Irish Chamber Orchestra 

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 MEDIA RELEASE 10 April 2015  

The Irish Chamber Orchestra raises the bar even higher this year with a sumptuous Strauss extravaganza back in the heart of Limerick city………..

Following the success of the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Carmen last year, the ICO presents  A Viennese Prom at Limerick’s Milk Market for two nights only on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 May @ 8pm.

This orchestral extravaganza combines the elegance of Vienna with the rousing sound of the Irish Chamber Orchestra.   Eminent German conductor, Jochen Rieder takes the baton for this sumptuous Strauss affair.  Rieder regularly conducts the great Jonas Kaufmann, so Rieder’s appearance with the ICO at Limerick’s Milk Market is much anticipated.

The orchestra will be joined by sparkling German coloratura soprano Gloria Rehm, for a delectable mix of Strauss Viennese waltzes, polkas and song which are as fresh today as they were, then.   Gloria is one of Germany’s young bright lights having won the prestigious Richard Strauss Competition as well as being nominated as Young Singer of the Year in 2012 and again in 2014.

Adding style and panache to the evening are dancers from Ballet Ireland in glorious costumes of the period.  From The Blue Danube to Tales from the Vienna Woods to Die Fledermaus, there is something here for everyone!   Liz Nolan from RTE Lyric fm will host this colourful affair.

We are delighted to bring a project of this magnitude to the heart of Limerick City.  As with Carmen last year, the Milk Market provides a unique and relaxed setting where people can enjoy a glass of wine, good company and ambience.  Strauss has universal popularity and we look forward to seeing the people of Limerick at our Prom concerts” says ICO CEO Gerry Keenan.

The ICO’s Viennese Prom features best loved works by Johann Strauss and will enchant audiences over two nights by twilight, in a fully-seated arena at the Milk Market.  Celebrate the music of one of the best-loved classical composers with two stunning evenings of music, laughter and dance.  Tickets are already moving on 061-331549 or www.uch.ie

The UL-based Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.  See www.irishchamberorchestra.com


MEDIA RELEASE 11 March 2015 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra will present to two concerts in Dublin and Limerick (9&10 April respectively) with the gifted virtuoso Jörg Widmann, Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner of the orchestra.   Widmann has long established a dynamic synergy with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and to date; audiences are enjoying his exploration of the many facets of Mendelssohn’s music alongside some of his own invigorating compositions.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture suggests an impending tragedy but the music makes an emotional u-turn into something quite magnificent.  It counter-balances the powerful close of Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony No. 5, which celebrates the triumph of Protestantism over Catholicism, building, slowly in layers through the orchestra, to a rather majestic finale. 

Mendelssohn’s obsession with Bach’s counterpoint inspired Widmann’s own Attempt at a Fugue for Soprano & Orchestra.  The Irish Chamber Orchestra and Stuttgarter Kammerorchester have jointly commissioned a world premiere of the re-writing of this work for string orchestra, originally Widmann’s String Quartet No. 5.  It will be performed by the ICO and U.S. soprano, Claron McFaddon who will also perform in Widmann’s Sphinx’s Sayings and Riddle Canons with American pianist, Gilles Vonsattel.  Mozart’s C Fugue was first composed for two pianos but re-arranged for strings, with an introductory Adagio reminiscent of a French overture.

New York born, Claron McFaddon has one of music’s most distinctive voices with a track record in old and new music.  Based in the Netherlands, she regularly performs with The Netherlands Opera, Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence, The Concertgebouw, The Concertgebouw Brugge, The Salzburger Festspiele, and The Holland Festival. She is a frequent guest of Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain and ASKO- Schönberg.  She was awarded the prestigious Amsterdam Prize for the Arts and was also a Grammy nominee.

Don’t miss another programme that blends old with new from the Irish Chamber Orchestra at the RDS, Dublin (Thursday 9 April) and UCH Limerick (Friday 10 April).

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


MEDIA RELEASE 5 February 2015

The Irish Chamber Orchestra welcomes back Hungarian maestro Gábor Takács-Nagy who ends his journey with Haydn with two of his sensational violin concerti.   He introduces fellow- compatriot and an extraordinary violinist, Kristóf Baráti who performs these gems from Esterhazy.

At 36, Baráti is renowned the world over for his technical perfection, his artistry and articulation.    He has a penetrating but brilliant tone with an amazing ability to communicate expression beyond notes.  Changes in bow pressure and dynamics make for interpretations that are hugely responsive to the music.  Not surprising, he hails from a family of musicians (his mother a violinist and his father a cellist) and has blazed a worldwide trail to date performing with all the major orchestra’s across Europe, working with Kurt Masur, Marek Janowski, Charles Dutoit and more.  In 2010 Baráti won Moscow’s prestigious Paganini Competition, – the Oscar for violinists. He is also a recipient of the Kossuth Prize, the most coveted cultural award of his native Hungary.

Haydn’s virtuosic First, written for violinist Luigi Tomasini is reminiscent of Vivaldi. The Fourth is courtly and grand and Baráti’s interpretations are eagerly awaited.

Much anticipated is Gábor Takács-Nagy’s reading of Bartók‘s Divertimento for Strings, one of the most demanding works for string orchestra. The rhythms and melody of Eastern European folk masterfully voice a vast range of emotions, from light-humoured to the foreboding and sorrow of a continent on the brink of war.   The Irish Chamber Orchestra presents this witty melodic work with gusto.

Beethoven wrote his finest music towards the end of his life.   His Grosse Fuge  Op. 133 was radical and visionary breaking with tradition, stretching the instruments to their limit.  The Fuge is one of the greatest artistic testaments to the human capacity for meaning in the face of oncoming chaos and is one of Beethoven’s crowning achievements.

Don’t miss another great programme from the Irish Chamber Orchestra at UCH, Limerick  (Friday 6 March) and CIT Cork School of Music (Forte Festival) on Saturday 7 March.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


MEDIA RELEASE 5 January 2015   

BRIGHT LIGHTS AND A WORLD PREMIERE FROM THE IRISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA…. 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is back on the road with three concerts opening its 2015 season in Dublin, Limerick and Sligo with a stunning programme that highlights a World Premiere by up-and-coming young composer Sam Perkin.   

The talented 28-year-old from Tivoli, Cork was commissioned by the ICO to write Nimbus for String Orchestra which has been funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.  The work is in eighteen different parts, one for every member of the orchestra.  Sam is currently studying at Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique de Lyon (CNSMDL).

ICO’s director Katherine Hunka welcomes the return of 28-year-old Hungarian cellist István Várdai, winner of the prestigious international Prix Montblanc 2013, an award for rising young stars.  Most recently, he won the top cello prize at the 2014 ARD International Music Competition in Munich run by Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Vardai performs Schumann’s popular Cello Concerto in A minor Op.129, a beautiful dreamy concerto revered by cellists.   Written in the last years of his lucidity, Schumann may never have heard it played.  A difficult emotive work that demands virtuosity will see Vardai shine in his delivery of this much-loved concerto.

Shostakovich’s early wistful Prelude and fleeting Scherzo were inspired by the famous Mendelssohn combination of a double string quartet and was dedicated to a friend who had died prematurely.  His powerful Chamber Symphony Op 110a was inspired by the destruction of Dresden during the war.

Don’t miss a richly diverse programme from the ICO at the National Concert Hall, Dublin (Wed 4 Feb), University Concert Hall, Limerick (Thurs 5 Feb) and The Model, Sligo (Fri 6 Feb).                  

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

 


MEDIA RELEASE 25 November 2014

The Irish Chamber Orchestra present a French Christmas at two of the country’s most historic Cathedrals in Cork and Limerick………

The Irish Chamber Orchestra present Joyeaux Noël, a festive French feast on Thursday 11 December at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork and on Friday 12 December, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.  

The ICO welcomes back internationally renowned soprano Ailish Tynan who steps in for the indisposed Fiona Murphy, who was scheduled to make her debut with the orchestraNo stranger to audiences in Cork or Limerick, soprano Ailish Tynan packed out both Cathedrals last year.  She trained at Trinity College, the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Guildhall, London. She was a Vilar Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a BBC New Generation Artist and a former recipient of the Rosenblatt Recital Prize at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

The ICO celebrates French music and impressionism, creating a sensorial experience through colour and form evoking fleeting images for the listener.  Ailish sings these firm French favourites alongside some best-loved traditional Christmas carols.  She will delight audiences with her interpretation of Britten’s Les Illuminations, exhilarating settings of poems by Arthur Rimbaud.  The sensuality of the texts is matched in agile, feverish music by the ICO which trembles, shimmers and seduces.   Martinet’s Le Petit Papa Noel was a 1946 hit song recorded by Tino Rossi and is the best-selling single of all time in France.  Silent Night was first heard in a village church in Austria on Christmas Eve 1918, when sung by its composers with just a guitar.   Little was it known that this carol would wing its way into the hearts of people worldwide.

Saint-Saëns enchanting Le Déluge, performed by the Irish Chamber Orchestra, is based on the story of Noah and the flood.  It is seldom heard, whereas its Prelude, scored for strings only often features as a concert work.  The Swan is another of Saint-Saëns most popular works, graceful and luscious from his fun-filled Carnival of the Animals suite.  The quality of Vivaldi’s Paris concerti is unsurpassed and shows him at the peak of his invention.  Gustav Mahler’s hauntingly beautiful Adagietto is one of his greatest hits!  Often performed as a stand-alone piece, most famously, by Leonard Bernstein at Robert Kennedy’s funeral, it also featured in Visconti’s classic film score, Death in Venice.   Debussy’s ‘sacred’ dance creates an archaic feeling.  Enjoy Francaix’s six bon-bons from Quinze Portraits D’Enfants, inspired by portraits of children as painted by Renoir.  

Don’t miss this festive roller-coaster of treats from the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Cork and Limerick

11 & 12 December.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


 

MEDIA RELEASE 21 October 2014

The Irish Chamber Orchestra presents shining November nuggets, with a spectacular aerial dance display by Fidget Feet, a series of virtuosic duos and a quintet showcasing ICO members, alongside a cameo performance by Irish pianist, Hugh Tinney.  Widmann at his best!

The Irish Chamber Orchestra looks forward to two great concerts in Dublin and Limerick with the gifted virtuoso Jörg Widmann, currently Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner of the orchestra.   Widmann has established a dynamic synergy with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and to date, audiences have enjoyed his exploration of the many facets of Mendelssohn’s music alongside some of his own exciting compositions.

There are some shining November nuggets in WUNDERKIND.  First up are two of Mendelssohn’s early Sinfonias that simply ooze brilliance.    The ultimate prodigy, his Sinfonia No. 4 took inspiration from Handel, while Sinfonia No.8, a tiny gem, captured the teenage spirit rather splendidly.  Mendelssohn loved this work so much that he fleshed it out to become his first actual symphony scored for full orchestra.

Book-ending the programme are two contrasting works by Prokofiev.  As an immigrant in New York in the roaring 20’s Prokofiev’s imaginative Quintet in G minor, Op. 39 is a seldom heard gift full of the jazzy themes of the era, inspired by his forgotten circus ballet Trapèze.    The work has attitude and showcases its five soloists. There is a spectacular circus dimension as acrobatic aerial dance specialists, Fidget Feet take to the wire for a breath-taking performance overhead.

Yet another nugget presents itself in Overture on Hebrew Themes Op. 34, written during the same period.  It was considered in part as a comic but affectionate caricature and features renowned pianist Hugh Tinney.    Prokofiev was hailed as perhaps the only non-Jewish composer who had truly captured the essence of Eastern-European Yiddish music.   The music has an appealing yet tragic quality.

As always Widmann’s genius proves inspirational in his selection of Duos, from his Suite of 24 Duos for Violin and Cello, (premiered by his sister Caroline Widmann and Jean-Guihen Queyras).  The character and duration of these individual works could not be more varied but a harmonic thread runs throughout.   Savour these dazzling duos performed by members of the ICO as they interweave with each instrument proving consequential to the next.

Don’t miss this very special ICO performance in Dublin at the RDS Concert Hall (Thursday 20 November) and at UCH Limerick (Friday 21 November) at 8pm.

The orchestra resides at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.  www.irishchamberorchestra.com


 

 MEDIA RELEASE 16 September 2014

The Irish Chamber Orchestra welcomes back former Artistic Director Anthony Marwood who introduces an imaginative Bach programme combining classic baroque with the modernity of Enescu, one of the great geniuses of the 20th century…….. 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s October offering may seem musically divergent, but is tied neatly together promising  exuberant performances at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin (Thurs 16 October) and University Concert Hall, Limerick (Fri 17 October).

Anthony Marwood is a one-off.  As a distinguished violinist he has made headlines in concertos, chamber music and all the usual things that violinists do, though in his case there is a vigorous streak of versatility.  Since his concerto debut at the BBC Proms in London in 1993, he has inspired exciting collaborations with prestigious U.K. orchestras and ensembles around the world. These include the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy and more. As soloist he has worked with eminent conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Douglas Boyd, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Marin Alsop and more.

Marwood’s attitude to music is exploratory, contemporary and diverse. Bach’s Brandenburg 4, a triple concerto for violin and two flutes, is often regarded purely as a violin concerto, and one of the most virtuosic ever written by Bach.  The music oozes passion, fire and joy highlighting the interplay between Marwood and the two recorder soloists. Bach’s Concerto for Oboe & Violin in D minor is joyful in its rhythmic vibrancy and thematic catchiness. The striking main theme is introduced by the Irish Chamber Orchestra while soloists, Anthony Marwood (violin) and Daniel Bates (oboe) weave around each other dancing.

Adding further sparkle to these diamonds, Marwood introduces his own arrangement of Enescu’s stunning Octet Op.7 for String Orchestra.  It combines a feast of Germanic late Romanticism, French Impressionism lightened by eccentric Romanian folk inflections, interpreted with flamboyance.

Don’t miss Anthony Marwood and the Irish Chamber Orchestra at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin (Thurs 16 October) and University Concert Hall, Limerick (Fri 17 October). 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


 

MEDIA RELEASE 11 August 2014                       

Hungarian Maestro Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Irish Chamber Orchestra present the first concert of the 2014/15 season at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin (Thurs 11 September) and University Concert Hall, Limerick (Fri 12 September). 

“Haydn’s music is spiritual medicine and good for the soul” says Takács-Nagy.  As one of the great creators of the fundamental genres of classical music, Haydn’s influence was immense. The London Symphonies are among the greatest, most varied, set of ever written. Two of these most significant symphonies book-end the programme bringing an end to Takács-Nagy’s symphonic journey with Haydn.   The Clock epitomises the composer’s wit with elegance alongside Haydn’s final and greatest London Symphony, a tour de force, a work of unsurpassed concentration, invention and consummate mastery.   Wagner’s romantic Siegfried Idyll was a birthday gift for his wife.  Originally called the Tribschen Idyll, it was renamed Siegfried Idyll, after their son.  Bartok’s landmark set of six quartets spanned his creative life and the first, with apparent echoes of Siegfried Idyll, shows a young composer greatly influenced by Wagner, in its harmonic intricacy. 

Gábor Takacs-Nagy founded the celebrated Takács Quartet and is currently music director at Manchester Camerata.   As guest conductor of the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, he has worked with the ICO over many years and in the role of Prinicipal Artistic Partner for a third year.  He is professor of chamber music at the Geneva Conservatory, the Ecole Supérieur de Musique in Sion and gives master-classes at numerous international academies, including the Verbier Festival Academy, where he plays an active role.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Buy a subscription ticket to all three ICO concerts -September (Haydn in London), October (The Magic of Marwood) and November (Wunderkind 3) – for just €50!

www.irishchamberorchestra.com


 

MEDIA RELEASE 23 July 2014

South, southwest with the Irish Chamber Orchestra as it takes to the road for two July concerts in Limerick and Clare……….

The UL-based Irish Chamber Orchestra is, one of the country’s foremost cultural ambassadors, funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.   It has a reputation second to none both at home and abroad.   Following a very successful recent appearance at the Mozartfest in Wurzburg, the Irish Chamber Orchestra takes to the road again for two regional performances in Ballingarry, Co. Limerick and Kilkee, Co. Clare on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 July respectively.

ICO Leader Katherine Hunka directs the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Vienna to the Volga, a fabulously entertaining programme of exceptional diversity offering a kaleidoscopic range of music, combining old with vibrant new sounds.

This delightful programme features Gidon Kremer’s arrangement of Alfred Schnittke’s Polka which is a little racy, scary but quite funny.     His unabashedly comical Moz-Art à la Haydn grew from Schnittke’s extraordinary ability to fragment and reassemble diverse music in new and unexpected ways.   Two colliding worlds, from the clarity of Mozart to the chaos of Schnittke, make for one great parody.  Haydn’s seldom heard cello duet demonstrates great virtuosity and spirit from the soloists.  Mozart’s Divertimento in B is full of sparking and dramatic themes, a shining example of the young composer’s most enchanting string music.  Tchaikovsky romantic and much loved Serenade was written “from the heart” as an homage to Mozart.

Don’t miss these two great concerts with Irish Chamber Orchestra in Ballingarry and Kilkee.  See www.irishchamberorchestra.com


 

MEDIA RELEASE 10 July 2014

The Irish Chamber Orchestra announces details of its Autumn/Winter season at University Concert Hall, Limerick and RDS Concert Hall, Dublin with a Christmas appearance in Cork…… 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra enjoys a third season working with Artistic Partners, the extraordinary Hungarian conductor Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) and the multi-talented clarinettist and composer Jörg Widmann (Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner), in presenting a combined vision with two very distinctive styles of programming for the season ahead.

In September (11-12), Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) marks the end of his symphonic journey with Haydn.  The programme is booked-ended by two of Haydn’s celebrated London symphonies – The Clock epitomises the composer’s wit with elegance alongside Haydn’s final and greatest London Symphony which is a real tour de force, a work of consummate mastery.   Wagner’s romantic Siegfried Idyll was named so after his son.  Bartok’s landmark set of six quartets spanned his creative life and his first, with apparent echoes of Siegfried Idyll, shows a young composer greatly influenced by Wagner, in its harmonic intricacy.

In October (16 & 17) the ICO welcomes back former Artistic Director Anthony Marwood, loved by audiences and orchestra for his distinctive playing and inspiring leadership.  The virtuosic Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 BWV 1049 oozes passion, fire and joy in its music while also showcasing the recorder. Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060 is one of his greatest concerti.  The overall effect is plaintive and mesmerising – as the two soloists weave around each other dancing.  Savour Enescu’s Octet, arranged for string orchestra by Marwood.  An amazing accomplishment, it is immaculately crafted, fusing the post-Wagnerian ecstasy of early Schonberg with the enigmatic ‘cool’ of Debussy.

In November (20-21), Widmann continues his exploration of Mendelssohn and other prodigious works.  Nowhere is Mendelssohn‘s talent more evident than in those early Sinfonias, where the range of invention far exceeds the expectation.    No. 4 takes inspiration from Handel, while No. 8 captures the teenage spirit.  In between are two contrasting works by Prokofiev.  His Quintet in G minor, Op. 39 is a seldom heard gift full of the jazzy themes of the 20‘s, inspired by his forgotten circus ballet, Trapèze.  The ICO collaborates for the first time with aerial dance specialists, Fidget Feet, who enhance this imaginative performance.  Prokofiev’s Overture is an affectionate caricature, performed by Widmann  (clarinet),  Hugh Tinney (piano) and three members of the ICO.    Widmann’s selection of Duos, from his Suite of 24 Duos for Violin and Cello will astonish and delight audiences.

A subscription ticket to all three concerts in Limerick and Dublin is available for just €50.

The ICO’s December’s Christmas celebration (11-12) Joyeux Noël has a decidedly French theme featuring delights from Saint-Saëns, Debussy, Francais and more.  The quality of Vivaldi’s Paris concerti is unsurpassed and shows him at the peak of his invention.  Britten’s imaginative exploitation of string orchestra sonorities in Les Illuminations with these exhilarating settings of poems by Arthur Rimbaud, will be performed by Irish soprano Fiona Murphy alongside popular Christmas Carols.    These cathedral concerts will take place in Cork and Limerick respectively.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.  www.irishchamberorchestra.com

 


 

MEDIA RELEASE 3 June 2014

The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Sing Out with Strings programme celebrates its 6th birthday, in true party style with a very special Limerick City of Culture 2014 Gala Concert at University Concert Hall, Limerick on Wednesday 11 June @ 12 noon.    The Rhythms of Life celebrates Limerick City of Culture 2014 as 300 children citywide take to the stage to perform their very own music about their city….

Children from Galvone National School, Southill Junior School, St. Mary’s National School and St. Enda’s Community School come together and perform with members of the Irish Chamber Orchestra.   A very special line-up of Limerick’s shining bright lights include the very talented  musical diva, Jean McGlynn, one of Limerick’s top bands, Leading Armies, alongside Music Generation artists, Godknows Jonas and Ciara Meade.

Inspired by the sights and sounds of Limerick City, the children have created brand new musical works. Working with facilitators from the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Music Generation, pupils as young as four have considered how the best of our city can be captured through music. They have explored the city’s history, motto, landmarks and the threads that knit them all together.

With the help of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and special guests, the children take their audience on an imaginative musical journey around the city, travelling from People’s Park to the Carnival. The music ranges from comedy to high drama, and includes a salute to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons featuring the Sing Out Orchestra and friends from the Redemptorist Centre of Music.

Since its inception, Sing Out with Strings has gained a reputation for its joyous, uplifting and inspirational performances. This exciting concert caters for all Limerick schools, so buy your tickets for only 2 euro!! Pre-booking is necessary so call 061-331549!

Join the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Sing Out with Strings team for The Rhythms of Life supported by Limerick City of Culture 2014.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Irelandwww.irishchamberorchestra.com


MUSIC FACTORY FOR KIDS….. The Irish Chamber Orchestra and Music Generation Limerick  City join forces for a collaborative camp, celebrating Limerick City of Culture.

Music Factory is exciting creative music camp for children (8-12 years) which takes place from Monday 14 to Friday 18 July (10am-3pm) on campus at UL at the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance.

Music Factory Myths & Legends is the theme for this year’s camp as children explore tales from Limerick’s rich heritage of stories. From the Banshee to Brian Boru, stories come alive through

music, song, dance, visual art, rap and musical theatre.   Children will experiment in different art forms, and work in small groups with their leaders, to produce their very own performance.   In a Music Factory first, campers will also have the chance to record their songs on the Music Generation Big Bus, which will be resident at the camp all week.   No prior music experience is necessary.  The aim of the camp is to make new friends, be creative and to have fun.

This year’s creative team is led by ICO Community Manager,Kathleen Turner and ICO violinist, Diane Daly. Tutors include singer/actress Jean McGlynn, dancer Jenny Brown, artist Lisa Cody, percussionist Boris Hunka, alongside musicians from Music Generation and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Music Factory culminates in a Family performance on Friday July 18th and all of the family are invited along.  Participants must bring their own packed lunches daily and bottled water is also advisable.

The fee for Music Factory is €85 payable to the Irish Chamber Orchestra (by cash or cheque).  This includes a full week of creative workshops from 10am – 3pm daily. Places are limited and are sought after, so early booking is recommended. Contact Kathleen Turner on 061 234632 or ico.advertising@ul.ie.

Music Factory is an Irish Chamber Orchestra community initiative, and is generously co-sponsored by Music Generation with additional support from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Irelandwww.irishchamberorchestra.com

 


 

MEDIA RELEASE 8 April 2014

Limerick City of Culture brings an iconoclastic adaptation of Carmen to Limerick’s Milk Market, a joint collaboration between the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Ballet Ireland, two of the country’s key cultural ambassadors…………

The Irish Chamber Orchestra announced details of its first ever collaboration with Ballet Ireland, as part of Limerick City of Culture 2014.  Together they present a stunning eclectic modern day ballet adaptation of Carmen, fully orchestrated, in the vibrant setting of Limerick’s open-air Milk Market.

Rodion Shchedrin’s popular and much-loved Carmen Suite is based on Bizet’s themes, but innovatively arranged for string orchestra and a colossal percussion ensemble. Originally conceived as a ballet for Shchedrin’s wife, the celebrated Bolshoi dancer Maya Plisetskaya, it is a fantastic mix of all the familiar tunes, dressed up in a way Bizet could never have imagined.  The big melodies are instantly recognisable and the dramatic power of the score is complimented by Shchredin’s intervention. “The ballet orchestra must sound several degrees “hotter” than an opera orchestra.  It must better project the story, make it sharper, more evident”, says Shchredrin.  Gábor Tákacs-Nagy conducts, bringing the entire Suite together to great aplomb.

Against this fabulous score, this scorching tale unleashes the creative talents of Ballet Ireland’s choreographer in residence, Morgann Runacre-Temple.  This production of Carmen is a clever and provocative re-conceptualization that allows for further dramatic definition and greater theatrical scope. Set to Shchedrin’s evocative suite, Carmen features set design by Lorna Ritchie and costumes by Sarah White.

Shchedrin described this iconoclastic production as a ‘creative meeting of the minds’ and on behalf of the Irish Chamber Orchestra we are delighted to partner with, for the first time, Ballet Ireland, one of the country’s foremost ensembles.  This unique celebration of dance in an open-air setting with full orchestra is progressive and exciting.   We thank Limerick City of Culture 2014 for their confidence in our production and the Arts Council of Ireland for their ongoing support of ICO initiatives” say ICO CEO, Gerard Keenan.

Ann Maher, Director of Ballet Ireland added “Having thrilled audiences last season, we are so pleased to have the opportunity to perform Carmen alongside the prestigious Irish Chamber Orchestra.  Presenting this ballet in this unique re-staging is a true testament to the exciting and innovative work that can be created for audiences when companies combine.  With the support from Limerick City of Culture 2014 and ongoing funding from the Arts Council, such initiatives are now possible”.

Sensuously passionate, the Irish Chamber Orchestra creates a special synergy with Ballet Ireland, in presenting an unforgettable Carmen by twilight at The Milk Market.  Book now on www.uch.ie

The UL-based Irish Chamber Orchestra and Ballet Ireland are funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.  See www.irishchamberorchestra.com  / www.balletireland.ie


 

MEDIA RELEASE 10 March 2014

The ICO performs two great concerts with the gifted virtuoso Jörg Widmann, Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner of the orchestra in April.   Widmann’s worldwide reputation as a composer and clarinettist is second to none having performed with prestigious orchestras and conductors, from Christoph von Dohnányi to Kent Nagano.  He has established a dynamic synergy with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and audiences are already enjoying his exploration of the many facets of Mendelssohn’s music

The Highlands, Hebrides and Beyond revisits a twenty-year-old Mendelssohn as he sets off on a walking tour of Scotland that would prove inspirational for two of his greatest compositions -The Hebrides  Op. 6 (Fingal’s Cave) and his last but very evocative No. 3 (Scottish) Symphony.

One of the greatest gifts of Jörg Widmann’s string quartets is his ability to explore the most intimate of sound worlds.   His Fourth stays with the walking theme.  “The score of the Fourth Quartet would give one the impression of a densely packed piece…. the gesture of this quartet is extremely light; it is a piece about walking (andante) and steps (passacaglia, in the original sense of ‘stepping dance’)” says Widmann.

Max Bruch’s seldom heard double concerto for clarinet and viola is Mendelssohnian in style. This beautifully romantic composition was lost during World War 2, only to be re-discovered in 1991.  Joining clarinettist Jörg Widmann is violist, Tabea Zimmermann, one of the most renowned violists of our time.   Her sound is extraordinarily beautiful and her performance defined by rare precision with a touching warmth, not to be missed.

Catch Jörg Widmann and the Irish Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday 2 April at UCH, Limerick and Thursday 3 April at the National Concert Hall, Dublin @ 8pm.  See www.irishchamberorchestra.com

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


 

MEDIA RELEASE 6 March 2014

New Professional Orchestral Academy established at the University of Limerick

Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy established to support classical strings performance at UL

An innovative partnership in classical strings education ACADEMOS Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy has been launched at the University of Limerick.

The Academy focuses on a full time two-year programme, Masters in Classical String Performance which is operated jointly by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Irish World Academy, UL. The programme gives students of classical string performance the opportunity to study, train and perform with some of the world’s best musicians, composers, conductors throughout with classes taught by ICO leaders.

Professor Don Barry, President, University of Limerick welcomed the announcement; “Students of ACADEMOS will benefit from the best of both worlds – recognised, accredited study and access to some of the best musicians in Europe and internationally. Individual classes will be taught by ICO leaders, students will engage in ensemble work with orchestral members and have access to a host of visiting international performers, conductors, and directors.”

Students of ACADEMOS Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy will also have regular opportunities of engaging with acclaimed ICO community music public outreach programmes. Graduates of the ICO Academy will also have the opportunity of applying for a place on the innovative PhD Arts Practice (a four-year structured doctoral programme) at the Irish World Academy while maintaining on-going performance contact with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Professor Mícheál O Súilleabháin, Founding Director of the Irish World Academy said: “ACADEMOS Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy seeks to build on the shared achievements of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Irish World Academy across their first twenty years in the inspired environment of the University of Limerick.”

The University of Limerick and Irish Chamber Orchestra are especially pleased to announce this initiative during Limerick City of Culture year. Mike Fitzpatrick, Interim CEO of Limerick City of Culture said: “The founding of ACADEMOS Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy is a very positive development particularly during the Limerick City of Culture. Creating new practice based research programmes in the cultural field is greatly welcomed. We also salute the achievement of the ICO during its 20 years at UL and its contribution to Limerick.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Irish World Academy and Irish Chamber Orchestra at the University of Limerick.


MEDIA RELEASE 6 February 2014  

Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) and the Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO) present HAYDN IN PARIS, the next chapter in Haydn’s life and book-mark some of his most influential works. The ICO highlights a world premiere of a new Irish work, inspired by Haydn’s Paris….. 

Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) believes that Haydn’s music is spiritual medicine and good for the soul.  As one of the great creators of classical music, Haydn’s influence was immense and it is no surprise that Tákacs Nagy has an innate sensitivity for conducting his music.  Born in Budapest, just a short distance from the composer’s birthplace the maestro has Haydn running through his veins. The ICO performs, this next chapter, at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin on Thursday 6 March and at UCH, Limerick on Friday 7 March @ 8pm.   

Haydn’s six Paris Symphonies were seminal works in his output   His 83rd Symphony, nick-named The Hen because of clucking sounds in the first movement, is light and sensitive in spirit.  

The ICO performs the world premiere of Garrett Sholdice’s new Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra, inspired by Haydn’s Paris Symphonies and memories of the city itself.  “This new concerto is a celebration of the ICO’s incisive, joyful performance aesthetic and Michael McHale‘s extraordinary pianism, but also a very personal meditation on the beautiful, kaleidoscopic resonance of the piano itself” says Sholdice.  

Armida was the best and last of Haydn’s Esterhazy operas, despite falling into obscurity until 1965. Its overture is full of vitality.  Finally, enjoy a rare opportunity to hear Verdi’s seldom performed String Quartet in E minor. Unmistakably Italian, it is virtuosic and his only piece of chamber music not featuring vocals but with a lyricism reminiscent of his operas.   

The ICO collaborates once again with Platform Ireland, an Irish company which provides live Irish culture and entertainment online.  “Platform Ireland is building a virtual venue for live Irish culture and entertainment. We are so delighted to partner with the ICO on the upcoming Haydn in Paris event and to be able to showcase the best in Irish cultural performance, live from the University of Limerick, to global online audiences and audiences at home who do not have access to the event on the night,” says Jessica Fuller, Chief Executive, Platform Ireland.  

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


 

MEDIA RELEASE 10 January 2014 

Drama, enigma, controversy and scandal….  Join Bosco Hogan & The Irish Chamber Orchestra for a unique one man, yet fully orchestrated, performance on the life of Tchaikovsky, a composer who struggled to find acceptance and happiness but managed to write some of the world’s finest music …… 

For the first time, the Irish Chamber Orchestra joins forces with award-winning theatre director Patrick Mason to present an original piece of theatre My Brother Peter with live orchestra, based on the life and works of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. 

Modest Tchaikovsky, the composer’s younger brother and first biographer, is a man on a mission. The gossip surrounding his brother’s marriage and sexuality, and the rumours circulating about his brother’s sudden death, are out of control.   Moreover, his integrity as a reliable witness has been questioned by subsequent biographers and historians.  He is here to scotch the rumours, and settle the truth of the matter, once and for all. But certain truths are hard to tell. He invokes his brother’s music to prove his narrative. But music tells many stories, and none.  “It is not an easy thing to live with genius. It requires a certain – discretion. And a capacity to absorb the necessary damage.” (My Brother Peter). 

