RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra 2013-2014
A BILL WHELAN GALA
SATURDAY 21 JUNE, 8PM
LIMERICK UNIVERSITY CONCERT HALL
RTÉ lyric fm and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
A Bill Whelan Gala
Bill Whelan An Chistin (7')
Bill Whelan Riverdance Symphonic Suite (30')
Bill Whelan Inishlacken (17')
Bill Whelan Linen and Lace (RTÉ lyric fm Commission) (20')
Star performers from the worlds of classical and traditional music, Sir James Galway flute, Zoë Conway fiddle, Catherine Leonard violin and Colin Dunne dancer, join the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gavin Maloney to celebrate the music of Grammy-winning Riverdance composer Bill Whelan with concerts in Dublin and Limerick in June. The Bill Whelan Gala concerts will take place in Dublin on Friday 20 June as part of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Season and, celebrating Limerick City of Culture 2014, in Limerick on Saturday 21 June.
The concerts will see the world premiere performances of Linen and Lace, Whelan's new flute concerto for the internationally renowned flautist, Sir James Galway and symphony orchestra, commissioned by RTÉ lyric fm to mark Limerick City of Culture, and will feature some of Whelan's most popular music: the colourful and dynamic Riverdance Symphonic Suite, the evocative Inishlacken and the exhilarating An Chistín from the Connemara Suite, Whelan's playful interaction between fiddle, feet and orchestra.
On his new composition Linen and Lace, Bill Whelan says: "When Sir James Galway and I first spoke of working together towards the birth of a new flute concerto, we wanted to link our two native cities. Belfast and Limerick are renowned respectively for their linen and lace and it was a beautiful image in "An Unborn Child" by the Belfast poet Derek Mahon which lubricated my imagination. The child, awaiting its birth, muses on the mysteries relayed "through the dark network" of its mother's body as she sews in expectation of the infant arrival. I pictured her fingering the filigree of Limerick Lace and grasping the supple strength of Belfast Linen. Somehow this image, and the anticipatory life of the womb, became the affirmative force which inspired this piece.
It has been over 20 years since I have had the opportunity to premiere a new piece with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, so it is a particular honour to bring this new concerto for James Galway to life for the first time with this orchestra. I am grateful to RTÉ lyric fm for making this happen, and I am especially delighted that it will form part of the programme of the Limerick City of Culture 2014."
The performance in the University Concert Hall, Limerick will be broadcast live on RTÉ lyric fm and webcast on www.rte.ie/lyricfm as part of the Limerick's City of Culture 2014 celebrations.
Click here to view Bill Whelan and Sir James Galway discuss Line and Lace, Whelan's new flute concerto for the internationally renowned flautist, Sir James Galway and symphony orchestra, commissioned by RTÉ lyric fm to mark Limerick City of Culture.