Wide Open Opera and Landmark Productions have won the€150,000 Fedora General Prize for Opera for their production of ‘The Second Violinist’. Photograph: Hugh O’Conor

Smart money still on the Wide Open Opera/Opera Theatre Company bid to become the council’s new major opera supplier

Nathalie Stutzmann, RTÉ NSO’s principal guest conductor, conducts five concerts in the 2017-2018 season. Photograph: Simon Fowler

Orchestra celebrates 70th anniversary with a wide-ranging concert programme

When it came to concerts, the late conductor Neville Marriner put the soloist as the number one consideration, then the repertoire, then the conductor and then the orchestra

Striking the right balance between all the factors at play in a concert, and their effect on audience numbers, is an artform in it(...)

Chamber Choir Ireland

From his earliest days in a rock band to his years in music college, David Fennessy realised he would be composing music rather th(...)

Handel’s Radamisto: The music-making, with David Brophy conducting the Irish Chamber Orchestra, was strong, sturdy but also a little stiff

Russian composers shine at NCH; Tenebrae revisit Orthodox choral music

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys: has plenty of options when it comes to funding Aosdána. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Opinion: Aosdána is part of a sticking-plaster remedy that masks shortcomings in support

Crash Ensemble, who performed as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival.

Three festivals showcased electronic works that deserve to be heard by a wider audience

Film-maker George Morrison with artist Imogen Stuart, left, and film producer Lelia Doolan at the Arts Council of Ireland where he was bestowed the honour of Saoi in Aosdana by President Michael D Higgins. Morrison’s films include Mise Éire and Saoirse. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Water charges refunds would pay the total annual cost of Aosdána for more than 30 years. So why is the Arts Council attacking it

Violin virtuoso Anton Steck finds dynamic connections between the two composers

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla: the conductor appears with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on August 31st. Photograph: Lawrence K Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty

Only one woman composer features so far in the National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series for 2017-18

Rarely-heard music: Pianist Úna Hunt and friends resurrected forgotten music  under the title ‘Recollections of Ireland’

Recollections of Ireland at NCH focused on rarely-heard music composed before 1917

Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys: could have drawn up a gender-equality policy that would apply to any organisation or individual receiving funding from her department. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Minister Heather Humphreys is asking cultural institutions to step up to the plate on gender

Marc-André Hamelin: the most difficult thing about piano playing is “the ability to be able to hear yourself during performance the same way the public is hearing you. And that’s a very tall order.”  Photograph: Sim Cannetty-Clarke

Pianos are unforgiving when played in duos but that did not deter Hamelin and Andsnes

Fearghal Curtis, Eamonn Mulhall and  Andrew Gavin in Opera Theatre Company’s production of  Handel’s Acis and Galatea.

‘Acis and Galatea’ has had its action propped up in a very Irish setting

Kirkos Ensemble continues to stretch musical boundaries in new concert series

 National Concert Hall honour a kind of official seal on the perception of Finghin Collins as the leading Irish musician of his generation. Photograph: Frances Marshall

NCH honours pianist by presenting him in solo recital as part of international series

Gerald Barry: His “treatment somehow intensifies, if that is imaginable, the topsy-turviness of Lewis Carroll’s imagination”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Last weekend’s New Music festival finally delivered on its celebratory promise

Wide Open Opera’s production of “The Barber of Seville”. Will Opera Theatre Company, Lyric Opera and Wexford Festival Opera also throw their hats into the ring?

Arts Council is looking for applicants to provide ‘main-scale’ opera from 2018, as Opera Ireland finally gets something of a repla(...)

USTVOLSKAYA, SILVESTROV, KANCHELI: WORKS FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRaElisaveta Blumina (piano), Stuttgart CO/Thomas Sanderling ****Gran(...)

Nikolay Khozyainov: his playing was free of grandstanding, though the glitter of the rapid-fire finale was as bright as you could have wished.

