Irish Chamber Orchestra 

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Press Reviews

There are many conductors in the world who can get orchestras to play together but there are very few who can profoundly inspire.  Gábor Takács-Nagys one of them”. – Iván Fischer.

April 2011

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Marwood Director, Violin

 “The greatest pleasures of this performance came in the balanced interplay of the soloists in the outer movements”  Michael Dervan, Irish Times


March 2011

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Matthew Halls, Conductor, Nuria Rials, Soprano

“The ICO moderated resourcefulness with impeccable taste” Andrew Johnstone, Irish Times


 February 2011

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Pekka Kuusisto Director Violin

There was no gainsaying the skill and commitment with which it was all done, Kuusisto’s obedient servants all the way”   Michael Dervan, The Irish Times

“The orchestra loved playing under his direction and the players were brilliantly able to deliver his vision”.  Declan Townsend, The Examiner

The ICO which can match the finest orchestras in the world for imaginative and vigourous performances, bristles with attitude”.  Dick O Riordan, The Sunday Business Post


December 2010

Irish Chamber Orchestra, National Chamber Choir & Soloists

“The ICO’s precision, lightness and tonal beauty were impeccable.”  Declan Townsend, The Examiner


November 2010

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Katherine Hunka Director/Violin, Fiona Kelly Flute, Jean Kelly Harp

“The intense cold did not affect the splendid playing of the Irish Chamber Orchestra….the unusual programme was beautifully varied and much appreciated by the discerning audience” Declan Townsend, The Examiner


October 2010

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Jörg Widmann

Irish Chamber Orchestra gave high-impact performances of Mozart at the RDS Concert Hall”……the players of the ICO were with him all the way in intent……”

Michael Dervan, The Irish Times

“Under his direction, the ICO played with wonderful clarity and astonishing virtuosity, communicating a joy in their music-making that sent the audience away inspired and uplifted”


September 2010

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Fanny Clamagirand, Violin

Here were sure signs that the ICO’s expansion from a slick strings-only ensemble is a step in the right direction”.   Michael  Johnson, The Irish Times


April 2010

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Leon Fleisher Piano

The Jupiter Symphony was given with sinewy muscularity, its endless astonishing fugal finale brings cheers of appreciation from the enthusiastic audience”. Michael Dervan, The Irish Times

This was simply perfect Mozart with interaction between soloists and orchestra that was seamless and perfectly balanced.”  Declan Townsend, The Examiner


March 2010

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Marwood Director Violin

“The audience at the RDS cheered it as if they were absolutely certain they’d heard something very special indeed”  Michael Dervan, The Irish Times

“We were treated to a display of bright, brilliant playing with crisp, tightly controlled rhythms and lovely dynamic contrasts.”   Declan Townsend, The Examiner


February 2010

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Katherine Hunka violin & Dermot Dunne accordion

“The rapport between Hunka and soloist Dermot Dunne (accordion) and the rapport between them and the orchestra, in turn led to lovely, sensitive, bright, enthusiastic playing that pleased all who heard it”.  Declan Townsend, The Examiner

“The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s programme at the RDS was like a large hamper of treats…….But the orchestra did the pieces with such style and panache that the audience demanded – and got – some more as an encore.”  Michael Dervan, The Irish Times  


December 2009

Irish Chamber Orchestra, National Chamber ChoirHandel’s Messiah, Jonathan Cohen conductor  Sinead Campbell, soprano, Martha Bredin, mezzo-soprano Eamonn Mulhall, tenor Owen Gilhooly, bass

“Magnificant playing by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and superb choral singing by the National Chamber Choir moved many audience members to afford this performance of Handel’s masterpiece a standing ovation”.   Declan Townsend, The Examiner


October 2009

Irish Chamber Orchestra , Anthony Marwood artistic director

The ICO rose to the challenge brilliantly.   Declan Townsend, The Examiner

“……the ICO and director Anthony Marwood pitched themselves with unfailing commitment.   Martin Adams, The Irish Times


