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Ulster Orchestra
112 colour hi-res Ulster Orchestra 1Mar16
118 colour hi-res Ulster Orchestra 1Mar16

This year, the Ulster Orchestra is pulling out all the stops for a Golden Season – the Orchestra’s 50th - as it heads into a new season of concerts in Ulster Hall, Belfast Waterfront and regional venues, from September 2016 to May 2017.

This season sees a core series of 14 subscription concerts with a series of special guest soloists – commencing with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, wife of Chief Conductor Rafael Payare, in the opening concert of the season on Friday 23 September 2016, and also including violinists Sergey Khachatryan and Alina Ibragimova, oboist Ramon Ortega Quero and pianist Stephen Hough. There are 10 concerts in the JTI Lunchtime Series, a Popular Favourites series of 8 concerts and 2 very special 50th Anniversary Celebration events. Northern Ireland’s greatest pianist, Barry Douglas, performs all three of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concertos with the Ulster Orchestra to mark the 30th Anniversary of his winning the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 1986; the first non-Russian pianist to do so since Van Cliburn in 1958.

Chief Conductor Rafael Payare continues his exploration of the music of Beethoven, with the Season including some of the composer’s most popular works – the 5th, 6th and 9th Symphonies all feature, as well as his Violin Concerto and the mighty Emperor Piano Concerto. Maestro Payare also takes the baton for a concert performance of one of the best-loved operas of all time, La bohème, in partnership with Northern Ireland Opera.

Principal Guest Conductor Jac van Steen takes the podium for a number of concerts, commencing with Rimsky-Korsakov’s sumptuous and mesmeric Scheherazade on Friday 21 October, and bringing magical vocal music such as highlights from Eugene Onegin, Berlioz’s gorgeous song cycle Les nuits d’été and, in this season’s Good Friday concert, Fauré’s sublime Requiem.

Every Ulster Orchestra season extends invitations to highly regarded guest conductors, and amongst them in 16/17 is one very special guest. Yan Pascal Tortelier was Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra from 1989 to 1992 and it is with great joy we welcome him back to the Ulster Hall for a performance which includes his own arrangement of Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor, an arrangement he made specifically for the Ulster Orchestra.

With all this, the return of perennial favourites such as Handel’s Messiah (featuring regular concert partners Belfast Philharmonic Choir) and The Snowman at Christmas, New Year Viennese, Burns Night (in association with the Ulster-Scots Agency) the JTI Lunchtime Series and our Popular Favourites series featuring film music (including a night devoted to music from James Bond), music from the small screen and a Christmas carol singalong, there is guaranteed to be something for every taste. If you book 4 concerts or more as a subscription package you can even save money, with discounts reaching 25% depending on the number of tickets you book. What’s not to love?! So head to to book your concerts and join Rafael Payare, Jac van Steen and the musicians of the Ulster Orchestra for a golden season to celebrate 50 years of orchestral music in Northern Ireland.

Opening times

Box office phone line 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Saturday

Price list

£7.50 - £37.50

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Ulster Orchestra

Seymour House 9 Gloucester Street
County Antrim
Phone number
T: (028) 9033 4455
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