RTÉ NSO: the wonderful Alina Pogostkina is soloist in Khachaturian’s 1940 Violin Concerto

Taylor and Ó Drisceoil play rare two-harpsichord works; Leonskaja plays with the ICO; Pogostkina plays with the RTÉ NCO

Josepha Madigan, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht: ‘Ensuring equality across all areas of the arts requires not just fine words or putting in place good policies, it requires actions too’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A new commissioning scheme will provide opportunity to established and emerging [female] composers to have their work commissioned(...)

Kate Ellis: celebrating women composers

Finding a Voice festival’s all-female finale; Vanbrugh & Michael McHale; Philippe Cassard

While John Harris wants to ‘salvage as much as we  can’, pressure  of time and space are weighing against him

There’s no way that the whole programme can be saved – it’s too big and too complicated for that

Russian pianist Anna Tsybuleva is touring Ireland

The Russian pianist begins her Music Network tour

Margaret, Duchess of Argyll had an extraordinary public notoriety that persists  25 years after her death at 80 in 1993.

Duchess’s sexual voracity is focus of opera with unflagging singers and INO Orchestra

A beautifully reserved account of the Cello Concerto from Alban Gerhardt

Dee Forbes wants to give the impression RTÉ is committed to maintaining two orchestras, but it has forced the NSO into a situation(...)

Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward. Photograph: Lewis Hayward

Musicians whose work will be at this week’s New Music Festival talk about their influences, ambitions and fears

Powder Her Face, National Opera House, Wexford

From the scandalous opera by Thomas Adès to new work by Crash Ensemble

RTÉ NSO offered a revised version of Deirdre Gribbin’s 2012 piano concerto, ‘The Binding of the Years’, with Finghin Collins as solois

There were, of course, multiple pleasures along the way – this was a leading Czech orchestra playing some of the greatest Czech mu(...)

A performance of Thomas Adès’s ‘Powder Her Face’

Opera is becoming ‘sexy again’ and Irish National Opera aims to capitalise on the new interest by bringing opera to the people

The Czech orchestra is playing three times at the NCH; Stutzmann’s RTÉ NSO concerts are not to be missed

Magdalena Kozena showed a  natural ease of production and expression

Magdalena Kozena makes singing seem like an entirely natural activity

Nikolay Khozyainov: 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition winner

2012 Dublin International Piano Competition winner Nikolay Khozyainov returns to NCH

Anna Devin: she is one of those singers whose sheer fluency and ease of command can quite mask the extremity of some of the demands she masters in performance

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra makes important exploration of Mozart and Rameau

Czech mezzo soprano Magdalena Kozená is the soloist with Le Concert d’Astrée at the NCH on Thursday

Emmanuelle Haïm brings French baroque to Dublin, rising star Duncan Ward conducts the RTÉ NSO; and Dublin International Piano Comp(...)

Alexander Toradze: His approach was to ignore all the music’s invitations to prattle in predictable patterns

It is designed to make players sound better than they are – but a recent performance did the opposite

Peter Whelan: he wants to work on “music that I felt passionate about but that wouldn’t get done anywhere else”

Whelan has moved from wind section to the podium as artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra

The Estonian Philharmonic Orchestra return as part of the celebration of the centenary of the foundation of the Republic of Estonia

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Kaspars Putninš, The Vanbrugh, RTÉ NSO/Harry Bicket

Director John Harris: lumbered with new commitments?

New Music Dublin to open with Crash Ensemble on the front steps of the National Concert Hall at sunset

Italian conductor Daniele Rustioni

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

Gavan Ring, Jennifer Davis, Fergus Sheil, performing with the RTÉNSO.  Photograph: Ste Murray

Launch of new company ‘a golden moment’ and signals commitment to Irish creative talent

The Music of Our Times series at the NCH features Australian composer Brett Dean

Celebrating composer Brett Dean, Stravinsky’s Funeral Song resurfaces and composers on love

In rehearsal at the National Concert Hall ahead of the  Chamber Music Gathering,  were, from left, David McElroy (violin), Siun Milne (violin), Ed Creedon (viola), Beth McNinch (viola) and Christopher Ellis (cello). Photograph: Mark Stedman

The NCH event has a thing or two to learn from West Cork Festival

Claudia Boyle will be one of 12 leading Irish singers taking part in the Big Bang! at the NCH on Tuesday. Photograph: Kip Carroll

Chamber music at the NCH; Irish National Opera company celebrates 2018 programme with 12 top singers; and Russian conductor Stanis(...)

