Riverdance: The Music of Bill Whelan

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Presented by RTÉ Concert Orchestra

The National Concert Hall, Main Auditorium
Thursday 17th May, 8pm

RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Bill Whelan, piano
Crash Ensemble
UCD Choral Scholars
David Brophy, conductor
Guest Artists:
Eleanor McEvoy, vocals
Zoë Conway, fiddle
Máirtín O'Connor, accordian
Maitiú Ó Casaide uilleann pipes
Mick Donegan & Yolanda Gonzalez Sobrado, dancers
Crash Ensemble, as special guests of RTÉ Concert Orchestra, will perform Jazzical Cyclebike (2011) at this special concert celebrating the music of Grammy Award-winning composer, Bill Whelan.

Jazzical Cyclebike was originally composed as a short piece for chamber strings and which featured violin and cello duets. It was written in Paris and was inspired by many cycling journeys around that city. The original version received its first performance in Holland in 2007 with the Magogo Chamber Orchestra. Subsequently, Donnacha Dennehy suggested to Bill Whelan that he might consider adapting it for the Crash Ensemble. And so emerged this new version for Piano and
String Quartet, which will received its first performance in January 2011 at the Launch of the Music Composition Centre at Trinity College of which Bill Whelan is an Adjunct Professor of Music Composition.

Presenting a wide range of his music, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will also perform the world premiere of Bill Whelan’s Symphonic Suite from Riverdance.
Bill Whelan: ‘The idea for a Riverdance Symphonic Suite has been on my radar for some time. Over the years I have often had requests from foreign orchestras for a full-length concert piece containing the music from the show. As my original score incorporated traditional instruments, it was not always easy to assemble the various ethnic elements for a concert in say, Japan. So what I have done with this new score is to present all the themes from Riverdance in a way that is playable by a full symphony orchestra anywhere in the world, without the traditional musicians. There were two principal challenges – the first was to arrange the themes and melodies as a colourful and dynamic concert piece. The second was to choose the instruments from within the orchestra to appropriately replace the original ethnic instruments and voices. As this will be its first performance, I look forward with anticipation as this augmented RTÉ CO under David Brophy brings the work of the last few years to life'