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Guide to the Ulster Orchestra

© Benjamin Ealovega
© Benjamin Ealovega
November 2018
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Evening performance
Matinee performance
Upcoming eventsSee more...

EnniskillenSchubert’s ‘The Great’ - On Your Doorstep - Ardhowen, Enniskillen

Busoni, Mozart, Schubert
Ulster Orchestra; Daniele Rustioni; Francesca Dego

BelfastSchubert's The Great

Busoni, Mozart, Schubert
Ulster Orchestra; Daniele Rustioni; Francesca Dego

BelfastShostakovich's Symphony No.8

Strauss R., Shostakovich
Ulster Orchestra; Rafael Payare; Tamás Kocsis

BelfastThe Snowman Family Concert

The Snowman (film showing):
Ulster Orchestra; Christopher Bell
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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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Rafael Payare opens his final Ulster Orchestra season

Rafael Payare © Luis Cobelo
Husband and wife join together with the Ulster Orchestra in Ulster Hall, at the beginning of a year-long féile pairing the music of two twentieth-century giants of symphonic repertoire. 
***11
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Payare and Ulster Orchestra play to a full house in season finale

Rafael Payare © Bjørn Bertheussen
In the climax of his penultimate season Payare conducted the Ulster Orchestra in a programme of Britten, Mahler and Shostakovich. 
****1
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20th-century classics from the Ulster Orchestra

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet © Benjamin Ealovega
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet shines in Belfast, playing Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major.
***11
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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.