RTÉ Concert Orchestra:  what’s the score? Photograph: Mark Stedman

RTÉ’s role as ‘primary custodian’ of symphonic music must be challenged

American tenor Charles Castronovo appears with Claudia Boyle at the New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala at the RDS

New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala – New Year Celebration – RTÉ NSO/Alexander Shelley


Council needs to embrace idea it will no longer be sole recipient of funding

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said: ‘We should make an objective assessment of what the two full orchestras would cost and take that out of the licence fee and ringfence it.’ File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

New Music Dublin festival director claims rumoured cutbacks would have trickle-down effect

Christoph Altstaedt conducts the UlsterOrchestra for the seasonal favourite Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite at Ulster Hall

Irish Opera Artists’ Christmas Gala and A Box of Festive Delights 

Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov:  ‘What he does with his hands is technically incredible,’ according to one of  the world’s greatest living pianists,  Martha Argerich

It’s always a pleasure to meet so accomplished, so resourceful and so thoughtful a virtuoso as Russian Daniil Trifonov

Fergus Sheil: artistic director of Irish National Opera.   Photograph: Alan Betson

Company’s first production, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, to be directed by Patrick Mason

Egyptian soprao Fatma Said performs at RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Christmas Gala

Lauma Skride, UO/Olari Elts – Ailish Tynan (soprano), ICO/Katherine Hunka (violin)

New York’s Metropolitan Opera says it will investigate allegations that its longtime conductor, James Levine, sexually abused a teenager in the mid-1980s. Photograph: AP/Michael Dwyer

‘Conversations I’ve had with victims over the years suggests that Ireland is no different in relation to these issues’

Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov performs at the NCH, Dublin, on Tuesday

RTÉ Contempo Quartet play Beethoven while Peter Whelan directs Irish Baroque Orchestra performance of Handel’s Messiah

Crash Ensemble celebrated its 20th birthday with 20 commissions which, through its CrashLands project, it brought to rural locations that it has identified as both ‘unusual’ and ‘iconic’

Taoiseach weighs in, Minister for Arts kicks to touch, Fianna Fáil comes late to the cause

JoAnn Falletta makes her Dublin debut at the National Concert Hall

Crash Ensemble celebrate 20 years with special performance and Nathalie Stutzmann leads the RTÉ NSO in Strauss and Mozart

“RTÉ’s orchestras have a singular place in Irish musical heritage,” said the national broadcaster’s head of orchestras, Aodán Ó Dubhghaill, who works for a company that has been shedding orchestral posts for a few years now. Photograph: Dave Meehan

When orchestras are silenced, society will feel the loss

Daria van den Bercken: celebrates the influence of dance music on the piano

Ted talk star Daria van den Bercken is in Galway and Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova plays an all-French programme in Drogheda

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten should be alarmed by recent comments by a member of the RTÉ Authority to Ivan Yates. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Is the strange approach to filling key posts in RTÉ’s orchestras a ploy to tear them down?

Michael McHale, soloist in Schumann’s Piano Concerto in conductor Michael Collins’s concert with the City of London Sinfonia

City of London Sinfonia with pianist Michael McHale and conductor Michael Collins, Quatuor Voce’s nine-stop tour and NI Opera stag(...)

