DAYBREAK WITH EVONNE FERGUSON

Wake up with Evonne Ferguson for beautiful carols and festive classics including Tchaikovsky's Christmas Eve ballet The Nutcracker, and The Night Before Christmas read by Risteárd Cooper with music by Philip Lane. Plus the Christmas Cantata Unser Mund sei voll Lachens BWV 110, first performed in Leipzig on Christmas Day 1725, and Anja Murray comes out of hibernation for a Naturefile special on the Wren.

Naturefile - The Wren

The wren is a distinctive little bird, their upturned tails and lively gait making them stand out in winter, despite their plain brown colours and tininess. The killing of the wren is a St Stephens Day tradition that continues in many parts of Ireland, but nowadays the 'wren boys’ travel from house to house bringing music and mayhem instead. Celebrate the Wren, this Christmas Eve, with Anja Murray on Nature File.


MOVIES AND MUSICALS WITH AEDÍN GORMLEY

A special Christmas Eve edition of the show with plenty of festive Christmas movie music to help you with the present wrapping! There'll be a wonderful selection box of seasonal favourites and Aedín is your host for 'Swingin' on Broadway' with The National Symphony Orchestra arranged and conducted by Brian Byrne with Anna- Jane Casey, Matt Ford, Lucia Evans, and William Byrne as star vocalists. They treat us to a celebration of the great songwriters of Broadway musicals including Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's West Side Story and favourites too from the pen of Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter and Kander and Ebb.

RTÉ lyric fm, Saturday 24th December, 1pm-4pm


OPERA NIGHT WITH PAUL HERRIOTT

Paper Boat the Opera by Elaine Agnew

In this Opera Night Special, we bring you the radio premiere of a new community opera by Elaine Agnew. Before we hear the opera itself in part one of tonight's programme we have a special Lyric Feature about the making of the opera.

Part 1

The Lyric Feature: Paper Boat Sets Sail

Paper Boat Sets Sail is a documentary telling the story of the making of 'Paper Boat'; a community opera for Galway. Using observational recordings, interviews and excerpts from the opera, the documentary places the listener at the centre of this creative venture. It follows the build-up to the opera, from rehearsals to opening night. It moves from band halls and community halls, with fluffed notes, frustrations and breakthroughs to the triumph and prestige of the opening night at St. Nicholas' Church. The documentary will be both a chronicle of this incredible creative collaboration between over 140 people and an insight into the processes involved in bringing the show to life. Commissioned by Music for Galway, Paper Boat is the first opera collaboration between writer Jessica Traynor, who wrote the libretto, and composer Elaine Agnew, whose music creates a magic canvas for the story. It tells the story of three strangers who arrive at the doors of St. Nicholas', all seeking sanctuary. Four professional singers are joined by chorus, youth chorus, brass band and a 36-piece orchestra, to bring the characters and tribes of Galway to life. The community opera has a cast of over 140 professional and amateur musicians from across Co. Galway all under the artistic direction of Mark Duley.

Presented and produced by Alan Meaney.

Producer for RTÉ lyric fm: Eoin O Kelly

Part 2

Music for Galway and Galway 2020 in association with Irish National Opera present: Paper Boat the Opera by Elaine Agnew

With a libretto written by Jessica Traynor and music by Elaine Agnew, the community opera Paper Boat, conducted by Sinead Hayes, weaves together history, mythology and current events to tell a story of human endurance, inspired by the diverse communities who engage with the cultural and spiritual hub that is St Nicholas' Collegiate Church, Galway.

RTÉ lyric fm, Saturday 24th December, 7pm-9pm


VESPERTINE WITH ELLEN CRANITCH

Were you good? You were Very Good, and your gift this Christmas Eve is a selection box of some fine and fabulous seasonal music. The glorious voice of Emily D'Angelo, the tracks in the jazz snow by Bugge Wesseltoft, the angelic voices of Voces 8, the slightly wonky-but-in-a-good-way piano of Chilli Gonzalez, and the Santa who has been at the sherry again blues of Nigel Mooney. Tuck in to the cosy and join me for The Night Before Christmas.

RTÉ lyric fm, Christmas Eve, Saturday 24th December, 9pm-12am


VOX NOSTRA WITH VLAD SMISHKEWYCH

Join Vlad for Centuries of Christmas, his annual millennium of music, on this special festive day. He'll explore the roots and branches of the heart-warming musical traditions around the Christmas celebrating-world, providing a magnificent musical accompaniment to your own celebrations. New releases of seasonal recordings interweave with beloved favourites, in a glorious garland of melodies.

