Saturday, 15 February 2014

Radio Ulster Concert

The weather was so dreadful last night that I wondered whether to cancel my concert at Belfast's Ulster Hall.

It was a BBC Radio Ulster concert, being broadcast live at 8pm.

However, the elements were resisted, I found a parking space on Bedford Street, and ventured in to the Hall after seven o'clock.

The house was full. I found my usual seating area upstairs at the balcony overlooking the orchestra.

It was splendid to see all the familiar faces in the Ulster Orchestra again: Bandanaman, and Hairy Biker (both violinists); the principal trumpeter; the fellow who leads the oboists; the lead flautist.

Ioana Petcu-Colan
The beautiful Associate Leader, Ioana Petcu-Colan, with a red floral decoration in her hair, can just be seen in the photo, to the left of the conductor.

One of the violinists seems to live quite near me, because I've seen him strolling past Belmont GHQ occasionally.

A variety of romantic pieces were played - being Valentine's Day - with excellent soloists, including two sopranos, a pianist, and the superb Tamás Kocsis, whose rendering of Franz Waxman's Carmen Fantasy was simply divine.

Mulholland Grand Organ

The concert culminated with the powerfully romantic Romeo and Juliet overture, by Tchaikovsky, played magnificently by our Ulster Orchestra.

How fortunate we are to have such outstanding talent.

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