Events and Tickets
National Symphony Orchestra
National Symphony Orchestra
The National Symphony Orchestra has been at the centre of Ireland’s cultural life for 75 years. Formerly the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, it was founded in 1948 as the Raidió Éireann Symphony Orchestra. In 2022, the Orchestra transferred from RTÉ to the remit of the National Concert Hall.
Resident orchestra of the National Concert Hall since its opening in 1981, it is a leading force in Irish musical life through year-long programmes of live music – ranging from symphonic, choral and operatic to music from stage and screen, popular and traditional music, and new commissions – alongside recordings, broadcasts on RTÉ and internationally through the European Broadcasting Union. Its innovative educational projects and mentoring scheme for young musicians extends the orchestra’s reach.
Since making his debut as Chief Conductor in 2019, Jaime Martín has broadened the orchestra’s repertoire and responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with an admired series of live-streamed concerts that reached new audiences at home and abroad. The NSO’s acclaimed catalogue of recordings – on the RTÉ lyric fm, Naxos, BIS and Toccata Classics labels among others – include core works by Rachmaninov, Mendelssohn and Nielsen, the complete symphonies of Malcolm Arnold, and Composers of Ireland, a landmark series co-funded by RTÉ and The Arts Council. Other major recordings include Robert O’Dwyer’s Irish-language opera Eithne (in partnership with Irish National Opera), José Serebrier’s Symphonic BACH Variations, the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (co-commissioned by RTÉ and English National Opera).
Recent significant events include a concert presentation of Raymond Deane’s The Alma Fetish in association with the National Concert Hall, Mary Black Orchestrated, and the Irish premieres of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and John Adams’ Nixon in China with Wide Open Opera. Film and television scores include composer-conductor Michael Giacchino’s Lost in Concert and directors John Boorman’s Queen and Country and Lenny Abrahamson’s The Little Stranger. The 2022/2023 season saw the NSO celebrate its own 75th birthday and Ireland’s 50 years in the European Union, and make long-overdue returns to Cork, Galway, Waterford and Wexford.
With more than 30 concerts and assorted events for families and schools, the 2023/24 season includes concerts in Dublin, Limerick, Waterford and Galway, with Jaime Martín conducting nine concerts, including the season’s curtain raiser, Berlioz’s spectacular Symphonie fantastique, and its finale, Verdi’s towering Requiem. A highlight promises to be his reuniting with flamenco virtuoso Rebeca Sanchez for their return to Falla’s flamenco-infused El amor brujo (Love, the Magician), a huge hit when streamed during the pandemic lockdown.
The season will see debut appearances by mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and pianist Wayne Marshall, with a host of top-tier conductors and musicians returning, including conductors Marin Alsop, Maxim Vengerov, Leonard Slatkin, Mihhail Gerts and Anja Bihlmaier, soprano Danielle de Niese, pianists Gabriela Montero and Barry Douglas, and violinist Ray Chen. Making their NSO debuts are exciting new talents violinists Karen Gomyo and Leia Zhu, and conductor, Julio García-Vico.
The cream of Irish artists will be in plentiful abundance, with appearances by sopranos Ailish Tynan, Celine Byrne and Claudia Boyle, mezzo-sopranos Niamh O’Sullivan and Paula Murrihy, tenor Gavan Ring, baritone Benjamin Russell, pianist Finghin Collins, Mark Redmond on uilleann pipes, Catriona Ryan and Emer McDonough on flute, harpist Tríona Marshall, vocalist Rita Connolly, and conductor David Brophy.
Irish composers also feature prominently, with music by Irene Buckley and Linda Buckley, Siobhán Cleary and Ina Boyle, two NSO commissioned world premieres by Brian Byrne and Shaun Davey, and the Irish premiere of Gerald Barry’s double bass concerto, From The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.
The season’s other premiere is the first performance in Europe of Australian composer Joe Chindamo’s trombone concerto, Ligeia. In the centenary year of his death, Dublin-born Charles Villiers Stanford is remembered in the three-concert series, Stanford 100, and we celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Royal Irish Academy of Music