Category: Music

Stutzmann continues to thrill with the RTÉ NSO

Pat O’Kelly   Following the departure of Kazakh musician Alan Buribayev when his extended contract expired in 2016, the RTÉ NSO has been without a principal conductor. In the ‘interregnum’ there have been a number of visiting artists on the podium not least Nathalie Stutzmann who has been principal guest conductor since 2017. Born in…

Galway offers a great new year opener with festival

Pat O’Kelly   While pianist Finghin Collins pursues a busy international career he also finds time to act as artistic director of both the late September New Ross Piano Festival and Music for Galway. The latter spreads itself across ‘the season’ and enshrines a Midwinter Festival in January. Although Collins’ brainchild, his Galway committee actively…

A musical year of sad farewells and warm welcomes

Pat O’Kelly   While there is always an air of expectancy about January it can be a time to reminisce about the previous 12 months and recall some of the ‘highs’ as well as the ‘lows’. Deaths among the country’s musical fraternity included the multi-faceted composer/pianist/professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and friends Máire Larchet and Margaret…

Delicious choices of the oddly seasonal Messiah afoot

Pat O’Kelly   Not surprisingly, December reaps its usual crop of Handel’s Messiah even if the work relates to Christ’s Passion and Resurrection as much as to His Nativity. Messiah covers the Church’s year from advent to advent with Christ Triumphant as its magnificent coda. Along with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, the choral group Resurgam,…

Two poignant concerts to mark month of remembrance

Pat O’Kelly   November is a month of remembrance maybe made more poignant this year with the commemoration of the ending of World War I. Two concerts, tomorrow (November 9) in the National Concert Hall and on Saturday (November 10) in Dublin’s St Patrick’s Cathedral, will focus not only on the horrors of war but…

Magnificent celebration of the work of AJ Potter

In a timely commemoration at the NCH earlier this month the RTÉ NSO, under the assiduous direction of Belfast-born Kenneth Montgomery, celebrated the centenary of composer AJ Potter. In a riveting performance of his sinfonia de Profundis in a new edition by his amanuensis Sarah Burn, the work refocused attention on someone whom the late…

A brace of memorable events bless the music world

Pat O’Kelly   Two recent Dublin events marked significant occasions. The first brought the Irish première of James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater as the closing concert of New Music Dublin at the National Concert Hall. The second came with the retirement, after 42 years devoted service, of Prof. Gerard Gillen as organiste titulaire of the Pro-Cathedral.…

Grand festival offers top quality playing in New Ross

Pat O’Kelly   Although it officially opens tomorrow evening, Friday, September 28, the 2018 New Ross Piano Festival is already under way. It began yesterday, Wednesday, September 26, with its Young Pianists’ Concert when a fledgling group, ranging in age from seven to 17, tried out the Steinway grand at the festival’s base – the…

Classical season gets underway with fine double salvo

Pat O’Kelly   With the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra bringing Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony to the National Concert Hall and Irish National Opera unveiling its production of Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann simultaneously in Dublin’s O’Reilly Theatre tomorrow evening, it can be safely said that the 2018/19 ‘classical’ season is well underway. It actually began at…