Members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Are they facing a merger with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra? Photograph: Mark Stedman

Cuts in RTÉ’s pool of musician employees is fuelling speculation about a merger of its two orchestras

Elaine Agnew’s ‘Make a Wish’ is one of the chosen works in ‘Music of Our Time’ at the NCH

At last, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is presenting ‘A celebration of contemporary Irish female composers’ at the NCH

Fidelio Trio: their playing of Beethoven’s Ghost Trio had a kind of antiseptic cleanness, as if each of the three players – violinist Darragh Morgan, cellist Adi Tal and pianist Mary Dullea – were slightly cocooned from one another. Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

Its Chamber Music series is its largest yet with a welcome focus on native talent

Pianist Finghin Collins  at the launch of the New Ross piano festival on bord the ‘Dunbrody’ Famine Ship. Photograph: Mary Browne

Finghin Collins goes solo at Wexford Festival Opera

The plot of Alfano’s ‘Risurrezione’ features a man who abuses a young girl. Photograph: Clive Barda

We laugh and clap along with characters in opera whose actions would scandalise us in real life

 Risurrezione at Wexford Festival Opera. Photograph: Clive Barda

‘Medea’ misses the mark while ‘Risurrezione’ goes down a storm

Oscar Ghiglia: ‘When I play, it is as if I were teaching, in a way, and vice versa’

Italian classical guitarist Oscar Ghiglia pulls no punches when it comes to his students or his peers

Orla Boylan  stars as Eithne, daughter of the King of Tír na nÓg at the NCH.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Wexford Festival Opera begins while ‘Eithne’ is presented in a concert performance

Tine Thing Helseth plays St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin

A celebrated Swedish brass player, a master US percussionist and a Norwegian trumpeter

On Friday, the RTÉ NSO’s new principal guest conductor, Nathalie Stutzmann, showed just how significant a conductor’s intervention can be

Nathalie Stutzmann infuses the RTÉ NSO’s playing with litheness, clarity and wit on her guest debut

 Nathalie Stutzmann, the new principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra,  begins her tenure with a programme at the National Concert Hall on Friday

Classical highlights: Veronika Eberle, Tallis Scholars and RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Nathalie Stutzmann: “A skinny guy will not produce the same sound as a very fat one”

Nathalie Stutzmann, the new guest conductor of the RTÉ NSO, has found two very different ways of producing sound

IBO’s artistic director Monica Huggett suggested that people imagine their performance as ‘musical vaudeville’

The IBO’s take on Mozart’s Musical Joke trample it to the level of the Dumb and Dumber movies

The Irish Chamber Orchestra

Culture Night concerts by Chamber Choir Ireland and Irish Chamber Orchestra offers 365 Variations on a Gesture

MENDELSSOHN: VIOLIN CONCERTO; HEBRIDES OVERTURE; REFORMATION SYMPHONYIsabelle Faust (violin), Freiburger Barockorchester/Pablo Her(...)

Peter OReilly, Benjamin Russell and Christopher Cull in    Benjamin Britten’s opera ‘Owen Wingrave’. Photograph: Frances Marshall

‘Owen Wingrave’ fails to come to theatrical life

RTÉ Contempo Quartet

Elisaveta Blumina in Dublin, RTÉ Contempo Quartet on tour and Irish Baroque Orchestra

MOZART: PIANO CONCERTOS NOS 25 & 26Francesco Piemontesi (piano), Scottish CO/Andrew Manze ****Linn Records CKD 544

The Navarra Quartet, above, with cellist Guy Johnston performed in Westport House at last weekend’s Westport Chamber Music Festival

Westport Festival expands from three to six concerts

KURTÁG: COMPLETE WORKS FOR ENSEMBLE AND CHOIR *****Netherlands Radio Choir, Asko|Schönberg/Reinbert de LeeuwECM New Series 481 288(...)

 David Brophy, who conducted the SinfoNua at the National Concert Hall  last weekend

Esker Festival Orchestra and SinfoNua will be among victims of musical decline at RTÉ

Téada Trio: Matt Rafter (cello), Tim Doyle (violin) and Svetlana Rudenko (piano)

Téada Trio explore synaesthesia, David Brophy conducts SinfoNua, and a choral contrast

The six-person steering group of Sounding the Feminists is chaired by composer Karen Power

What they want is for audiences ‘to hear the voices of those who continue to be marginalised due to their sex, gender identity, se(...)

