St. Patrick's Day Concert
Tuesday 17th March 2009
8:00pm - 10:00pm
Listen in full to the St. Patrick's Day Concert featuring the music of Bill Whelan
One of the highlights of the evening is a new composition - The War Graves - a setting of the poem by Michael Longley, Professor of Poetry for Ireland. The Belfast poet, who celebrates his 70th birthday this year, will recite the poem, accompanied by the Ulster Orchestra. This special piece also features the acclaimed young Scottish singer and musician, Julie Fowlis (BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year 2008).
The night is also somewhat of a reunion for the original musicians who recorded Whelan's large scale orchestral work The Seville Suite. Written for the Seville Expo in 1992 the work charts the Flight of the Earls from Kinsale to La Coruna. It features three of Ireland's best know traditional musicians - Declan Masterson, uilleann pipes, Máirtín O'Connor, accordion and bodhrán player Mel Mercier, as well as three outstanding musicians from Galicia - harpist Rodrigo Romani, and whistle/pipe players Xosé V. Ferreiros and Nando Casal.
Some of BILL WHELAN'S more recent compositions are also included in the programme. Violinist Fionnuala Hunt returns to her native city Belfast as soloist in Inishlacken, a work inspired by an island off the coast of Galway. Fionnuala is joined by the young Dublin fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhriain.
Also on the bill will be two of the stars from Riverdance - the leading Irish dancer Colin Dunne and renowned Spanish Flamenco dancer, Yolanda Gonzalez Sobrado. The internationally acclaimed instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from The Corrs, Sharon Corr, will also make a special guest appearance.
The concert is presented by John Toal live on BBC Radio Ulster.