RTÉ Concert Orchestra recording Patrick Cassidy’s score to John Michael McDonagh’s ‘Calvary’


The RTÉ Concert Orchestra is back in the recording studio to record Patrick Cassidy’s music for John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary. After the success of The Guard, this eagerly awaited new McDonagh film again stars Brendan Gleeson, this time as a priest in a role described as theflipside to The Guard’s Sergeant Gerry Boyle.


Mayo-born Cassidy, based in Los Angeles, was approached in the summer by a music supervisor there who told him that McDonagh wanted him to write the music. The composer and director talked by phone, then met face to face at the end of the summer to discuss the project and what was needed. As well as the script, McDonagh sent Cassidy some examples of music he liked, to give him a steer – one of the films he sent, for instance, was Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.


This is just the latest project in a film career of distinction for Patrick Cassidy. Notable film credits to date include HannibalVeronica Guerin, Salem’s Lot, King ArthurLayer CakeChe GuevaraAshes and Snow, L’Aviatore and Kingdom of HeavenHis aria Vide Cor Meum from Hannibal has appeared in multiple top-ten lists and essential collections throughout the world; it was the only piece by a living composer on the Warner Classics CD the 40 Most Beautiful Arias. His Funeral March was used in the trailer for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and his Elegy features in the trailer for the upcoming Superman film Man of Steel.


Cassidy’s parallel career as a classical composer has included The Children of Lir, the first major symphonic work written in the Irish language which stayed at No. 1 in the Irish classical charts for over a year, and Famine Remembrance, commissioned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Famine.


Patrick Cassidy and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra collaborated last year when the orchestra and the Tribal Chamber Choir gave the European premiere of Famine Remembrance to great acclaim in the composer’s native Claremorris. He was delighted with the result, and also enjoyed reconnecting with an Irish orchestra for the first time since he left the country 12 years ago. Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s recording session, he says: ‘The RTÉ Concert Orchestra is an excellent orchestra with a great attitude – the musicians really give it their all.’


Describing the difference between the two styles of working in his career, Cassidy observes that while a composer works alone on classical pieces, writing music for a film is a very much a collaboration. He is always conscious that he has to give the film-maker what he needs, though he pays tribute to the leeway and trust he enjoyed in his relationship with McDonagh. ‘And Calvary is a very good movie, very inspiring – that lends itself to creating good music!’


RTÉ Concert Orchestra: Singin’ in the Rain Screening with live orchestra

Singin’ in the Rain

Screening with live orchestra

RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Neil Thomson conductor

Saturday 27 April, 3pm & 8pm

National Concert Hall


For the first time in Ireland, experience one of the world’s best-loved musicals with the immortal music brought to life by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. The remastered MGM classic is shown on a big screen above the stage with the original vocals and dialogue intact, while the RTÉ CO plays the orchestral score underneath.


The RTÉ CO has developed an enthusiastic and eclectic audience for these film screenings with live orchestra, many of those attracted by the concept into seeing an orchestra in action for the first time. This presentation of Singin’ in the Rain in Dublin comes hot on the heels of the long-awaited European premiere, which takes place in London in March.


Singin’ in the Rain is not just a great musical, it’s a great film. It has all the ingredients to make it a classic –a brilliant script, cast and direction as well as the wonderful music and choreography. Packed with imagination, colour and affectionate wit, it is one of the ultimate feelgood film experiences.


Choose between matinee and evening then sit back and relish routines like Good Morning and Moses Supposes, a sultry Cyd Charisse in the Broadway Melody Ballet, Donald O’Connor running up the wall in Make ’Em Laugh and an exhilarating Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain. Imagine all this accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra playing full tilt – what a glorious feeling!


Tickets: €25–€40 (conc. €23–€36)

Booking: www.rte.ie/co or www.nch.ie or 01 417 0000 (no booking fee)


RTÉ Concert Orchestra features in Brian Byrne’s two World Soundtrack Awards

Irish composer Brian Byrne has won two awards at the highly prestigious World Soundtrack Awards 2012, the results of which were announced at the closing night of Ghent International Film Festival last night.


