RTÉ NSO 2008-2009 Season
In association with Anglo Irish Bank


In a season that marks the final year in Gerhard Markson's distinguished eight-year tenure as Principal Conductor, highlights will include:

. a retrospective of Gerhard Markson's work with the orchestra, featuring many of his favourite works and soloists

. world-class artists including pianists Freddy Kempf and Louis Lortie, violinists Sarah Chang and Chloë Hanslip, cellists Natalie Clein and Maria Kliegel and percussionist Colin Currie, as well as exciting young Irish performers including violinist Elizabeth Cooney and soprano Celine Byrne (2007 Maria Callas Grand Prix winner)

. a free concert for Culture Night, 19 September, featuring music by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Stravinsky.

. world premières of new works by Stephen Gardner, Gerald Barry and Fergus Johnston, all commissioned by RTÉ, as well as contemporary music by Jennifer Higdon, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Per Nørgård, Edino Krieger, James MacMillan and Giya Kancheli

. twelve of the greatest piano concertos, by composers including Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov

. violin concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, cello concertos by Elgar and Schumann, as well as more rarely performed concertos like Richard Strauss' for oboe, Carl Reinecke's for flute and Jennifer Higdon's for percussion

. milestone classical and romantic symphonies by Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov

. a 10th birthday salute to RTÉ lyric fm, featuring Beethoven's 'Choral' Symphony and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 with Finghin Collins (1 May)

. for the first time, both matinee and evening performances of the New Year's Day Viennese Gala, featuring soprano Klara Ek and conductor Christopher Warren-Green (1 January)


Principal Conductor Gerhard Markson will conduct 14 programmes. These include the season's opening and closing concerts, featuring Beethoven's 'Emperor' Piano Concerto and Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony respectively (5 September and 22 May); RTÉ lyric fm's 10th birthday concert (1 May) featuring Beethoven's 'Choral' Symphony No. 9 and Haydn's The Creation (28 November). Among the other highlights in his concerts are Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and the March tour with pianist Bernd Glemser featuring Liszt, Brahms and Haydn. The other RTÉ NSO regional tour takes place in November, under conductor Vladimir Altschuler.


Anniversary celebrations for the bicentenary year of Haydn's death and Mendelssohn's birth, including performances of two oratorios - Haydn's The Creation and Mendelssohn's St Paul - as well as six of Haydn's London symphonies, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and his 'Scottish' and 'Italian' Symphonies

Soundings is the new name for the free pre-concert talk series. This season, for the first time, there is the opportunity to hear many of the artists in conversation. The exciting line-up includes pianists John O'Conor, Louis Lortie, Freddy Kempf and Simon Trpceski, cellist Natalie Clein, percussionist Colin Currie, mezzo-soprano Ann Murray, conductors Gerhard Markson and Alan Buribayev and Gerald Barry. Their insights and perspectives promise an interesting lead-in to the concert experience.

Standard ticket prices range from €10 to €35 (with limited concessions available for students, unwaged and senior citizens). Under the Student Stand-by scheme, tickets can be purchased for €5 one hour before the concert (subject to availability). Discounts are offered to those booking packages, whether devotees wanting to attend every concert or those wanting to tailor packages to their individual needs. A full season package offers a discount of 30%, while the Take Your Pick options offer discounts of up to 15%. Package booking opens at the National Concert Hall on Friday 23 May, 6pm, and individual concerts can be booked from 12 noon on Monday 23 June.

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