Clarinettist Katherine Spencer

British clarinettist Katherine Spencer with the ICO, Yury Revic and Benedict Kloeckner on short tour and Chamber Choir Ireland per(...)

Mícheál  Ó Súilleabháin:  forged an immediately recognisable keyboard style. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Composer’s legacy will be his enriching and broadening of the study of music

The Fidelio Trio played a selection of works by Clara Schumann, Joan Trimble, Rebecca Clarke and Lili Boulanger

The Sounding the Feminists initiative hopes to redress the gender balance in composition

The Sounding the Feminists and NCH schemes are designed to present few barriers to entry, while the Arts Council scheme is dizzyingly excessive. Photograph: Aleksandar Georgiev/Getty Images

New commissioning schemes for women composers are not all straightforward

Hugh Tinney

Plus: Female Composer Series at NCH, and piano competition winner Sae Yoon Chon

Wexford Festival Opera: Leon Kim and Joo Won Kang in L’Oracolo. Photograph: Clive Barda/ArenaPal

Wexford Festival Opera reviews: ‘Leoni’ and ‘Mala Vita’; ‘Dinner at Eight’; and ‘Il Bravo’

Paula Murrihy will play Judith in the upcoming production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle for the Dublin Theatre Festival

Irish mezzo-soprano on her unusual route into a singing career and her upcoming role as Judith, the fourth wife of Bluebeard

RIAM season: the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho

Michael Dervan: Moves are afoot to orchestrate more equitable representation

Pianist Louis Schwizgebel. Photograph: Marco Borggreve

Plus: Don’t miss soprano Claudia Boyle’s showstopper in The Tales of Hoffmann

Wu Wei played at New Music Dublin 2018: Defrosted at the weekend.

Michael Dervan: Against the odds, Defrosted event offered memorable performances

The excitingly, wilfully dynamic Jean-Christophe Spinosi. With the NCH out of action the ICO is going to find its options even more limited as other promoters suck up viable alternatives.

DCU’s Helix, whose acoustics wipe the floor with the NCH, will be the only game in town

Cellist Natalie Clein took part in a thrusting account of Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata

The muscle cars of Cannonball Ireland were no match for the velvet sounds of Westport

Claudia Boyle takes on multiple roles in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman, on tour nationwide

Jean-Christophe Spinosi conducts the ICO; Claudia Boyle in ‘The Tales of Hoffman’

David Adams: recital at St Michael’s Church focused on music from Pope Francis’s home country, Argentina, and country of residence, Italy

Organ recital in Dún Laoghaire included music from Argentinian composer Ginastera

Raphaela Mangan, Andrew Gavin and Rory Musgrave in Opera Collective Ireland’s   ‘The Return of Ulysses’, directed by Patrick Mason and conducted by Christian Curnyn. Photograph: Marshall Light Studio

Westport Chamber Music Festival is back; plus Monteverdi’s ‘The Return of Ulysses’

The Heath Quartet performs chorales by Bach and Britten’s Second String Quartet at Westport House on  Sunday morning

The historic setting of Westport House is the centerpiece of this fine boutique festival in Co Mayo featuring works by Grieg, Moza(...)

The ConTempo Quartet: Their two programmes in the NCH’s International Concert Series feature  pieces by Jennifer Walshe and Linda Buckley

Why does the NCH need €20,000 before it will bother exploring music by women?

The Dublin native explains life as head coach do at one of the world’s great opera houses

Eugene Downes: his weaknesses in Kilkenny were as clear as his strengths. Photograph: Bryan Meade

He brought an opera focus to Kilkenny Arts Festival, but new music was neglected

Brahms’s career saw many changes in the world of piano design and manufacture

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin are in Kilkenny on Saturday

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Johnny Gandelsman and Stravinsky’s circus music

Emma Morwood and Andrew Gavin in The Return of Ulysses by Claudio Monteverdi. Photograph: Marshall Light Studio

The Return of Ulysses review: The musical equivalent of the world’s best chef using just a clutch of the finest ingredients

The Return of Ulysses

Participants in the first Irish production of ‘The Return of Ulysses’ talk to Michael Dervan

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in 2012.

The players have strong views on the major move – not that they’ve been asked

Gavan Ring: playing his native Cahersiveen

Gavan Ring warms up for BBC Proms debut with hometown concert; the first Irish production of Monteverdi’s ‘Il ritorno d’Ulisse’ ta(...)

