Zee Zee tops the bill at the NCH: this week’s classical highlights

The Chinese pianist makes her Irish debut with the RTÉCO under Jonathan Bloxham

Chinese pianist Zee Zee aka Zhang Zuo. Photograph: Marco Borggreve

Chinese pianist Zee Zee aka Zhang Zuo. Photograph: Marco Borggreve

 

Tuesday 16

RTÉCO/JONATHAN BLOXHAM
NCH, Dublin 8pm €12-€39.50 nch.ie

Chinese pianist Zee Zee, aka Zhang Zuo, has come up with a moniker that’s bound to get her a certain amount of attention. She trained in China, Germany and the US and took first prizes at the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition and the Krainev International Piano Competition. She makes her Irish debut in the Grieg concerto with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra under Jonathan Bloxham. The evening opens with Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, and ends with Brahms’s Second Symphony. Incidentally, Zee Zee is also a member of the Z.E.N. Trio, with violinist Esther Yoo and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, both of whom have already been heard in impressive form in Dublin. 

Friday 19

RTÉ NSO/NICHOLAS McGEGAN
NCH, Dublin 3.30pm €28.50-€40 nch.ie

Nicholas McGegan, onetime artistic director of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, makes a rare visit back to Ireland for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s annual Easter engagement with Bach. This year the orchestra teams up with RTÉ Cór na nÓg and the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir for a Good Friday afternoon performance of the St Mathew Passion. James Way is the Evangelist, James Newby the Jesus, and the other soloists are soprano Daire Halpin, alto Claudia Huckle, tenor James Oxley and bass Pádraic Rowan. 

ULSTER ORCHESTRA/RAFAEL PAYARE
Ulster Hall, Belfast 7.45pm £10-£32 ulsterorchestra.org.uk

The Ulster Orchestra’s principal conductor Rafael Payare is near the end of his term; his replacement from next season is Daniele Rustioni. Payare’s Good Friday programme with the Belfast Philharmonic Choir has two heavyweight choral works: Brahms’s Song of Destiny and Mozart’s Requiem. The soloists are soprano Aoife Miskelly, alto Rachel Kelly, tenor Robin Tritschler and bass Edwin Crossley-Mercer, and the concert opens with Mozart’s Symphony No 29 in A.

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