Brian Byrne won Discovery of the Year for his score to Albert Nobbs, recorded with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and Best Original Song for Lay Your Head Down, lyrics by Glenn Close, performed by Sinéad O’Connor with the RTÉ CO.


Lay Your Head Down took the Best Original Song award ahead of songs performed by Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Florence + The Machine and Academy Award winner Bret McKenzie. (Full list of nominees below.) This follows an IFTA win and a place on the Oscar longlist for the Albert Nobbs score and a Golden Globe nomination for Lay Your Head Down.

The Albert Nobbs soundtrack was recorded in RTÉ Radio Centre by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, with Brian Byrne himself conducting, and he has paid tribute to the role of the orchestra in his success: “I am incredibly proud of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and its enormous contribution to the Albert Nobbs soundtrack. I am so glad I got to do it with the home team. This orchestra’s versatility is unmatched in Europe – let’s hope there will be many more collaborations like this one.”


The long-standing and fruitful relationship between Brian and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra continues in November when his first classical album Tales from the Walled City, with the RTÉ CO and guests including soprano Danielle de Niese and violinist Nicola Benedetti, will be released on the Decca label.


World Soundtrack Award Nominees List:

Film Composer of the Year
Alexandre Desplat (A Better Life, Carnage, De rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone), Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Moonrise Kingdom, The Ides of March)
Alberto Iglesias (Le Moine (The Monk), La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
Cliff Martinez (Contagion, Drive)
Howard Shore (A Dangerous Method, Cosmopolis, Hugo)
John Williams (The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse)

Winner: Alberto Iglesias

Best Original Film Score of the Year

Drive by Cliff Martinez
Hugo by Howard Shore
The Adventures of Tintin by John Williams
The Ides of March by Alexandre Desplat
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by Alberto Iglesias

Winner: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by Alberto Iglesias

Best Original Song written directly for a Film
Lay Your Head Down from Albert Nobbs
music by Brian Byrne, lyrics by Glenn Close, performed by Sinéad O’Connor and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Breath of Life from Snow White and the Huntsman
music & lyrics by Florence Welch & Isabella Summers, performed by Florence + The Machine

The Living Proof from The Help
music & lyrics by Thomas Newman, Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason Jr & Damon Thomas, performed by Mary J. Blige

Man or Muppet from The Muppets
music & lyrics by Bret McKenzie, performed by Jason Segel and Walter

Masterpiece from W.E.
music & lyrics by Madonna, Julie Frost & Jimmy Harry, performed by Madonna

Winner: Lay Your Head Down from Albert Nobbs music by Brian Byrne, lyrics by Glenn

Close, performed by Sinéad O’Connor and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Discovery of the Year: Brian Byrne for Albert Nobbs


RTÉ Concert Orchestra present Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies


RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Richard Kaufman conductor
With top Broadway vocalists Candice Safstrom, Whitney Kaufman,
Aaron Philips & Andrew Johnson
Saturday 23rd June, 3pm & 7pm
National Concert Hall


The RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies, with favourite Disney themes performed live and favourite clips on the big screen, will pack in young and old in two shows on Saturday 23 June at the National Concert Hall. Audiences can rediscover Walt Disney’s most memorable characters and stories through some of the best movie themes ever written, from Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, The Lion King and more. And appropriately for a concert that will appeal so strongly to families, there is a family connection on stage: conductor Richard Kaufman and one of the top Broadway vocalists taking part, Whitney Claire Kaufman, are father and daughter. As Richard comments:

‘It’s always a thrill to be able to share the stage with my daughter, Whitney Claire. Music has been such a wonderful part of our lives from the time Whitney was just a little girl (actually, she’ll ALWAYS be my “little girl”). To have the opportunity to perform together with three other extremely talented singers and one of the world’s great orchestras is very special indeed! Whitney and I have done concerts with several orchestras including Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony and the Santa Barbara Symphony. We have also worked together in recording studios here in Los Angeles. As a conductor, I appreciate her professionalism, great discipline, passion and dedication to every performance she gives. As a Dad, It’s a joy for me to watch and hear her pursuing and enjoying what has become quite a successful career. I guess you could say that for me, working with my beautiful daughter is as good as it gets for a Dad who also happens to be a conductor!’