RTÉ lyric fm, Christmas Day, Sunday 25th December, 7am-10am


THE LYRIC FEATURE

The Golden Museum

The children of immigrants often grow up co-existing in parallel worlds. While they can be immersed in all aspects of their parent`s culture and identify strongly with that heritage they can also feel fully at home in the country of their birth.

In 'The Golden Museum' J.J. O`Shea reflects on his experience as the child of Irish immigrants in London in the mid-twentieth century. The story is told through interweaving threads of original music and song, poetry and commentary by J.J. and members of his extended family.

The long summer holidays spent on the family farm in Ireland before returning to London for the school year play a central part in the story as we are given glimpses of life in rural Kerry and in London in the 1950s, 60s and 70s as viewed through the eyes of a growing child. The contributors explore different aspects of the immigrant experience. How did they respond to life in Ireland and their Irish cousins? What did their Irish cousins make of them? How did the experience impinge on their notions of 'home' and 'identity'?

Original music and songs composed by J.J. O`Shea are performed by Reidun Schlesinger (harp), Paul de Grae (acoustic and electric guitar) and Barry Lynch (tin whistle and bodhrán) and sung by Sadhbh Nic Fhloinn and Emma Langford. Paula Meehan reads excerpts from her poems 'Invocation' 'You Open Your Hand' and 'Daughters of Memory'.

Presented and Produced by J.J. O'Shea
Producer for RTÉ lyic fm: Eoin O Kelly
A J.J. O'Shea production funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the Television Licence Fee.

RTÉ lyric fm, Christmas Day, Sunday 25th December, 6pm-7pm

The Golden Museum (Myra Flahive, JJ O'Shea, Maureen O'Shea - Kilburn, London 1955) - Photo by JJ O'Shea

CHRISTMAS AROUND EUROPE WITH PAUL HERRIOTT

Paul Herriott brings us a playlist of seasonal music from around Europe. Radio Stations from across the European Broadcasting Union including Germany, Sweden, Spain, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia and Denmark have selected some of their nations' favourite Christmas music to share with us this Christmas evening.

RTÉ lyric fm, Christmas Day, Sunday 25th December, 7pm-9pm


SÉAMUS AR MAIDIN

Séamus the Dog, aka Múinteoir Ray Cuddihy of RTÉjr and Home School Hub, takes over Marty Whelan's studio to become a classical music presenter! Tune in as Séamus explores the magical story 'The Snowman' with music by Howard Blake and meets members of the animal kingdom in Saint-Saens 'The Carnival of the Animals'. A special performance narrated by his good friend, Marty Whelan, it's performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra

RTÉ lyric fm, St. Stephen's Day, Monday 26th December, 8am-10am


THE FULL SCORE WITH LIZ NOLAN

Liz presents a poignant and beautiful concert recorded in St. Andrew's Church in Kyiv in the halcyon days of December 2020. Kirill Karabits conducts the Kyiv Soloists National Chamber Ensemble in a programme of music by the 18th Century Ukrainian-born composer Maksym Berezovsky - founder of the choral concert genre, author of the first Ukrainian symphony and the first Ukrainian opera.

Berezovsky: Symphony in C (XIII)
Berezovsky: Symphony in G (XI)
Berezovsky: Symphony in C
Kostiantyn Vilensky: Dobryi vechir tobi, Ukrainian Christmas carol, arr. for string orchestra

Throughout this midwinter week we'll be listening to highlights from Chamber Choir Ireland's Northern Lights concert. Guest director Sofi Jeannin leads the choir in a programme anchored in Nordic Romantic tradition with music by Alfvén, Stenhammar and Sibelius.

RTÉ lyric fm, St. Stephen’s Day, Monday 26th December, 1pm-4pm


RTÉ LYRIC LIVE WITH AEDÍN GORMLEY

Aedín Gormley presents a concert of epic music from Star Wars movies. The RTÉ Concert Orchestra under its Principal Guest Conductor Stephen Bell go full tilt in stirring themes from The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and more. The force is strong with this one.

RTÉ lyric fm, St. Stephen’s Day, Monday 26th December, 6pm-7pm

Aedín Gormley

THE FULL SCORE WITH LIZ NOLAN

Today's Full Score concert brings us to Hollywood - the place where dreams come true. Also the place where stranded composers got their hopes out of their suitcases and turned visions into sounds. Together with violin virtuoso Daniel Hope, opera star Pumeza Matshikiza and swing master Tom Gaebel, the WDR Funkhausorchester explores the Hollywood dream factory and presents a real firework of unforgettable classics from Casablanca to James Bond and to La La Land – all conducted by Frank Strobel.

