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Joyce DiDonato

Media Release 28th April 2014

The National Concert Hall launches a star-studded 2014/2015 International Concert Series 


Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato joins the New York Philharmonic and music director Alan Gilbert

World-renowned operatic tenor Juan Diego Flórez returns to Ireland after 18 years, to perform his International Concert Series debut

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to open the 14/15 season with music director Vasily Petrenko and guest violinist Ning Feng

World première by Johnny Greenwood (guitarist with famed band Radiohead,) to be performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra under Richard Tognetti

Percussion Concerto by Stewart Copeland, (former drummer with the band The Police) to be performed by Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

French soprano Natalie Dessay makes her Irish debut with pianist Philippe Cassard

Irish artists featured in the season include: pianists Finghin Collins and John O’Conor and the Ulster Orchestra with their newly appointed conductor Rafael Payare and guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein

Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, T.D. Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht together with the National Concert Hall’s newly appointed Chairman Gerry Kearney and CEO Simon Taylor, today announced the National Concert Hall’s star-studded 2014–2015 International Concert Series

The new season will feature a remarkable range of performances by many of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles. Consisting of 16 concerts and divided into four individual strands -‘Great Artists’, ‘Piano Masters’, ‘International Orchestras’, and ‘Choral Series’ - it offers Irish audiences a unique opportunity to hear truly world-class artists perform on one great stage. 

Simon Taylor, CEO of the National Concert Hall said “It is a great pleasure for me to be presenting the National Concert Hall’s 2014/2015 International Concert Series. As Ireland’s home of classical music, we are delighted to be announcing such an exciting line-up of artists, giving Irish audiences the opportunity to hear some of the greatest stars of the classical music world’.


The charismatic Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko makes a welcome return to once again open our season, this time with the UK’s oldest orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and guest violinist Ning Feng. The largely Russian programme features works by Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov and a new Percussion Concerto by Stewart Copeland (former drummer with the band, The Police).

The orchestral series continues with the ground-breaking Australian Chamber Orchestra under Richard Tognetti who will be joined by British pianist Steven Osborne. Alongside works by Haydn, Mozart and Tchaikovsky, the concert also features a world première by eminent rock musician Johnny Greenwood (guitarist with the famed band Radiohead). The renowned Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, conducted by Kenneth Montgomery, offers a programme of Handel, Mozart, Haydn and Field and features both Irish pianist Finghin Collins and Dutch mezzo-soprano Rosanne van Sandwijk.

One of the highlights of the season is the return, after almost 19 years, of the esteemed New York Philharmonic, with their renowned music director Alan Gilbert to the National Concert Hall stage. They will be joined by one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato whose voice has been described as ‘nothing less than 24-carat gold’ by The Times.

Elgar’s Cello Concerto will be the centrepiece of the Ulster Orchestra’s performance under their appointed Venezuelan Principal Conductor Rafael Payare. Performing in the concert will be Payare’s wife and American cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Her performance of Elgar’s concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic and Daniel Barenboim led the Guardian to write ‘…the most technically complete and emotionally devastating performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto I have ever heard live.”  She is also the recipient of this year’s BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year 2014.


Regarded as the heir to Pavarotti, Peruvian operatic tenor Juan Diego Flórez, who has been wowing audiences around the world with his operatic and concert performances, will perform a selection of French and Italian arias, accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in what will be the highlight of the National Concert Hall’s calendar year.

The legendary New York based ensemble, Emerson String Quartet, make a welcome return to Ireland to perform works by Haydn, Beethoven and Ravel. Their performances have been described as ‘technically resourceful, musically insightful…full of character and always interesting’ by The Telegraph.

Violinist Ray Chen, a winner of the Queen Elizabeth and Yehudi Menuhin competitions, makes his National Concert Hall debut as part of the International Concert Series, offering an adventurous programme of works by Pärt, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky accompanied by pianist Julien Quentin.

In another first, French soprano Natalie Dessay who is considered one of the biggest stars in the operatic world, makes her Irish debut accompanied by pianist Philippe Cassard. She will enchant audiences with a selection of French melodies and German Lieder. 


The Tallis Scholars, who celebrated its 40th anniversary with a world tour last year visiting 16 countries and 80 venues. Under their inspirational director Peter Phillips the choral ensemble will perform a range of works from Byrd to Pärt and Tippett to Tavener to open the National Concert Hall’s Choral Series for 2014-15.

Bringing sheer talent and charisma to the stage, the ever-popular King’s Singers make a welcome return following their sold-out concert in 2012 to perform English partsongs, Italian madrigals, folksongs from around the world and so much more.

Winners of the Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance in 2014, the Latvian Radio Choir makes its National Concert Hall debut in association with the Latvian Embassy, marking Latvia’s Presidency of the European Union. Over its 70 year history is has established itself as one of Europe’s great choral ensembles.


This series begins with a master of the keyboard, Stephen Kovacevich who is one of the most revered musicians of his generation. He has won unsurpassed admiration for his interpretation of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart and Schubert and for his Irish recital audiences will hear him perform works by Brahms Schubert and Berg.

Award-winning pianist Benjamin Grosvenor makes a welcome return following his National Concert Hall debut in 2013. He is described by some as a ‘skill and talent not heard since Kissin’s teenage Russian debut’ (Gramophone Magazine), and is renowned for his distinctive sound, described as ‘poetic’ (The Independent).

A pianist of international renown, Paul Lewis is the recipient of three Gramophone Awards, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year and the South Bank Show Classical Music Award amongst others. He makes a welcome return to Dublin to perform an all-Beethoven programme.

Also bringing Beethoven to the fore for his recital is Irish pianist John O’Conor who will perform Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations as well as Schubert’s great Sonata in B flat. The National Concert Hall is delighted to welcome him back to perform as part of this year' International Concert Series. 

The National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series 2014/2015 is supported by The Irish Times, as print media partner



  • • Full Series Subscription package from €399.50 (or €352.50 as a Friend or Patron Circle Member).
  • • International Orchestras Series package from €175.75 (or €166.50 for Friends and Patron Circle Members).
  • • Season Taster Packages 1 or 2 from €118 (or €112.50 as a Friend or Patron Circle Member).
  • • Scheduled Payment plan option to allow for staggered payments on subscription packages for all subscribers.
  • • ‘Choose Your Own’ package, allowing you to select your top six favourite concerts and giving 10% discount on the package cost.


Season Friends of National Concert Hall
Full Subscription Packages            Tuesday April 29th
Targeted Packages                          Wednesday April 30th
Choose your own package             Friday May 9th
Individual Concerts                           Friday May 9th

Friends of National Concert Hall
Full Subscription Packages            Thursday May 1st
Targeted Packages                           Tuesday May 6th
Choose your own package              Monday May 12th
Individual Concerts                            Monday May 12th

Full Subscription Packages             Friday May 9th
Targeted Packages                           Friday May 9th
Choose your own package              Wednesday May 14th
Individual Concerts                            Wednesday May 14th

For further information/ images and interviews please contact: Sinead Doyle, Marketing & PR Manager, National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel:  +353 1 417 00 57 Mobile 087 1775334 or E-mail: Sinead.Doyle@nch.ie