Belfast Telegraph

Monday 5 October 2015

A little fine tuning for Barry's big night

By Eddie McIlwaine

Published 28/12/2006

The Steinway grand piano at the Waterfront Hall is about to be given a special tuning in preparation for its most important concert to date.

On January 12, celebrity pianist Barry Douglas, who chose the instrument for the Waterfront when the place was being built, is coming home to play it for the Waterfront's 10th anniversary - just as he did when the hall first opened on January 17, 1997.

And once again Barry will be expected to perform the Londonderry Air.

It was a moment to remember. Just as the opening concert was drawing to a close, Douglas strode back on stage and played Danny Boy to an enthralled, tearful audience.

"I'll never forget the occasion," he says now. "It was one of those special gala nights at home. Of course, I'll be anxious to play the famous old air again."

So the Steinway is being tuned to ensure all goes right on the Waterfront's 10th anniversary.

The highlight of the show, which reunites Barry with the Ulster Orchestra, will be the Brahms First Piano Concerto.

Conductor on the night will be János Fürst, the Orchestra's first leader when it was founded 40 years ago this season.

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