Pianist John O’Conor at his home in Rathgar, Dublin 6. Photograph: Alan Betson

On Sunday night, pianist Dr John O’Conor will receive the NCH Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. The event will be a gala concert in honour of his uniqu(...)

‘Left Behind’ is a set of songs marking the Rising through poems by Simon O’Connor (above), which imagine 1916 and its fallout through the experiences of the wives of the rebel leaders. Photograph: Eric Luke

The landmark musical celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising was a specially commissioned cantata. Brian Boydell’s A Terrible Beau(...)

‘Back in the 1990s I told Judith Woodworth [above], then the director of the NCH, that music itself was way down the agenda in the hall’s own promotional activities. Her response was unexpected.’ Photograph: Frank Miller

The new year is always a time for a special kind of reflection. We think about the events and achievements of the past 12 months and look forward t(...)

Swedish soprano Maria Keohane: gets to the heart of everything with unfailing potency and point. Photograph: Anna Thorbjörnsson

The sheer scale of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival is always challenging to come to terms with. There’s music from morning to night, and the e(...)