Founded in 1954 to be a dynamic force in developing choral music in Ireland, the Cork International Choral Festival is held annually over the five days preceding the first Monday in May. Cork welcomes choirs from across the world for a programme of Gala concerts, Schools Concerts, National and International Competitions, and world-class performances, as thousands of participants bring the city to life for a celebration of choral music in all its many forms.
One of Europe’s premier international choral festivals, Cork is noted for its high standards, eclectic and wide-ranging programme, and the friendliness of its welcome. Festival events and performances centre around Cork’s City Hall (capacity 1,000), one of the most attractive and acoustically superb venues in Ireland.
Each year some of the finest amateur international choirs are selected to compete for the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy. The selected choirs also participate in a wide range of Festival events, which include Fringe concerts, taking part in our Church Interchange programme across Cork city and county, and informal Public Performances which see choirs popping up throughout Cork in new and unexpected locations throughout the duration of the Festival! The presence of these choirs from throughout the world gives audiences and Irish choirs alike the unique opportunity of hearing a diverse range of concerts and repertoire performed.
As well as foreign choirs, the Festival annually features up to 100 Adult, Youth and School choirs who participate in National Competitions. Overall the Festival attracts some 5,000 participants. The Festival continues to ensure that choral music, representative of many historical and cultural traditions, is brought to the people of Cork and the many visitors who we are delighted to welcome to the city for the event.