of a team of over 200 volunteers, to meet new people and choirs from all over the world and to be part of the action during the Festival week on 1st-5th May 2019.

As a token of our thanks, there are some great perks for volunteers, from free tickets to shows, to invitation to the Festival Reception!

We will welcome any volunteers who are willing to lend their hands, hearts and voices to the 65th Festival.

To register your interest, get in touch by returning the completed volunteer form available here.

Cork International Choral Festival announces the Winner of the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition


Cork International Choral Festival is proud to announce, James May as the winner of the 2019 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition. As winner of the competition, his piece street after street alike will receive its world première in the spectacular surrounds of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral on Friday 3rd May at 7.30pm. The Festival’s Choir-in-Residence, Chamber Choir Ireland, conducted by Paul Hillier, will premiere the performance as part of its annual collaborative concert with the Festival in what promises to be a wonderful evening of song.

As a composer James May creates music that focuses on texture, timbre, and space. He additionally is an improvisor, conductor, experimental performer, founding member of AmiEnsemble, and contributing writer for James is one of the recipients of the 2018-19 George J. Mitchell Scholarship, funding an MA in Experimental Sound Practice at University College Cork. His work has been performed and recorded by JACK Quartet, the San Francisco Choral Artists, Longleash piano trio, and the University of Louisville Orchestra and Collegiate Chorale. James was the winner of the San Francisco Choral Artists' 2017 New Voices Project for The Garden ("arresting… intricate and intense” – San Francisco Classical Voice), the Wooster Chorus 2016 composition contest for his work The Dead, and composed Zaira and Irene for the 2018 Huang Orchestra Commission from the University of Louisville.

On receiving the news of his win, James said:

I’m thrilled to have been selected as the winner of the Sean Ó’Riada competition. I’ve been so impressed and humbled by the vibrant music and sonic art scene in Cork, all-embracing in its desire and support for exciting creativity. I’ve already had so many wonderful music–making experiences here, and the opportunity to contribute my part to this community through the Cork International Choral Festival is an absolute dream. Working with such world-class musicians as Chamber Choir Ireland and Paul Hillier is a huge honor, as is sharing the program with such influential living composers as Anne Boyd, Julia Wolfe, and Santa Ratniece (and, of course, Bach).

His composition, street after street alike was chosen by the members of the judging panel, composer Rhona Clarke and Paul Hillier, Artistic Director and Conductor of CCI, who summarised their reaction and evaluation to May’s winning piece as follows:

Although reasonably straightforward and practical, the style of this work is contemporary and has the mark of an individual voice. There is a strong sense of structure, starting with limited pitch range and building towards an upward sweep at the climax, and it shows skill on the part of the composer in handling word setting in quite an intense way.

Along with receiving a cash prize, kindly donated by the Ó Riada family, James’s piece will receive its world première during the Festival. It will be performed by Chamber Choir Ireland in a concert which will also feature their stunning programme, ‘Before Bach and After’.

Initiated in 1972, the present format of the Seán Ó Riada Competition offers a platform for composers born, or resident, in Ireland to have their work judged and rewarded purely on its own merits without the judges being influenced by the reputation or status of the composer. All compositions are submitted under a pseudonym, with the author’s real name not being revealed until after the judges’ decision has been made. Works composed in the Irish language are encouraged. The competition has, as a central aim, the intention of providing Irish choirs with fresh, authentic material for inclusion in their programmes. The competition has attracted the attention of many highly-regarded composers, with past winners including Solfa Carlisle, Rhona Clarke, Patrick Connolly, Frank Corcoran, Séamas de Barra, Eoghan Desmond, Michael Holohan, Marian Ingoldsby, Donal MacErlaine, Simon MacHale, Michael McGlynn, Kevin O’Connell, Amanda Feery, Criostóir Ó Loingsigh and last year’s winner, Donal Sarsfield. With nearly 200 compositions being submitted in the past 9 years of the new format, the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition clearly highlights the number of composers now working and living in Ireland, and further demonstrates the Cork International Choral Festival’s continuing commitment to encourage the composition and performance of contemporary music.

In collaboration with Chamber Choir Ireland

EuroChoir 2019 - Vaison La Romaine, France, 1-9 August 2019


EuroChoir is a special choir project to promote the networking of talented singers at the European level, and to foster the emergence of the next generation of talents.

It is open to singers 18 to 30 years old and offers the opportunity to rehearse a challenging program with renowned conductors, improve their vocal skills and present the results of their work in public concerts.

For the years 2019 to 2021, EuroChoir designed a cycle under the direction of one of the emerging talent of the European scene, Yuval Weinberg. To kick-start these three years cycle, a “light” session is organised in 2019 during the Choralies festival. The program will be of course demanding for singers who like to be challenged, but adapted to the shorter rehearsal time. With more free time, the singers will have a change to enjoy the festival, the French “art de vivre”, get to know each other and maybe decide to apply again for the next editions.

Experience a summer in France!
Spend nine days of your summer 2019 in the Provence, the beloved region in Southern France. Known for its sunny weather and incredible landscapes, Vaison la Romaine and its surroundings also offer exciting hiking possibilities, food experiences, and of course many wines to discover!

The city is located between Lyon and Marseille, between the alps and the Cevennes, a perfect place to start or end your vacations in France.

Don't miss this unique opportunity! Register now here.

Call out for participants for Ireland's first ever 'Sound Choir'


Invitation to Wander (2019) is a contemporary music project created by composer Karen Power, in partnership with Cork Midsummer Festival and in association with Cork International Choral Festival, Cork Centre for Architectural Education and Nano Nagle Place.

