January 2021 with RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE

Fridays 8, 15, 22, 29 January

RTE National Symphony Orchestra LIVE continues in January 2021 with four concerts live-streamed on www.rte.ie/culture from the National Concert Hall and live on RTÉ lyric fm.

Repertoire ranges from Gluck, Haydn and Mozart to works by Stravinsky (in the year marking the 50th anniversary of his death), Irish composer and RTÉ lyric fm’s first ever composer in residence, Elaine Agnew, and three composers who shaped and defined the sound of contemporary American music: Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and John Adams.

Irish artists featuring are conductors Robert Houlihan, Gavin Maloney and David Brophy, pianist Finghin Collins and soprano Rachel Croash. RTÉ lyric fm’s Paul Herriott presents.

Friday 8 January: Robert Houlihan conducts the Overture to Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice, Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Haydn’s final symphony, No. 104, the ‘London’.

Friday 15 January: Gavin Maloney conducts the all-American programme featuring Copland’s Quiet City, his atmospheric concert suite for trumpet and orchestra, Samuel Barber’s gorgeous hymn to smalltown America, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with soprano Rachel Croash as soloist, and Shaker Loops by the Pulitzer Prize-winning John Adams. Based on childhood memories of an abandoned Shaker colony in New Hampshire. Adams says it ‘summons up the vision of these otherwise pious and industrious souls caught up in the ecstatic frenzy of a dance that culminated in an epiphany of physical and spiritual transcendence’.

Friday 22 January: In the year marking the 50th anniversary of his death David Brophy conducts Stravinsky’s Eight Instrumental Miniatures, Danses Concertantes, and his Concerto in E-flat (Dumbarton Oaks) described by Stravinsky as ‘a little concerto in the style of the Brandenburg concertos’, alongside Strings A-stray, Elaine Agnew’s feisty and playful fusion in four movements of wide-ranging influences from Ireland to South India via Poland and a bit of Bach and their own distinctive dance characteristic.

Friday 29 January: Finghin Collins leads the final concert directing two brilliant piano concertos by giants of the form, Haydn and Mozart. Haydn’s Piano Concerto No. 11, his final keyboard concerto and one which became the most popular of his 40 concertos during his lifetime, and Mozart’s ‘Jeunehomme’ Piano Concerto No. 9, composed on the cusp of the prodigy turning 21 and regarded as his first truly mature masterpiece.