A symposium on the Symphony and Ireland takes place on 20 April

Symphony Symposium ImageThe event, entitled ‘The Symphony and Ireland’, will be held in the DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama, Rathmines in association with the Society for Musicology in Ireland and the National Library of Ireland on Saturday, 20 April.

The catalyst for this event was the recent discovery of the parts for the first-known symphony composed in Ireland, uncovered in the National Library of Ireland. The symphony was composed in Dublin by the French composer Paul Alday c1816 and was one of two he wrote during this period. Prior to this discovery, the library of the Royal Irish Academy of Music held only incomplete parts, but the newly uncovered parts provide a complete set for performance. These parts have been digitally transcribed by students of the DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama in preparation for the first performance of this symphony since the early nineteenth century.

The discovery provides the first chapter in the story of the symphony and Ireland and raises questions as to the context, development and trajectory of this often-overlooked genre of classical music. This event brings together leading international academics and contemporary Irish symphonic composers to answer these questions.

In addition to several papers relating to the theme, a panel discussion of Irish symphonic composers will also take place with composers Dr John Buckley, John Kinsella, Dr Grainne Mulvey and Dr Kevin O’Connell.

CMC will also collaborate with the event by holding an exhibition of notable symphonic scores, recordings and other related materials from its collection. These scores will be available to view in the Centre between 10am and 5.30pm from 22–26 April.

This event is free of charge but registration is required. Please email Catherine Ferris, catherine.ferris@dit.ie by Friday 12 April to confirm attendance. For details on CMC’s exhibition, please contact Caitríona Honohan, chonohan@cmc.ie.


9.30 – 10.00 Registration and Tea/Coffee

10.00 – 10.30 Sesssion 1
Dr Kerry Houston, Introductory Address and Welcome
Dr Axel Klein, Symphonies and Accompaniments - 200 Years of Irish Symphonies

10.30 – 11.30 Session 2
Chair: Dr Maria McHale
Dr Catherine Ferris, Paul Alday, the Anacreontic Society and the Birth of the Symphony in Ireland
Basil Walsh & Dr Michael Murphy, Rossini and Michael Balfe’s Sinfonietta (Bologna 1829)

11.30 – 12.00 Tea & Coffee

12.00 – 12.30 DIT Camerata, conducted by Keith Pascoe
Performance: Grand Symphony for Full Orchestra, Composed & Respectfully Dedicated to the Anacreontic Society of Dublin, by P. Alday, Dublin c.1816

12.30 –13.30 Session 3
Chair: Professor Jan Smaczny
Professor Jeremy Dibble, Three Accents, Three Irish Symphonies: Three National Symphonic Essays by Stanford, Esposito and Harty
Dr Ita Beausang, From Glencree to Amalfi - Ina Boyle’s Symphonic Journey

1.30 – 2.30 Lunchbreak

2.30 – 3.30 Session 4
Chair: Dr Gareth Cox
Dr Ruth Stanley, Programming, Investment and Cultural Value: the History of Symphonic Music in Concerts of the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra (1924–39)
Joe Kehoe, Fair Days, Chocolate, and Music: The Radio Éireann Symphony Orchestra 1948 – 1955

3.30 – 4.30 Session 5
Chair: Dr Philip Graydon
Dr John Buckley, John Kinsella, Dr Grainne Mulvey and Dr Kevin O’Connell, Panel Discussion of Irish Symphony Composers

4.30 – 5.00 Professor Harry White, Closing Address

5.00 Reception