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2023 Rising Stars shine bright for University Concert Hall, Limerick



2023 Rising Stars shine bright for University Concert Hall, Limerick

Rising Stars Concert series aims to bring young, Irish classical artists to new audiences at University Concert Hall

2023 Rising Stars
Rising Stars Concert series aims to bring young, Irish classical artists to new audiences at University Concert Hall

Established in 2016 by the University Concert Hall Limerick, the Rising Stars Concert series aims to bring young, Irish classical artists to new audiences in a concert programme of their own choosing for one special night – as they take to the night as soloists. 

UCH are delighted to present our 2023 Rising Stars: Grace Coughlan (Cello), Aimee Kearney (Soprano), Valentine Laporte (Flute), Anna Mitchell (Violin)and Kathleen Nic Dhiarmada (Soprano). 

Featuring students across Ireland’s top music schools from MTU Cork School of Music and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance to The Royal Irish Academy of Music, TU Dublin Conservatoire and the Irish National Opera Young Artist Studio.  



The concert takes place this Thursday 20 April, 7.30pm at University Concert Hall, Limerick with RTÉ lyric fm’s, Liz Nolan presenting and renowned pianist Dearbhla Collins providing accompaniment on the night.  

A unique part of the concert is that the programme is curated entirely by our Rising Star artists, made up of works chosen by themselves. The 2023 includes works by Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Bach and arias from Verdi’s La Traviata and Massenet’s Werther and lots more. (full programme below). 

Sinead Hope, Director of University Concert Hall on Rising Stars: “Classical music is one of the cornerstones of our annual programme at UCH and supporting and fostering young artists is a key part of that. As the leading venue in the mid-west region, it is important that we offer an opportunity and a platform to emerging artists to perform for new audiences. I am blown away each year by the calibre of young Irish artists, and this year is no different. It is my pleasure to work with the various music colleges from around the country and bring Rising Stars to life each year”.

Meet our Rising Stars 2023 

2023 Rising Stars shine bright for University Concert Hall, Limerick

Grace Coughlan (Cello)
Grace Coughlan is a student with MTU Cork School of Music. She is studying for her Master of Arts in Performance programme with Christopher Marwood. This year she was awarded the MTU Arts Office Bursary Award and the Cork Orchestral Society’s Emerging Artist Award.  

Grace’s programme:
Beethoven Sonata for Cello and Piano, D Major, 1st mvt
Rachmaninov Sonata for Cello and Piano, G minor, 3rd mvt
Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano, D minor, 2nd mvt 

Aimee Kearney (Soprano)
Aimee Kearney is a Soprano studying at The Royal Irish Academy of Music. Aimee is the winner of the Contemporary Irish Music Cup in the Feis Ceol 2023 and the Irene Sandford Award 2021. She was finalist in the Charles Wood International Song Competition 2023.  

Aimee’s programme:
‘Frere Voyez!’ (Massenet’s Werther)
Philip Martin ‘Fiddler of Dooney’
Gustav Mahler ‘Liebst du um Schönheit’
Debussy  ‘Pierrot’
Ernest Charles ‘When I have Sung my Songs’

Valentine Laporte
Valentine Laporte is currently in her third-year of the Bachelor of Music at TU Dublin Conservatoire, studying flute with Ciarán O’Connell. She was awarded first prize at the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year 2022 and will perform as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra next June. 

Valentine’s programme:
Peteris Vasks Landscape with birds for solo flute
Hamilton Harty In Ireland 

Anna Mitchell
Anna Mitchell is an Irish violinist currently based in Limerick. She is in the final year of her MA in Classical String Performance at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick. In 2021, she was awarded the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Emerging Artist Grant along with the RTÉ Lyric FM Scholarship to support her studies with Dr. Diane Daly. Anna has performed with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and RTÉ Concert Orchestra.  

Anna’s programme:
Bach Violin Sonata No. 3, C Major, Largo

Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor 

Kathleen Nic Dhiarmada
Kathleen Nic Dhiarmada is an Irish soprano based in Ireland and the UK. Recently graduating from Royal Academy Opera where she studied with Kate Paterson and Raymond Connell, Kathleen is now a member of the Irish National Opera Young Artist Studio. Kathleen recently won the Dramatic Cup at the Feis Ceoil and was a recipient of the Margaret and Tony Quigley award. 

Kathleen’s Programme:
‘Johnny’ (Britten’s Cabaret Songs)
‘È strano…Ah fors’è lui…Sempre libera’ (Verdi’s La Traviata)
Sechs Lieder, Op. 48 – Ein Traum, Op. 48, No. 6 

Ticketing & Event Information:
Rising Stars 2023
Thursday 20 April, 7.30pm | €12|

To buy: Online: | By Phone: (Mon-Fri, 1-5pm) 061 331549  In person: Box Office, UCH (Mon-Fri, 1-5pm) 

Find more events here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.