The best classical concerts this week

2012 Dublin International Piano Competition winner Nikolay Khozyainov returns to NCH


Nikolay Khozyainov (piano) NCH, Dublin 8pm €12-€20 – The Dublin International Piano Competition's promotional cycle is getting into swing. 2015 winner Nathalia Milstein played in Galway at the beginning of the month and will be back on Friday, May 18th, to play Mozart's Piano Concerto in A, K488, with the RTÉ NSO under John Storgårds. But next up is 2012 winner Nikolay Khozyainov, still only 25, to play Chopin (the First Ballade and two Nocturnes), Beethoven (the Appassionata Sonata) and Schumann (the Fantasy in C, Op. 17) at the National Concert Hall. The evening's one unusual repertoire twist is the inclusion of four short pieces – First Adventure, Raise the Colors, Andantino and Scherzo Pensiero – by Gordon Getty, someone whose billionaire status probably qualifies him as the world's richest composer.


Irish Chamber Orchestra/Jörg Widmann St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick 8pm €25/€22/€10; also Fri 16th, St Stephen's Church, Upper Mount Street, Dublin 8pm – The Irish Chamber Orchestra and their principal conductor Jörg Widmann are off on their German travels again. They're playing next Sunday at the Bayer Erholungshaus in Leverkusen, home town of another Bayer pharmaceutical company initiative, the Bundesliga team Bayer Leverkusen. The orchestra's programme repeats their 2014 recreation with the aerial dancers Fidget Feet of Trapeze, the ballet connected with Prokofiev's Quintet in G minor Op 39. They're also repeating Widmann's surreal  arrangement of the slow movement of Mendelssohn's early Clarinet Sonata. Mozart's evergreen Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Mendelssohn's teenage String Symphony No 10 and Richard Strauss's late Duet Concertino for clarinet (Widmann) and bassoon (Diego Chenna) complete the programme.



RTÉ NSO/Gerhard Markson NCH, Dublin 7.30pm €15-€35/€13-€31 – The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, which has been without a principal conductor since 2016, had planned to celebrate its 70th anniversary with Czech conductor Tomáš Netopil. But he was called on to step into the breach for the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra after the sad passing of Jirí Belohlávek (the Czechs give three concerts at the NCH over the coming weekend), and his place has now been taken by Gerhard Markson, the NSO's principal conductor from 2001 to 2009. Orla Boylan is the soloist in the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Finghin Collins gives the first performance of the revised version of Deirdre Gribbin's piano concerto, The Binding of the Years. And the evening ends with a selection from Prokofiev's most popular ballet, Romeo and Juliet.

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan is a music critic and Irish Times contributor