A question of taste - Patrick Rafter, violinist with Lir Quartet

Patrick Rafter is a violinist from Kilkenny, and is based in Switzerland. 

Lir Quartet Patrick Rafter, third from left, Patrick Rafter, violin Siobhan Doyle, violin Ed Creedon, viola Christopher Ellis, cello.
Lir Quartet Patrick Rafter, third from left, Patrick Rafter, violin Siobhan Doyle, violin Ed Creedon, viola Christopher Ellis, cello.

He plays with the Lir Quartet, at Triskel Christchurch in Cork on Saturday, March 28 at 1.10pm.

Best recent book you’ve read:

Making Sense of the Troubles by David McVea and David McKittrick. I’m not yet finished it, but it’s a wonderful unbiased account (as much as is possible in this case).

Best recent film you’ve seen:

Parasite, it’s class!

Best recent show or gig you’ve seen:

All the shows that included children performing, it is so incredible to see such talented and gifted children.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

A relatively little known French composer, Guillaume Lekeu, who died at 24. His violin sonata is wonderful.

First ever piece of music that really moved you:

So many, to be honest, but probably a piece I learned on violin by Oscar Reading. I remember taking the music home and going straight to my room and practicing it for hours... I was 7, I think.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

Probably Elton John at the Montreux Jazz Festival last year.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

A big fan of Peaky Blinders, last season sadly not so much. Netflix tends to be my go to.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I travel, so it tends to be podcasts, Ted Talks are sometimes brilliant.

Your best celebrity encounter:

Elton John. He was a student at the Royal Academy in London where I studied and gave a lot back every year with visits and financial support, so I’ve met him several times.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why?

Whenever I go to any city, I wish I could stand in one spot and go back each decade for one minute. I would say 2,000 years ago and meet Jesus Christ.

You are curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill (living or dead)?

Freddie Mercury with Queen, Mozart and Paganini.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family?

Yes! Family are great musicians and lawyers. Going back, my great-great- grand-uncle Felix Delaney was Bishop of Ossory when the Normans invaded in 1179.

Unsung hero — individual or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve:

Nurses. I have met so many incredible nurses who give so much to their work. I believe they are underpaid and undervalued by our society.

You are king for a day — what’s your first decree?

Treat musicians like football stars! Turn classical music into what it is — for everybody.

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