Ulster Hall, Belfast, Tonight, 7.45pm
Since he won the RTE Musician of the Year Competition back in 1994, Finghin Collins has been a pianist of note in Ireland.
Now the 33-year-old has established an international reputation through his career performances and several CDs. As a former pupil of, arguably perhaps, the best teacher in Ireland, John O’Conor, Finghin had the good fortune to be given a firm foundation in pianistic technique and an ability to recognise that it takes hard work as well as talent to succeed. But success he has and the reviews he now elicits testify to his maturity of musical approach.
A fondness for the piano music of Robert Schumann has marked Finghin’s career in particular and several recordings of this composer’s works have led to high praise indeed. “He possesses the secret of the Schumann sound” wrote the French critic Philippe van den Bosch, while David Nice in the BBC Music Magazine commented that “Collins leaves me wanting to hear more”.
Maybe the BBC took him up on that, because tonight in the Ulster Hall with the Ulster Orchestra, BBC Radio Three has invited Finghin to perform Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor.
The concert will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Schumann’s birth and will also include his rarely heard “Julius Caesar” Overture and his Fourth Symphony. For tickets tel: 0370 903 0304 /www.bbc.co.uk/ni/tickets