Focus

Balfe's 'Sleeping Queen' Returns to Dublin Balfe's 'Sleeping Queen' Returns to Dublin Una Hunt Michael William Balfe's 1864 work 'The Sleeping Queen' was his only operetta and written for surprisingly small forces. Una Hunt tells the story of the work ahead of its performance at the NCH – the first staging in Dublin in modern times.
Not Your Ordinary Megalomaniacal Psycho Not Your Ordinary Megalomaniacal Psycho Adrian Smith Irish National Opera presented the Irish staged premiere of Bartók's 'Bluebeard’s Castle' on 12–14 October, with its luminous music and dark folk-tale of castle doors revealing the inner world of the protagonist. The production came with a twist, however, writes Adrian Smith.
A Love of Music Making A Love of Music Making Benjamin Dwyer Leonard Bernstein represents the ultimate musician, from writing 'West Side Story' through to presenting a series of Harvard music lectures, to his conducting and performances as a pianist – he showed us that music is a thoroughly holistic affair. In this essay, Benjamin Dwyer explores the American icon’s life, work, political affiliations and achievements.
Memory Flow Memory Flow Ian Bascombe Founded in 2012, composer Dave Flynn's Irish Memory Orchestra features classical and traditional musicians who play completely by memory. In their latest tour, performing in Ennis, Cork and Kilkenny, they were joined by soloist Máirtín O'Connor. Ian Bascombe reviews.
A New Edge to the West A New Edge to the West Toner Quinn The Galway Jazz Festival has a new momentum and was bigger again this year – Toner Quinn attended a mix of concerts, from the Radio String Quartet to Peter Broderick, plus a debate on Brexit.
New Music on the Margins New Music on the Margins Adrian Smith The 'Music of Our Time' concerts struggle to find an audience on mid-week afternoons. Adrian Smith examines how a lack of regard for new music and a lack of vision impact the series.
The Challenge to the Gaeltacht Remains The Challenge to the Gaeltacht Remains Barra Ó Séaghdha ‘Aisling?’, a new show of music, song, dance and literature directed by Darach Mac Con Iomaire and commissioned by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, was presented as a central part of ‘Bliain na Gaeilge’ – a year-long celebration of the Irish language. Barra Ó Séaghdha reviews its Dublin premiere.
Emotional Openness Emotional Openness Anna Murray Ólafur Arnalds wrote his most recent album with the input of a live generative system, but how do these ghostly player pianos work in concert? Anna Murray reviews his recent concert at the National Concert Hall.
Against Resignation: An Interview with Raymond Deane Against Resignation: An Interview with Raymond Deane Adrian Smith Is there a lack of solidarity among composers? Will classical music ever become a part of Ireland's national consciousness? And have young Irish composers unwittingly subscribed to a code of musical prohibitions influenced by the US? In a wide-ranging interview, Raymond Deane, whose new opera 'Vagabones' will be premiered in 2019, discusses aesthetics, politics and occasional strokes of good luck with Adrian Smith.
 Experiments in Musical Language Experiments in Musical Language Brendan Finan The 2018 edition of New Music Dublin featured two ambitious concertos by Unsuk Chin and Kevin Volans exploring the language of the traditional sheng from China and the Irish uilleann pipes. Brendan Finan reviews.

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