Northern Lights Mini-Fest 2020 – Online


Presented in association with Belfast International Arts Festival 2020

16–27 October 2020


Please note

Due to ongoing restrictions regarding live audiences for indoor events, we have decided that this year’s Mini-Fest will be an online event. This is disappointing for everyone involved, not least for our audiences of course, but we are determined to bring you the best virtual concert experience we can. We very much hope we will be able to return to live concerts in 2021.

In the meantime…

All the Mini-Fest events will be available to view free of charge, but should be booked in advance. If you feel able to make a donation when you book, that option is also available. To book, click on the ‘Book tickets’ button for each event below.


Kim Vaughan (cello)

Philip Higham (cello)

Friday 16 October 2020, 6pm



An intimate programme of 17th and 18th century music, including song and folk music transcriptions presented with short excerpts from contemporary accounts to shed light on influences and connections. Featuring music by Couperin, from his Concert des Nations, originally for two viols, called ‘Les Goûts Réunis’.

Recorded in St Mary’s Cathedral Song School, Edinburgh, by kind permission.

Piatti Quartet


Janina Fialkowska (piano)

Sunday 18 October 2020, 5.30pm

We are delighted to welcome back the Piatti Quartet to this year’s Mini-Fest.  They are joined by the wonderful Janina Fialkowska, whom BMS audiences will remember from her superb Chopin recital a few years ago, in a concert of Beethoven piano concertos arranged for piano quintet by Vinzenz Lachner.


Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, op. 58


*Note slightly earlier start time

Recorded in the Harty Room, QUB, in partnership with the School of Arts, English and Languages.

Ben McAteer (baritone)

Iain Burnside (piano)

Thursday 22 October 2020, 6pm

Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel
Elaine Agnew New work

A welcome return by the first winner of the Glenarm Festival of Voice competition. Ben’s programme includes a new work by Belfast composer Elaine Agnew, especially commissioned by BMS with funds from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, to mark BMS’s centenary year.

Recorded in the Harty Room, QUB, in partnership with the School of Arts, English and Languages.

John O’Conor (piano)

Monday 26 October 2020, 6pm

A programme of Beethoven sonatas to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth, performed by a renowned interpreter of his work.


Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major, op. 79
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, op. 31 no. 2 (‘Tempest’)
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, op. 53 (‘Waldstein’)

Recorded in the Harty Room, QUB, in partnership with the School of Arts, English and Languages.


Generously supported by an anonymous donor.

Part of IN-visible ID-entities 2, an ongoing BIAF initiative encouraging cultural collaboration across the island and supported by the Government of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ulster Orchestra Chamber Ensemble

Tuesday 27 October 2020, 8pm*



Members of the Ulster Orchestra combine in a myriad of ways to offer chamber music colours that we rarely see – and featuring almost every instrument in the orchestra.

Music by Mozart, Ravel, Glazunov, Strauss and De Falla.

*Note later start time