The best classical music this week: Joshua Bell and Academy of St Martin in the Fields at NCH

Conductor Daniele Rustioni debuts with the RTÉ NSO and busy percussionist Alex Petcu gets the stage to himself

 

Saturday Jan 20

Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Joshua Bell

NCH, Dublin 8pm €37.50-€75 nch.ie

One of the best ways for composers to get attention is to have someone famous play their works. Violinist Joshua Bell and composer/double bassist Edgar Meyer know each other a long time and Meyer’s new Overture for violin and orchestra was written with Bell in mind. Bell, who seems to prefer new music at the conservative end of the spectrum, gave the first performance at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado in June with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He’s the orchestra’s artistic director and recently extended his contract to 2020. He’s now taking the Overture on tour with the academy and Dublin is on the list of venues. Meyer’s new work shares the programme with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Beethoven’s Second Symphony.

Sunday Jan 21

Alex Petcu

Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin noon Adm free 01-2225550

These days Alex Petcu seems to be Ireland’s busiest percussionist. He’s got the stage to himself at the Hugh Lane Gallery for a programme that begins with Bach (excerpts from the Third Solo Cello Suite) and weaves its way through Tom Lane, Keiko Abe, Michio Kitazume, Franco Donatoni and John Cage before ending with Evelyn Glennie’s A Little Prayer.

Friday Jan 26

RTÉ NSO/Daniele Rustioni

NCH, Dublin 7.30pm €15-€35/€13-€31 nch.ie

Italian conductor Daniele Rustioni made a deep impression on me when I heard him conduct Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at Opera North in Leeds six years ago. He’s making his Dublin debut with the RTÉ NSO in a programme that opens with a real rarity, the Suite from Goffredo Petrassi’s 1945 ballet Ritratto di Don Chisciotte (Portrait of Don Quixote). Shostakovich’s jaunty Second Piano Concerto (soloist Alexander Toradze) and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony (sometimes nicknamed Fate) complete the programme. Rustioni and Toradze can be heard in a pre-concert conversation with Ellen Cranitch at 6.30pm.

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