Saturday, 20 June 2009

The Extraordinary Flautist

This has been my second visit to the Ulster Hall in Belfast within a week. There was another very good concert last night, produced by BBC Radio Ulster; and it was entitled Young Musicians' Concert. The soloists were from Northern Ireland.

David Porcelijn brandished the conductor's baton yet again. The first soloist was √Čanna Monaghan, a bassoonist, originally from Belfast. He was correctly and suitably attired in full evening dress, unlike the Ulster Orchestra which is permitted to wear anything these days as long as it's black. This young fellow is tall: he stood beside the conductor and, despite Mr Porcelijn standing aloft a podium, Mr Monaghan was taller still! He played Jacob's Bassoon Concerto with aplomb.

The second soloist was stunning in more ways than one. Eimear McGeown comes originally from County Armagh. She is young and beautiful - positively glamorous and elegant in her sexy, royal blue strapless, full-length dress. She played her flute sensuously while captivating the audience with a most accomplished rendition of Liebermann's Flute Concerto. Here is no ordinary flautist: Miss McGeown must easily be one of Ulster's finest. Remember her name and relish watching her too!

Returning to the policy that the Ulster Orchestra has about staff attire: Is it customary now for orchestras to dress casually? At least some players have the self-respect to wear a black tie with their black jackets, black shirts, black shoes, black trousers...a black bandanna (you have read correctly). Doubtless black socks and black underwear too! I volunteer to inspect the blonde female members for regulation black underwear. Is the wearing of this informal attire called progress? Why shouldn't major orchestras dress formally in full evening dress - or dinner jackets, white shirts and black tie at the very least? The way this orchestra dresses for a public event is quite inappropriate.

Having got that rant off my chest, I commend the Ulster Orchestra, as usual, for giving us another wonderful performance.


Anonymous said...

Lord Belmont-We agree that Eimear McGeown is a superb flautist-a wonderful ambassador for Ireland..How much we enjoy reading your blog.
What a busy and versatile life you lead .We note that you too were a faithful patron of The Lobster Pot in Strangford.Unfortunately we
feel it was never as good after Mr Dabernig's tenure /The food and service in those days was second to none in the north of Ireland.

Timothy Belmont said...

Anon, thanks for your kind comments about my blog.