RTÉ Concert Orchestra

RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Our Story

Principal Guest Conductor Stephen Bell

Associate Principal Conductor Gavin Maloney

Associate Artist Guy Barker

Associate Artist Zoë Conway

Conductor Laureate Proinnsías Ó Duinn

Leader Mia Cooper

Introducing orchestral music to new audiences since 1948, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra has built a strong connection with the public that saw it voted the World’s Favourite Orchestra 2015. Eclectic programming sees the RTÉ CO perform with artists including Pavarotti, Lang Lang, Lalo Schifrin, Marvin Hamlisch and Cleo Laine. Performances with Irish artists include Declan O’Rourke, Sinéad O’Connor, Imelda May, Eleanor McEvoy, Wallis Bird, Maura O’Connell, Lisa Hannigan, Mick Flannery, James Vincent McMorrow, Faye O’Rourke, Andrea Corr and Jerry Fish. A hugely successful collaboration with RTÉ 2fm and DJ Jenny Greene won the IMRO Outstanding Achievement Award 2018, and early in 2020 A Woman’s Heart Orchestrated and a Leonard Cohen tribute made a strong impact both as live events and as TV and radio broadcasts.

The RTÉ CO performed in seven Eurovision Song Contests, including the famous Riverdance interval act. Film credits include Stephen Rennicks’ score to Room and Brian Byrne’s Golden Globe-nominated score to Albert Nobbs. Recordings include Korngold’s Violin Concerto with Andrew Haveron conducted by John Wilson, Howard Shore’s A Palace Upon the Ruins and Niall Horan’s Flicker.

Opera, ballet and choral performances include collaborations with Irish National Opera, English National Ballet and Our Lady’s Choral Society. Films performed with live score include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the world première of Vertigo, the Irish première of A Nightmare Before Christmas performed with Danny Elfman and Mise Éire.

The RTÉ CO has appeared as the ‘house orchestra’ on The Late Late Show, on Dancing with the Stars, in the Centenary concert, in Instrumental, The High Hopes Choir and Shine. ‘The RTÉ Concert Orchestra Presents…’ broadcasts on Bank Holidays on RTÉ Radio 1 have featured collaborations with top talent including Villagers, Zoë Conway, Moving Hearts and John Grant.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the RTÉ CO produced a wide range of work including new Guy Barker jazz arrangements, an award-winning John Lennon tribute, a 50th anniversary Clannad celebration, a chart-topping single and a TV tribute to David Bowie with an international line-up including members of Bowie’s own band.

Recent projects have included Thin Lizzy Orchestrated, the world première screening of Room with live score and a rare combination of blues and orchestra in the Delta Blues Project, a concert introduced by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman.

All the members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra are great artists individually – put together you can imagine. - Lalo Schifrin, Movie/jazz legend