Dublin International Piano Competition winner 2012 Nikolay Khozyainov on form

Gerald Barry:  his  piece Humiliated and Insulted is inspired by a Dostoyevsky novel. Photograph: Alan Betson

Of all new music, large-scale works with words travel least freely internationally

Yuri Temirkanov with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic at the NCH: “The playing is as pliable as you could wish for”

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s studied take on Mendelssohn and Brahms

Conductor Cristian Macelaru: a performance full of hustle, bustle and excitement

Cristian Macelaru’s in-your-face style frees up the RTÉ NSO, perhaps too much so

SAINT-SAËNS: CELLO CONCERTO NO 1; SONATAS NOS 2 & 3Emmanuelle Bertrand (cello), Luzerner Sinfonieorchester/James Gaffigan, Pascal (...)

Wolfgang Rihm: shares a characteristic with Mozart

The German composer is a master of quite contradictory styles and his output runs to more than 400 works

SEA TO THE WESTElizabeth Hilliard (soprano) ****Métier MSV 28551

French conductor Nathalie Stutzmann, newly announced principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, rehearses with the orchestra at the National Concert Hall. Photograph: Maxwell Photography

The NSO’s new principal guest conductor hit it off again with orchestra and audience

Benjamin Hulett: soloist sounded at all times as if he owned the music.

RTÉ Philharmonic Choir under Mark Hindley deliver a standout performance

Isabelle O’Connell: a hasty late edition to Composing the Island

When it comes to ‘gender mainstreaming’, we can learn something from Vienna city hall

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the opening night of the Composing the Island at the National Concert Hall. RTÉ and the National Concert Hall, sponsored by Bord na Mona, celebrated 100 years of music written from 1916-2016, as part of the Ireland 2016 centenary programme. Photograph: Mark Stedman

Culture review 2016: The funding of the Taoiseach’s promised Creative Ireland venture remains to be seen

 John Beckett (left): He had his vision and his only need was to bend everyone he was working with to his will.

Plus: a biography of Samuel Beckett’s musical cousin John Beckett

Enda Kenny, Heather Humphreys and Paschal Donohoe at the Creative Ireland launch. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

If these ambitions are realised, arts will receive their greatest leap in funding since the foundation of the State

Georgy  Isaakyan  shifted the setting of Puccini’s La bohème to Paris in the late 1940s

Russian Puccini, refined Haydn and raw saxophone

ENCORES AFTER BEETHOVENAndrás Schiff (piano) ****ECM New Series 481 4474

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra: “Post-recession attrition has been used to reduce the playing strength of the orchestra to a level of 82”

Recent changes in the national broadcaster have serious implications for music groups

John O’Kane when he was art programme director at the Arts Council, circa 2002

Executive Director of RTÉ’s Orchestras, Quartet and Choirs moves to new role

The Vanbrugh Quartet: they will receive the National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala concert on Sunday

The Vanbrugh Quartet discuss the highs and lows and the state of classical music in Ireland after 30 years of music making

President Michael D Higgins, Minister for the Arts Heather Humphreys and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Arts community will need to shout these words if they want to make a difference

A I RFrode Haltli (accordion), Trondheim Soloists, Arditti Quartet ****ECM New Series 481 2802

John O’Conor and Veronica McSwiney at the NCH

Unusual musical combinations and an extreme reaction

When will opera be blessed with a coherent strategy? At the opera house in Wexford. Photograph: David Sleator / The Irish Times

The upside-down provision of opera in Ireland neglects works people want to hear most

Gaetano Donizetti’s complicated and gory – and long-overlooked – work gets a fascinating outing

Mezzo soprano Carolyn Sprule. Photograph: Clive Barda

Samuel Barber’s opera was calculated not to offend a 1950s audience fearful of genuinely modern music

Herculanum at Wexford Festival Opera. Photograph: Clive Barda/ArenaPAL

Félicien David’s opera takes the explosion of Mt Vesuvius as its setting, but this production never manages to ignite

The  unexpected golden age of Irish opera includes  Landmark Production and Wide Open Opera’s The Last Hotel,  a new opera by Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh featuring Katherine Manley and Claudia Boyle. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

Arts Council should use increased funding announced in the budget to address the needs of opera lovers and the professional opera (...)

