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The Ulster Orchestra’s Principal Conductor JoAnn Falletta on the Titanic Belfast Staircase

Ulster Orchestra launches 2012 - 2013 Season

17 May

The Ulster Orchestra, Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra, has launched its 2012 - 2013 Season.  The nine-month programme will see the music of Beethoven, Verdi and Wagner rub shoulders with The Snowman and music from stage and screen.

The orchestra'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 - the Derry-based Codetta and Belfast Philharmonic Choir and, as Ulster Orchestra’s Chairman Professor Sir George Bain says, “63 of the finest musicians you will find anywhere in these islands”.

Cultural Ambassador

In addition, the orchestra’s Principal Conductor JoAnn Falletta is doing her bit to promote Northern Ireland by exporting the music of its finest composers back to her native United States.

Since taking up her post last year, the acclaimed New York conductor has become an unofficial cultural ambassador for Northern Ireland, telling audiences in the US and the rest of the world about its wonderful music and landscape.

Back in Belfast to launch the Ulster Orchestra’s new 2012 - 2013 Season JoAnn said, “Coming to Belfast has opened up a whole new world to me, especially the fantastic music of local Irish composers. People like Sir Hamilton Harty, Howard Ferguson and John Ernest Moeran, who had a close affinity with Ireland and spent many years here. I want people in the US to enjoy these great treasures,” she said.

JoAnn is also Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Virginia Symphony Orchestra and will conduct Harty’s Irish Symphony in Buffalo in the autumn of 2013 and Moeran’s Cello Concerto in Virginia during its 2013-2014 season.

“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,” she added.

JoAnn added that Northern Ireland audiences would also have a chance this Season to hear some of the music of her classical music compatriots, composers like John Adams, Aaron Jay Kernis and the great George Gershwin.

“I conduct Gershwin’s Piano Concert in a concert that includes Holst’s amazing Planet Suite at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s,” she said. “Gershwin is just one of the 30 composers who feature in a Season that takes in 40 main season and lunchtime concerts involving 30 soloists and another 19 conductors from around the world.

“Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, amazing soloists, a Family Film Favourites’ concert, music from hit West End shows and a Wild Wild West evening, plus traditional favourites like The Snowman and New Year Viennese concerts. There really is something for everyone,” she said.

The Ulster Orchestra’s new Season opens on 14 September 2012. Ten days earlier, at the Season taster concert ‘Your Starter for 10!’ concertgoers can get a taste for what the Season has in store for just £10. Tickets for the 2012 - 2013 Season go on sale on 18 July and range from £6 - £28, available from or (028) 9023 9955.

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