Whitney Claire Kaufman joins this special Disney celebration very soon after a more personal celebration of her own, having got married just two weeks ago – the attached picture shows her with her proud father on the day.

Richard has a long and distinguished history in film music – he was head of MGM Studios Music Department for many years, played violin on iconic films including Jaws and Close Encounters and has played in the orchestra for the Oscars.

With showings at 3pm and 7pm, audiences of all ages can share in the magic of Disney as the RTÉ Concert Orchestra brings all of your favourites to life.


Disney Classics Overture
The Little Mermaid Medley
“Colors of the Wind”
Beauty and the Beast Medley
“I Wanna Be Like You
Mary Poppins Sing Along
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Medley
Aladdin Medley
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Lion King Suite
“It’s A Small World”

Tickets: €25–€35 (conc. €22–€33)
10% group discount available
Booking: 01 417 0000 or www.rte.ie/co


IFI announce 2011 programme

The IFI has announced details of its diverse programme for 2011. Many successful initiatives will continue along with a host of new seasons and special events:

The IFI in collaboration with Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) will be presenting an exploration of Ireland’s fictional representation on screen that has been curated by Gabriel Byrne. Using John Ford’s vision of Ireland in The Quiet Man as a starting point, the programme will include the US representations that shaped international perceptions of Ireland until the 1950s and the subsequent changes in perception that came with the growth of Irish-produced films.

The IFI, in collaboration with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, will be presenting Hidden Ireland: Irish Documentary Film. This kaleidoscopic programme of work, running over three months, presents a range of Irish and US perspectives, on Ireland, the Irish and the Irish-American experience with much of the material being sourced from the IFI Irish Film Archive.

The IFI, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the National Concert Hall will collaborate to present Denis Johnston’s Guests of the Nation with a new orchestral score. Adapted from Frank O Connor’s short story in 1935, this silent film tells of the friendship between British soldiers and their IRA captors during the War of Independence. The newly restored film will be presented at the National Concert Hall in September with the world premier of a new score by award-winning composer Niall Byrne performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.  It will then travel to New York’s Lincoln Center in the autumn.

Two contrasting directors will receive special focus; In February the Jim Sheridan: In Focus season will survey the director’s achievements in Irish film since he burst onto the international scene with My Left Foot. For the past twenty years Sheridan has provided a crucial creative bridge for Irish stories to reach the Hollywood mainstream. Guests attending include Jim, Peter and Kirsten Sheridan, along with Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker and Hugh O’Conor.

Thai filmmaker and visual artist, Apichatpong Weerasethakul cemented his reputation as one of cinema’s most original and creative directors with last year’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Following on from a brief visit last year, he will return to the IFI in July for a full season of his film work to coincide with an exhibition of his work at IMMA.

IFI Stranger Than Fiction Festival will return with a special edition focusing on the Irish documentary; an area of Irish filmmaking that has been extremely successful in recent years. Another key annual event on Dublin’s film calendar, the IFI French Film Festival, will return in November and lovers of French cinema can join the IFI’s social French Film Club that meets year-round at screenings of new French films at the IFI.

February’s programme starts a year of special seasons of classic films and festivals with the IFI co-hosting the first ever Chinese Film Festival from Dublin City Council and the concluding part of the popular Graham Greene Season, coinciding with the release of Rowan Joffe’s new version of Brighton Rock. This year’s annual collaboration with JDIFF will be a screening of Turner prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing’s Self Made which explores the question ‘If you were to play a part in a film, would you play yourself or would you play a fictional character?’

