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The Kirker Ischia Music Festival

Amalfi Coast 7 nights Price from £2,920 per person
Departs: 11 Oct 2023
Departs: 11 Oct 2023

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Our annual visit to the beautiful and verdant island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples is a highlight in the Kirker calendar. Each year we travel with a group of distinguished musicians who play in a series of private concerts exclusively for our guests in the music room at La Mortella. Sir William Walton and his wife Susana lived here for many years. Lady Walton created what is today one of the world’s most famous gardens. Today La Mortella is a foundation, expertly managed by Alessandra Vinciguerra and her devoted team who ensure that the Walton’s legacy thrives today.

We shall stay at the 4* Hotel Tritone, which is perfectly located on the beach of San Francesco, a few minutes’ walk from the historic centre of Forio and a short drive from La Mortella where the concerts are held. The hotel is surrounded by gardens which run down to the sea, and there are two bars, a restaurant, sun terraces and a swimming pool. Bedrooms are simply, but comfortably furnished, and they all have either a private balcony or terrace.

Forio is the second largest town on Ischia and has a charming old quarter with a good selection of shops, restaurant and bars. The local buses will take you to Ischia Porto, and Forio is served by hydrofoils to Naples. WH Auden and Chester Kallman lived in Forio and were frequent visitors to Maria’s Bar, which remains a popular local institution.

Our tour includes a half day tour of the island, as well as a private guided tour of La Mortella in the company of the gardeners, during which we learn the history of the garden and how it was developed in accordance with Lady Walton’s vision by the celebrated designer, Russell Page.

Optional Excursion
We will be offering an optional visit to to the mainland. On arrival in Naples, we will walk the short distance to the opera house, which was built in 1816, and has a traditional beautifully decorated horseshoe auditorium. After the tour, we will see the first of two works by Caravaggio, “The Martyrdom of St Ursula”, in the Palazzo Zevelos. The second Caravaggio, “The Seven Acts of Mercy”, is displayed in the location for which it was intended – the Pio Monte della Misericordia, a charitable institution founded by Neapolitan noblemen to care for the sick in 1601. A panoramic tour of Naples and lunch in a traditional pizza restaurant overlooking the bay will conclude the day, before we return to Ischia in time for this evening’s concert.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return flights
  • Seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Seven dinners
  • Six private concerts as well as one concert given by the Walton Trust
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities as described
  • Private guided tour of La Mortella garden
  • Services of the Kirker Tour Leader

Flight Details

Flights with British Airways:
Depart from London Heathrow at 10.10, arrive Naples at 13.55
Depart from Naples at 14.45, arrive London Heathrow at 16.40


Departure Dates and Prices

Optional room supplements (subject to availability):

Side sea view: £220 
Front sea view: £340 
Superior park view: £340
Superior sea view: £520

11 Oct 2023

Status Available

Price from£2920

Single Supp.£392

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Maxwell Quartet

String Quartet

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Simon Roland-Jones

Simon Rowland-Jones

Viola, Composer & Kirker Music Director

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Music Programme

The Musicians
The Maxwell Quartet
Thomas Kelly, piano
Simon Rowland-Jones, viola
The singer and their pianist will be announced later

12 October
Haydn: String Quartet in F, Op.77 No.2
Brahms: String Quartet in B flat, Op.67
Scottish folk music arranged by members of the Maxwell Quartet

13 October
Piano recital by Thomas Kelly to include works by Rameau, Chabrier, Liszt, Chopin, Debussy and Scriabin

14 October
Haydn: String Quartet in C, Op.20 No.2
Mozart: String Quintet in C, K515
Walton: Passacaglia for solo cello
This short piece was first played by Rostropovich, for whom it was composed, at the Royal Festival Hall on 16 March 1982, two weeks before William Walton's 80th birthday.

15 October
Song recital – programme to be announced

16 October
Haydn: String Quartet in G, Op.77 No.1
Britten: String Quartet No.2
The concert will also include a selection of songs by William Walton and works for solo piano and a string quartet by Luigi Boccherini.

17 October
Purcell: Fantasias
Bridge: Three Idylls
Franck: Piano Quintet in F minor
Camille Saint-Saens took part in the first performance at the Societe nationale de musique on 17 January 1880.The pianist was also the work’s dedicatee but he was far from impressed and swept off the platform at the end leaving his music behind on the stand. Nevertheless, Franck’s thrilling work is much loved today by audiences and musicians alike!

Staff Reviews

Kirker Ischia Music Festival

By Barry Cheeseman, 18 November 2016

I hope you enjoy viewing our film documenting the 2013 Kirker Ischia Music Festival. As the person who is fortunate enough to organise and attend them all, I would like to share my own reasons why I think Ischia is such a rewarding week’s holiday. I have just finished leading one of our opera tours to Vienna and instead of flying home to London I travelled onward to Malta to join the Baroque…

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Recent Testimonials

The Kirker Ischia Festival

By Mrs C, Norfolk, 04 February 2019

The hotel was excellent and cannot be faulted and all the Kirker arrangements were as expected, and again, could not be faulted. It was such a privilege to be in the company of such talented musicians, and to hear them in the surroundings of the lovely garden of La Mortella added to the pleasure. The music was superb - often challenging but always a joy.

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