Chamber Babies 2015

Live Classical Music for Little Listeners



Saturday 5 December 2015
10.30 am and 11.30 am

Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

tanya-houghtonTanya Houghton Harp

Originally from Birmingham, Tanya studied in Cambridge, London and Paris before embarking on a freelance career based in the UK and Ireland.

She enjoys playing for a wide range of ensembles from symphony orchestras to chamber groups, playing solo and accompanying soloists and choirs. She has worked with orchestras throughout the UK and Ireland, and as a choral accompanist she has worked with conductors including John Rutter, Bob Chilcott, David Hill and Graham Ross, with whom she has appeared live on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In tune’ programme. She features on the CD ‘A rose in the middle of winter’ in which she accompanies Commotio choir in music by Bob Chilcott: this reached the top of the classical charts.

Aside from playing, Tanya works as an examiner and competition adjudicator. She is a qualified music teacher, and also a singer: she directs and sings in Melisma, the Belfast-based 8-voice choir. In 2015 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.

Sunday 27 September 2015
10.30 am and 11.30 am

Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

David McCann Cello
Brian Connor Piano

david mccann David McCann graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2010 and completed the MMus course with distinction in 2012. While a student at the RNCM he was a recipient of the Leonard Rose award for cello, the Chris Rowland Prize for chamber music and the Contemporary Music Performance Prize.

David is currently principal cello of the Jersey Chamber Orchestra and works regularly with the Ulster Orchestra. He has also performed with the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Manchester Camerata, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of Opera North.

A passionate interpreter of new music, David has commissioned more than a dozen new pieces for his instrument. Recent engagements have involved working personally with Brian Ferneyhough (Adagissimo, RNCM), Steve Reich (Cello Counterpoint, RNCM) and Colin Matthews (Three Enigmas, Wigmore Hall) in preparation for public performances of their works. In 2013, David became a founder member of the Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble, a Belfast-based music group devoted to the performance of modern and contemporary repertoire.

David plays a cello made by Kai-Thomas Roth in 2012 and uses a Noel Burke bow, which was purchased with the help of the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation.

Saturday 27 June 2015
10.30 am and 11.30 am

Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

Gavin Forde Bassoon

Gavin FordeBorn in Belfast in 1985, Gavin Forde was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music, London, with Andrea de Flammineis and Martin Gatt. During his time there, he won the RCM Chamber Music Prize and was a recipient of the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation from the Royal Philharmonic Society.

Gavin has appeared with many orchestras throughout the UK and Ireland including the Ulster Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera and most recently the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland with Maxim Vengerov. In 2012, he lived in New York, touring and performing with a critically acclaimed musical.

Gavin is a teacher of music at Belfast Royal Academy.

Saturday 25 April 2015
10.30 am and 11.30 am

Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

Fiachra Garvey Piano

fiachra-garvey271x170Irish pianist Fiachra Garvey studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was top Irish prizewinner at the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition in 2009, and has also been awarded the ‘Rising Star’ award by the National Concert Hall. He won 1st prize at the 2012 Jaques Samuel Competition, following which he gave solo recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall and Fazioli Hall in Italy. More recently he has performed Grieg’s piano concerto at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, and a series of solo and two piano recitals in Japan, duo recitals in London and Brighton, and piano trio recitals at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. His debut CD, ‘For the Piano’ (Lyric FM label) was released in July 2012; his second CD, live from the Wigmore Hall, was released in April 2014.



Saturday 21 February 2015
10.30 am and 11.30 am

Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

Brian Keenan Guitar


crescent arts centre

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there changing facilities?
Yes, the Crescent Arts Centre has baby changing facilities in the ladies toilets, situated on the ground floor of the building near to the Cube.

Can I feed my baby during the concert?
Of course. There is a mixture of seating, from chairs to bean bags to play mats on the floor, so you can choose the most comfortable spot for you and your baby.

What if my baby cries or makes a noise during the concert?
That’s fine. Don’t feel embarrassed if your baby joins in with a few squeals. We only ask that adults don’t talk to each other during the performance, just as you wouldn’t during a ‘normal’ concert – you can save the chat for the cafe!

What is Chamber Music?
Chamber music is classical music written for small groups of instruments (usually fewer than 12). Typical examples are String Quartets, Duos such as violin & piano or voice & piano, and Trios (usually piano, violin and cello). We also include solo instruments such as piano, concert harp or guitar, and many other small combinations of instruments including wind (e.g. flute, clarinet) and brass instruments (e.g. trumpet).

Is my baby the right age for classical music?
We have designed these concerts for a mainly pre-walking audience. You are never to young to enjoy classical music, and we know babies can hear music in the womb. Most of the music is gentle, though there are livelier pieces too. If you would like to know what will be in the programme, drop us an email at

Is there somewhere to leave my buggy?
Buggies can be left safely in a separate room adjacent to the Cube.

How long is the concert?
The concert lasts 40 minutes. Our first two concerts have been designed with a 20 minute gap between them, so there is time to enjoy a coffee before or afterwards.

Where is the Crescent Arts Centre?
The Crescent Arts Centre is situated at 2-4 University Road, next to the Crescent Church, just before the junction with the Lisburn Road.

General enquiries: