The new season has launched for the Ulster Orchestra. Now they are always a treat!
Having trained in classical piano as a kid and teenager, I always find classical and orchestral music calming and relaxing yet at the same time it’s powerful and passionate. Just beautiful!
Every year I skip lunch and head to a few of the lunchtime concerts in the beautiful Ulster Hall. It’s the perfect relaxing lunch break in the middle of a busy working day!
So the new season has launched, tickets are now for sale, and I’m feeling the need to plan my orchestral music calendar!
· Britten’s War Requiem performed with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra
· Latin Rhythms featuring three Venezuelan composers
· First ever series celebrating the greatest musical collaborations in science fiction film
· Children’s Festival of Music – a week of music workshops and fun activities for young people
Beginning on the 19th of September in the Ulster Hall with a Grand Opening Concert celebrating the work of Strauss, Penderecki and Beethoven, featuring Belfast Philharmonic Choir and conducted by Rafael Payare, one of the world’s most talented emerging conductors.
Jac van Steen, Principal Guest Conductor, will be conducting several concerts including a special cross-border collaboration with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra to present Britten’s mighty War Requiem in November at the majestic St Anne’s Cathedral. Wow!
The Ulster Orchestra will also celebrate the centenary of the birth of Richard Strauss and those next year of Sibelius and Nielsen. In January, Rafael will also conduct a concert of music from Latin America in Latin Rhythms, including his native Venezuela and Spain which promises to be one of the highlights of the season.
Taking in film and children’s events, a Sci-Fi Weekender in March sees the Ulster Orchestra’s first ever series celebrating the greatest musical collaborations in science fiction with Gottfried Huppertz’s original score for Metropolis performed live to the film. Completing the weekend, there will be a disturbance in the force at the Ulster Hall with a performance of Star Wars in Concert celebrating the music from Episodes 1-3.
The Children’s Festival of Music in June will combine a week of music, workshops and fun activities for children and young people – including a live performance to film of Peter and The Wolf, Disney in Concert, baby-friendly performances and an instrument petting zoo.
The Orchestra will continue its award winning partnership with NI Opera with a performance of Salome, a one-act opera based on the play by Oscar Wilde. In keeping with NI Opera’s practice of casting the very best local singers wherever possible, Belfast-born Giselle Allen returns to the Grand Opera House to sing the role of Salome.
Highlights throughout the rest of the year include; Symphonic Strings at Clonard Monastery, Classical Favourites conducted by Stephen Bell, festive performances of The Snowman and Handel’s Messiah, New Year Viennese with dancers Camilla Dallerup and Ian Waite, A Very Special Valentine with Schumann’s gorgeously lyrical piano concerto and back by popular demand, Family Film Favourites.
You have to agree…there is a lot going on and the new season looks superb. I’ll definitely be booking some great nights out, but please don’t ask me to play anything on a piano…it’s been a long time!! Maybe, just maybe, the keyboard in my spare bedroom, which I can’t bear to part with, will get put to some use soon.
Tickets are available to book online at the new Ulster Orchestra website ulsterorchestra.com, ulsterhall.co.uk and waterfront.co.uk or by telephone on 028 9033 4455 or at the Ulster Hall and Waterfront box offices. The booking line is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. The Box office at the Ulster Hall and Belfast Waterfront will be open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.