Peter Whelan

ECEMF 2021 Online: A Venetian Virtuoso

A Venetian Virtuoso was performed live at ECEMF 2021 in association with Cork Orchestral Society

This recording of the programme is courtesy of Nano Nagle Place’s 250th anniversary exhibition, kindly funded by Cork City Council.

The Cork Baroque Players featuring Leonie Curtin & Caitríona O’Mahony bring to life a touring virtuoso of the 18th century, with a sparkling early-classical programme by Venetian violinist Maddalena Lombardini.

Cork Baroque Players
Leonie Curtin, Marja Gaynor, Caitríona O’Mahony – violins
Cian MacGarry – viola
Norah O’Leary – cello
Ellen Bolger – harpsichord


Maddalena Lombardini (1745-1818) Violin Concerto Op. 2 No. 1 in B Flat Major (Soloist: Caitríona O’Mahony)

Violin Duet Op. 5 No. 6 in C Major (Violins: Marja Gaynor, Caitríona O’Mahony)

Violin Concerto Op. 2 No. 3 in A Major (Soloist: Leonie Curtin)

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the convent building at Nano Nagle Place, take a step back in time with music of the same year – 2 of the three concertos from Maddalena Lombardini’s Op. 2, published in 1771. Cork’s specialists in historically-informed music play on authentic instruments from the beautiful Goldie Chapel at Nano Nagle Place.

The concert was curated by Caitríona O’Mahony, in association with East Cork Early Music (, and is supported by Cork City Council Arts Office ( and Nano Nagle Place (

The works seemed particularly apt to celebrate an anniversary for Nano Nagle. Like Nano, Maddalena created an unusual path for a woman of her day, striking out as a professional musician, and religious orders also played a large part in her early life. Born in Venice, Maddalena Lombardini was a product of the ospedalì, girls’ orphanages which specialised in teaching music (famously the Ospedale della Pietá where Antonio Vivaldi taught). Showing considerable talent at a young age, she was granted permission to study with the famous violinist Giuseppe Tartini, and travelled to take lessons with him in Padua. In a period in which female opera singers were common, professional female violinists were rare – most of Lombardini’s contemporaries either left the ospedale to marry, or stayed in it to pursue music. Lombardini chose both – when she came of age at 21, she received her maestro licence, and married fellow violinist Ludovico Sirmen, the couple setting off to tour Europe as a pair of virtuosi, often playing double concertos. Lombardini published two sets of solo violin concertos which survive and gained significant popularity – enough that they were adapted into a set of harpsichord concerti by composer Tommaso Giordani (who was later Music Director of Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin) shortly after their publication. Her duets are similarly charming works in the classical style, with much swapping of melodic material between the 2 violins.

We are very grateful for the support of Cork City Council Arts Office which has made this concert possible.

Thanks to Max le Cain & Chris Hurley of Cork Film Centre , and sound engineer Joe Cusack for their hard work on creating this online concert for you to enjoy from home.

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