Irish Premiere of Donnacha Dennehy’s Violin Concerto

Irish Premiere of Donnacha Dennehy’s Violin Concerto
© Hugh O'Conor

A hint of the sea breeze, the glittering reflection of the sun breaking through the clouds on the surface of the water seems literally audible …

-          Svenja Koch, Das Opernmagazin

Donnacha Dennehy's Violin Concerto will receive its Irish Premiere on April 26 as part of New Music Dublin with soloist Stephen Waarts, conductor David Brophy and the National Symphony Orchestra.

In the composer’s words, the piece “plays on the dialogue between the solo and the mass constantly, and the mass of the orchestra itself splinters into smaller shards.” Dennehy’s own Irish roots are present as well: “The second movement feels redolent of the sea to me. The sea always emerges in my music it seems. Maybe it has to do with growing up in Ireland, surrounded by water on all sides.” The final movement ends wildly, when “the violin threatens to spiral everything out of control leading to a fierce conclusion on the very edge of what is possible.”

The violin concerto was commissioned for Augustin Hadelich by the Oregon Symphony, their Music Director Carlos Kalmar, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Philharmonie Zuidnederland. It premiered in October 2021 with Hadelich, the Philharmonie Zuidnederland and conductor Claus Peter Flor and has been performed previously in Germany and the United States.

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