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Guide to the Ulster Orchestra

© Benjamin Ealovega
© Benjamin Ealovega
August 2019
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Abendvorstellung
Matinee
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LondonProm 42: Youthful Beginnings

Beethoven, Schumann C., Gubaidulina, Schostakowitsch
Ulster Orchestra; Rafael Payare; Mariam Batsashvili

BelfastRustioni Conducts Opening Concert

Rustioni Conducts Opening Concert
Verdi, Elgar, Saint-Saëns
Ulster Orchestra; Daniele Rustioni; Johannes Moser

BelfastSongs of Love and Loss

Songs of Love and Loss
Skempton, Wagner, Elgar
Ulster Orchestra; Jac van Steen; Christianne Stotijn

BelfastLitton Crosses Continents

Litton Crosses Continents
Copland, Barber, Walton
Ulster Orchestra; Andrew Litton; Kurt Nikkanen
Neue Kritikenmehr...

Ulster Hall fills with the sounds of Mendelssohn’s Elijah

Stephen Doughty © Ulster Orchestra
The Belfast Philharmonic Choir with the Ulster Orchestra and four local soloists give a very mixed performance of Mendelssohn’s most famous oratorio.
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Crisp Rachmaninov from Barry Douglas in Belfast

Barry Douglas © Eugene Langan
Barry Douglas, in his home town, gives an excellent reading of a piece central to his repertoire,while Olari Elts puts the Ulster Orchestra through their paces in a highly colourful Petrushka.
****1
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A mostly solemn Good Friday in Belfast

Aoife Miskelly © Marshall Light Studio
Mozart’s early youthful 29th Symphony felt rather misplaced in this otherwise solemn concert from Rafael Payare, Ulster Orchestra and the Belfast Philharmonic Choir. 
****1
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Franck’s Aeolian winds usher in Saint-Säens and Elgar to Belfast

Louis Schwizgebel © Marco Borggreve
Ulster Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor Jac van Steen returns to lead an outstanding evening, culminating in Elgar’s First Symphony. Louis Schwizgebel impresses in Saint-Saens’ Fifth Piano Concerto. 
*****
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Biographie

Founded in 1966, the Ulster Orchestra has been at the forefront of musical life in Northern Ireland and the Orchestra’s sixty three full-time musicians form the region’s only professional symphony orchestra.

In 2014 the Ulster Orchestra appointed Rafael Payare as its Chief Conductor and the relationship between Rafael Payare and the Orchestra was further cemented in 2016 when the conductor was made Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra. 2014 also marked the year when Jac van Steen’s long relationship with the Orchestra was recognised, when he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor.

With a mission to enrich the lives of people living in Northern Ireland, those visiting, and those who encounter it through international touring and regular radio and TV broadcasts with both BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Radio 3, the Orchestra strives for excellence in all it undertakes, be it regular concert performances, learning and community engagement programmes, or creative collaborations across the arts.

An important aspect of the Ulster Orchestra’s work across Northern Ireland is its annual touring programme of concerts, which brings live orchestral music to the heart of communities across the region. A new initiative for the Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra On Your Doorstep, was founded in the2016/17 Season (the Orchestra’s 50 th Anniversary Season) and it sees the orchestra play in as diverse a range of venues as possible across Northern Ireland, sending everything from small ensembles and chamber music concerts, right up to the full symphony orchestra, far and wide across the region.

The Ulster Orchestra records regularly, and its most recent recording commitments have been for the Naxos label under the baton of former Chief Conductor Jo Ann Faletta and for the Hyperion label with Howard Shelley.

Learning and community engagement is at the core of all that the Ulster Orchestra does.

The Orchestra is building on 30 years of education and outreach work with an exciting and diverse range of partnership projects. From Adopt A Player and Crescendo! in schools to Wellbeing Workshops in hospices and supported housing, from concerts for schools and free concert tickets for children to residencies at SEN schools and from projects with Women’s Aid to the award-winning Move to the Music scheme which facilitates isolated elderly people in rural areas access live orchestra music; the Ulster Orchestra is bringing music to new and existing groups and audiences from all backgrounds, right across Northern Ireland.