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For Immediate Release For Further Information
Contact: David O’Sullivan
(212) 867 6268
The Ireland-U.S. Council Is Proud To Sponsor The
2009 U.S. National Tour of The Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra
49-Concert Program Platforms Classical Masterpieces And Showcases
Excellence of Ireland’s Contemporary Composers And Performers

Monday, February 2, 2009, New York, NY: The Ireland-U.S. Council is a proud sponsor of the 2009 U.S. Tour of the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra. The tour of the United States which commenced in Orlando, FL on January 10 and which has been highly-successful so far, comprises 49 separate concert performances in 23 different states from coast to coast (View Tour Schedule). The final concert will be in California on Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2009. The tour has been arranged under the auspices of Columbia Artists Management and has also been sponsored by Tourism Ireland, CIE Tours International, Culture Ireland, and several other organizations and individuals.

The Council believes that this tour will make an important and strong contribution to building relations between Ireland and America. This successful landmark initiative represents the largest and longest tour in the United States of an orchestra from Ireland. The Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra brings together the finest of Irish and European orchestral musicians, and provides an important platform for Irish soloists, virtuoso instrumentalists, conductors and composers

The Orchestra celebrates an eclectic musical heritage and pursues performance excellence in the best traditions of classical and contemporary symphonic music. Founded in the mid-1800's, the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra performed at regular concerts in various venues throughout Ireland’s capital city until the start of World War II.

In 1997, the Orchestra was reconstituted under the direction of Music Director Derek Gleeson, drawing its members from Ireland and throughout the world. Its premiere concert following this re-constitution was at the 1997 Kilkenny Arts Festival at St. Canice’s Cathedral, the great 13th century Norman structure, in Ireland’s ancient city of Kilkenny.

In addition to standard classical masterworks, the Orchestra’s repertoire incorporates a commitment to giving a voice to Ireland's contemporary composers. Under Maestro Gleeson, the orchestra has recorded classical and contemporary repertoire for commercial record companies, including Albany Records and BMG/Windham Hill Records. The Orchestra has also recorded film scores for movies and television.

Council President, Dennis D. Swanson who is also President of Fox Television Stations Group, said “The Council is delighted to be a part of this important cultural exchange represented by the Orchestra’s extensive tour of the United States. Indeed, the music programming choices for the concert performances represent a unique and intriguing blend. The music programs include classical music masterworks by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Brahms, Mahler, Dvorák and others. However, the concert tour will also afford a valuable and prestigious platform to many contemporary music composers from Ireland to showcase modern works in both the classical idiom and the traditional Irish music genre.”

Music Director, Derek Gleeson noted “The concert tour performances will include a Celtic program offering elements of Irish traditional folk music in a Philharmonic Orchestra treatment featuring new arrangements of famous Irish airs. The programs will also include new compositions by Irish composers performed by Irish traditional music instrumentalists on tin whistle/flute, fiddle, uilleann pipes, banjo, guitar, keyboards and bodhrán.

Maestro Gleeson also said “The orchestra’s international composition in its staffing reflects standard practice in the industry. A substantial minority of the more than 100 individuals involved in organizing, staging and performing in the tour are from Ireland. A wide variety of nationalities and ethnic backgrounds is represented in the remainder of the troupe including people from Russia, the United States, Armenia, Australia, Bulgaria, Romania and the United Kingdom.”

The concert tour includes many Irish performers taking the stage as soloists during the nine-week itinerary. Among these are Celine Byrne (Europe’s leading young soprano); Frankie Gavin (the inimitable fiddle and flute maestro and founder member of Dé Danann); Peter Tuite and Conor Linehan (piano virtuosi); Athena Thergis (traditional violin); Aidan O’Brien (a master of the uilleann pipes, Irish flute, whistles, banjo and guitar); Cora Venus Lunny (soloist in classical violin); Fiona Collins (champion dancer); Denise Brennan, Ingrid Madsen and Michelle Lally (all three are vocalists).

Modern Irish music composers whose works are being showcased include Patrick Cassidy, Gloria Mulhall, Bill Whelan, Andreja Malir, Jonathan Casey, Derek Dolan, Michael Fleming, Carl Hession, Vincent Kennedy, Gregory Magee and Mick Langan.

The Ireland-U.S. Council was founded in 1963 by business leaders in America and Ireland. A principal objective is to encourage business links between America and Ireland, North & South. In pursuit of its mission, the Council, among other activities, operates scholarship and internship programs, undertakes various publishing initiatives and frequently hosts seminar platforms and other business-oriented events in Ireland and in America. The Council also stages various events and undertakes sponsorships, including many supporting the arts.

Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra 2009 U.S. Tour Schedule

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