Free invitation concert with the Ulster Orchestra, conducted by one of Estonia’s leading conductors Olari Elts

The best classical concerts next week

Pianist Alfred Brendel gives the audience the unexpected pleasure of performing most of the musical examples himself

Alfred Brendel plays along to probing essay: and who was being guyed in Crash Assembly piece?

SHOSTAKOVICH: SYMPHONY NO 1 ETCOrchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/Gustavo GimenoPentatone PTC 5186 6223

Finnegan Downie Dear: The young English conductor’s lunchtime programme takes the RTÉ Concert Orchestra through three different views of the Orient.

This week’s best classical concerts

 Liam Byrne  in Talbot’s Tower, Kilkenny

Peter Whelan is at the start of a journey to uncover a neglected part of our musical legacy

Christian Blackshaw: performing Schubert’s piano sonatas at Kilkenny Arts Festival

Schubert: Dreaming the Sublime, Giulio Cesare, and Rediscovering Irish State Musick

Iestyn Davies: “Somebody sitting beside me said, ‘That sounds all right. You should do it more often.’ ” Photograph: Marco Borggreve

After Iestyn Davies’s voice broke, finding his falsetto ‘accessed something inside of me’

John Harris: arriving into a situation in which future festival themes and commissions are already in train

The experience of the festival has been like that of a child of warring parents

Sharon Carty as Amy in The Second Violinist which had its  world premiere on July 27th as part of the 40th Galway International Arts Festival. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist, with a libretto by Enda Walsh, takes the phone in opera fully into the 21st century

Veronica Dunne: Ireland’s most influential singing teacher. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Russian fare and a 90th birthday celebration for Veronica Dunne

Frank McNamara  was genial, resolute and even-handed as a task-master – and encouraging as a teacher. Photograph: Jason Clarke

The pianist shows students how to handle the pressure of improvisation

Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist, his second opera with writer and director Enda Walsh, premieres at the Galway Arts Festival

Dublin International Piano Festival, opera at the Galway Arts Festival and 37th Chamber Music Festival in Castletownshend

German organist Ansgar Wallenhorst is such a fan that he included no less than three improvisations in his recital at St Michael’s Church, Dún Laoghaire, on Sunday

Many great composers were also great improvisers, Mozart, Beethoven and Bruckner among them

Mezzo soprano Tara Erraught, with the   RTÉ NSO/Gavin Maloney, at the NCH, Dublin, on Friday

Irish mezzo soprano Tara Erraught comes to the National Concert Hall

German-Korean violinist Viviane Hagner

West Cork Chamber Music Festival director Francis Humphreys struck gold this year bringing together violinist Viviane Hagner, cell(...)

Karen Ní Bhroin, who will make her debut with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday.

Giya Kancheli miniatures get an airing while Karen Ní Bhroin makes her RTÉ NSO debut

ORA/Suzi Digby Many are the WondersHarmonia Mundi HMM 905284 4

English pianist Julius Drake: expressive vehemence

Composer Hanns Eisler wrote the `Hollywood Songbook' while in enforced exile from Germany

 Fergus Sheil speaking after picking up the best opera award at this year’s Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards, for The Barber of Seville by Wide Open Opera. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Opera Theatre Company and Wide Open Opera will merge to form new entity

Cellist Norah O’Leary from Ensemble Dagda with students from St Brendan’s NS Bantry at the launch of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Bantry, Co Cork. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Ahead of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, five string players discuss their work

Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino gives the impression of re-drawing time. Photograph: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Despite denouncing Stockhausen as a charlatan, Brian Boydell was no traditionalist. And Salvatore Sciarrino at Silenzio further ce(...)

BEL CANTO PAGANINIRachel Barton Pine (violin)Avie AV 2374 (2 CDs)4

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

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