Ilse de Ziah, international cello performer, composer, and Irish music specialist, has completed a highly successful Cumbrian tour.
Her tour, which included performances in Alston, Skirwith and Castle Carrock, as well as Irish music workshops in Alston and Keswick schools, was promoted by Kenneth Wilson, a local cellist.
Ilse de Ziah’s shows were introduced with the story of how Kenneth travelled to County Cork in Ireland, where Ilse is based, to hear her music. “The cello,” he explained, “is such a wonderful instrument for this kind of music – soulful and melodic.”
Ilse, who has recently performed in Australia and Java, was persuaded to interrupt a busy schedule and come to Cumbria for a short tour. But she was won over by the Cumbrian audiences and hospitality, and has promised to return.
After the series of concerts Ilse said: “I’m passionate about the cello; I’m passionate about Irish music, and I’m passionate about arranging and composing for this lovely instrument.”
Wherever she went Ilse’s audiences responded to that passion with great enthusiasm. A concert-goer in Alston said: “I didn’t know a cello could do that!” Audiences tapped their feet along to some very fast and virtuosic jigs and reels, and more than one audience member admitted to shedding a tear in Carrickfergus, a haunting air of loss and exile.
Asked if he was pleased with the tour Kenneth Wilson said: “It was hard work putting this together, but the effort was more than worth it. I knew Ilse was a very special performer, and she really did us proud. I’m already working on a return tour!”