David Agler: has been in situ at Wexford since 2005 but  will retire after the 2019 festival. Photograph: David Sleator

Will it pivot from David Agler’s taste for still alive composers and underuse of Irish talent?

Soprano Sinéad Campbell-Wallace: lunchtime at the NCH

RTÉ Concert Orchestra taking over summer orchestral slots on Tuesdays and Fridays at NCH

Siobhán Cleary: declined a lucrative Arts Council commission on the basis of gender bias. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Council scheme is set up in a way that cannot deal with idea of ‘equal pay for equal work’

Mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty stars in Orfeo at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway

Sharon Carty, Celine Byrne and Danielle de Niese are all performing in Ireland this week

Nathalie Stutzmann, principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra 2018. Photograph: Simon Fowler

Female composers are grossly underrepresented, but fixing the issue may not be easy

Eugenio Maria Fagiani. Photograph: YouTube

Organ improvisation in Dún Laoghaire and Gavin Maloney conducts the RTÉ NSO

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, which is without a principal conductor and recently lost its leader, Helena Wood

Will RTÉ, which has been killing off the orchestra, now be allowed to fill key positions?

Director Emma Martin and conductor Peter Whelan during rehearsals for Irish National Opera’s production of 'Orfeo ed Euridice' at Galway International Arts Festival. Photograph: Jeda de Brí

Emma Martin is stepping out of the dance world to direct Irish National Opera’s new production of ‘Orfeo ed Euridice’

Organist David Leigh

RTÉ NSO’s fanfares at lunchtime and Eugenio Fagiani improvises in Dún Laoghaire

Nathalie Stutzmann, principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, was not mentioned on   RTÉ  during a piece   about the National Concert Hall’s  Female Conductor Programme. Photograph:  Maxwell

The NSO needs Government action to preserve, protect and nurture it

Sebastian Heindl: senior section winner of 2017’s Northern Ireland International Organ Competition

West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Sebastian Heindl and Anthony Weeden

Belfast-born composer Deirdre Gribbin’s new piece   Kindersang addresses the   movement that brought 10,000 Jewish children to safety in Britain and Northern Ireland in the months before the outbreak of the second World War

Deirdre Gribbin’s Kindersang addresses the plight of 10,000 Jewish brought to Britain and Northern Ireland the outbreak of the sec(...)

Eamonn Quinn: What’s interesting about his curiosity in the world of new music is his lack of ideology. He does not appear to be interested in any style or trend for its own sake

Louth Contemporary Music Society’s Book of Hours Festival was unfailingly adventurous

Heading to Bantry for the West Cork Chamber Music Festival: Cédric Pescia,  Fiona Kelly, Nurit Stark, David Faber and Dudok Quartet, and Nathalia Milstein

Musicians playing the West Cork Chamber Music festival on a few of their favourite things

National Concert Hall Female Conductor  Finale: 12 young conductors gather on Wednesday. Photograph: Mark Stedman

Paul McNamara, Beckett Chamber Music Series and NCH Female Conductor Finale

New York-based Irish clarinettist Carol McGonnell played at the Airbnb International Hub on Hanover Quay

Festival director Eugene Downes’ term to come to an end after five years at the helm

Máire Carroll

Also, Two-day festival in the Oriel from Louth Contemporary Music Society

Pianist Thérèse Fahy: commissioned new pieces from seven Irish composers, and folded in a selection of Debussy’s own piano pieces with some of his instrumental works and songs

Ireland’s Tombeau to Debussy includes new pieces from seven Irish composers and a trio of NCH concerts

Würth Philharmoniker makes its Irish debut at the NCH on Tuesday

Also: Billionaire orchestra Würth Philharmoniker, and Pipeworks at Christ Church

Javier Abreu as Lindoro and Rachel Kelly as Isabella in Rossini’s ‘The Italian Girl in Algiers’. Photograph: Frances Marshall

The festival’s favoured production style is at the gag-rich, pantomime end of the spectrum

Simon Taylor, director of the National Concert Hall. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Director Simon Taylor is at the wishlist phase for the redevelopment of the NCH

ConTempo Quartet

Also: Kaleidoscope’s last in series; Fionnuala Moynihan surveys Schubert in Triskel, Cork

Sae Yoon Chon, from South Korea, became the first Asian winner of the Dublin International Piano Competition

The groundbreaking 22-year-old from South Korea picks up €15,000 prize

Qilin Sun delivered on Corigliano’s stipulation for a ‘stark, fierce’ opening with a vengeance.