The IFI’s screenings of Irish film continues, both through monthly Ireland on Sunday screenings and discussions, as well as a programme of new Irish releases and focus on upcoming Irish filmmakers. Mark O’Connor’s high-velocity urban St. Patrick’s Day drama, Between the Canals, will be released on 18th March and, also in March, Juanita Wilson will be at the IFI to discuss the release of her much-lauded and hotly anticipated film, As If I’m Not There.

This summer the IFI will celebrate the fantastic level of support from audiences and visitors it has continued to receive over the past year with the IFI Open Day 2011. Once again the IFI be throwing open its doors to the city for a whole day of free screenings of new Irish and international releases as well as classics and films from the Archive.

NT Live, the live theatre broadcast programme from the National Theatre in London, returns on 17th March with Frankenstein. Dublin City Council’s One City One Book has given the impetus to several successful programmes at the IFI and on 9–10 April, award-winning writer Joseph O’Connor, author of this year’s selection Ghost Light, will be in attendance a programme of films that engage with the themes of the novel.

The IFI Irish Film Archive continues with the release of GAA Gold, a DVD of National Film Institute reports from the All Ireland Hurling Finals from 1948–1959 was a success and will be followed with another release of the Gaelic Football Finals from the same period in the autumn.

IFI National curates special events across the country, helping to provide access to independent new releases and Archive collections. This will include Aran of the Saints, an extremely valuable and long-forgotten 1932 film by the Catholic Film Society of London documenting life on the Aran Islands two years before Robert Flaherty’s Man of Aran. A new musical arrangement devised by musicians from the Islands, commissioned by IFI with the support of the Arts Council, will create a new soundtrack for this silent film. The film will receive its Aran Islands premiere with live musical accompaniment at Áras Éanna Inis Oir Arts Centre as well as being shown at Galway Town Hall in the summer. The IFI @ The Model regular programme in Sligo will continue to bring new releases to the North West and more regional partners will be announced later in the year.

The annual IFI Family Festival, will be back during the summer holidays to provide a host of family films and accompanying workshops for young filmgoers. IFI Family also, on a monthly basis, provides an international cinema programme at affordable prices to families and young film fans – February’s screening is a Chinese New Year-themed The Magic Aster animation and March’s screening for World Book Day will be Eleanor’s Secret. IFI Family will also be continuing its work with Rua Red bringing family film events to Tallaght.

The Spring/Summer IFI Education Schools Programme has just been released with a programme tailored to teachers in supporting and broadening the curriculum. Each year the programme reaches 16,000 students nationwide and the current programme includes popular recent releases such as The Social Network, The Pip, Persepolis and Billy Elliot. In 2011, IFI Education responds specifically to the DES Draft National Plan on Literacy with several events focusing on visual literacy which is an essential skill in negotiating the range of media and digital technologies in contemporary society. This year will also see the final phase of Film Focus, the IFI Education’s action research project to develop a national strategy for Film Education with an exciting and diverse set of pilot projects taking place across the country and a final report due in the autumn.

The IFI’s Essential Cinema Evening Course of films introduced by lecturers and critics from IADT will focus on American cinema in the 1970s. The course will give new perspective and critical context on favourites from the period including Jaws, American Graffitti, The French Connection, Nashville and The Godfather. Further opportunities for critical engagement with film at the IFI can be found at the monthly Experimental Film Club and a planned series of forums with the Screen Directors Guild.

For more information visit www.ifi.ie


90th anniversary screening of ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’

JDIFF has announced the first confirmed event for the 2011 festival; the 90th anniversary screening of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will be presented by the National Concert Hall and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in association with the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

This event will take place at the National Concert Hall on Saturday 26th February, featuring a live score composed by Carl Davis, played by the acclaimed 45-strong RTÉ Concert Orchestra and conducted by David Brophy.

The 9th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival will celebrate Irish and International cinema on the capital’s screens from 17–27 February 2011. The full line-up for the 2011 festival will be revealed in late January.

Tickets cost €35,  with concessions available, and can be booked via the National Concert Hall.

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival
Web: www.jdiff.com
Tel: +353 1 662 4260

National Concert Hall
W: www.nch.ie
T: +353 1 417 0000