Master flautist Sir James Galway returned to Belfast on Saturday for a sparkling collaboration with the Ulster Orchestra.
The orchestra’s recently-appointed first artist laureate presided over an evening of popular classics in a sold-out Waterfront Hall.
The programme began with Suppé’s Light Cavalry Overture, brought to life by booming drums and crashing cymbals.
The man with the golden flute then fetched his signature instrument for a performance of Mozart’s Concerto in C, accompanied by the royal harpist Claire Jones.
Galway’s virtuosity was matched by his wit and rapport with the audience.
He held up proceedings to wait for three latecomers to get into their seats, then turned to the crowd and jokingly rolled his eyes.
The show went on with some Elgar and Bolcom, and a medley of traditional Irish songs.
For Lannigan’s Ball, Sir James was joined by his wife, Lady Jeanne Galway.
“She doesn’t let me duet with anybody else,” he quipped.
At 72, with more than 50 years in the business, Sir James Galway can still enchant and entertain his audience.
\[Michael McSwiggan\]He reminisced about flute lessons in Cherryvalley, and whipped out a tin whistle for a lilting Danny Boy.
The legendary Ulsterman has played all around the world with many of the most prestigious musicians, but it clearly meant something to him to be back on home turf.