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Watch: Ulster Orchestra 50th anniversary celebrations kick off at Belfast Telegraph

Orchestra aims to break record with 50 performances in a day to mark golden anniversary

Published 28/09/2016

Violinists Jonathan Simmance and David McCann Williams visit the Belfast Telegraph offices as part of 50 pop-up performances to mark 50 years of the Ulster Orchestra. Kevin Scott/Belfast Telegraph
Violinists Jonathan Simmance and David McCann Williams visit the Belfast Telegraph offices as part of 50 pop-up performances to mark 50 years of the Ulster Orchestra. Kevin Scott/Belfast Telegraph
Violinists Jonathan Simmance and David McCann Williams visit the Belfast Telegraph offices as part of 50 pop-up performances to mark 50 years of the Ulster Orchestra. Kevin Scott/Belfast Telegraph
Violinists Jonathan Simmance and David McCann Williams visit the Belfast Telegraph offices as part of 50 pop-up performances to mark 50 years of the Ulster Orchestra. Kevin Scott/Belfast Telegraph
Violinists Jonathan Simmance and David McCann Williams visit the Belfast Telegraph offices as part of 50 pop-up performances to mark 50 years of the Ulster Orchestra. Kevin Scott/Belfast Telegraph

The Ulster Orchestra struck up a chord at the Belfast Telegraph offices on Wednesday as part of 50 pop up concerts to celebrate its golden anniversary.

Musicians will be scattered throughout Belfast as they attempt a record-breaking expedition of 50 performances to mark 50 years of the orchestra.

Passers-by in key locations, as well as some more quirky venues, will be wowed as members of the orchestra - ranging from soloists, ensembles, and the full Orchestra itself - play classical hits.

Venues include business premises, hotels, schools, universities, hospitals, cafes, museums and arts centres.

The musical moments entertained commuters at Belfast City Airport and Europa Bus Station while two violinists popped into the new Belfast Telegraph offices to serenade the newsroom with the sounds of Mozart and Bach.

Ulster Orchestra pops up at the Belfast Telegraph - some Bach

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The celebrations will culminate when the orchestra comes together at 1pm in Victoria Square Shopping Centre and again at 6.30pm in St Anne's Cathedral for hour long performances, where they will be joined by the Belfast Philharmonic Choir.

All events throughout the day are completely free and open to the public.

A full list of where you can see performances is available here.

For 50 years the Ulster Orchestra has been at the forefront of musical life in Northern Ireland.

Founded in 1966, the Orchestra first performed the bright and optimistic sound of Mozart's 'Marriage of Figaro' to a captive audience in Belfast City Hall and now plays 60 word-class performances for approximately 48,000 concertgoers every year.

Taking their audience on a journey through the decades, the band of professional, full-time musicians have brought the world's finest artists to Ulster and have toured the world performing classical music at the highest standard.

Speaking about the golden anniversary celebrations and the 50 pop-up performances, Richard Wigley, Managing Director, Ulster Orchestra said; "We are pulling out all the stops to make our fiftieth birthday season a striking musical celebration for the people of Northern Ireland.

"The fifty locations of the pop-up performances cover a wide spread of locations and communities across Belfast, which will mark the occasion as one of the most memorable in the history of the Orchestra.

"The musicians of the Orchestra are local people and take great delight in performing for fellow citizens; we're looking forward to our birthday pop-up performances that will entertain and surprise members of the public, spreading joy and delight as we celebrate our golden year."

The birthday celebrations will continue through to Friday 30th September, when the Orchestra will host a special, sold-out birthday concert in the Ulster Hall.

Orchestra fans, music enthusiasts and those simply enjoying the music at the pop-up performances will have the chance to win tickets to one of the Ulster Orchestra's 50th birthday season concerts by posting their selfies in front of the Orchestra on social media.

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