David Banfield playing with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra

A video posted by RTÉ News on Monday 18 February of David Banfield, a young man on the autism spectrum, playing in the RTÉ Concert Orchestra that day has received 95k views and is being widely shared and admired. A clip was chosen to play out that evening’s Six One News.

David was in RTÉ as part of a group from Stewart’s Care visiting the RTÉ CO. Stewart’s, who work with people with intellectual disabilities, contacted the orchestra wondering whether it would be possible for a small group to observe the orchestra during a rehearsal and see what goes on behind the scenes. When the RTÉ CO heard about David’s talent as a violinist, it seemed an ideal chance to make a dream come true for him. So in rehearsal in RTÉ Radio Centre, David sat in to first violins to perform in the Finale of Beethoven’s famous Fifth Symphony.

‘I loved the music and had a great time,’ David write in afterwards, and his mother Deirdre praised the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, ‘They were all brilliant in the way they supported David,  and David himself really surprised me learning the piece so well in such a short time.’ Stewart’s have said that for the group to see one of their peers play to such a high standard with such a highly acclaimed orchestra made it special not just for David but for all of them.

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra were rehearsing for their Roll Over Beethoven concert, including the Violin Concerto and the Fifth Symphony, which is on at the National Concert Hall tonight Wednesday 18 February.