The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, one of two orchestras belonging to Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster, is a primary force in Irish musical life through year-long programmes of live performances of music ranging from symphonic, choral and operatic to film and popular music, contemporary traditional and contemporary classical; schools and educational projects; a mentoring scheme for young musicians; broadcasts on RTE and internationally through the European Broadcasting Union; recordings and new commissions. The orchestra has been critically acclaimed for its recordings on the Marco Polo, Naxos, Claves and RTE lyric fm labels. The orchestra’s Chief Conductor is Jaime Martín.
David Brophy was born in Dublin and is a graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin. Following further studies in Ireland, England and Holland, he was appointed Apprentice Conductor with Chamber Choir Ireland and subsequently became the first appointee to take the position of Assistant Conductor with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. A former Principal Conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, David now enjoys a close relationship with both RTÉ orchestras in addition to regular appearances as guest conductor with the Ulster Orchestra. His career has seen him conduct throughout Europe, Africa, the United States, Canada and China.
David has collaborated with many internationally acclaimed soloists, among them Tasmin Little, Julian Bliss, Barry Douglas, Sir Willard White, Martin Fröst, Lesley Garret, Sir James Galway, Lang Lang, Danielle de Niese, Nicola Benedetti, Kim Criswell, Daniel Hope, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Chloë Hanslip and Carolin Widmann. He has conducted across Europe with recent engagements taking him to Spain (Orquesta Nacional Clásica de Andorra and Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia) and Finland (Oulu Symphony Orchestra), while other appearances overseas have included performances at New York’s Lincoln Centre with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and at London’s Barbican Centre as part of their Silent Film & Live Music series, alongside his début with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia in the Fabulous Beast Stravinsky double-bill (The Rite of Spring and Petrushka) at Sadler’s Wells. Most recent foreign engagements have seen him début with some of America’s finest orchestras including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington D.C.
His work with specialist new music ensembles, among them Vox 21 and Crash Ensemble, has led to numerous premieres including the Irish premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for Eighteen Musicians and Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, alongside recent world premieres of arrangements by Nico Muhly for traditional Irish singer, Iarla Ó Lionáird. David’s operatic work has led to wide acclaim, partnering Lyric Opera Productions, Opera Theatre Company, Opera Ireland, Glasthule Opera and Northern Ireland Opera, most notably in their recent acclaimed partnership with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, directing Handel’s Radamisto. Beyond the realm of strictly musical performances, he has regularly collaborated in concert with major international actors, including Brendan Gleeson, Fiona Shaw, Stephen Rae and Adrian Dunbar.
David has worked closely with numerous singer/songwriters, among them Eleanor McEvoy, Paul Brady, Brian Kennedy and Declan O’Rourke, composers including Shaun Davey, Neil Martin, Bill Whelan, Arvo Pärt, David Fennessy, Nico Muhly, Donnacha Dennehy and Gavin Bryars, traditional musicians including Altan, Liam O’Flynn, Sharon Corr, Máirtín O’Connor, Lúnasa, The Chieftains, Clannad, Rita Connolly, Carlos Núñez, Sharon Shannon and Martin Hayes. His all-embracing musical tastes have also witnessed collaborations with U2, Sinéad O’Connor, Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Duke Special, Celtic Thunder, Imelda May, Jack L, Phil Coulter, The Coronas, Neil Hannon (Divine Comedy), Father John Misty, Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction), Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet) and Midge Ure (Ultravox, Band Aid). He has appeared at all major festivals in Ireland, most notably with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at the Electric Picnic, and has conducted at the Proms in the Park with the Ulster Orchestra as part of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms.
David has broadcast on RTÉ, BBC, CBC (Canada), Sky Arts 2 television and across Europe for the EBU. He has recorded for Silva Screen Records, Lyric FM, Tara Records, V2 Records, New World Records and Compass Records labels. His television appearances include the National Concert Hall’s 25th anniversary gala concert, The Symphony Sessions (RTÉ) and Proms in the Park (BBC) with the Ulster Orchestra. Film credits include Shaun Davey’s scores for The Abduction Club and Ella Enchanted while his recent recording of Victor Herbert’s operetta Eileen for New World Records, conducting the Orchestra of Ireland in collaboration with triple Grammy award-winning producer Judith Shermann, has been released to wide critical acclaim.
David won the 2013 Sky Arts Ignition Award, pitching with director Lynne Parker (Rough Magic Theatre Company) to present Kurt Weill’s opera Mahagonny at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, mounted as a co-production with Opera Theatre Company.
Aside from his work as a musician, David has presented the RTÉ1 award-winning TV series Instrumental (Adare Productions and RTÉ), the IFTA award-winning High Hopes Choir (Tyrone Productions and RTÉ) and David Brophy’s Choir of Ages (Tyrone Productions and RTÉ). He is a board-member of Ireland’s Contemporary Music Centre.
Kate is a versatile musician dedicated to the performance and exploration of all new music. She is cellist and Artistic Director of Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s leading new music group, and a member of Francesco Turrissi’s Taquin experiments, Yurodny, Ergodos Musicians and the electro-folk group Fovea Hex.