Bosco Hogan‘s consummate skill and wide versatility have made him one of the most sought after and respected actors in Irish theatre and television.  His rich and powerfully effective speaking voice is a distinctive feature of his work and is hugely effective in his riveting portrayal of Modest Tchaikovsky.    

Written and directed by Patrick Mason for Actor and String Orchestra, My Brother Peter is a fascinating piece of theatre with music that captures the achievement and the tragedy of a man who created some of the greatest and most instantly recognisable music ever written.   Tchaikovsky’s best-loved music creates an illusion that it arrived in this world absolutely effortlessly and the ICO under Katherine Hunka deliver it seamlessly.   Souvenir de Florence, one of the composer’s happiest works features alongside his Serenade for Strings which he himself considered one of his finest works. 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra takes this exciting project on a nationwide tour visiting 8 venues (12-22nd February) countrywide, visiting  Town Hall Theatre, Galway (Wed 12 ) Glór Theatre , Ennis (Thurs 13)   The Source Arts Centre, Thurles  (Fri 14), the Limetree Theatre, Limerick (Sat 15), Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar (Wed 19) Brook Lodge (by Tinahely Arts Centre) (Thurs 20), Siamsa Tire, Tralee (Fri 21) and The Pavilion Theatre, Dublin (Sat 22).

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.  


 

MEDIA RELEASE 4 December 2013

From La Scala to the cathedral………

The Irish Chamber Orchestra celebrates Christmas with two atmospheric concerts at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick on Thursday 19 December and St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork on Friday 20 December.  

Ailish Tynan (soprano) and the Irish Chamber Orchestra wowed an international audience in Berlin earlier this year so don’t miss the opportunity of hearing Ailish singing with the ICO live in Limerick and Cork.  A prolific concert and recording artist, Ailish works frequently with acclaimed international orchestras.  She performed at the opening night of the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jirí Belohlávek and has given recitals extensively at Wigmore Hall and at the Edinburgh, City of London, Cheltenham and West Cork Music Festivals.  Recent operatic roles include Gretel Hänsel und Gretel at the Royal Opera House, Tigrane Radamisto for English National Opera and Papagena Die Zauberflöte at La Scala, Milan.  With the ICO, Ailish sings a host of favourites from Handel’s Messiah to Verdi’s Ave Maria alongside traditional Christmas carols.  The ICO Chorus adds resonance to the choral numbers.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra performs No. 7 of Handel’s Op.6 concerti, some of the most popular music of that time.  The continued popularity of Barber’s Adagio for Strings is evident given it’s one of the most downloaded pieces of digital classical music.  This much loved work features on film soundtracks including Platoon and The Elephant Man.  Mozart’s Divertimentos were considered entertainment music, works composed for festive occasions including Christmas and New Year in Salzburg (The B flat Divertimento K. 137 was written in New Year 1772).  Haydn’s Toy Symphony is also known as the Cassation in G for Orchestra and Toys is festive, cheerful and full of surprise!  

Don’t miss this Christmas classic at the cathedral in Limerick and Cork!

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie


MEDIA RELEASE 31October 2013

Don’t miss the wizardry of Jörg Widmann (Principal Guest Conductor) with the Irish Chamber Orchestra on Friday 22 November at UCH, Limerick and Saturday 23 November at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin on Saturday 21 April.

Widmann communicates unadulterated joy in the stuff of music.  To date, he has focussed his programmes on the many facets to Mendelssohn’s music.   Wunderkind 2 highlights his prodigious and vivacious String Symphonies Nos. 3 and 7, superbly constructed music for a 12-year old.   Mozart’s much loved Clarinet Quintet is a work in which tempo and balance defines a wonderful performance from a mediocre one and Widmann will not disappoint.  Added to the mix is Widmann’s Jagdquartett (Hunting Quartet) which features humour alongside sadism as the quartet symbollically hunt down and kill the cellist!

Jörg Widmann is one of Germany’s most talked-about musicians with a worldwide reputation.  He has achieved great things, having written more than some composers manage in a lifetime – from operas to huge orchestral works and some of the most distinctive chamber music around.  He still makes room for the sheer hard work of sustaining a life as a solo clarinettist.  Several clarinet concertos have been dedicated to and premiered by him.   

He first worked with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in 2007 and went on to take Berlin by storm with them that same year.  Since 2010, the Irish Chamber Orchestra has performed with Widmann in Germany three times with a further three performances planned for 2014, at the Heildelberg Spring International Music Festival (April), the Wurzburg Mozartfest (June) and the Kurhaus, Wiesbaden (December)The orchestra is currently on a 13-city US tour with flautist, James Galway and looks forward to another exciting collaboration with this German genius.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie


MEDIA RELEASE 9th August 2013

Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) and the Irish Chamber Orchestra present HAYDN IN ESTERHAZY, the first chapter of a journey through the life of Haydn.  During the season, (September and March) the ICO visits land-mark chapters in the composer’s life featuring some of his most influential symphonies.  

HAYDN IN ESTERHAZY represents a period when a thirty-year-old Haydn began a lifelong relationship with the wealthiest of Hungarian nobility, the Esterhazy family, where he spent his next thirty years, as vice-Kapellmeister.  The ICO performs, this first chapter, at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin on Thursday 12 September and at UCH, Limerick on Friday 13 September @ 8pm.  These concerts are dedicated to the late John Ruddock, founder of the Limerick Music Association and the Dublin based Association of Music Lovers. 

Gábor introduces a bright light in Hungarian cellist István Várdai, last year’s winner of the Prix Montblanc, an international award for rising young stars.  He performs Haydn‘s long-lost C major Concerto, full of fire and spirit and only re-discovered in 1961.  The music of CPE Bach greatly inspired Haydn and Bach’s Cello Concerto in A is a real gem.  It offers Vardai plenty of clever challenges in the fast movements, while providing a slow movement of astonishing expressive intensity that transcends time, place, and stylistic formality. Pulsing rhythms and a wealth of dynamic contrasts grab and sustain the listener’s interest throughout.

Book-ending this stunning programme are two of Haydn’s most celebrated symphonies. No.  49 La Passione (his only F minor symphony) and No. 52 in C minor, rank with the most emotionally tense works of his Sturm und Drang period and their eruptive moods and jagged rhythms play directly to the ICO’s strengths.

Virtuoso violinist-turned-conductor Gábor Takacs-Nagy founded the celebrated Takács Quartet and is currently music director at Manchester Camerata.   As guest conductor of the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, he has worked with the ICO over many years and in the role of Prinicipal Artistic Partner for a second year.  He is professor of chamber music at the Geneva Conservatory, the Ecole Supérieur de Musique in Sion and gives master-classes at numerous international academies, including the Verbier Festival Academy, where he plays an active role.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie


 

MEDIA RELEASE 22nd July 2013

The Irish Chamber Orchestra announces an exciting 2013/14 season.  The orchestra enjoys a second season working with Artistic Partners, the extraordinary Hungarian conductor Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) and the multi-talented clarinettist and composer Jörg Widmann(Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner), in presenting a combined vision with two very distinctive styles of programming for the season ahead.

Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) opens a new book on Haydn and throughout the season, (September and March) visits land-mark chapters in the composer’s life featuring some of his most influential symphonies.

Jörg Widmann (Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner) continues his personal journey performing all the Mendelssohn symphonies alongside some of his most innovative compositions.

The ICO collaborates with some of the finest international guest soloists this season.  In September, Gabor introduces celebrated Hungarian cellist István Várdai, last year’s winner of the Prix Montblanc, an international award for rising young stars.  He performs Haydn‘s popular C major Concerto, full of fire and spirit and only re-discovered in 1961.

In October/November the Irish Chamber Orchestra embark on a 13-venue US Tour sponsored by Culture Ireland.  The orchestra collaborates with renowned Belfast born flautist Sir James Galway and renowned US conductor JoAnn Falletta.

Irish artists remain very much to the fore – as well as James Galway, Ailish Tynan Soprano (December) and Michael McHale Piano (March 2014) add to the illustrious line-up.  The orchestra has enjoyed fruitful relationships over many years with an array of Irish composers.  The ICO perform the US premiere of Philip Hammond’s Carolan Variations in October and has commissioned Berlin-based Garrett Sholdice to write a piano concerto which will be performed by rising young star, Michael McHale in March 2014.

With his vigorous streak of versatility, Jörg Widmann (Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner) performs Mendelssohn’s final Symphony and introduces world acclaimed violist, Tabea Zimmerman (April 2014).   Awarded the Echo Klassik as Instrumentalist of the Year in 2010, Zimmermann has been Artist in Residence at the Cologne and Luxemburg Philharmony, as well as the Kunstfest Weimar, Bozar Festival Brussels and the Elbphilharmonie Konzerte in Hamburg.

Diversity is always key as the Irish Chamber Orchestra joins forces with award-winning theatre director Patrick Mason in presenting an original piece of music theatre My Brother Peter, based on the life and work of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Written for actor and string orchestra, this fascinating piece of music theatre captures the achievement and the tragedy of a man who created some of the greatest and most instantly recognisable music ever written.  (February 2014).

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie


 

MEDIA RELEASE 26th June 2013

The Irish Chamber Orchestra appoints a new CEO…….

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is delighted to announce that, after an international search, Gerard Keenan, formerly orchestra manager and Acting CEO for the past ten months, has been appointed CEO with immediate effect.

A former professional musician, Gerard studied at the VEC College of Music, Dublin and moved on to management roles with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the National Chamber Choir.   Gerard returned to the Irish Chamber Orchestra as Orchestra Manager in 2006 having worked as Ensembles and Concerts Manager with the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama.

I have enjoyed working with the ICO in various roles over the years and am excited as I embrace this new challenge.  I hope to open some new windows, forge new partnerships and continue to develop the vision for the Irish Chamber Orchestra.  I look forward to collaborating with our outstanding Artistic Partners Jörg Widmann and Gábor Tákacs-Nagy, our musicians, staff, Board, the Arts Council and other stakeholders as we plan for the future” says Keenan.

ICO Chairman, Michael Buckley said “On behalf of the Board we are delighted to welcome Gerard to his new role and wish to thank him for his successful tenure in an acting capacity, over the past ten months.  In terms of world class performance levels and both domestic and international reputation, the ICO has never been in a better place and is an outstanding cultural ambassador for Ireland, notably in Germany and the U.S”.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

 Editors Notes:

The University of Limerick-based Irish Chamber Orchestra has consistently punched above its weight.  The orchestra has developed strong relationships with world-class soloists and conductors, notably in recent times with Jörg Widmann and Gábor Tákacs-Nagy;  commissioned some of Ireland’s finest new works for chamber orchestra; toured internationally from the US to China, Singapore and Australia; brought world-class performances to small communities throughout Ireland; developed innovative, effective education and outreach programmes in schools, hospitals and communities; and worked closely on projects with the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.     Its acclaimed Sing Out with Strings programme, now in its fifth year, includes in excess of 300 children from Limerick’s re-generation areas.  The project successfully uses music as an instrument of personal development in changing children’s lives. 