This mixed media music project will explore four of the world’s most fascinating and mostly
unreachable places: The Arctic, Amazon, Arnhem Land - Australia and Deserts and will premier from 19th - 22nd June 2019 as part of Cork Midsummer Festival.

We are inviting 15 individuals, Emerging and/or Amateur singers/vocalists (any voice range) to form Ireland’s first ever ‘Sound Choir’ and to be part of:

  • 4 evening premier performances as part of Cork Midsummer Festival 2019, and
  • participation in a unique Professional Development Programme

What is a ‘Sound Choir’?
A ‘Sound Choir’ is a concept conceived by composer, Karen Power. It is a roaming body of voices (choir) who listen and respond to Power’s sound compositions for the four aforementioned worlds, using a series of guided improvisations, text and composed musical phrases. The ‘Sound Choir’ will perform vocally and respond to these worlds.

Professional Development Programme
The professional development programme has 4 distinct workshops in extended vocal
techniques, improvisation, movement and creative practice with Irish and International leading practitioners:

  • Vocal extensions with Michelle O’Rourke (Dublin)
  • Voice improvisation with Ute Wassermann (Berlin)
  • Listening as the start of creativity with Karen Power (Cork)
  • Movement workshop with Mary Nunan (Limerick)

The workshops will be held on Friday or Saturday evenings in Cork City with two workshops in March, one in April and one in May. Exact dates to be confirmed.

Invitation to Wander (2019) an experimental mixed media music project will select 15 committed individuals to

• Take part in a professional development programme
• Participate in 2 rehearsals in the performance space with professional musicians on 17th & 18th June
• Be part of the ‘Sound Choir’ in 4 premier evening performances with professional cast on 19th, 20th, 21st & 22nd June

- There is future potential for the ‘Sound Choir’ to perform in other festivals beyond
Cork Midsummer Festival 2019.

- And selected individuals will receive a small contribution towards performance expenses. This will cover refreshments but not long distance travel or accommodation costs.

Expression of Interest
Submit no more than 500 words in word (.doc) or pdf with your singing/vocal experiences to date and reason for wanting to be part of the ‘Sound Choir’ by 11th February 2019.
You must be over 18 years old. If you have url links to singing/vocal experience and/or previous performances, please include. However, they are not a requirement for your submission.

For further information, go to

Invitation to Wander (2019) is supported by the Arts Council and Cork Midsummer Festival.

The 2019 Big Sing at the Cathedral – Handel's Messiah, Part II

Photo credit: William Murphy, 2015

Continuing the very successful collaboration between the Cork International Choral Festival and St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, the Big Sing at the Cathedral is returning this year for a very special day of rehearsal and performance of some of our history’s most magnificent choral works. The day will be led by Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral Director of Music and choral specialist, Peter Stobart.

After such a magnificent coming-together of voices last year for Fauré’s Requiem, we have chosen Handel's Messiah, Part II for the 2019 edition, in the 260th anniversary of Handel's death.

Saturday 16th February 2019 is the date to book on your diaries to come and sing one of the most popular and glorious choral works of all time. Certainly George Frideric Handel had no idea when he was composing his oratorio Messiah how far-reaching and universal its appeal would be!

Singers from all backgrounds are welcome, but reading music would be a great asset. You will learn Part II of the Messiah which will be then performed that same evening. You can download the score here.

If you would not like to sing, you can come to listen to the performance at 6.30 pm - Free admission, however donations are welcome.

Saturday 16th February, 2019

Day Schedule

1.30 pm - Registration
2 pm - Rehearsal
3.30 pm - Break
4 pm - Rehearsal
5.30 pm - Break
6.30 pm - Performance

Please note

  • An administration fee of €18 per person is applicable. To secure your place, please fill in the form below and pay by 11th February (applications after this date will be processed by contacting the office at 021 4215125 or If you have queries about the process or payments, please e-mail
  • If you own a copy of the score, please bring it with you on the day. If you would like to buy scores, we recommend The New Novello edition, edited by Watkins Shaw. You can also download the score here and print your own copy. In the event you do not own a copy or are unable to download/print it, you can purchase a copy for 3 euro in the form below.
  • Please ensure you are there to register in plenty of time.
  • As The Big Sing at the Cathedral will result in a performance on the day, we advise on smart-casual, elegant, black attire.
  • Seating is unreserved.
  • We would advise people to bring some refreshments with them on the day. There are a number of cafes available in the area also.

We look forward to having you with us!

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2019 Non-Competitive International Choirs announced


Announcement time!

We are so excited to announce the international choirs that will participate in the non-competitive strand of the 2019 Cork International Choral Festival!
We look forward to welcoming them to Cork for an unforgettable 65th festival 🎶

Cheep Trill, Australia
Sing For Your Life! Choir, Australia
The European School of Brussels (UCCLE) Secondary Choir, Belgium
øre-sound, Denmark
Choeur Azimuts, France

In the coming weeks we will introduce each of the choirs in the Biographies area. Stay tuned!

A reminder that closing date for National Competition entries (Ireland’s Choir of the Year, National Schools Competitions, National Open Competitions) is Friday 18th January 2019, and closing date for National Non-Competitive entries is Friday 15th February 2019. Don’t delay – get in touch at

Happy Holidays! ✨

This year has been spectacular for the Cork International Choral Festival but we couldn’t have done ANY of it without the loyal and enthusiastic support of all of you.

Ending 2018 on a high, last weekend we have announced our Gala Concert programme for 2019 as part of the World Choral Day celebrations.

We're now preparing the office for a short break from 21st December - 2nd January. We look forward to 2019 and we hope to have all of you with us for the 65th Festival!

All the best for the Holiday season from all at Festival HQ