On International Women's Day, a celebration of the unique creativity of the female voice in words and music spanning time, place, the heart and the imagination.

Pioneering composers for the concert hall and opera stage, stars of Irish traditional music, the Irish-Ghanaian singer-songwriter AIS who draws inspiration from pop, soul, and R'n'B and poet Rachael Hegarty come together with conductor Elaine Kelly for what promises to be an unforgettable evening.

Offerings from opera include the ‘vocally impressive’ (Irish Times) rising star soprano Ava Dodd, newly graduated from Moscow’s prestigious Bolshoi Theatre Young Artist programme, in Mozart’s ravishingly lyrical Deh vieni non tardar (Le nozze di Figaro), Puccini’s achingly beautifully O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi), and the rapturous coloratura of Massenet’s Je marche... Obéissons (Manon). The Overture to Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers provides an atmospheric portrait of Cornish coastal life. Joan Tower’s percussively bristling Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No.2 and Elizabeth Maconchy’s Nocturne, a poetically powerful dialogue between strings and brass, eloquently bridge the Atlantic.

Zoe Conway

‘Virtuoso’ (Irish Independent) fiddler Zoë Conway’s The Desert Storm/Rounding Malin Head brilliantly adds luxurious orchestral accompaniment to traditional Irish tunes, the Cooley Mountains-inspired Bearna Mheabh moving from haunting beauty to rousing picture-painting. The extraordinary uilleann piper Louise Mulcahy, praised for her ‘ground breaking musicianship’ (Irish Times), pays tribute to Liam O’Flynn with a spellbinding account of An Droichead, and remembers Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin with his evocative arrangement of Bean Dubh an Ghleanna. An undoubted highlight will be the world premiere of Ala, Zoë’s new work for International Women’s Day. For fiddle, uilleann pipes and orchestra, Zoë wrote it "to represent the amazing, resilient and tough women that have come before me, forging a path that allows me to lead the life I do in Ireland today."

Sharon Shannon

Sharon Shannon brings her dazzling virtuosity on button accordion and electric guitar to bear on The Beast from the East, Blackbird, and Frenchie’s Reel in the thrilling company of the ladies of the House 33 Bodhrán Band from St Augustine School, Blackrock. The spoken word comes centre stage with Rachael Hegarty reading her poem Unmanageable Revolutionaries, ‘about being a woman, being a warrior and living in Ireland’. And bang up to date, AIS previews the powerful anthem-in-the-making Freedom from her debut EP.