Orchestra of the Month

From now on the ENUO will monthly put one member orchestra in the spotlights. With this we hope to offer you a peek behind the scenes of how each orchestra is organized, by whom the orchestra is run, what kind of programs have been played and are to be expected in the future etc. Apart from the only criteria that all information should be in english, we give the member orchestras the complete artistic freedom to present their orchestra and university with an open mind towards future collaborations within the ENUO. Do you think your orchestra should be the next on stage? Contact us via info.enuo@gmail.com and find out when you will be next. 

The UCD University Orchestra

The UCD Symphony Orchestra was founded in 2002. It has developed into the flagship instrumental ensemble of Ireland's largest university, University College Dublin, with a membership of around 90 players. It offers student scholarships and can be taken for academic credit irrespective of degree programme - traditionally there has been a large cohort of medical and engineering students in the orchestra. Sectional tuition is provided by principals from Dublin's two full-time professional orchestras, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. The orchestra has engaged in numerous joint projects with university orchestras outside Dublin, the first European destination being Mannheim, Germany in 2013. Connections made via our friends in the ENUO have led to further collaborations with orchestras from Uppsala in Sweden, Leuven in Belgium, and Strasbourg in France, as well as participation in the 2017 edition of ESOF.

The UCDSO’s repertoire centres on mainstream concert works from the 19th and 20th centuries – major symphonic symphonic repertoire performed has included symphonies by Beethoven (5, 7, 9), Shostakovich (5, 10) and Tchaikovsky (4, 5, 6). Since 2005, the orchestra has appeared annually at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland’s premier classical music venue. These concerts often involve the UCD Philharmonic Choir, most recently in performances of Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances. A wider audience has been cultivated by a number of themed concert series, such as family concerts, a "Night at the Movies" series, and concert performances with live bands, including the world-renowned tribute act the Bootleg Beatles.

The orchestra shall enjoy a very busy season in 2019–20 with five major events planned, the first of which occured on October 20th, joining forces for a second time with the Bootleg Beatles for an acclaimed performance to commemorate the release of the iconic Abbey Road  album – a review in the national music journal Hot Press can be read here: http://tiny.cc/ucdbeatles. Next up is the second in the series entitled "Closer Reading" in which a major symphonic work is performed following a 30-minute critical introduction by our conductor, Dr Ciarán Crilly, who is also Head of the UCD School of Music. Into 2020, there are two performances planned at the National Concert Hall, including the fourth "Night at the Movies" programme, before we welcome the Strasbourg University Orchestra for a joint concert in the Spring. A new endeavour this year is the introduction of an apprenticeship for young conductors: the 2019-20 Conducting Apprentice is Ben Jacob from Waterford in the South East of Ireland.

As the orchestra approaches its 20th anniversary in the 2022-23 season, it looks for fresh challenges, and is always open to exchange partnerships with other ENUO members. We celebrate the fact that we have grown from just 19 members in our first concert to 90 in our last, and that this growth has been accompanied by an ever-increasing contribution to the cultural life of UCD’s staff and student population.

Definitely keep an eye on what we are up to via our main channels: www.ucd.ie/orchestra and www.facebook.com/ucdsymphonyorchestra