Choral Rarities for our 2013-14 Season

Accompanied by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the 160 members of The Phil begin their exciting series of concerts with a spectacular performance of the Verdi Requiem, conducted by Kenneth Montgomery with top soloists Miriam Murphy (soprano), Imelda Drumm (alto), Bruce Sledge (tenor), and Matthew Best (bass), in a fitting tribute during the bicentenary year of Verdi's birth. (Friday 27 September, NCH, 8pm)

Another anniversary, the centenary of Benjamin Britten, is marked in November with a welcome return to Dublin for conductor Matthew Halls. Following his hightly acclaimed performance with the choir of J S Bach's Christmas Oratorio in January 2012, he will direct the combined forces of the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, RTÉ Cór na nÓg and the RTÉ NSO in Britten's enchanting Saint Nicholas, a portrait of the patron saint of Christmas. The concert also includes Britten's Soirées Musicales and the Cello Concerto. Pieter Wispelwey is the solo cellist and John Mark Ainsley the tenor for this joyous evening of music-making, celebrating one of Britains' greatest composers. (Friday 29 November, NCH, 8pm)

Following last year's sell-out St John Passion concert, Easter will be celebrated again with a performance of the Easter Oratorio and Cantata no 11 (Ascension Oratorio) by J S Bach on Good Friday, 18 April 2014, in the NCH at 3.30pm, conducted by Roy Goodman with a wonderful quartet of soloists - Sarah Power (soprano), Paula Murrihy (alto), James Gilchrist (tenor) and Michael George (bass).

Both works are being performed for the first time by The Phil, as are the concluding two pieces of the season, Song of the Soul by Stanford - rediscovered and receiving its European premiere almost a century after it was composed, and the neglected gem The Song of Hiawatha by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Together with Elgar's Enigma Variations, this concert promises to be a feast for the ears and a suitably dramatic finale to the choir's year. (Friday 16 May, NCH, 8pm, conducted by David Hill, with Kim Begley (tenor).

Tickets from the NCH Box Office 01 417 000 /

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