Happy Birthday, Wolfgang
Join us for RTÉ Television's major celebration of Mozart's 250th anniversary year.
In The Mozart Sessions, following on from last year's successful The Symphony Sessions, eight young stars of Irish classical music join the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gerhard Markson.
Our soloists include pianist Finghin Collins and violinist Sarah Sexton, John Ryan on French horn and Aisling Casey on oboe, with singers Mairéad Buicke, Doreen Curran, Roland Davitt and Rebecca Ryan.
In eight half-hour programmes to be broadcast over July and August on Sunday evenings on RTÉ One, they'll perform some of Mozart's best-loved music - movements from symphonies and concertos, arias from operas, as well as some chamber pieces. And on Sunday afternoons towards the end of the series, you'll also be able to hear in full some of the concertos and symphonies whose movements are included in the half-hour programmes.
You'll also get the opportunity to meet Gerhard Markson, the soloists and members of the orchestra, as they talk about Mozart - the man and the composer - about their approach to performing his music and about their own lives as musicians.
Masterpieces will range from the dark lyricism of the Piano Concerto in D minor to the exuberance of the 'Jupiter' Symphony, from the delighted inventiveness of concertos for violin, oboe and horn, to the rhapsodic beauty of arias from The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan Tutte.
The Mozart Sessions is directed by Maurice Linnane who moves into different musical territory, having worked extensively with U2 - including a stint as Artistic Director of the band's Zoo TV world tour - as well as with The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Garth Brooks, Norah Jones and many more. Closer to home, his subjects have ranged from DJ Carey and Horslips. Earlier this year, he directed the 'Other Voices' series for Hummingbird Productions as well as RTÉ Television's coverage of the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition.
The series will provide both a treat for Mozart lovers and a welcoming introduction to this music in which generations have recognised the complexity, pleasures and struggles of human existence.