Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sundays @ Noon

More free music, this time at the Hugh Lane Gallery where the long-running Sundays @ Noon series continues to pull in the crowds - get there early if you want a decent seat. Berlin-based Irish tenor Paul McNamara does the honours on Sun 31 Jan, in the esteemed company of Australian pianist Philip Mayers. It's a double birthday celebration, with songs by Schumann and Wolf marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of the former and the 150th anniversary of the birth of the latter. Concerts in Feb include the rescheduled opening concert (from snow-bound Jan) of Fionnuala Moynihan's complete Mozart Piano Sonata series on Sun 7; cellist William Butt playing Kodaly's Sonata Opus 8 for violoncello solo on Sun 14; Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano performed by Mathieu van Bellen and Tadashi Imai on Sun 21; and the Clarion Trio (clarinet, viola and piano) playing trios by Mozart, Schumann and Rebecca Clarke on Sun 28.

New Horizons

RTE's free Horizons series, focussing on contemporary Irish composers, is currently running at the NCH Tues lunchtimes. Featuring the RTE NSO, there are 2 concerts left in the series. On Feb 2 the featured composer is Elaine Agnew, with 3 of her works on the programme including Make a Wish, an RTE lyric fm commission, and you can also hear pieces by Elena Kats-Chernin and Stephen Gardner. Pianist Finghin Collins is the soloist and David Brophy conducts. Brian Irvine takes over as both composer and conductor on Feb 9, with a performance of his Montana Strange featuring Paul Dunmall on saxophone; a late addition to the programme is Bill Campbell's Weather Report. Irvine gives a pre-concert talk @12.30pm.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two Thousand & Ten

Greetings culture vultures, a (very) belated Happy New Year! A combination of holidays, maladies and a prolonged bout of broadband ‘outage’ all conspired to temporarily banish me from the ether. Outage? Outrage more like. What was I thinking switching to Vodafone. They leave you on hold for hours, force you to listen to crap music – if I ever come across that guy who sings More Than Words I’m gonna thump him – and then, 2 weeks later, they wake you up at 9 O’CLOCK ON A SUNDAY MORNING to try and fix the damn thing. And it still didn’t work… AAAAARRRGGH… First chance I have I’m switching right back.

Meanwhile it’s nearly February two thousand and ten. None of this twenty ten business in my neck of the woods. If the French can say ‘mille neuf cent quatre vingt dix neuf’ for 1999, then we should be able to manage something that doesn’t sound like poor vision. But the good news is, despite the R word, there’s actually oodles of stuff going on. Temple Bar Tradfest kicks off tomorrow (27 Jan til Sun 31) with concerts at Project and the Button Factory, including the likes of Matt Molloy, Finbar Furey and new kids on the block Liadan; pub sessions featuring some pretty high profile performers, among them Eleanor Shanley, Kila, Sean Og Potts, Kevin Glackin and loads more; and a string of workshops, screenings, parades, ceilis, in fact all the ingredients for a good oul hooley.