German 19th century song cycle performed in Ayr Town Hall

A WORLD premiere came to Ayr at the weekend when Schubert’s song cycle “Winterreisse” was performed to a jubilant audience.

Soprano Pauline Graham and Yonit Kosovske on piano performed the classical music piece in Ayr Town Hall, organised by Marilyn de Blieck.

Mrs Blieck started the evening by introducing the audience to the cycle and the artist. She also took the opportunity to praise the performers for embarking on this project despite the fact of it being described as a “traditionally male cycle”.

Mrs Blieck said: “We can’t be expected to just sit and wait for a man to tell us what we can or cannot perform.”

This was met by an enthusiastic round of applause from the audience.

Marilyn has been involved with the project for over a year.

She said: “We were aiming to present this cycle last year but, unfortunately Pauline (the singer) became ill. She had pneumonia. We’re glad we finally got to show it.”

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from left to right: Pauline Graham (soprano),  Marilyn de Blieck, Yonit Kosovske (piano)

After the concert a very relieved Mrs Kosovske reminisced to the start of the project: “I came to Ireland to teach music and after awhile I felt like embarking on musical projects, but I’m an introvert and so I had trouble talking to singers and other musicians that I wanted to collaborate with. Thankfully I met Pauline fairly quickly and we’ve been playing together since.”

Mrs Pauline Graham confessed she was really happy with the collaboration and added: “The concert today, which was our first time performing “Winterreisse”, went really well and we’re planning on taking it to two other countries in 2018. I don’t know about Yonit’s availability, but I would really enjoy that.”

Sunday’s concert was met with a lot of enthusiasm from the audience in Ayr Town Hall and the organisers hope this will give both performers an incentive to carry it out into mainland Europe and realise Mrs Graham’s vision.

Play the video below for a snippet of the performance:


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