By the end of 2013, the ICO will have performed 23 concerts nationwide alongside 17 international performances. At home, the ICO performs a regular concert series in Limerick and Dublin, two national tours, one last May and another in July taking in 11 venues countrywide from Clifden to Ballyferriter.  The ICO also appears at festivals in Bantry and Kinsale. Internationally, the orchestra performed in January in Berlin to great acclaim celebrating the EU Presidency.  The orchestra looks forward to performing at prestigious international music festivals in Rheingau and Lichfield in July as well as a 14-venue US tour with Sir James Galway in late October. 

Plectrum & Bow, a new CD release marks a collaborative recording with US composer and guitarist Steve Mackey.   It features his concerto for Violin and Strings, Four Iconoclastic Episodes which was jointly commissioned by the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, University of Notre Dame, USA.  Other recent recordings include Night Moves, conducted by Gérard Korsten and Hommage which features works by Irish composer, John Kinsella.

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 



MEDIA RELEASE 14th June 2013

The Irish Chamber Orchestra collaborates for the first time with dancer Colin Dunne for a world premiere of a new work by Linda Buckley………..

Following an appearance at the West Cork Music Festival (30 June) , the Irish Chamber Orchestra takes to the road again with a very special dance collaboration from 10-20 July visiting eight venues in Kinsale (Kinsale Arts Festival) , Kilmallock, Ballingarry, Tipperary, Dun Chaoin, Kilkee, Birr and Clifden.     This tour has been kindly sponsored by Bord Gáis.

Leader Katherine Hunka directs the ICO’s Feet First Tour which offers a kaleidoscopic range of music combining old with vibrant new sounds.  The Irish Chamber Orchestra is one of the country’s foremost cultural ambassadors and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.   Based at the University of Limerick, it performs a concert season in Limerick and Dublin (September-April), tours countrywide twice yearly alongside international tours across Europe, Australia, South Korea, China, Singapore and the US.  

Internationally renowned dancer Colin Dunne collaborates for the first time with the orchestra.  Renowned for his performances in Riverdance and Dancing on Dangerous Ground, he dances the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s latest commission (a world premiere by Kinsale-born composer, Linda Buckley).   This visually captivating dance, The Turn – Dance in Your Blood, was inspired by Rumi.  “This new work shows a different facet of my compositional style, full of rhythmic energy and drama. I am excited to collaborate with the dancer Colin Dunne, exploring interaction and interplay between dance and sound. There is an added electronic element to this, where amplification of dance steps is used to trigger live processing of sound” says Buckley.

As always, excitement, energy and diversity are key to the ICO’s programming.  Estonian pop-star-turned-composer Erkki-Sven Tüür’s  Action – Passion – Illusion is a stunning work with warm string tones.  Action resembles a Bartokian march. Passion is elegiac and begins slowly, becoming faster before reaching an electrifying conclusion.  Illusion is hypnotic and its articulation is breath-taking.  Dvořák’s Op. 54 waltzes offer a pair of charming, three-minute bonbons that inspired his student, Josef Suk.     With echoes of Dvorák, Suk’s romantic Serenade for Strings Op. 6, remains one of his best-loved works.

Don’t miss the Irish Chamber Orchestra at a venue near you!  See www.irishchamberorchestra.com for details.

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 



MEDIA RELEASE 16th April 2013

The Irish Chamber Orchestra joins forces with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, conducted by celebrated maestro Nicholas Kraemer for the ICO’s STEEPLECHASE  Tour, visiting iconic churches in Limerick (St. Mary’s Cathedral), Cork (St Fin Barres Cathedral) and Dublin (Monkstown Parish Church).  This tour has kindly been sponsored by Barry’s Tea.

Kraemer is Permanent Guest Conductor of the Manchester Camerata and Principal Guest Conductor of Music of the Baroque, Chicago and has performed with orchestra all over the world, including recent acclaimed débuts with the Chicago and Detroit Symphony Orchestras.

A spiritually beautiful programme blends choral and symphonic sounds on the ICO’s first tour of 2013. Walter Piston’s Prelude and Allegro for organ was commissioned for CBS TV in the 1940’s. The solemn Prelude depicts the tragedy of World War II and the Allegro, the determination to win it.

When Bach moved to Hamburg, he adopted a lighter style of writing and composed his Hamburg Symphonies. Many of his most characteristic touches can be found in Symphonies 4 & 5.

The National Chamber Choir of Ireland sing the ground-breaking settings of Estonian composer,  Arvo Pärt – a deeply spiritual composer who found his own musical language with a love of every note at its heart.  Luke 5’s Gospel was adapted by him and the slow moving, ethereal reflective song entitled Which was the Son of, evolvesThis popular song establishes a repitative mantra in the elaboration of Jesus’s family-tree.  Silhouan’s Song is another deeply spiritual work.  The underlying text, based on psalms written by an elder at a local monastery ‘My soul yearns after the Lord’ speaks from the very opening of wintry European landscapes, cold and unforgiving, in a prayer by the lonely soul.

Finally, Mozart’s popular Missa Brevis in G major (KV 275), known for its sublime lyricism and grace.  It reflects a youthful composer, and the Irish Chamber Orchestra alongside the National Chamber Choir ring out its joyful tones.

Don’t miss the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Limerick Cork and Dublin on the 16, 17 & 18 May respectively.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.   See www.irishchamberorchestra.com

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


MEDIA RELEASE 15th April 2013

Sing out with Strings reaches out to schools across the city……….

The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Sing Out with Strings programme celebrates its 5th birthday, in true party style with a Gala concert in University Concert Hall, Limerick on 21 June @ 1pm.

300 children aged 4 – 14 from four city schools – Galvone National School, Southill Junior School, St. Enda’s Community School and St Mary’s Boys School come together and perform with members of the Irish Chamber Orchestra.  Special guest artists including renowned percussionist Noel Eccles, rock guitarist Jimmy Smith, jazz pianist Boris Hunka and celebrated saxophonist, Ken Edge add colour to the day.  

This year’s theme Express Yourself, showcases the children’s performance of orchestral works and original songs, while exploring how music impacts on their feelings, thinking and creativity!  Since its inception, Sing Out with Strings has gained a reputation for its joyous, uplifting and inspirational performances. Don’t miss this exciting event.  Tickets are free, but pre-booking is necessary. 

This year, we are inviting local schools to come along and participate in Express Yourself!  All participating schools will be asked to learn a song which they will perform together as part of a grand Finale.   If you are interested in bringing a school group, book your seats now on 061-331549!

Sing Out with Strings works to develop strong musical ability, but with an added emphasis on the transferrable skills that will help children in other areas of the curriculum and throughout their lives as they grow.  Through workshops, rehearsals and performances, children explore their abilities as musicians and gain that sense of pure joy and achievement that comes from working and playing together.  Inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, Sing Out with Strings brings music directly into the culture of the school, encouraging children to develop personally, socially and academically through music.  It also allows these children to meet, engage with and learn from professional musicians and artists.  Sing Out highlights the many benefits that a long-term project of this nature offers to children, staff, parents and the wider community.

Join the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Sing Out with Strings team for a concert to remember!

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Irelandwww.irishchamberorchestra.com

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


 

MEDIA RELEASE 22nd March 2013

Trumpet sounds for the Irish Chamber Orchestra………. 

Don’t miss the Irish Chamber Orchestra in two great concerts with the gifted virtuoso Jörg Widmann, currently Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner of the orchestra. 

Widmann has a worldwide reputation as a composer and clarinettist having performed with prestigious orchestras and conductors, from Christoph von Dohnányi to Kent Nagano.  He has established a dynamic synergy and great relationship with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and audiences are already enjoying his exploration of the many facets of Mendelssohn’s music

Virtuosity Ad Absurdum, showcases prodigious works by Mendelssohn, Widmann and Rossini at UCH, Limerick on Thursday 11 April and RDS Concert Hall, Dublin on Saturday 13 April. 

Symphony No. 4 is a musical post-card from Italy.  The buoyant and optimistic mood of the piece bears all the hallmarks of a happy Mendelssohn, eager to make his mark on the world as he expresses his travels through music.   His early string symphonies were written for performance at home and were not published until long after his death. He was no more than 12 years old when he composed his String Symphony No. 2 in D.

18-year-old Rossini’s Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra is a brilliant, lively, colourful piece which demands much from Widmann. We hear the humour as well as mock pathos throughout this virtuosic work.

Finally, Widmann’s own composition Ad absurdum, leans to the lighter, tighter and more humorous tradition where clarinet meets a small orchestra.  In a tight space but with joyous tone the protagonists are rushed into more and more absurd virtuosity.  Ad absurdum begins at a pace that is so fast that it would be impossible to accelerate it further.  It was written for the Russian born trumpeter Sergej Nakariakov, the “Paganini of the trumpet” renowned for his astonishing prowess. Playfully the trumpeter introduces the high speed concept, but circles around himself and eventually becomes a suffocating prisoner of his own virtuosity.

Enjoy another exciting performance with Jörg Widmann and the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Limerick and Dublin. 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.    www.irishchamberorchestra.com

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


MEDIA RELEASE 27th February 2013

Dutch-born Isabelle van Keulen is one of the most sought after and charismatic musicians of her generation.  She directs the Irish Chamber Orchestra for the first time, uniquely from the viola section, in two not-not-be-missed performances in Limerick and Dublin in March…………

The virtuoso Isabelle van Keulen is both a violist and violinist of great calibre with a well established reputation on the world stage.  Her engaging personality and extraordinary musical vitality has seen her work with celebrated orchestras and great conductors worldwide.  Passionate about chamber music, she founded her own chamber music festival in Delft, Holland in 1997 where she has collaborated with such distinguished friends including Gidon Kremer, Heinrich Schiff and Thomas Adès.

Isabelle’s carefully selected programme with the ICO features works by Hindemith and Britten, whose music helped establish the prominence of the viola as an instrument to be taken seriously and in its own right.   Hindemith‘s Trauermusik for Viola and String Orchestra is ‘an extremely sad piece’, says van Keulen. The ICO celebrates Britten’s centenary this year by featuring some of his landmark works including his miraculous Lachrymae, alongside the bountiful Simple Symphony and the emotionally vibrant Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. Bridge’s second movement of Three Idylls for String Quartet inspired Britten’s Variations so it too features. Finally, Mozart‘s Adagio and Fugue, K.546 has a sense of stark grandeur.  Emotionally charged, the rawness of sound emphasizes some of its more adventurous harmonies.

Since her breakthrough in 1984 (BBC Young Musician of the Year), Isabelle has enjoyed many years of musical diversity throughout Europe.   She approaches her scores with honesty and with an extremely conscious approach to interpretation.  She strives to communicate with her audience, allowing her to perform in an inspirational, lively and enthusiastic manner.  Don’t miss the Irish Chamber Orchestra directed by van Keulen for the first time on Thursday 21 March at University Concert Hall, Limerick and on Saturday 23 March at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


MEDIA RELEASE 18th January 2013                                                                       

Maestro Gábor Tákacs Nagy takes the helm at the Irish Chamber Orchestra with a seldom heard version of Carmen and much more……..

The great Hungarian musician, HungH   Gábor Tákacs Nagy, has worked with the Irish Chamber Orchestra over many years but his February concerts in Limerick and Dublin mark his first, as Principal Artistic Partner.  The concerts take place at University Concert Hall Limerick (Thurs 21) and the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin (Sat 23) respectively at 8pm.

Gábor has established a formidable reputation as a conductor and his decision to make an artistic commitment to the ICO is a real coup for the orchestra. “I have conducted the Irish Chamber Orchestra many times in the last few years and it is always a refreshing experience for me. Their love of what they are doing always gives a heart-lifting and electrifying concert-experience. They are a diamond in the cultural life of Ireland “ says Tákacs-Nagy.

An exciting programme features classics from Austria and Russia. Mozart’s Symphony No.15 KV 124, the music of youthful rebellion with energy bursting from the fifth bar. The refined simplicity is addictive and the last movement will raise the blood pressure. Mozart loved Haydn’s music, particularly his Mourning Symphony which is his crowning achievement.     Gábor considers Haydn part Hungarian because he was born 30 miles from the Austrian border and spent many years as court composer, in Hungary.

Gábor has a special bond with Russian composer, Rodion Shchedrin having conducted his best known work, Carmen Suite After Bizet.  This popular suite is a fantastic mix of all the familiar tunes, dressed up in a way Bizet could never have imagined! The big melodies are instantly recognisable and the dramatic power of the score is complimented by Shchredrin’s interventions and Gabor brings the entire Suite together to great aplomb.  Don’t miss a rare opportunity to hear this work.

Gábor Takács-Nagy was a founding member of the mythical Takács Quartet.  Currently music director at Manchester Camerata, he is also guest conductor of the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra and the Budapest Symphony Orchestra.  Aside from performance, he is also professor of chamber music at the Geneva Conservatory, the Ecole Supérieur de Musique in Sion and gives masterclasses at numerous international academies, including the Verbier Festival Academy, where he plays an active role.  

Catch two great concerts with the ICO in Limerick and Dublin.  See www.irishchamberorchestra.com

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. 

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 



MEDIA RELEASE 23rd January 2013

Maestro Gábor Tákacs Nagy takes the helm at the Irish Chamber Orchestra with a seldom heard version of Carmen and much more…

The great Hungarian musician, Gábor Tákacs Nagy, has worked with the Irish Chamber Orchestra over many years but his February concerts in Limerick and Dublin mark his first, as Principal Artistic Partner.  

Gábor has established a formidable reputation as a conductor and his decision to make an artistic commitment to the ICO is a real coup for the orchestra. “I have conducted the Irish Chamber Orchestra many times in the last few years and it is always a refreshing experience for me. Their love of what they are doing always gives a heart-lifting and electrifying concert-experience. They are a diamond in the cultural life of Ireland “ says Tákacs-Nagy.

An exciting programme features classics from Austria and Russia. Mozart’s Symphony No.15 KV 124 is the music of youthful rebellion with energy bursting from the fifth bar. The refined simplicity is addictive and the last movement will raise the blood pressure. Mozart loved Haydn’s music, particularly his Mourning Symphony which is his crowning achievement. Gábor considers Haydn part Hungarian because he was born 30 miles from the Austrian border and spent many years as court composer, in Hungary.

Gábor has a special bond with Russian composer, Rodion Shchedrin having conducted his best known work, Carmen Suite After Bizet.  This popular suite is a fantastic mix of all the familiar tunes, dressed up in a way Bizet could never have imagined! The big melodies are instantly recognisable and the dramatic power of the score is complimented by Shchredrin’s interventions and Gábor brings the entire Suite together to great aplomb.  Don’t miss a rare opportunity to hear this work.

Gábor Takács-Nagy was a founding member of the mythical Takács Quartet.  Currently music director at Manchester Camerata, he is also guest conductor of the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra and the Budapest Symphony Orchestra.  Aside from performance, he is also professor of chamber music at the Geneva Conservatory, the Ecole Supérieur de Musique in Sion and gives masterclasses at numerous international academies, including the Verbier Festival Academy, where he plays an active role.  

Catch two great concerts with the ICO in Limerick and Dublin.  See www.irishchamberorchestra.com

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Irish Chamber Orchestra
Gábor Tákacs Nagy Conductor/Artistic Partner

Mozart Symphony No. 15 KV 124
Haydn Symphony No. 44 in E minor Trauer-Symphonie
Bizet/ Shchedrin Carmen Suite after Bizet

Limerick
Date: Thursday 21 February          
Venue: University Concert Hall, Limerick @ 8pm
Contact: 061-331549 / www.uch.ie
Tickets: €20, €18 and €10 students

Dublin
Date: Saturday 23  February         
Venue: RDS Concert Hall Dublin @ 8pm
Contact: 0818 719 300 www.ticketmaster.ie
Tickets: €20, €18 and €10 students

 

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


MEDIA RELEASE 20th December 2012

The Irish Chamber Orchestra performs a diverse programme at the Konzerthaus, Berlin showcasing the best of classic and contemporary works from Ireland, Germany and beyond….

The Irish Chamber Orchestra performs at the prestigious Konzerthaus, Berlin on 21 January 2013 supported by Culture Ireland. The occasion, organised in co-operation with the Embassy of Ireland and EuropaMusicale, celebrates the German launch of Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Presidency coincides with the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s accession to the EU and 2013 has been designated as the European Year of Citizens.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra performs (with recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner, Jörg Widmann) a programme that highlights Widmann’s many talents as a clarinettist, composer and conductor.  Widmann first worked with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in 2007 and took Berlin by storm with them that same year.  He has continued to work with the ICO as well as pursuing a hugely successful solo career. Developing a special synergy with the ICO, Widmann has embarked on ambitious programming over the next five years.

Jorg Widmann

In Berlin, the Irish Chamber Orchestra showcases a wealth of Irish talent, beginning with a fun piece, Strings Astray by Elaine Agnew, one of the country’s foremost contemporary composers. Ailish Tynan is an award-winning Irish soprano from Mullingar whose performances in opera and recitals have established her as a sought-after vocalist throughout Europe. George Osborne was a Limerick-born composer and pianist who became a great friend and mentor of Chopin. Osborne wrote the hauntingly beautiful melody for Thomas Moore’s poem The Last Rose of Summer. Schubert’s The Shepherd on the Rock  D 965, a famous lied composed towards the end of his life, will be performed by Ailish, Widmann and the orchestra in a special arrangement by ICO violinist, Kenneth Rice.  Widmann is already journeying through the cosmos of Mendelssohn’s symphonies on his artistic mission with the ICO and here he presents the composer’s astonishing Symphony No.1 Op. 11, a torrent of musical energy and the product of a fifteen- year-old prodigy.  Finally, enjoy Widmann’s own prodigious composition for string sextet, 180 Beats Per Minute, inspired by the music of his college days.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is based at the University of Limerick and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland  www.artcouncil.ie

The ICO acknowledges the support of Culture Ireland in facilitating this celebration in Berlin www.cultureireland.ie.  It gratefully acknowledges the support of the Embassy of Ireland and the EuropaMusicale Cultural Institute www.europamusicale.eu

Tickets are readily available on www.konzerthaus.de/programm/europamusicale-neujahrskonzert/505

 

LISTINGS
Irish Chamber Orchestra (supported by Culture Ireland)
Jörg Widmann Principal Guest Conductor/Clarinet
Ailish Tynan Soprano
Elaine Agnew Strings Astray

Schubert The Shepherd on the Rock D 965, for Soprano, Clarinet and Orchestra,
arr.von Jürgen Hinz
Osborne/Moore The Last Rose of Summer for Soprano, Clarinet and Orchestra,
arr. Kenneth Rice
Jorg Widmann 180 Beats Per Minute (for String Sextet)
Mendelssohn Symphony No.1 Op. 11

 

Monday 21st January 
Venue: Konzerthaus, Berlin       
Tickets: http://www.konzerthaus.de

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


MEDIA RELEASE 28th November 2012

The Irish Chamber Orchestra presents a baroque feast, Christmas in Italy on Thursday 13th December at University Concert Hall Limerick…

The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s final offering of 2012 Christmas in Italy combines choral and orchestral elements and is infused with a taste of Italy.  UK conductor Jonathan Cohen is a baroque specialist who returns to work with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the ICO Chorus and for the ICO’s first collaboration with the Irish Youth Chamber Choir. Some of the country’s finest young singers feature, including Jennifer Davis, Kelly Lonergan, Christopher Murphy, Lawrence Thackery and David Howes.

A festive baroque programme bears a religious theme in the spirit of Christmas.Vivaldi’s celebrated Kyrie RV587 opens the choral festivities.  Händel was inspired by Italian stars Vivaldi and Corelli and his choral explosion into genius, Dixit Dominus written in true Italian style, features alongside his Opus 6 concerto which was modeled on the concerti Op.6, of Corelli, who’s popular Christmas Concerto also features. Haydn had a strong affinity to Italy and his Symphony No. 26 in D minor Lamentatione was once entitled Weihnachts Symphonie (Christmas), giving rise to the false supposition that it had a final Christmas pastoral movement.  Nonetheless, it has always had festive appeal.

The ICO Chorus is one of the ICO’s community initiatives.  The choir was established four years ago with a view to forming an energetic and progressive ensemble while, at the same time offering a core group of singers the opportunity to learn, develop and perform with world-class musicians.  The ICO Chorus rehearses at the ICO studio and prides itself on the variety of its repertoire.  Last Christmas they performed the Irish premiere of Karl Jenkins Stella Natalis with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

The Irish Youth Chamber Choir is made up of Ireland’s finest young singers aged from 18-28 years.  The choir works with Artistic Director, Greg Beardsell and a team of tutors.  They recently performed with Elbow at this year’s Electric Picnic.  Future plans include a nationwide spring tour in March/April of 2013 and further collaboration with the ICO and other prominent Irish performing arts groups.

Don’t miss this festive fusion of symphony and song!

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon www.irishchamberorhcestra.com.

 

CHRISTMAS IN ITALY

Irish Chamber Orchestra
Jonathan Cohen Conductor
Irish Youth Chamber Choir
ICO Chorus & Soloists

Vivaldi             Kyrie RV 587
Händel            Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 3 E

Haydn             Symphony No. 26 in D Minor (Weihnachtssymphonie ) Lamentatione
Corelli             Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 8 Christmas Concerto

Händel            Dixit Dominus

 

Thursday 13 December
Venue: University Concert Hall, Limerick @ 8pm
Booking: 061-331549 www.uch.ie
Tickets: €20, €18 and €10 students

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


 

MEDIA RELEASE 23rd October 2012

The Irish Chamber Orchestra performs two great concerts with the gifted virtuoso Jörg Widmann who is Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner of the ICO. 

The orchestra performs WUNDERKIND, a showcase of prodigious works by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Weber and Widmann at UCH, Limerick on Thursday 22nd November and Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford (in association with Waterford Music) on Friday 23 November.Jorg_Widmann_&_Irish_Chamber_Orchestra

Widmann has a worldwide reputation as a composer and clarinettist having performed with prestigious orchestras and conductors, including Christoph von Dohnányi, Sylvain Cambreling, Christoph Eschenbach and Kent Nagano. Over the past number of years, he has established a dynamic synergy and great relationship with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. He has commenced a journey to present each of Mendelssohn’s five symphonies alongside a combination of his own works and those of his favourite composers.

The prodigious Mendelssohn was greatly influenced by the music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and traces of these can all be seen in his early string symphonies, written for performance in the Mendelssohn household and not published until long after his death. He was eleven years old when he completed his first Sinfonia and he is often compared to Mozart, another Wunderkind. Mozart’s Jupiter with its Olympian character has the greatest of symphonic finales. Written in six weeks when he was sad, broke and in debt, this revolutionary work is exuberant, introspective, charming yet complicated and a great challenge for any orchestra.In between these two great works Widmann demonstrates his versatility as clarinettist performing Weber’s dramatic Clarinet Quintet in B flat major, Op. 34 for String Orchestra, written for the celebrated clarinettist, Heinrich Bärmann. Finally, enjoy Widmann’s own composition, 180 Beats Per Minute, inspired by the music of his college days.

Enjoy a night in November with Widmann and the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Limerick and Waterford!

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. www.irishchamberorchestra.com

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra,
ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


MEDIA RELEASE 27 September 2012

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is Ireland’s world-class orchestra, renowned for its energy, unique sound and outstanding musicianship. Working with Artistic Partners Jörg Widmann and Gabor Tákacs Nagy, the Irish Chamber Orchestra has consolidated its position as a force to be reckoned with on the international music scene. ICO Leader, Katherine Hunka has been captivating audiences big and small throughout Ireland since 2002. 

In October (17-26), the orchestra takes another cross-country venture as it takes to the road with a Minimalism and Melody tour, directed by Katherine Hunka performing in venues in Limerick, Galway, Sligo, Kells, Mallow and Listowel

The ICO celebrates Philip Glass’s 75th birthday with his exhilarating Symphony No. 3.  Glass is one of the most prolific and distinguished composers of the 20th Century, having been nominated for three Academy Awards, scored dozens of operas, films and plays alongside volumes of symphonic compositions and solo works.  Schubert’s sublime Rondo in A for Violin and Strings D. 438 is songful, light and undoubtedly Schubert’s concerted masterpiece. Linda Buckley’s Fall Approaches was inspired by evocative Icelandic poetry while Dvořák‘s much-loved Serenade in E major for Strings, Op. 22 is one of his most popular works. 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.   Join the Irish Chamber Orchestra for another exciting tour on www.irishchamberorchestra.com

Concert Dates

Wednesday 17 October @ 8pm
Venue: Seapoint Leisure Centre, Salthill, Galway 
Tickets: €20 / members & concessions: €16 / students (full time): €6
Booking: By phone: Music for Galway 091 705962 
In person: Opus 2, High Street Galway
Online: www.tht.ie

Thursday 18 October @ 8pm
Venue: University Concert Hall, Limerick 
Tickets: Adult €20/ Conc €18/ Student €10
Booking: 061-331549 www.uch.ie

Friday 19 October @ 8pm
Venue: Canis major Clarion Hotel Sligo (Con Brio Sligo Music Association)
Ticket: €20 
Booking: 071-9161518 www.hawkswell.com

Saturday 20 October @ 7:15pm
Venue: Headfort House, Kells, Meath 
Ticket: €75 (Concert & Supper) all proceeds go to Orbis Ireland
Booking: 01-2933060

Thursday 25 October @ 8pm
Venue: St James’s Church, Mallow, Cork.
Ticket: €18 /Conc €15
Booking: 061-331549 www.uch.ie or buy on the door

*Longueville House in association with the Irish Chamber Orchestra are happy to offer a special overnight package of €150 per person sharing Dinner, B&B plus ticket to October Nationwide Tour in Mallow on Thursday 25th October 2012. 
Telephone hotel directly to book: 022 47156

Friday 26 October @ 8pm
Venue: St. Johns Theatre, The Square, Listowel, Kerry
Ticket: €20
Booking: 068-22566 www.stjohnstheatre.com

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


 

MEDIA RELEASE 23 August 2012

Finland is an acknowledged superpower when it comes to contemporary classical music as some of the leading composers and best instrumentalists of this era, hail from the Nordics. High up in the world rankings is the ferociously talented Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto who has a special affinity with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

pekka_kuusisto

Renowned for his flair, tone and technique, his natural expressiveness, infectious enthusiasm and his imaginative interpretations, Pekka is an integral part of the Finnish classical music scene.  He is artist-in-residence at the Tapiola Sinfonietta and curator of his own annual chamber music festival at Lake Tuusula; he champions the music of his homeland. Pekka has of the most prestigious orchestras in the world and was the first homespun Finn to win the prestigious Sibelius prize at nineteen.

His eclectic programme features Rautavaara’s Fiddlers interspersed with original 17th century Finnish tunes by Samuel Rinda-Nickola alongside classic works by Bach and Bartók.  Bach’s Violin Concerto No 2 in E, BWV 1042, leaps to life with delightful interplay between violin and harmonium played by Milla ViljamaaICO leader, Katherine Hunka joins Pekka for Bach’s irresistible Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 1043Bartók’s Divertimento, with its gypsy rhythms, is infused with Kuusisto’s quirky style.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Concert Dates

  • 20:00, Thursday, September 27, 2012

    UCH Limerick

    Find Ticket

  • 20:00, Saturday, September 29, 2012

    RDS Concert Hall, Dublin

    Find Ticket

     

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 

MEDIA RELEASE 19th July 2012

CEO John Kelly retires following a 19-year tenure with the Irish Chamber Orchestra………

Under John Kelly’s leadership, the University of Limerick-based Irish Chamber Orchestra consistently punched above its weight. The orchestra has developed strong relationships with world-class soloists and conductors; commissioned some of Ireland’s finest new works for chamber orchestra; toured internationally from the US to China, Singapore and Australia; brought world-class performances to small communities throughout Ireland; developed innovative and effective education and outreach programmes in schools, hospitals and communities; and worked closely on projects with the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

2007 was a landmark year for the orchestra. Government funding was secured for a €3.5 million home for the ICO, including office and rehearsal space as well as a fully-equipped recording studio; this complex has been the home of the ICO since 2008.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my lengthy tenure with the ICO. It has allowed me to pursue and achieve a dream – to establish an Irish orchestra that would be recognised as one of the leading chamber orchestras in Europe. Thanks to the talent and dedication of the musicians, staff, Board and the Arts Council of Ireland, the ICO has become one of Ireland’s most effective cultural ambassadors. Sing Out with Strings, our successful community engagement programme continues to bring meaningful music experiences to children across Limerick city. I’m deeply grateful for the experience I’ve gained and very proud of what we’ve accomplished together” says John Kelly.

ICO Chairman, Michael Buckley said “The Board thanks John very warmly for his achievements on behalf of the ICO. In terms of world class performance levels and both domestic and internationa reputation, the ICO has never been in a better place. We wish John every success in whatever new ventures he pursues.”

“When I took up the new Chair of Music at the University of Limerick in 1994, the first phone call I made was to John Kelly to ask him to consider relocating the Irish Chamber Orchestra from Dublin to UL. Since then, John has taken the ICO to just about everywhere that matters. It was this ability to take a strong local stance allied with a global vision that characterised John’s tenure at the orchestral helm. This ensemble put down roots and flowered under his inspired leadership. His legacy to the Irish Chamber Orchestra, to the Irish World Academy and to the University of Limerick, has been a true and generous gift to music in Ireland from a gifted musician and cultural entrepreneur,” says Professor Micháel Ó Súilleabháin, Director Irish World Academy, University of Limerick.

Dr. Edward Walsh, Founding President University of Limerick added that “In my six years as Deputy Chair of the Board of the ICO, one of my greatest pleasures was working with John Kelly. I’ve rarely met a man with John’s ability to see opportunities and realise them. He is able to create a compelling vision and communicate it to people across social and national boundaries and to enlist support from key stakeholders in government, academia and the private sector.”

Gerard Keenan takes over as Acting CEO of the Irish Chamber Orchestra from August 1, 2012. A former professional musician, Gerard studied at the VEC College of Music, Dublin. His wealth of experience quickly opened doors to management roles with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the National Chamber Choir. Gerard returned to the Irish Chamber Orchestra as Orchestra Manager in 2006 having worked as Ensembles and Concerts Manager with the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. He looks forward to the challenges that lie ahead. 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 


 

MEDIA RELEASE 6 July 2012

The Irish Chamber Orchestra announces the appointment of Gábor Takács-Nagy as Artistic Partner along with details of its upcoming Autumn season September-November 2012……….

The Irish Chamber Orchestra engaged Jörg Widmann as Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Partner with a view to bringing on board additional partners.  Distinguished Hungarian musician Gábor Takács-Nagy makes a welcome return as he joins the Irish Chamber Orchestra as Artistic Partner for the next three years, effective January 2013.  Internationally renowned as a chamber musicianand a founding member of the Takács Quartet, Gábor’s profile as a conductor is riding high following his appointment as Music Director of the Manchester Camerata.  He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Music Director of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and International Chair of Chamber Music at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.


Speaking about his ICO appointment, Gábor said,I am delighted to be joining the Irish Chamber Orchestra, I have had a long relationship with Ireland and I love the Irish people. I look forward, with my wealth of experience, to further developing the ICO and helping to establish one of Ireland’s leading cultural ambassadors on the world stage”. 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra has lined up an exciting autumn season. Finn Folk & Baroque features Finnish firebrand Pekka Kuusisto who has a long established bond with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.   Pekka elicits the very best from the ICO, with an enthusiasm that is electric.  An eclectic programme features Rautavaara’s Fiddlers interspersed with original 17th century Finnish tunes by Samuel Rinda-Nickola alongside classic works by Bach and BartókBach’s Violin Concerto No 2 in E, BWV 1042, leaps to life with delightful interplay between violin and harmonium played by Milla Viljamaa.    ICO leader, Katherine Hunka joins Pekka for Bach’s irresistible Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 1043.   Bartók’s Divertimento with its gypsy rhythms, is infused with Kuusisto’s quirky style.  The ICO and Kuusisto perform in Limerick and Dublin on 27 & 29 September and in Cologne’s Kölner Philharmonie on 7th October in association with Culture Ireland.