RAMEAU: HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE SUITE; BERLIOZ: SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUESwedish Radio SO/Daniel Harding ****Harmonia Mundi HMC 902244

Soprano Rachel Kelly with Una Hunt on piano for Songs of Erin at the National Concert Hall as part of Composing the Island

The event highlighting a neglected repertoire from Irish composers should happen every year

David Kempster as Don Giovanni in   in a new translation of  Mozart’s opera  by Roddy Doyle and the Opera Theatre Company, as part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2016

Dublin Theatre Festival: Opera Theatre Company shifts the action from 16th-century Spain to Dublin now, and the audience engageme(...)

Violinist Elaine Clarke with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Gavin Maloney, conductor

Biggest ever celebration of Irish composers ends at the National Concert Hall

The concert ended with Gerald Barry’s From the Intelligence Park (1986), a collage-like piece, sometimes calmly mono-linear, sometimes fiercely aggressive

The celebration of 100 years of Irish composition hits mid-century, revealing a dark age for orchestral music

Composer Andrew Hamilton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

When the composer was younger, he would get very annoyed when people laughed in concerts of his ‘playful music’ – but now he embra(...)

The Vanbrugh Quartet: made a strong impression with Frederick May’s Quartet as part of the “Composing the Island” festival

The festival unearthed fine compositions that were sadly neglected in the past 100 years

David Kempster in Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’: a new translation by Roddy Doyle will be staged at the Dublin Theatre Festival

Opera has been particularly badly treated over the past 10 years and the latest reforms offer little hope

Gershwin: An American in Paris; Concerto in FLincoln Mayorga (piano), Harmonie Ensemble/New York/Steven RichmanHarmonia Mundi HMU (...)

In Schumann’s Cello Concerto, Sol Gabetta, above, made the solo part more persuasive than is usual in a work that in many performances seems to suggest more than it can deliver

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Daniele Gatti delivered everything you could have asked for

Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta is “relishing going on tour”

Cellist Sol Gabetta, who will play with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Dublin, now appreciates why her teacher didn’t want h(...)

Daniele Gatti

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra took a democratic path to choosing Daniele Gatti as chief conductor

In the last year of Mozart’s life he wrote a number of pieces for glass harmonica (above), an instrument devised by Benjamin Franklin. Photograph: iStock

The Mozart programme at Kilkenny Arts Festival featured compositions for mechanical organ and glass harmonica

If you like your Mozart busy, you might only find yourself in tune with Christian Blackshaw at his most urgent. Photograph: Herbie Knott

Mozart is the focus of this year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival, and the English performer’s approach is unconventional

James MacMillan: Since it was the day of Preparation…Brindley Sherratt (bass), Synergy Vocals, Hebrides EnsembleDelphian DCD 34168(...)

Photograph: iStock

You might think that Brexit will not have much effect for music in Ireland. If only

Fabrizio Chiovetta (piano) - Bach: Keyboard Suites (BWV809, 825, 831)album review

As a composer, Rzewski freely mixes elements that are often kept apart in modern music

And what does a composer have to do around here to get one of his works banned?

Richard Boothby - William Lawes Complete Music for Solo Lyra Viol album review

Dave Flynn’s nose for the timely, publicity-friendly, anti-establishment gesture is not to be denied. Photograph: John O’Neill

Dave Flynn’s Burren venture is an alternative to the massive 1916 centenary survey – but the fine print is bewildering

The wonder of Mark Padmore’s singing is not to do with beauty of tone, although there is plenty of that – it’s to do with the pliability of line

Mark Padmore’s singing is riveting, with an exceptional sense of intimacy and adaptability

Dowland: LachrimaePhantasm, Elizabeth KennyLinn Records CKD 5275

Deirdre Gribbin’s new piece was commissioned for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, in which her great-uncle fought

West Cork Chamber Music Festival heard pieces by Deirdre Gribbin and Seán Doherty

The biggest faux pas is the complete omission of one of the country’s most successful composers, Jennifer Walshe

Composing the Island festival is huge, but it neglects women and living composers under 30

Stephen Richardson (bass), Chamber Choir Ireland, Crash Ensemble/Paul Hillier Barry Meets Beethoven

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