Daniele Rustioni — a rising star on the international music circuit — has extended his contract as Chief Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra.
Rustioni‘s current contract ends this year, but the extension will enable him to plan the 2022-23 season and conduct a number of major concerts during that time.
Recently maestro Rustioni received rave reviews for his work at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he consolidated his reputation as an outstanding international opera conductor.
Patrick McCarthy, the Ulster Orchestra’s head of artistic planning and operations, said: “We are delighted that Daniele has decided to stay with us into next season. I am very proud of our Orchestra’s association with this rising star, who is highly regarded globally, and I believe that he will become one of the superstar conductors on the main concert stages around the world.
“Daniele is very popular with our players and our audiences. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, where we give him a platform to explore a wide range of symphonic repertoire in contrast to his opera work, and we benefit from building a long-term relationship with a world-class talent.
“We are beneficial to him by giving him the opportunity to cover the full symphonic repertoire to add to his immense skills as an opera conductor, but more important, he is immensely more beneficial to us as our Chief Conductor.”
Mr McCarthy is encouraged by the advance booking for the current season which begins with a concert in the Ulster Hall on Friday.
“We had good booking over the Christmas period and I am looking forward to the rest of our season. We began with small audiences last autumn, due to the pandemic restrictions, but we are now finding that more and more people are coming to our concerts,” he said.
“I understand that some of our supporters are still a bit cautious about coming back, but I am confident that we can return to pre-pandemic audience numbers very soon.”
Some of the popular highlights of the coming season will feature the music of Star Wars composer John Williams on January 29, as well as Showtime Musicals on March 6. One of the most eagerly-anticipated events is the re-scheduled concert Shaken Not Stirred: the Music of James Bond on 2 April. All three concerts take place in the Waterfront Hall.
“The Bond concert was planned for April 2020 to coincide with the release of the latest Bond movie but was postponed due to the pandemic,” Mr McCarthy said.
Upcoming soloists include Rustioni’s wife Francesca Dego, a distinguished violinist in her own right. She will perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto on April 8.