RTE National Symphony Orchestra 2011-2012 Season

Associate Artist Finghin Collins gives his thoughts on his 2011-2012 Season

Looking forward
'My first season as RTÉ NSO Associate Artist has been all I hoped for and more. The response from the musicians and management of the orchestra and from the general public has been overwhelming. Directing the Mozart concerti from the piano has been stimulating, challenging, exhausting, and so rewarding. The relationship with the musicians gets deeper and closer. I look forward to the next stage on this journey with bated breath.'

'In my second season as RTÉ NSO Associate Artist, I will continue my journey through the complete Mozart piano concerti, start the Beethoven Piano Concerti project (that will eventually include the "Triple", the Choral Fantasy and Beethoven's own transcription of his Violin Concerto), and I will perform the world première of The Binding of the Years, a new work by the intriguing Irish composer Deirdre Gribbin, commissioned by RTÉ for me as Associate Artist.'

Friday 30 September
Mozart for the Voice

'We performed thirteen Mozart concerti last season - and what a blast it was to direct them in groups of three in the main season in Dublin and three more all around the country! As I write this in April (2011), I still have three more to perform in Letterkenny. This season we can take it a bit more gently. Conducting an all-Mozart programme including concert arias with the outstanding Dutch soprano Lenneke Ruiten will perhaps be the most exciting element of this new season for me. Lenneke's recording of Mozart concert arias with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra is truly amazing: she sings this sublime music with a breath-taking facility and I can't wait to conduct her singing some of them. The concert also includes the K450 piano concerto in B flat and we finish with the unique and beautiful aria "Ch'io mi scordi di te" for soprano, piano and orchestra. Expect fireworks from start to finish!'
The Mozart Piano Concerti Cycle continues on 27 January and 18 May.

Sunday 26 February |Sunday 4 March
Beethoven piano concerti

'Though I have been performing concerti with the RTÉ NSO since I was sixteen, I have - believe it or not - never performed a Beethoven concerto with the orchestra. This season we put this to rights when I embark on a performance of the complete Beethoven piano concertos on Sunday afternoons. For the "Triple" I am delighted to be joined by top soloists Valeriy Sokolov and Marc Coppey. What better way can there be to spend a Sunday afternoon than to listen to this fabulous music?'

Friday 25 May
The Binding of the Years

'When I was initially approached about becoming Associate Artist of the RTE NSO, I knew that I wanted the orchestra to commission a living composer to write a work for piano and orchestra for us to perform. I was thrilled when Deirdre Gribbin agreed to do this. At the time of writing, I have absolutely no idea what the piece will be like. I do know however that it will be interesting, exciting, unique and different...'

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