The Symphony and Ireland

The Symphony and Ireland: A Symposium

20 April 2013

DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama, Rathmines, Dublin 6, Ireland

In association with the Society for Musicology in Ireland & the National Library of Ireland

An International Association for Music Libraries, Archives & Documentation Centres (UK & Irl) Jubilee Celebration Event


The Symphony and Ireland symposium aims to examine the context and trajectory of the symphony in, and of, Ireland. It will bring together leading international academics and contemporary Irish symphonic composers to facilitate a contextual discourse on the composition and consumption of the genre in Ireland.


The catalyst for this symposium was the recent discovery of the parts for the first-known symphony composed in Ireland, uncovered in the National Library of Ireland by RISM Ireland/DIT researchers. The symphony was composed in Dublin by the French composer Paul Alday c1816 and was one of two he wrote during this period. Prior to this discovery, the library of the Royal Irish Academy of Music held only incomplete parts, but the newly uncovered parts provide a complete set for performance. These parts have been digitally transcribed by students of the DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama in preparation for the first performance of this symphony since the early nineteenth century.


This event is free of charge but registration is required. Please email by Friday 12 April to confirm attendance.


Provisional Programme

9.30 – 10.00    Registration and Tea/Coffee

10.00 – 10.30  Sesssion 1

  • Dr Kerry Houston, Introductory Address and Welcome
  • Dr Axel Klein, Symphonies and Accompaniments – 200 Years of Irish Symphonies


10.30 – 11.30 Session 2

Chair: Dr Maria McHale

  • Dr Catherine Ferris, Paul Alday, the Anacreontic Society and the Birth of the Symphony in Ireland
  • Basil Walsh & Dr Michael Murphy, Rossini and Michael Balfe’s Sinfonietta (Bologna 1829)


11.30 – 12.00  Tea & Coffee


12.00 – 12.30  DIT Camerata, conducted by Keith Pascoe

Performance: Grand Symphony for Full Orchestra, Composed & Respectfully Dedicated to the Anacreontic Society of Dublin, by P. Alday, