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NCH chamber music series

Female Composer Series

selected Thursdays from
November 2018 to april 2019

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In March 2018 the National Concert Hall and Sounding the Feminists announced a five-year project, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, aimed at increasing the presence of female composers in the concert hall. As part of this project the NCH is delighted to announce the first series focusing on female composers over the centuries.  The series of six concerts will run from November 2018 to April 2019.

thursday 24th january 2019

Sharon carty
Gillian Williams
úna hunt

Sharon Carty mezzo soprano 
Gillian Williams violin (replacing Fionnuala Hunt)
Úna Hunt piano
Femme de la Belle Époque
Mélanie Bonis (1858-1937)
Carillon mystique Op. 31
Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) Capriccio, Op. 18
Sérénade espagnole (arr. F. Kreisler)
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) La belle voyageuse (Moore, adapted T. Gounet)
Hope Temple (Alice Maud Davis, 1859-1938) Au bord des flots (adapted, L. Fortolis)
Adieu l’amour (Catules Blè)
Augusta Holmès (1847-1903) Noël d'Irlande
Chanson persane
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Chansons de Bilitis
La chevalure
Le tombeau des Naiades
Cécile Chaminade Trahison
Mots d’amour
Les rêves
Sur la plage    
Ronde d’amour
Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) Cortège
D’un matin de printemps
Claude Debussy Sonate
Allegro vivo; Intermède; Finale

A programme of French music by women composers active during the Belle Époque – Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944), Mélanie Bonis (1858-1937) and little-known Franco-Irish composers Augusta Holmès (1847-1903) and Hope Temple (1859-1938) with particular emphasis on their response to the French Mélodie. Also featured, music by Lili Boulanger (1893-1918), Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) and Claude Debussy (1862-1918).

thursday 7th february 2019

jane o'leary

Jane O’Leary


Thea Musgrave
Orfeo I (1975) 
Sofia Gubaidulina De Profundis (1978) 
Marta Ptaszynska Moon Flowers 
Jane O’Leary between 2 waves of the sea (2016)    
Nicola LeFanu Isobirthday (2002) 
Kaija Saariaho Cendres (1998)
Unsuk Chin Alice in Wonderland - Advice from a caterpillar (2007) 
Joan Tower Amazon I (1977)

Concorde, Ireland’s longest-established contemporary music ensemble, perform works by leading international female composers of the last half century.

As artistic director and pianist of Concorde ensemble, Jane O’Leary has been nurturing the development of new music in Ireland and promoting its performance worldwide since 1976.

For this specially-curated programme she has chosen works from this forty year period by trailblazing female composers from around the world:  UK, USA, Poland, Russia, Korea and Ireland.

thursday 7th march 2019

irish baroque orchestra

Irish Baroque Orchestra

‘Donna Barocca‘

Jacquet de la Guerre
Sonatas for violin & continuo
Barbara Strozzi Serenata ‘HorforApollo’ & Arietta 'Miei pensieri’
Antonia Bembo Cantata 'Lamento della Vergine'
Rosa Giacinta Badalla Mottetto 'Non plangete'
Isabella Leonarda Sonata duodecima for violin solo and continuo (from Sonate a 1, 2, 3, 4, istrometi Op. decima sesta)

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Irish Baroque Orchestra perform Donna Barocche at the National Concert Hall’s Kevin Barry Recital Room. Donna Barocche highlights the sometimes neglected compositional output by female composers of the baroque period and particularly celebrates the 400th anniversary of the birth of Barbara Strozzi.

thursday 4th april 2018

miriam roycroft
lance coburn

Miriam Roycroft cello
Lance Coburn piano

Louise Farrenc Cello Sonata in B flat Major Op. 46 (1859)
Vítězslava Kaprálová April Preludes, Op.13 (1937)
Ethel Smyth Cello Sonata in a Minor Op.5 (1887)  
Luise Adolpha LeBeau 
Cello sonata in D Major Op.17 (1882)  
Henriëtte Bosmans Sonata (1919) 

The last concert in the series focuses on unjustly neglected sonatas for cello and piano by major female composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) was a renowned pianist whose compositions were much admired by her peers such as Schumann, though they are only now reaching the wider audience they deserve. Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) the British composer and women’s suffrage activist is one of the seminal figures in the history of female composers, her works being widely performed during her lifetime. Luise Adolpha LeBeau’s (1850-1927) circle of supporters included figures such as the composer Johannes Brahms, violinist Joseph Joachim and conductor Hans von Bulow. Henriëtte Bosmans (1895-1952) was a celebrated piano virtuoso and the daughter of the principal cellist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. A close friend of Benjamin Britten, interestingly her cello sonata dates from the same year (1919) as Elgar’s famous cello concerto.