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Michael Collins

Media Release Friday 14th March 2014

Clarinettist Michael Collins and City of London Sinfonia perform Irish premiere of On a piece of Tapestry at the National Concert Hall as part of the International Concert Series 13/14

On Saturday 12 April 2014, leading British clarinetist and conductor Michael Collins joins the City of London Sinfonia (CLS) to premiere ‘On a piece of Tapestry’ by leading jazz composer and pianist, Gwilym Simcock in an Irish exclusive at the National Concert Hall as part of the International Concert Series 13/14.

Commissioned by CLS, 'On a piece was Tapestry' was written for clarinet and strings, and is based on two poems by Spanish/ American philosopher poet George Santayana. It forms part of the CLS’s 13/14 season exploring creative responses to the ‘Natural’ and ‘Supernatural’ which touches on enlightenment, mysticism and pastoralism to present day spirituality.

The programme for their National Concert Hall performance also features Mozart’s overture to The Magic Flute and Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony No. 6, demonstrating how two leading composers of the Enlightenment explore the natural and supernatural worlds. It will also include Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with Michael Collins as soloist.

Michael Collins' dazzling virtuosity and sensitive musicianship have earned him recognition as one of today’s most distinguished artists and a leading exponent of his instrument. Since making his American debut at Carnegie Hall, New York at the age of 22, he has performed as soloist with the leading orchestras from around the world such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, City of Birmingham Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, BBC Symphony and more. He also has the distinction of being the most frequently invited wind soloist to the BBC Proms, including several appearances at the renowned Last Night of the Proms. In 2007 he received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year, in recognition of the role he has played in expanding the clarinet repertoire, commissioning and premiering repertoire by some of today’s most highly regarded composers.

With a prolific discography, Collins consistently receives the highest critical acclaim for his recordings. His most recent release is British Clarinet Sonatas Vol. 2, recorded with Irish pianist Michael McHale and released 2013. Last season, Collins released a disc of British Clarinet Concertos Vol.1, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and for his 50th Birthday he released Weber Concertos conducted and performed by himself with the City of London Sinfonia for Chandos.

The International Concert Series 2013/2014 is supported by The Irish Times. Upcoming concerts in the series include: Chinese pianist Lang Lang (19 April), Danish String Quartet (22 April), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Sir Simon Rattle (4 May) and the Sunday Matinée Series (27 April, 11 May and 25 May).

City of London Sinfonia | Michael Collins, clarinet & conductor
Saturday 12th April, 8pm at the National Concert Hall

MOZART Overture to Die Zauberflöte
GWILYM SIMCOCK 'On a Piece of Tapestry'
MOZART Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 'Pastoral'

Tickets: €30, €35, €45, €55 (€20 Choir Balcony)
National Concert Hall Box Office Tel: 01 417 00 00 or www.nch.ie

For further information please contact Sinead Doyle, Marketing & PR Manager, National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 417 0057 / 087 1775334

City of London Sinfonia was founded in 1971 by the late Richard Hickox and is led by Artistic Director, Stephen Layton, and Principal Conductor, Michael Collins. Currently, they are resident orchestra at London’s popular Opera Holland Park and are regular guests at major UK festivals, performing at the BBC Proms, Brighton, Spitalfields Music and Cheltenham Festivals this year. They regularly work with world class artists as well as up and coming talent and in the past year have worked with Gwilym Simcock, Tim Garland, Polyphony, Hugh Brunt, Roderick Williams and Elizabeth Watts among others.

Although principally a jazz artist, Gwilym Simcock is breaking new ground between genres and often uses classical reference points in his composed work. Aside from his renowned solo piano work, Gwilym has worked extensively throughout Europe with the cream of British and international jazz artists.  His own groups as leader range from trio to big band. His debut album ‘Perception’ was nominated for Best Album in the BBC Jazz Awards 2008 and has been critically acclaimed at home and abroad.  He went on to release ‘Blues Vignette’  (2009) universally praised as "sublime", "flawless" and "impressive", ‘Good Days at Schloss Elmau’ which was nominated for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2011 and in 2012 he released  Lighthouse’ . Gwilym was the first BBC Radio 3 New Generation Jazz Artist.  He was voted Jazz Musician of the Year at the 2007 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and nominated for the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards as Best Instrumentalist. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music where he was recently given the honour of 'Associate'.