Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer in the Symphony

The RTE National Symphony Orchestra get busy for the summer with Tue lunchtime and Fri evening concerts at the NCH. Lunchtime fare includes a nice mix of Berlioz, Faure, Saint-Saens and a taste of a Haydn Cello Concerto on Tue 28, all under the baton of Principal Conductor Alan Buribayev. Strauss’s Blue Danube and Tchaikvosky’s Swan Lake share the stage with bluegrass fiddle music on 5 July. There’s Ravel and Bizet on Tue 12; Balfe, Butterworth and Bernstein on Tue 19 with soprano Katy Kelly; and Weber’s Bassoon Concerto on Tue 26. On Fri 1 July there’s a rare opportunity to hear Stanford’s 2nd Piano Concerto with soloist Finghin Collins, along with Tchaikovsky’s dramatic 5th Symphony. Other evening concerts include Operatic Favourites with South African soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon on Fri 8; the Great American Songbook on Fri 15; lyric fm’s Listeners Favourites on Fri 22; and the slightly dubious Symphonic Rock on Fri 29.


What with Molly Sweeney at the Gate and Translations currently previewing at the Abbey, eminent playwright Brian Friel is once again centre stage in Dublin. Set in 1833, as the British Army embark on a mapping project of rural Donegal, Translations is definitely one of my favourite Friel plays. It has it all – history, politics, intellect, cross-cultural clashes, language and identity, a delightful love story, a real sense of fun, and a sinister undercurrent that will inevitably lead to tragedy. Conall Morrison directs a cast that includes Denis Conway, Barry Ward, Janice Byrne, Tim Delap, Michael James Ford, Donal O’Kelly, Aoife McMahon, Janet Moran, Aaron Monaghan and Rory Nolan. Opens Wed 29 June.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Irish Composers Collective

Something tasty from the Irish Composers Collective: Soprano Elizabeth Hilliard and David Bremner give a concert for Voice and Piano at the NCH next Wed 22 June of previously unperformed works by member composers, including Glen Austin, David Bremner, Peter Moran, Richard Gill, Massimo Davi ('Fairytale for female voice and resonant piano') and Ryan Molloy. Coming up, an AudioVisual Concert on 26 July features collaborations between five composers and five visual/video artists, and in August the ICC present their first Laptop Ensemble.

And over at the Contemporary Music Centre at 6pm you can catch the launch of Ed Bennett's new CD My Broken Machines, featuring a live performance by Paul Roe.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Short & Sweet

Over the past while I’ve come to realise that despite my best intentions, life has a habit of intervening in my blogging schedule, so for the next few months I’m going to keep things short and sweet – basic info and a link. But remember, if it’s on the blog it’s worth checking out.So here goes:
Sundays@ Noon at the Hugh Lane Gallery is a definite must for any city dweller. Free music in a fab gallery, what more could you want? On Sun 19 you can hear pianist Finghin Collins, currently associate artist with the NSO, playing Beethoven and Debussy, and on Sun 26 contemporary music group Concorde team up with acclaimed violist Garth Knox for The Viola: A Wild Beast Unleashed, 5 new compositions by Irish composers inspired by the afore-mentioned Knox.
And in the same venue for a small fee, on Sat 18 @3pm you can here the National Chamber Choir under the baton of the brilliant Paul Hillier singing music by Brahms and his early music influences including the likes of Gabrieli and Palestrina.
A new cross-arts project Movement of Sound is at the Backloft on June 19, a collaboration between Karen Power (composer / live electronics), Mary Nunan (dancer and choreographer), Deirdre O’Leary (clarinet/ bass clarinet) and Kate Ellis (cello), featuring Irish premiers by international composers; Saariaho, Tiensuu and Hyla. And speaking of the Backloft, there’s a free concert on Fri 10 @7pm featuring RawClassico aka soprano Frances Marshall and classical guitarist John Feeley, a combination of Italian arias and Celtic repertoire, all arranged by Feeley.
Some good stuff coming up at Art Polonia’s Centre for Creative Practice, where you can indulge in everything from jazz, flamenco, electro-acoustic, experimental music performance, folk music, storytelling, documentaries and a German movie night. Check out their website @
Popular French-based pianist Ivan Ilic is back again at the NCH’s John Field Room for a lunchtime recital on Fri 24 June, including his own arrangements of French songs by Debussy, Fauré, and Ernest Chausson, as well as two rarely-heard works from 1930 by Ravel and Godowsky.
Next show into the Gate Theatre is Brian Friel’s thought-provoking exploration of personal identity Molly Sweeney, which had its premiere there some 15 years ago. Previewing from Thur 23 and opening on Tue 28 June, this new production is directed by Patrick Mason and features Dawn Bradfield, Michael Byrne and Peter Hanly.
At Project til Sat 18 June, Loose Canon return to their Shakespearian roots with their take on A Midsummer Night's Dream? (note that question mark). As they so eloquently put it, “Is it about fairies and pixies and the course of true love not running smoothly? Or is it about getting f*cked off your face – so f*cked off your face that you end up f*cking a donkey?” Sounds like some party.