Later in October (17-26), the orchestra takes to the road with a Minimalism and Melody tour, directed by ICO Leader, Katherine Hunka performing in Limerick, Galway, Sligo, Kells, Mallow and Listowel. We celebrate, Philip Glass’s 75th birthday with his exhilarating Symphony No. 3Schubert’s sublime Rondo in A for Violin and Strings D. 438 is songful, light, and virtuosic in the extreme.  Linda Buckley’s Fall Approaches is inspired by evocative Icelandic poetry alongside Dvořák‘s much-loved Serenade in E major for Strings, Op. 22 is one of his most popular works. 

On 22-23 November, ICO’s Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Partner, Jörg Widmann takes centre stage in Limerick and Waterford continuing his mission to programme all the Mendelssohn symphonies over the next five years. Mendelssohn was eleven years old when he completed his first Sinfonia and is often compared to the other wunderkind, Mozart who’s stunning Jupiter (Symphony No. 41, C Major) features. Between these two great works, audiences will savour the exceptional virtuosity of Widmann as conductor, artistic partner, clarinettist and composer.  Ever-versatile, he performs Weber’s dramatic Clarinet Quintet in B flat major, Op. 34, J182, arranged for string orchestra and showcases one of his own compositions, 180 Beats Per Minute for String Sextet. 

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. 

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick

T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie


 

MEDIA RELEASE 7 June 2012

Following an appearance at the West Cork Music festival (3 July) , the Irish Chamber Orchestra takes to the road again from 11-14 July visiting venues in Offaly (Birr Theatre & Arts Centre) on 11th, Clare (St Senan’s Church, Kilkee) on 12th, Tipperary (St Mary’s Church, Irishtown, Clonmel) on 13th and finishing in Kilkenny (Watergate Theatre) on the 14th July. All concerts commence @ 8pm.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra introduces a popular programme that spans five centuries. Pachelbel’s Canon is one of the most popular baroque compositions, from 17th century. Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro is a wonderful example of his characteristically descriptive 19th century string writing. It is often referred to as his ‘Welsh theme’, inspired by folk tunes, heard whilst holidaying in Cardiganshire, Wales. The ever-popular Souvenir de Florence was composed while Tchaikovsky lived there and illustrates the composer’s songful, flirtatious and beguiling compositional style. Working its way back to the 21st century, the orchestra performs Ian Wilson’s In fretta, in vento, a single-movement work bound up with ideas of loss and remembrance, particularly in relation to the 9/11 attacks.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is one of the country’s foremost cultural ambassadors. As well as performing a concert season in Limerick and Dublin (September-April) the orchestra tours countrywide each year. The orchestra has toured with great success across Europe, Australia, South Korea, China, Singapore and the US.

London born violinist Katherine Hunka is leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and regularly directs from the leader’s chair. She has toured Ireland and China and performed in Berlin with the ICO. She is a regular chamber musician and soloist in Ireland and has given première performances with a number of Irish and British orchestras. As a soloist she has performed in London’s Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and Southbank Centre.

Don’t miss another diverse programme and an exciting night with the Irish Chamber Orchestra at a venue near you.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.


For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie


 

MEDIA RELEASE 20 April 2012

On The Road with the Irish Chamber Orchestra…………

Following a successful concert series in Limerick and Dublin, the Irish Chamber Orchestra is back on the road at the end of May visiting venues inkatherine_hunka
Doneraile in Co. Cork, and Portlaoise, Co. Laois. The orchestra will perform for the first time at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Doneraile (Thursday, 24 May in association with the Doneraile Literary & Arts Festival) and at the Dunamaise Arts Centre & Theatre, Portlaoise (Friday, 25 May).

The Irish Chamber Orchestra has a remarkable reputation as a fresh and vibrant force on the Irish and international music scene.  As well as performing a concert season in Limerick and Dublin (September-April) the orchestra tours countrywide. The orchestra is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Internationally, the orchestra performed last November in the US as part of Imagine Ireland/A Year of Irish Arts in America 2011 with world renowned pianist Leon Fleischer. The orchestra has already toured with success across Europe, Australia, South Korea, China, Singapore and the US.  London born violinist Katherine Hunka is leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and directs these two performances from the leader’s chair. 

The ICO’s imaginative programme features Bach’s heart-rending Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 104.  It has been said that ‘nowhere has Bach written music with a more irresistible appeal to personal affection’.  Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47, is another virtuosic masterpiece often referred to as the ‘Welsh tune’ and supposedly inspired by the distant singing of Welsh folk tunes.  The ever-popular Souvenir de Florence was composed while Tchaikovsky lived there and illustrates the composer’s songful, flirtatious and beguiling composition style.  Linda Buckley’s Fall Approaches was inspired by evocative Icelandic poetry, steeped in beautiful melancholy, isolation and splendid landscape.

Don’t miss two great concerts with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Doneraile and Portlaoise 24-25 May respectively. See www.irishchamberorchestra.com



 

MEDIA RELEASE 30 March 2012

The Irish Chamber Orchestra imports one of Germany’s most talked-about musicians, clarinettist and composer Jörg Widmann ….

The Irish Chamber Orchestra’s newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Partner Jörg Widmann presents an introductory showcase that highlights his many talents as a clarinettist, composer and conductor. As one of Germany’s best exports, Widmann has performed with such greats as András Schiff, Christoph von Dohnányi, Kent Nagano and many more.

The brilliant Widmann has already achieved the unthinkable in many respects. An award-winning composer, performer and professor of music he has even dabbled with the visual arts by collaborating with his compatriot Anselm Kiefer on a widely acclaimed installation. His works have been recorded by some of the contemporary music scene’s leading labels and performed by respected instrumentalists. The BBC talks to him regularly and the Guardian writes about him. A continuously growing audience listens to his oeuvre, which expands to opera, chamber music, rich orchestral works and solo instrument compositions. He has managed all of this without staging a revolution, preaching a new style or creating a scandal.

Widmann first worked with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in 2007 and went on to take Berlinby storm with them that year. He has continued to work with the orchestra since then and, now as Artistic Partner, has great plans for its future.

His April programme features the first of Mendelssohn’s five great symphonies written by the prodigious fifteen-year-old. It is the epitome of youth as it bursts with energy.

Widmann presents two of his own compositions Insel der Sirenen (Island of the Sirens) for Violin and String Orchestra, which is a kaleidoscope of sonic brilliance, with Katherine Hunka (ICO Leader) as featured soloist. He performs his virtuosic Fantasie, inspired by commedia dell’arte, has been described as ‘the most beautiful circus music ever written’. Mozart’s ever popular Clarinet Concerto, KV662 in A major is best remembered from the soundtrack of the movie “Out of Africa” and is one of the composer’s finest works. Don’t miss a richly varied programme from Jorg Widmann and the Irish Chamber Orchestra on Thursday 19 April at UCH, Limerick and Saturday at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin on Saturday 21 April.

 

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie

 

Media Release, Feb 2012

Mozart By Moonlight

The ICO welcome the brilliant Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro, Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony and guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra.

Joana Hi-Res 2 International highlights include appearances with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Norkopping Symphony, Prague Philharmonia and the Orchestra Sinfonica del Teatro la Fenice at the Venice Biennale, as well as the Macau Chamber Orchestra and Beijing Orchestra at the International Music Festival of Macau. In the Americas, she has led the Sao Paulo State Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, Grant Park Music Festival and Manhattan School of Music, among others.  In addition to her Cincinnati Opera debut, Joana conducted John Adams’ A Flowering Tree with the Chicago Opera Theater and at La Cité de la Musique in Paris. She also led performances of Peter Sellars’s stagings of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms at the Sydney Festival, which won Australia’s Helpmann Award for Best Symphony Orchestra Concert in 2010. Prior to this, she served as assistant conductor to Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Paris Opera’s premiere of Adriana Mater by Kaija Saariaho and led critically-acclaimed performances of Philippe Boesmans’s Julie in Bolzano, Italy.

“Carneiro and the orchestra dug into the music with zest, evoking rugged, earthy life and passion, calm respite and mystical ceremony”Los Angeles Times

LISTINGS

Elaine Agnew  Twilight
Mozart  Symphony No. 29 in A major, K. 201 (186a)
Schoenberg  Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) Op.4

How to book

Limerick: Tel: 061 331549 or http://www.uch.ie/

€20, €18 conc and €10 students

www.irishchamberorchestra.com

 

For further information:
Charlotte Eglington, ICO Press Office, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ICO Studio, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick
T: 353 -61-202583 F: 353-61-202 6217 E: charlotte.eglington@ul.ie


 

Media Release, Jan 2012

The ICO performs a world première of a new work by Irish composer John Kinsella.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra welcomes 2012 as newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Partner Jörg Widmann programmes his first season with the orchestra.

gabor-kinsella-danbates

The opening concert on Thursday 9th February at University Concert Hall features the world première of John Kinsella’s Tenth Symphony which he has dedicated to the Irish Chamber Orchestra.  Kinsella has been described as “the most significant Irish symphonist since Stanford,” by BBC Radio 3.   As a prolific Irish composer he has written more than 21 compositions for orchestra including nine symphonies – works which over the years have been performed by the ICO including Triptych, Hommàge a Clarence, Nocturne and Symphony No. 9 among others.  In 1988 he retired from his position as Head of Music in RTÉ to concentrate on composition.  2012 marks a very special year for John as he celebrates his 80th birthday with this much anticipated new work.

Hungarian violinist-turned-conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy was founder of the Takács Quartet and is currently music director at Manchester Camerata.   As guest conductor of the Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, he has worked with the ICO over many years and opens the season inLimerick.  He is professor of chamber music at the Geneva Conservatory, the Ecole Supérieur de Musique in Sion and gives masterclasses at numerous international academies, including theVerbierFestivalAcademy, where he plays an active role.

Gabor returns to his native Hungary, home of Liszt, one of the country’s finest exports.   His Angélus! Prière aux Anges Gardiens (Angelus! Prayer to the Guardian Angels) is the first movement of the final volume of Années de Pèlerinage (The Years of Pilgrimage), a piano work that spanned much of Liszt’s rich life, created in instalments across four decades.

The ICO continues to explore the genius of Beethoven this season with his breath-taking, seldom-performed Fourth Symphony, his sunniest work which is the equivalent of Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony.  The freshness and spontaneity of the themes, the lack of tragic motives and the perfection of the form triggered the enthusiasm of his contemporaries.

L’Horloge de Flore, is a delightful piece inspired by the vastly influential work of the great Swedish botanist Linnaeus, who named a series of flowers according to the hour at which each one blooms. If arranged in the sequence of flowering over the day they constitute a type of floral clock or horologium florae. This idea was further developed by the witty French composer Jean Français in his composition as he lists the hour of the day, the French, botanical and English names of the plants he chose to represent in this delightful work.  Featured soloist is Daniel Bates, Principal Oboe with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Don’t miss another exciting performance with the ICO on Thursday 9th February at University Concert Hall, Limerick and again on Saturday 11th February at the RDS Concert Hall.  Telephone 061-331549 for bookings.


 
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