September 2009

Irish Chamber Orchestra , Gérard Korsten conductor, Alison Balsom trumpet

What better way for the RDS to herald the opening of a glamorous new concert hall and its new sound system than through the artistry of the most glamorous trumpet player on the planet?……Balsom’s programme here of the Hummel and Haydn trumpet concertos – cornerstones of the genre – displayed the glowing beauty of her musicianship with dazzling notes and phrases peppering the auditorium, revealing not just the richness of the compositions themselves, but of the quality of the recently installed acoustic system…….At the heart of this concert, however was the Irish Chamber Orchestra, a group which has scaled its way into the world rankings through imaginative and stylish performances.”  Dick O Riordan, Sunday Business Post

“Saturday’s programme was clearly intended to be a grand statement about the new order.  It offered a first-class overture by Mozart (The Impresario) trumpet concertos by Hummel and Haydn played by celebrated trumpeter Alison Balsom and Beethoven’s great Eroica Symphony….A partial standing ovation at the end of the evening boded well for the orchestra’s next outing.” Michael Dervan, Irish Times

“Another superb show from the wonderful Irish Chamber Orchestra” Declan Townsend, The Examiner


April 2009

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Marwood director/violin

Music by Handel, the 250th anniversary of whose death is commemorated this year, opened and closed the concert. Superb dynamic contrasts, tight precision rhythms, clear contrapuntal lines and beautifully-shaped phrases marked the performance of his Concerto Gross in A Op.6 No 11…….Schuman’s beautifully tuneful cello concerto, in Jopling’s transcriptions for Violin and Strings, suited Marwood;s exquisite tone and musicianship perfectly.  The 12th String Symphony by the 14-year old Mendelssohn brought the best out of the orchestra”. Declan Townsend, The Examiner


March 2009

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Stephen Hough director/piano/conductor, Juliet Welchmann  cello

Right from the ICO’s entry on tiptoes, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21 in C sparkled and the tiny hesitations and hurryings in Hough’s deliciously singing tone made the first movement an experience to savour…….Hough’s Elegy for cello and orchestra “The Loneliest Wilderness” was sensitively haunting in the performance by ICO principal cellist Juliet Welchman.”  Declan Townsend, The Examiner

Stephen Hough’s interpretation of the Mozart Concerto is a model of effortless poise, but can also employ urgent intensity when required……ICO’s involvement brings incisive and passionate commitment to bear throughout the evening” Pat O Kelly, The Irish Independent

It’s not yet clear whether the ongoing recession will slow down the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s expansion from a strings-only band into a fully-fledged chamber orchestra with wind as well as strings.  But this concert under guest director Stephen Hough gave a good indication of what will be lost should the process of expansion stall…….Hough’s was a performance that went from strength to strength, and there was no weakening in the delivery of  the closing movement, which bubbled with an energy that seemed both infectious and irrepressible.”  Michael Dervan, The Irish Times


February 2009

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Jaime Martin conductor, Johnny Teyssier clarinet

“The combination of Spanish conductor/flautist Jaime Martin’s outstanding musicianship, American clarinettist Johnny Teyssier’s virtuosic brilliance and the flexibility, enthusiasm and responsiveness of the orchestral players resulted in this memorable concert given by the superb Irish Chamber Orchestra” – Declan Townsend, The Examiner

“Martin’s ICO programme at NCH got off to a good start in Stravinksy’s Concerto in D.  The opening Vivace danced lightly on its toes, the poignancy of the central Arioso was nicely caught and the closing Rondo was delivered with the right fizz” – Michael Dervan, The Irish Times


November 2008

Irish Chamber Orchestra, Alexander Polianichko conductor, Aleksandar Madžar piano, Huw Morgan trumpet

“Former Marinsky (Kirov) Theatre conductor Alexander Polianichko drew exquisite playing from the Irish Chamber Orchestra…..  Mazdar’s brilliance was matched by the superb musicianship of all his colleagues”. – Declan Townsend, The Examiner




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