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Guide to the Ulster Orchestra

© Benjamin Ealovega
© Benjamin Ealovega
January 2019
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Evening performance
Matinee performance
Upcoming eventsSee more...

BelfastI Love Burns Night!

Burn's Night Tunes:
Ulster Orchestra; John Logan

BelfastFour Last Songs

Strauss R., Shostakovich
Ulster Orchestra; Rafael Payare; Dorothea Röschmann

LondonderryInspired by Bach – The Guildhall Derry~Londonderry

Bach, Schoenberg, Brahms
Ulster Orchestra; Rafael Payare

BelfastInspired by Bach

Bach, Schoenberg, Brahms
Ulster Orchestra; Rafael Payare
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Christoph Altstaedt takes Belfast to the City of Dreams

Gan-ya Ben-Gur Akselrod © Tehila Sharafi Cobe
Christoph Altstaedt conducts the Ulster Orchestra in a charming programme of quintessentially Viennese music for New Year.
*****
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Rafael Payare gives Shostakovich 8 a rare airing in Belfast

Rafael Payare © Henry Fair
In the second instalment of his Strauss and Shostakovich exploration, Payare directs the Ulster Orchestra in two hugely contrasting works premiered in times of conflict.
***11
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Formidable Schubert from Daniele Rustioni

Daniele Rustioni © Marco Borrelli
The Ulster Orchestra present a programme of classical elegance and sunshine; Rustioni is joined by Francesca Dego in an exceptionally sophisticated performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 3
****1
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A gripping, dark, moving Rigoletto from NIO

Sebastian Catana (Rigoletto) and chorus © Patrick Redmond Photography
Since their creation in 2010, NIO has brought unconventional opera productions to Northern Ireland. Their Rigoletto is bold, emotional and engaging with a stellar cast of local and international talent.
****1
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Biography

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.