Kate has toured and broadcast in Australia, the USA, Europe and China, performing at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Centre, the Canberra International Music Festival, Bang on a Can Marathon (NYC), Town Hall NYC, Shanghai EXPO, Istanbul Akbank Jazz Festival, soundSCAPE festival (Italy), Huddersfield International Contemporary Music Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Opera House, Barbican Centre, Kings Place (UK) and the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
Kate has collaborated with, commissioned, premiered and recorded works by numerous Irish and International composers including Steve Reich, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Nico Muhly and Donnacha Dennehy and continues to push musical boundaries performing with a diverse range of musicians including Martin Hayes, Bobby McFerrin, Iarla O Lionaird, Gavin Friday and Karan Casey to name but a few.
In 2009, Kate co-founded the highly successful ‘Kaleidoscope Night’ series. A monthly event taking classical and experimental music out of its typical setting and transplanting it into an informal and intimate alternative, a sociable evening of lesser-heard, rarely-heard or never-heard small-ensemble music.
From 2011-2014 Kate was musician in residence at the Cork Opera House and co-curated a festival marking the 75th birthday year of Steve Reich, who said of Kate’s playing ‘she has my unbounded admiration’.
In August 2014 Kate released Jump – an album of specially commissioned works by Irish composers for solo cello and electronics. The album was recorded as part of Diatribe Records musical project Solo Series Phase II, intended as a wide-lens portrait of Ireland’s new musical terrain.
Formed in 2003 by Irish composer Ed Bennett as a collective of performers and composers, Decibel explores experimental, energetic, extreme and unusual work which generally exists between, or outside the usual categories. They play contemporary music which combines a direct amplified instrumental ensemble sound with electronics, improvisation and in some cases theatrical elements.
Apart from premiering many works by Ed Bennett, Decibel has worked with a diverse range of subversive composers and artists including Louis Andriessen, Laurence Crane and Michael Finnissy, commissioning and premiering many new works. The group has also collaborated with artists from different disciplines including video artists and choreographers.
Since Decibel's first concert in Belfast in 2003 it has performed in concert halls, libraries, fields, sculptures, schools and art galleries throughout the UK and Ireland, to enthusiastic audiences and critical acclaim.
Rowland Sutherland flute/ piccolo
Maria Insua Cao clarinet/ bass clarinet
Neil McGovern saxophone
Murphy McCaleb trombone
Alan Thomas electric guitar
Fumiko Miyachi piano
Damien Harron percussion
Barbara Lueneburg violin
Ulrich Mertin viola
Clare O'Connell cello
Richard Pryce double bass
Daniele Rosina conductor
Dainele is a conductor working with orchestras, ballet and opera companies in repertoire from the baroque through to the present day. As an educator, he teaches at the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Conservatoire.
Wim Boerman studied flute at the Arnhem Academy of Music with Rien de Reede and Frans van der Wiel. In 1979, he set up orkest de ereprijs with some of his colleagues – a collective without a conductor. Their main prospective was to perform new music, specially composed for this ensemble of fifteen, at unexpected locations (outdoors, marketplaces, museums) and concert halls. As the music got more and more complex, they started to feel the need to hire conductors.
Boerman had combined being a musician and being a conductor for several years, when he was appointed director and artistic director of the ensemble: a position he still holds. In 2005, he received a life achievement award from the Polish-Russian Association of Composers, for his work and efforts. Until 2013, Boerman was employed by the Music School/Domein in Arnhem as a flute and ensemble teacher.
In November 2018, Wim Boermans received the Theo Bruijs Award for his engagement in talent development and music education with orchestra de ereprijs. The Theo Bruijns Award is handed out by the Council of The Hague, advised by the Johan Wagenaar Foundation. It is awarded to those who have shown an exceptional commitment to world of music in The Netherlands.
Jack McNeill is a clarinettist, composer and cross-discipline musician interested in exploring the points where different traditions and sound worlds meet. He directs Propellor, a 12-piece ensemble developed at Snape Maltings and currently touring its first work, Loom. Jack has premiered solo and chamber works by Philip Glass, Richard Ayres, Karin Rehnqvist, Michael Finnissy, Joe Cutler, Ed Bennett and Howard Skempton amongst others. He performs regularly with the Gildas Quartet, David Le Page, Clare O’Connell and Viv McLean. His work as a freelance musician includes being an on-stage musician/actor with Sebastian Mathias and Michael Wolters's Danserye, and Thom Luz's When I Die, performing and improvising for the Royal Shakespeare Company, recording for Gecko Theatre and Trish Clowes’s Emulsion Sinfonietta, orchestral and chamber work with the LSO, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Sacconi Quartet, Ensemble 360, Britten Sinfonia, CBSO, BBC Singers, the Hilliard Ensemble and BCMG. He is a member of Decibel, the Le Page Ensemble, Loki, Drawlight quartet and a guest musician with Joe Acheson’s Hidden Orchestra. Passionate about music education, Jack’s teaching work includes University of Birmingham and he was director of the chamber music strand of Aldeburgh Young Musicians for two years. Improviser and passionate contemporary musician, Jack has given complete performances of Henze's Le Miracle de la Rose and Stockhausen’s Harlekin; a substantial work performed from memory where the clarinettist is required to dance and mime while playing! Jack was bass clarinet soloist for a BBC broadcast of David Lang’s The Passing Measures. He also performed Der Kleine Harlekin and In Freundschaft in the opening concert of the Stockhausen Festival of Light. Jack is currently working on a Sound and Music New Voices project with composer Liz Johnson and James Dooley, to create a new touring work for clarinettist, live electronics, percussion and dancer based on the poetry of David Hart with choreography by Dane Hurst. He is the clarinettist for Tao of Glass at Manchester International Festival 2019, a world premiere from composer Philip Glass and performer-director Phelim McDermott (Improbable) which goes on tour in 2020.
