10 years ago a monthly musical revolution was set in motion as Dublin’s Kaleidoscope Night was founded to take classical music out of its typical setting and into an informal and intimate alternative.

Described as a “genre-blind mini festival” and the “capital’s premiere salon series” (Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times), the nights are acclaimed as a hugely important pillar of Dublin musical life. As the series comes into its 10th season it is held up by audiences and performers alike as the number one go-to place for a sociable evening with the country’s top musicians from all genres, performing small-ensemble gems and premieres from the worlds of classical & contemporary music, trad, jazz and beyond.

Founded by violinist Cliodhna Ryan and cellist Kate Ellis and now curated by violist Karen Dervan and cellist Lioba Petrie, Kaleidoscope events happen on the first Wednesday of each month at Dublin’s fully-licenced Bello Bar at 1 Portobello Harbour. Events have an exclusive capacity of just 100 people, and regularly sell out.

The 10th Season Launch will take place on Wednesday 5thSeptember, with performances from Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist (described as a “phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity” by Dirty Linen), the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet (described as a “fabulous foursome” by the Irish Independent) and the series “Featured Artist” for 2018/2019, baroque music specialist and recorder player, Laoise O Brien. Maeve Gilchrist and the ConTempo Quartet will give the Irish premiere of Gilchrist’s 2018 piece “Red Pastures”, which draws inspiration from the iconic Beckett passage in the novel Watt. The ConTempo Quartet will also perform Haydn’s Op.76. No.1 string quartet and an extraordinarily meditative work by Co Down-born composer Deirdre McKay, entitled “Mr Shah Stares to the Heavens”. Maeve Gilchrist (pictured below) will round off the evening with a solo harp trad -fusion set, for which she enjoys world renown.

Maeve Gilchrist @ Kaleidoscope Night

October’s chapter, falling on the first Wednesday of the month, October 3rd, will feature Jennifer Jolley’s “Prisoner of Conscience“, a recently composed work about the arrest and trial of Pussy Riot, performed by Dublin-based all-female vocal ensemble Dulciana (proudly described as “that feminist choir”), founded by Eoghan Desmond and now directed by Judith Lyons. Niwel Tsumbu, who has developed an enviable reputation as a masterfully elegant and fluent guitarist, vocalist, musician, collaborator and composer since arriving in Ireland in 2004 from the Congo, will be performing with Irish percussionist Eamon Cagney in a snapshot of African/Irish fusion wonderment. Another guitar hero, Irishman John Walsh, will romance the Bello Bar audience with his flamenco compositions and arrangements, his spellbinding speciality. The series also introduces on this autumn night its “association” for the 2018/2019 season with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, a trio of whose orchestral members will showcase their baroque wizardry.

Karen Dervan, Kaleidoscope Night co-curator, says, “We’re delighted to be presenting this eclectic line up of brilliant musicians from home and abroad as we curate the 10th season of the phenomenon that is the Kaleidoscope Night series. We never get tired of the positivity and pure joy that people leave with after a Kaleidoscope night and we certainly never get tired of enjoying the endless talent and imagination that we are so lucky to be able to harness for our stage.”

Kaleidoscope Night logo

Kaleidoscope Night Event & Ticketing Details

Location: Bello Bar, 1 Portobello Harbour, D8
Dates: First Wednesday of every month
Wednesday 5th September
Wednesday 3rd October
Wednesday 7th November
Doors 8.00pm, performances 8.30pm


September: €15 + booking fee | €17 door price
October & November: €12 + booking fee | €15 door price
Tickets available online or on the door from 8pm
Follow T: @KaleidoscopeDub F: KaleidoscopeNight I: kaleidoscopenight

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Bello Bar
1, Portobello Harbour
Dublin 6

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All images courtesy Kaleidoscope Night

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