International competition has hardly changed in 30 years but has seen increased Asian participation

Josepha Madigan: faced questions on the Boaden report in the Dáil. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The review on the RTÉ orchestras is anything but balanced – even absurd in places

Fiachra Garvey rehearsing at home in Ballyknockan, Co Wicklow with his sheep dog Luas. He set up the West Wicklow Festival. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Highly acclaimed German baritone Benjamin Appl will colse the close the Dublin Song Series

OrchKids: children from Baltimore’s OrchKids initiative, which provides instruments, music education, academic instruction and healthy food. Photograph: Bill Dennison

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is working with disadvantaged schools to help open its doors to everybody

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra: The Boaden review has called on the Government take over responsibility for the orchestra.

RTÉ has all but destroyed the National Symphony Orchestra. Should the State rescue an orchestra not fit for purpose?

Composer John Adams: Irish premiere of Four Thousand Holes

John Luther Adams, Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits and RTÉ NSO with Christian Vásquez

RTÉ NSO: Boaden’s achievement is to have made the unthinkable thinkable – that the broadcaster will lose an orchestra

The Boaden review says the broadcaster should jettison the NSO

Alan Rusbridger: in Galway on Sunday for an encounter with the Irish pianist Finghin Collins

Sligo International Chamber Music Festival is another highlight of the next seven days

German soprano Juliane Banse: ‘There has to be Brahms in it, or Strauss.’

Dearbhla Collins, curator/planner of the upcoming Dublin Song Series, is hard at work with German soprano Juliane Banse rehearsing(...)

Simon Rattle. I found a huge amount to admire in the LSO’s performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony under Rattle.

It helps, of course, that most of what was on offer was what you would call bankable fare

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra: far better equipped to do what the Concert Orchestra does than the other way around. Photograph: RTÉ

RTÉ’s management of orchestras in recent years was a calculated depreciation of assets

Members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, one of the national broadcaster’s two orchestras. Photograph: RTÉ

Report says National Symphony Orchestra should be established as separate cultural institution

Storm Large from Pink Martini performs Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s current Essential Classics series ends with a popular selection of Schubert and Beethoven

Irish-American mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato: described in the Guardian as “the most critically acclaimed and popular mezzo soprano of our day”

The new Irish National Opera is too risk-averse, while Wexford Festival's rare opera is not so rare anymore. And both need to enga(...)

Máire Falvin (Countess) and Tara Erraught (Susanna) in The Marriage of Figaro at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. Photograph: Pat Redmond

Director Patrick Mason ’s light touch creates the happy illusion of a non-interventionist approach

Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony

Choirland, a collection of 15 pieces for unaccompanied choir, goes on tour

Mezzo-soprano Gemma Ní Bhriain: the first of three recitals in the Dublin Song Series

The spoken word overlaid with music – or should it be the other way around – actually has quite a long history

‘Marriage of Figaro’ director Patrick Mason with Jonathan Lemalu, who plays Figaro

Director Patrick Mason on getting to the heart of Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, Irish National Opera’s new production

A promo picture for the Irish National Opera's production of 'Le nozze di Figaro'

Music Current 2018 offers a showcase of contemporary Irish electronic music

Hugh Tinney with David Orr (left) and Robin Frost (right) of  Harveys of Bristol  after 1987 Leeds competition. Photograph:  J Roberts

Founded by John O’Conor in 1988, the event gives free rein to competitors

The Far Flung Trio plays the Model, Sligo

Theodora in Clonard Monastery and Let’s Make Music in the Model, Sligo

Eamonn Quinn, co-founder and artistic director of the Louth Contemporary Music Society and winner of the prestigious Belmont Prize.

Founder of Louth Contemporary Music Society singled due to ‘burning passion for contemporary music’

ConTempo Quartet: three Saturday morning concerts with  performers from different musical backgrounds

There’s a Nordic affair at the NCH and the ConTempo Quartet mix things up in Galway

Met allegations: James Levine, who denies any wrongdoing, is suing his former employer for breach of contract and defamation. Photograph: Hiroyuki Ito/New York Times

Conductor files $6m suit for ‘kangaroo court’ decision

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

csah

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

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