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Vasily Petrenko
Media Release 11 August 2014

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to open the National Concert Hall’s 2014/2015 Season with Irish première of percussion concerto by Stewart Copeland, former drummer with The Police

‘..the RLPO confirms its place as one of Europe’s finest orchestras.’
BBC Music Magazine 2014

On 17 September 2014, 8pm the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will open the National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series 2014/2015 with the Irish première of a percussion concerto ‘Poltroons in Paradise’ by former drummer of The Police, Stewart Copeland. Scored for timpani, three percussionists and full symphony orchestra, the piece was commissioned by the RLPO for the 175th anniversary of their foundation in 1840.

Leading the orchestra on stage for their Dublin performance is charismatic Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko, who is no stranger to Irish audiences having opened the 13/14 season with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra here last year. This season’s opening concert by the RLPO will include works by Wagner, Scriabin, Tchaikovsky as well as Glazunov’s Violin Concerto performed by prize-winning violinist Ning Feng.

Simon Taylor, CEO of the National Concert Hall said: “We are delighted to have one of our nearest musical neighbours the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra here to open our 2014/15 International Concert Season. Over the last eight years as chief conductor Vasily Petrenko has brought one of the most exciting ensembles performing today to new heights with performances and recordings, of the Russian repertoire in particular that has won them worldwide critical acclaim. Concerts such as this are what the International Concert Season is all about: bringing great artists to Irish audiences. The season ahead offers many wonderful musical experiences ranging from the sublime Tallis Scholars to the exhilarating New York Philharmonic and including such stars of the classical music firmament as Juan Diego Flórez, Natalie Dessay, the Emerson Quartet, Paul Lewis and Alisa Weilerstein. So there’s a great deal to look forward to between now and next May!"

Petrenko is the youngest person and the first Russian in the 167-year history of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to have been appointed Principal Conductor. He joins a long list of distinguished conductors who held the position previously including Max Bruch, Sir Charles Hallé,  Sir Malcolm Sargent, Sir John Pritchard, Sir Charles Groves, Marek Janowski, Libor Pešek KBE, Petr Altrichter and Gerard Schwarz to name a few.

Today the RLPO, who is second oldest orchestra in Britain, gives over sixty concerts in its home venue Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, as well as presenting a regular concert series in Preston’s Guild Hall and Blackburn’s King George’s Hall as well as throughout the UK. In November 2001 the RLPO and Classic FM, the UK’s leading classical music radio station, announced a ground-breaking partnership which makes the Liverpool Phil The Classic FM Orchestra in North West England. It was also the first orchestra to launch its own recording label, RLPO Live, in 1998. Many RLPO Live recordings are currently being reissued by Avie Records.

The National Concert Hall’s International Concert Series 2014/2015, supported by The Irish Times, comprises 16 concerts featuring leading orchestras, ensembles, soloists and conductors from around the world. Highlights of the season include mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato with the New York Philharmonic and music director Alan Gilbert, world-renowned operatic tenor Juan Diego Flórez who returns to Ireland after 18 years to perform his International Concert Series debut, a world première by Jonny Greenwood (guitarist with famed band Radiohead,) to be performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra under Richard Tognetti, French soprano Natalie Dessay making her Irish debut with pianist Philippe Cassard and many more. www.nch.ie

17 September 2014, 8pm
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko
, conductor
Ning Feng, violin

Wagner Tannhäuser Overture & Venusberg Music
Glazunov Violin Concerto
Stewart Copeland Poltroons in Paradise (Percussion Concerto) (Irish Première)
Scriabin Réverie
Tchaikovsky Capriccio Italien

Prices: €85, €75, €65, €55 (€40 Choir Balcony)
National Concert Hall Box Office Tel: 01 417 0000 or www.nch.ie

Stewart Copeland was born in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of a CIA officer and a Scottish archaeologist. The family moved to Egypt when he was a few months old and he spent his formative years in the Middle East, something which is held to have contributed to his distinctive drumming style, which is said to combine reggae and Lebanese influences. Following his return to the USA, Copeland was drummer for the progressive rock band Curved Air from 1974-1976. After their demise he moved to London, seeking to enter the British punk rock scene, and in 1977 co-founded the three-piece band The Police with Sting as singer-bassist. The Police became one of most influential bands of the 1980s.

The Police ceased touring in 1984 (though they came together again for a one-off reunion tour in 2007), and Copeland has continued to appear with many major artists while he also developed a highly successful second career as a film-music and TV composer. Since the 1980s, Copeland has also composed several ‘classical’ works, notably the ballets King Lear (1986), Emilio (1988) and Prey (1999) and the operas Holy Blood and Crescent Moon (for Cleveland Opera, 1989) and Horse Opera (for Channel 4, 1992). In 2005 he released an album of chamber music composed in Italy, Orchestralli. His orchestral composition Celeste, featuring violinist Daniel Hope, was premiered at the Savannah Music Festival in 2008. In the same year the Dallas Symphony Orchestra commissioned him to compose a piece primarily involving Indonesian percussion instruments: the result, premiered in 2011, was Gamelan D’Drum, which was also heard at London’s Royal College of Music in 2012. Copeland currently lives in Los Angeles.