Throughout this midwinter week we'll be listening to highlights from Chamber Choir Ireland's Northern Lights concert. Guest director Sofi Jeannin leads the choir in a programme anchored in Nordic Romantic tradition with music by Alfvén, Stenhammar and Sibelius.

RTÉ lyric fm, Tuesday 27th December, 1pm-4pm

Conductor Frank Strobel

RTÉ LYRIC LIVE WITH PAUL HERRIOTT

Paul Herriott picks some highlights from our live concert season including the National Symphony Orchestra performing Shostakovich and Ravel and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra is joined by Finghin Collins for Beethoven's much loved Emperor Concerto.

Shostakovich: Festival Overture
Jaime Martin (conductor)
National Symphony Orchestra

Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte
National Symphony Orchestra
Roderick Cox (conductor)

Beethoven: Piano concerto No. 5 in E flat, Op. 73 'Emperor'
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Finghin Collins (piano)
Kenneth Montgomery (conductor)

RTÉ lyric fm, Tuesday 27th December, 6pm-7pm


THE FULL SCORE WITH LIZ NOLAN

On today's Full Score concert we'll hear The Irish Chamber Orchestra as they perform Mozart's final symphonies in their last concert with Jorg Widmann at the helm. Symphony No. 39 is gentle and buoyant. The melancholic Symphony No 40, adored by audiences, reflects Mozart's struggles and his popular Jupiter Symphony reflects the invincible spirit that drove him to succeed against all odds.

Mozart: Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543
Mozart: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K.550
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 Jupiter
Jörg Widmann Director/Clarinet
Irish Chamber Orchestra

Throughout this midwinter week we'll be listening to highlights from Chamber Choir Ireland's Northern Lights concert. Guest director Sofi Jeannin leads the choir in a programme anchored in Nordic Romantic tradition with music by Alfvén, Stenhammar and Sibelius.

RTÉ lyric fm, Wednesday 28th December, 1pm-4pm


THE FULL SCORE WITH LIZ NOLAN

The Full Score celebrates the 75th birthday of world-renowned pianist and a pivotal figure in Irish classical music, John O'Conor with a broadcast of his birthday concert with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and conductor David Brophy. The programme features two masterpieces, Beethoven's 5th piano concerto - the 'Emperor' - and, along with Alexander Bernstein, Mozart's double piano concerto.

Throughout this midwinter week we'll be listening to highlights from Chamber Choir Ireland's Northern Lights concert. Guest director Sofi Jeannin leads the choir in a programme anchored in Nordic Romantic tradition with music by Alfvén, Stenhammar and Sibelius.

RTÉ lyric fm, Thursday 29th December, 1pm-4pm


RTÉ LYRIC LIVE WITH WITH PAUL HERRIOTT

Paul Herriott picks some highlights from our live concert season including Andrew Synott's Waiting for Elvira with the RTÉCO and Gavin Maloney with pianist Michael McHale and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony performed by the NSO under the baton of Kenneth Montgomery.

Beethoven: Symphony No.6 'Pastoral'
National Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Montgomery (conductor)

Andrew Synnott: Waiting for Elvira
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Gavin Maloney (conductor)
Michael McHale (piano)

RTÉ lyric fm, Thursday 29th December, 6pm-7pm


RTÉ LYRIC LIVE WITH AEDÍN GORMLEY

As winner of both a New York Festivals Radio Award and an IMRO Radio award for her special tribute programme to Stephen Sondheim, who better to introduce a fantastic concert celebrating this legend of musical theatre? Aedín Gormley presents highlights from a wonderful RTÉ Concert Orchestra Sondheim Tribute recorded at The National Concert Hall, Dublin on the occasion for the renowned composer and lyricist's 85th Birthday. A fantastic line-up of soloists; Jenna Russell, Damien Humbley, Ben Davis and Kim Criswell conducted by John Wilson.

RTÉ lyric fm, Friday 30th December, 6pm-7pm


RTÉ LYRIC LIVE: RTÉ Concert Orchestra Christmas Extravaganza with Guy Barker

Paul Herriott brings us this festive concert which was recorded earlier this month in the Helix. There is no better way than to swing your way through Christmas with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra & Big Band and the amazing Guy Barker, the new Associate Artist of the RTÉCO. Guy and the RTÉCO will guarantee an evening that will summon up all the flavour, feeling and fun of the season. Joining the orchestra will be some top jazz artists including Tommy Blaize, Vula Malinga, Jess Kavanagh and Giacomo Smith.

RTÉ lyric fm, Friday 30th December, 7pm-10pm