RTÉ CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Principal Conductor, David Brophy
Principal Guest Conductor, John Wilson
Conductor Laureate, Proinnsías Ó Duinn
The RTÉ Concert Orchestra has had a special place in Irish musical life for over 60 years, with a range that sees them equally at home in classical, opera, jazz, film, rock and traditional music.
The orchestra has performed Nessun Dorma with Pavarotti and Messiah for the Pope, played with jazz legends like Lalo Schifrin and Cleo Laine and rock musicians like Jon Lord of Deep Purple, and collaborated with top Irish acts including Altan, Sharon Shannon, Duke Special, Declan O'Rourke and The Coronas.
Heard across the world in seven Eurovision Song Contests, the RTÉ CO gave the electrifying first performance of Riverdance and went on to record the phenomenally successful CD. Other commercial recordings include Declan O'Rourke's Big Bad Beautiful World, Duke Special's I Never Thought This Day Would Come and a recording of Balfe's opera Falstaff that was acclaimed as 'a triumph for singers, conductor, orchestra and chorus alike' (The Irish Times). Film credits for the RTÉ CO include Albert Nobbs by Brian Byrne, which earned a 2012 Golden Globe nomination for Best Song and won the 2012 IFTA for Original Score, as well as Byrne's The Island, Irish Destiny by Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse by Joby Talbot.
The RTÉ CO has twice been the 'house orchestra' for The Late Late Show, showing its range in performances with a variety of guests: in 2010, Billy Ocean, Altan and the River Tenors (aka Après Match), and in 2011 Il Divo, Colm Wilkinson and Bell X1. The RTÉ CO also recorded Brian Byrne's arrangement of the old theme when Ryan Tubridy took over as presenter. In its 2010 appearance at Electric Picnic, the orchestra's set was hailed as one of the highlights of the weekend.
Recent years have seen the development of a popular series of film screenings with live performance of the orchestral score. Highlights of these screenings to date have included The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Psycho, Bugs Bunny on Broadway and the massively successful The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
The RTÉ CO's education programme is presented nationwide to tens of thousands of young people as the RTÉ/The Irish Times Music in the Classroom series, which has been running for 23 years.