Category: Music

UK pianist’s first Dublin concert a ‘mixed bag’

A recent event in the National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series brought young UK pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason to Dublin for the first time. Isata is the eldest of the family of seven each of whom appears to be endowed with an unusual element of musical genius. The Kanneh-Masons come from Nottingham where London-born father, Stuart,…

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The Wexford programme doesn’t disappoint

For opera aficionados at home and abroad October means only one thing – Wexford Festival. The brainchild of local general practitioner and music lover Dr Tom Walsh (1911-1988), and on the go since 1951, the now expanded event brings three neglected operas to the town’s Theatre Royal under artistic director Rosetta Cucchio. With its policy…

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Anguish and turmoil in extraordinarily moving performance

The National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series brought our near neighbour, Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra, on a welcome return visit last month. Formed in 1858, the orchestra’s first Dublin event was on October 26, 1878, when it gave two concerts at the Exhibition Palace, now the NCH, conducted by its founder, German-born Charles Hallé, who was…

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A welcome time of year for music lovers

This month means new ‘seasons’ opening up not least the National Symphony Orchestra’s at the National Concert Hall, which began on September 9 with the orchestra in splendid form in music by Berg and Mahler. Dating from 1935, Berg’s Violin Concerto was written “in memory of an angel” – Manon Gropius, the recently deceased 19-year-old…

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Veronica Dunne would be proud of the standard

With numerous sponsors, including Hinch Distillery Company, the triennial Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition brought 36 young hopefuls, of whom nine were Irish, to the National Concert Hall last week to participate in its preliminary piano-accompanied rounds before being whittled down to six for the finale with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Laurent Wagner.…

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Musicians and the passage of time

As the saying goes tempus fugit and I am remembering the initial Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition (VDISC) held in 1995 with soprano Orla Boylan its first prizewinner. Ms Boylan still retains the distinction of being the only Irish singer to have been awarded the competition’s premier prize. Competition But, as often happens, competition losers…

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The cornerstone of the French operatic repertoire

“A masterly and nuanced portrayal of hopeless love”, that’s how Irish National Opera describes Jules Massenet’s Werther, which the company will take on a nationwide tour during April and May 2023. But why am I mentioning Werther so far in advance? Well, Lyric Opera presents a fully staged single performance of the piece at the…

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Handel fans are in for a real treat

With its Dublin HandelFest running in Dublin Castle over the weekend – Friday July 15 to Sunday July 17, the Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO) continues its devotion to the composer who lived in Dublin for almost a year across 1741/42. Conducted by Peter Whelan, tomorrow’s 7.30pm opening event in the Castle’s St Patrick’s Hall, has…

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