NCH Announces Autumn Plans for Return to Live Music
The National Concert Hall (NCH) has announced a new season of live concerts and events for autumn 2021. The programme will see a return of live performance to the venue, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
The theme of the new season is ‘Refractions’, celebrating the resumption of live concerts, and refers to the scientific concept of light and sound passing from one medium to another. Over 30 concerts will take place from September to December, along with a series of online and in-venue learning and participation initiatives.
Launching the new programme this month is a series of classical music concerts with ensembles such as the Irish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jörg Widmann (16 September), Chamber Choir Ireland performing Copland, Ross Edwards, Dmitry Bortriansky and Villa-Lobos (26 September), Camerata Ireland with Barry Douglas performing Seán Doherty, Field, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky (4 November), and the Irish Baroque Orchestra performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos (14 November). The series will also present two new concerts curated by mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught entitled ‘Raise Your Voices’ (5 and 6 October).
Returning to the NCH’s programming this autumn is the Tradition Now weekend, taking place from 30 September to 3 October. The traditional and folk music and dance event will feature performances by Steve Cooney and Iarla Ó Lionáird with pianist Ryan Molloy (30 September); Sligo-based Austrian violinist, singer, yodeller and composer Claudia Schwab performing with Cathy Jordan, Yvonne Cunningham, Niwel Tsumbu and Derek White; singer Thomas McCarthy; and Andy Irvine’s Woody Guthrie Project (2 October); Jack Talty, sean-nós dancer Edwina Guckian (3 October) and more.
Concerts, talks, chamber music
Utopia is a new series of talks, live podcast recordings and concerts based on the theme of building a Utopian society. The events taking place on 20–24 October are curated by journalist Una Mullally and writer and lecturer Conner Habib and will tackle questions such as ‘In the uncharted territories ahead: What do you want? What happens next?’ Gemma Doherty (Saint Sister), Daoirí Farrell, Rory Friers (And So I Watch You From Afar), Izumi Kimura, Ben Castle, Strange Boy and more will perform as part of the series.
There will also be a series of chamber music concerts from September to December featuring the ConTempo, Lir, Navarra, Callino, Ficino, Gealán and Sonoro quartets, as well as Prism – a new series curated by Rhiannon Giddens. The American folk musician will host two evenings exploring different musical and cultural insights with guests such as Francesco Turrisi, Denise Chaila, Niwel Tsumbu and Emer Mayock.
On 11 December, the NCH will celebrate the centenary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which saw Irish representatives gather at the Kevin Barry Rooms at Earlsfort Terrace, now the NCH. Treaty: Songs is a new project that will present a commemoration concert featuring Lisa O’Neill, Gemma Dunleavy, John Spillane, Karan Casey, Maija Sofia, Duke Special, Jonathan Nangle and Crash Ensemble with more to be announced.
In a joint statement, Maura McGrath, Chair of the NCH, and new CEO Robert Read, said:
The last 18 months has been particularly difficult for artists and those working in the industry, so we are thrilled to provide a regular live performance platform for musicians and to welcome back audiences as we collectively emerge from the darkness of Covid-19 into the light of a return to concert life. This season’s programme offers a diverse and exciting mix of musical genres and artistic expression, complimented by nationwide learning and participation activities, all supporting artistic and creative development, accessibility, and social inclusion.
Tickets for the NCH Autumn season are available online now: www.nch.ie/