Wednesday 21 March 2018

Make a date with this Dutch master

The National Concert Hall's international concert series begins on Monday. Irish audiences will have the opportunity once again to see some of the world's most renowned orchestras, conductors, recitalists and singers.

Judith Woodworth, who recently retired after 18 years as director of the National Concert Hall, deserves much praise for establishing this must-see series.

Starting on a high note, Monday's concert features the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit with guest soloist Janine Jansen, who will play Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. The programme also includes Finlandia by Sibelius, Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances and Ravel's La Valse.

Dutch violinist Jansen is having a busy year, including performances with the New York Philharmonic and London Philharmonic as well as touring dates with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Janine is also devoted performer of chamber-music. Last year she and pianist Itmar Golan recorded a very fine album of French music together entitled Beau Soir (Decca).

The album features familiar classics, such as Fauré's Après un Rêve, Debussy's Clair de Lune, Lili Boulanger's Nocturne, and three new works by the contemporary Swiss composer Richard Dubugnon, whose Violin Concerto Jansen premiered in Paris in 2008.

Jansen plays a 1727 Stradivari "Barrere" violin, on extended loan by the Stradivari Society of Chicago. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to play this instrument.

"For me, an instrument should have a richness and also be flexible," she says. "What I particularly like about this one is it has the ability to be soft and still really carry."

She also feels that it takes years to get to know an instrument but that you can learn so much from the experience.

She will perform with the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra on Monday and it should be noted that Irish audiences will get to hear this programme ahead of the same concert at the BBC Proms on September 8.

Aedín Gormley presents 'Movies and Musicals' on Saturday and Sunday from 2-4pm and My Tunes on Friday at 7pm on RTÉ Lyric fm.

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