Composer John Kinsella in conversation with Séamus Crimmins

Friday 29 November at the National Concert Hall

Ahead of the world premiere of John Kinsella’s 11th Symphony performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra on Friday 29 November at the National Concert Hall, an occasion which will also see Kinsella being awarded the National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award, the RTE NSO presents John Kinsella in conversation with the former Director of RTÉ Orchestras, Quartet and Choirs, and the Founding Head of RTÉ Lyric fm, Séamus Crimmins. This talk will take place at 6.30pm as part of Soundings, the RTÉ NSO’s free pre-concert talk series. The full programme for the performance also includes Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with Vadym Kholodenko as soloist, and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 3. Jean Deroyer conducts.

Writing about John on RTÉ Culture, Séamus notes this world premiere performance as “an event of national significance”, going on to say: “Gentle and reserved by nature John’s deep love of music and composition has created a lifetime’s output for us which is characterised by rigorous self examination, passion, single-mindedness and originality. He has bestowed his unique talent to Ireland’s musical and cultural life and he deserves our utmost admiration.”

To celebrate the world premiere and the Lifetime Achievement Award, RTÉ lyric fm will broadcast, This Symphonic Life, a specially commissioned Lyric Feature on John Kinsella and his work on Sunday 24 November at 6pm. The programme, which is presented by Mary Brophy, is an intimate portrait of Ireland’s most prolific symphonist, exploring the evolution of Kinsella’s compositions and his commitment to the art form.

John Kinsella was appointed Head of Music at RTÉ in 1983 and retired in 1988 to concentrate on composition. Since then Kinsella has composed eleven symphonies, concertos for violin and cello, Cúchulainn and Ferdia – Duel and the Ford (written to mark the 60th anniversary of the RTÉ NSO in 2008) and has brought his numbered string quartets to five among many other smaller scale pieces. He has recently composed three songs for the Irish Art Song Project and has also contributed a series of pieces for double bass for an international project this year to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. John received the Marten Toonder Award in 1979 and became a founding member of Aosdána in 1981. Some of his works are recorded on Chandos, Naxos, RTÉ lyric FM and Irish Chamber Orchestra labels.