Eliza McCarthy is a London based pianist who spends her time playing new and experimental music.
Winner of the 2013 British Contemporary Piano Competition, she performs in concert halls, art galleries, theatres and living rooms across the UK, Europe and US as a soloist and band member.
She has had the great pleasure of working with, commissioning, premiering and recording works by many living composers including John Adams, Thomas Adès, George Crumb, Tansy Davies, Donnacha Dennehy, Andrew Hamilton and Laurie Spiegel. She regularly collaborates with Mica Levi (Under the Skin, Jackie) and their album ‘Slow Dark Green Murky Waterfall’ was released in 2018 on Slip. She was featured on Alex Groves’ debut EP Curved Form (No. 4) which was released in March 2019.
She has recently co-written a piece for piano and pre-recorded sound with the electronic musician Jo Wills which will be performed at Kings Place as part of Nature Unwrapped in March 2020.
As an ensemble member she can be heard performing with Decibel and Ireland’s leading new music group Crash Ensemble.
Based in Birmingham, Decibel spearhead works by artistic director Ed Bennett, and work regularly with Joe Cutler, Howard Skempton, and Laurence Crane.
Crash Ensemble are committed to commissioning new music and have recently premiered and recorded works by Gerald Barry, Linda Buckley, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Nico Muhly, Terry Riley, Jennifer Walshe and Julia Wolfe amongst many others. In the summer of 2017 they performed Hans Abrahamsen’s Schnee at the Aaron and Bryce Dessner's Haven Festival in Copenhagen and in 2018 at MusicNOW Festival in Cincinnati.
She was a founding member of Jetsam who have released original material on London based labels WW Records and Clay Pipe Music.
Alongside her life as a performer, Eliza teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and University of Birmingham helping performers engage with fear, anxiety and depression. She is also a professor at GSMD teaching contemporary repertoire studies to pianists.
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
David Brophy conductor
Kate Ellis cello
Jack McNeill bass clarinet
Eliza McCarthy piano
Daniele Rosina conductor
Orkest de Ereprijs
Wim Boerman conductor
Irish composer Ed Bennett was born in Bangor, Co.Down. His music, which has been described in the press as ‘anarchic’ (Irish Times), ‘stunningly intense’ (The Quietus) and ‘thrilling’ (Gramophone) is often characterized by its strong rhythmic energy, extreme contrasts and the combination of acoustic, electronic and multimedia elements; it was described in The Guardian as ‘unclassifiable, raw-nerve music of huge energy and imagination’
This new album focuses on a number of Bennett's larger-scale works. In Freefalling – inspired by Felix Baumgartner's 2012 world-record freefall – the music plays on the sense of falling at high speed. The sound is propulsive and heaving, with hammering cymbals, drums, brass and strings. It's an exciting and intense ride!
The title piece, Psychedelia, was premiered in 2017 by the RTé National Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Adès conducting. It builds slowly from a solo violin open E string, to a whole orchestra 'losing itself in a sea of rotating pulses and patterns'.
Bennett's own ensemble Decibel perform Song of the Books for solo cello, electronics and amplified ensemble. It uses the Irish traditional air Amhrán na Leabhar as its basis, which laments the loss of a cherished collection of books belonging to poet Tomás Rua Ó Súilleabháin (1785-1848). Magnetic is a buzzing and fizzing 8-minute essay for bass clarinet and prepared piano, and closing the album is the bombastic Organ Grinder for midi organ and an ensemble of brass, wind, percussion, and electric and bass guitars.
This recording has been produced with support from the PRS Foundation, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Freefalling and Psychedelia were recorded at RTé Studio 1, Dublin on 12 June 2019.
Mixing & Editing: SIMON HALL
Recording Producers: SIMON HALL & ED BENNETT
Magnetic was recorded at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire June 2016
Mixing & Editing: SIMON HALL
Recording Producers: SIMON HALL & ED BENNETT
Song of the Books was recorded at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on 11 February 2020.
Recording Engineer, Mixing & Editing: SIMON HALL
Recording Producers: SIMON HALL & ED BENNETT
Organ Grinder was recorded at the Orgelpark, Amsterdam on 14 June 2013.
Recording Engineer, Mixing & Editing: BERT VAN DIJK
Mastering: SIMON HALL