Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Orchestra new season

By Philip Hammond

Ulster Hall, Belfast, Wednesday, September 21, 7.45pm

In what is being dubbed as ‘a taster concert’, the orchestra is fielding its excellent leader, Tamás Kocsis, as soloist in Beethoven’s Romance in F major for solo violin and orchestra, and the Orchestra’s trumpeters, Paul Young and Patrick McCarthy, will be soloists in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets.

This isn’t a programme for aficionados of an obscure orchestral repertoire and the concert is geared towards attracting an audience who will want to hear familiar orchestral music.

The search to attract a wider and less specifically focused audience continues unabated in these difficult financial times for all arts organisations, so the Ulster Orchestra must constantly have an eye to box office receipts beyond its subscription series at the same time as introducing more people to that series. So along with the Beethoven and Vivaldi pieces already mentioned, you will hear popular pieces like Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, an excerpt from Bizet’s Carmen Suite No.1, a bit of Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, and chunks of Bernstein, Ravel and Howard Ferguson.

American conductor JoAnn Faletta (right) also makes her official debut appearance with the orchestra as its new Principal Conductor, following her appointment back in May this year. Described by The New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation”, the Grammy Award-winning Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, will have eight engagements with the Ulster Orchestra this coming season. This will include five of its main season concert programme and regional concerts and other events in the first year of her three-season contract.

JoAnn has a reputation for huge amounts of energy and drive and I expect this type of programme next Wednesday will give her plenty of room to exercise those particular talents to the full.

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