The Ulster Orchestra, Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra, has launched its 2012-2013 season programme that sees the music of Beethoven, Verdi and Wagner rub shoulders with The Snowman and music from stage and screen.
The UO’s 47th season includes the work of 30 composers across 40 main season and lunchtime concerts that will involve over 30 soloists, 20 conductors and two choirs: Derry~Londonderry-based Codetta and Belfast Philharmonic Choir.
The 2012-2013 Season will honour the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth and bicentenaries of Wagner and Verdi. The season also includes two special Burns Night concerts and popular classics like Beethoven’s 'Ode to Joy', Holst’s 'The Planets' and Handel’s Messiah.
Strictly dancers Camilla Dallerup and Ian Waite make a welcome return for the traditional New Year Viennese concerts and families can also enjoy a special 30th anniversary showing of The Snowman with live orchestral accompaniment.
Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council, the Ulster Orchestra’s principal funder, congratulated the Orchestra 'for providing us once more with a spectacular season of inspiring symphony music. The programme shows how orchestral music is an essential ingredient in the rich and diverse tapestry of delights that the arts bring to local audiences and to our growing numbers of cultural visitors.'
In thanking all those who support and fund the Orchestra, Sir George Bain, new chair of the orchestra, said that the Arts Council invests a significant portion of its funding into the OU.
'We will need to do more with less, as these are tough times for everyone, but we welcome the Arts Council’s continued faith in us. We see ourselves as part of the community and are committed to bringing classical music to more people.'
Principal conductor JoAnn Falletta said she is also looking forward to the new season and working with the musicians, many of whom, like her, come from overseas. She also said that she is doing her bit to promote Northern Ireland by exporting the music of its finest composers back to her native United States.
'Coming to Belfast has opened up a whole new world to me, especially the fantastic music of local Irish composers: composers such as Sir Hamilton Harty, Howard Ferguson and John Ernest Moeran. I want people in the US to enjoy these great treasures.
'People in the US have not heard these composers yet, but are excited about hearing the sound of Northern Ireland. Many of our audience members tell me how much they want to visit Belfast to hear the Ulster Orchestra.'
The Ulster Orchestra’s new Season opens on September 14, 2012. Ten days earlier, at the season taster concert Your Starter for 10!, concertgoers can get a taste of what the season has in store for just £10.
Tickets for the 2012-2013 season go on sale on July 18 and range from £6-£28 and are available from the Ulster Orchestra website.