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As Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra, the UO has achieved much since 1966. Here are a few of those achievements and significant events.
The Ulster Orchestra performing in the historic Ulster Hall which opened in 1862…
…and in the landmark Belfast Waterfront which opened in 1997.
JoAnn Falletta, the UO’s 12th Principal Conductor and the first female and first American to be appointed to the post.
Conductor Stephen Bell applauds with the 1000–strong audience, as Ballyclare High School ‘guest’ conductor, A/S music student Ryan Greer, conducts the UO during its educational concert Time Travel.
Each year 30,000 people benefit from the Orchestra’s education concerts and outreach programmes, like one KS2 pupil who took part in the 2010 Sound Waves programme.
Sir James Galway at the UO’s Flute Masterclass in April 2011.
Established in 1966, the Ulster Orchestra is Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra and a cornerstone of Northern Ireland’s diverse cultural life.
Its mission is to ‘enrich life through music’ and in all that it does the UO seeks to take people on a journey through a world of music that is rich, diverse and has the ability to draw people together from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages.
Hungarian–born Tamás Kocsis leads the UO’s 62 full–time musicians whose main concert season takes place in the Ulster Hall and the Belfast Waterfront from September to June. The Orchestra also performs at venues across Northern Ireland and beyond, in places as diverse as the Alley Theatre in Strabane, the Royal Albert Hall in London, the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Millennium Forum in Derry/Londonderry and the gardens of Hillsborough Castle.
The Orchestra’s major funding partners include the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (its principal funder), the BBC and Belfast City Council. The Orchestra also plays an integral part in Northern Ireland’s economic life and values its growing relationship with businesses across the region.
• Inaugural Royal Philharmonic Society Educational Award (1998)
This Season, we honour the centenary of Britten’s birth and the bicentennials of Wagner and Verdi, while bringing you music from living composers like James MacMillan who will conduct his own work in the Ulster Hall.
What they say…
“The Ulster Orchestra is one of our key cultural institutions. Having our own internationally–acclaimed professional orchestra helps to promote Northern Ireland’s image at home and abroad and makes a very positive statement about the region’s confidence in our creative and cultural assets.”
“The Ulster Orchestra contributes in a huge way to the cultural life of Northern Ireland. We at Patton Group want to be associated with that. The Ulster Orchestra team strive for excellence, just as we do at Patton Group. We derive a wonderful sense of well being in being able to help the Orchestra.”
David M Patton MBE