Sunday, January 9, 2011

Irish Baroque Orchestra

Masterworks from the Irish Baroque Orchestra is a series of 4 one hour concerts at Christ Church Cathedral featuring Baroque blockbusters from Germany, France and Italy. Between Tue 18 and Sun 23 Jan you can hear 4 Bach Suites, 4 Rameau Suites and some of Vivaldi’s finest Concerti da Camera, all under the leadership of the irrepressible Monica Huggett. And if you buy 2 tickets online, you get the 3rd one free.

Sundays@ Noon

The Hugh Lane Gallery’s free Sundays@ Noon series is back on track. On Sun 16 renowned Irish jazz composer, bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, blurs the lines between classical and jazz in his new improvising chamber group Trilogue, featuring Swiss jazz singer Sarah Buechi and Japanese contemporary classical pianist Izumi Kimura. With a repertoire of newly composed pieces by Guilfoyle and music by Bartok, Ligeti and Bach, Trilogue utilises the virtuosity of all three players and their experience of both improvised and composed chamber music to create a wide range of timbres, moods and dynamics. Just the thing to start the new year. On Sun 23 the Ensemble Avalon, featuring violinist Ioana Pectu-Colan, cellist Gerald Peregrine and pianist Michael McHale play an interesting programme including Debussy's Cello Sonata, Mozart's Piano Trio in B Flat and the world premiere of a new piece by Benedict Schlepper-Connolly. An interesting mix on Sun 30 sees well known soprano Virginia Kerr team up with pianist Therese Fahy for music by Andre Previn - his 1992 piece Honey and Rue - and Messiaen's Poemes pour Mi, dating from 1936.

Tapestry Unravelled

Carole King's seminal 1971 album Tapestry is celebrated in a concert presented by Improvised Music Company at the NCH’s John Field Room on Thur 13 Jan. Tapestry Unravelled features soulful London-based Irish chanteuse Christine Tobin, winner of a 2008 BBC Jazz Award, and UK jazz pianist Liam Noble, an acclaimed master of colour and harmony.

New Horizons

Free contemporary music concerts at the NCH? That’s the NSO’s annual Horizons series of lunchtime concerts, which start on Tue 11 Jan with the world premiere of Kevin O’Connell’s large scale Symphony. On Tue 18 there’s another chance to hear David Fennessy’s Bodies along with James MacMillan’s others see us… The focus is on Piers Hellawell on Tue 22 Feb, including Agricolas, his 2008 concerto for clarinet and orchestra performed by Robert Plane. Philip Hammond’s 60th birthday is celebrated on 10 May with a programme that spans the past 30 years. And there’s another world premiere on 17 May, with Jerome de Bromhead’s first Violin Concerto. You can hear the Composers in Conversation, presented by the Contemporary Music Centre, before each concert.

I'm A Celebrity

Anyone for a multi-platform theatrical experience? Check out Peer to Peer’s Celebrity at Project from Tue 11 Jan. A story for our fractured times of love gone wrong, this new play by Jody O’Neill uses text, dance, music and an integrated online experience ( to explore the construction of identity and the invention of character in a world where fame equals power equals love equals worth – anyone can be the next big thing and you're only a Facebook page away from a better, prettier, more popular you.

The Head of Red O’Brien

A Double Bill by the multi-talented Mark O'Halloran (Adam & Paul, Garage) kicks off at Bewleys (lunchtime) on Mon 11 Jan. First off is a revisiting of The Head of Red O’Brien, as the eponymous Red, on the road to recovery after a near fatal attack by his wife, ponders where it all went wrong. John O'Dowd stars in this bizarre love story with such essential themes as premature baldness, the joys of the pre-marriage course and the career of Sean Connery, not to mention the mysteries of phrenology, linguistics and the eternal appeal of Nora Barnacle's backside. From Jan 31 you can hear the other side of the story in the world premiere of Mary Motorhead, as Red’s missus reveals all from her prison cell.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra!

There’s some cracking concerts coming up from the NSO at the NCH this month. On Fri 7 the dazzling young Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang is the soloist in Rodrigo’s magnificent Concierto de Aranjuez, as well as giving the first Irish performance of Stephen Goss’s AlbĂ©niz Concerto. More from sunny Espana in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol and da Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat, with mezzo Fiona Murphy. And all will be revealed in a discussion/demonstration with Xuefei Yang at 7pm. On Fri 14 trombonist Christian Lindberg doubles up as director and soloist, with Jason Sinclair, in Jan Sandstrom’s Echoes of Eternity for two trombones and orchestra; there’s also music by Weber and Sibelius, and Lindberg features again in a late night Trombone recital with music by Lindberg and Cage – admission €5 or free with the evening concert ticket. Dvorak and Haydn on Fri 21, with NSO principal clarinetist John Finucane in the former’s Serenade for Winds and Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey in the latter’s Cello Concertos in C and D. Wispelwey turns up again in the late night recital with Bach’s Suite No 2 in D minor for solo cello. On Fri 28 Gerhard Markson conducts Bruckner’s massive Symphony No 8 in C minor, followed by a late night recital of Beethoven’s Piano Quintet in E flat featuring Finghin Collins and the RTE NSO Principal Winds. Excellent stuff, and as if that wasn’t enough the free lunchtime Horizons series kicks off on Tue 11 Jan – more of that anon.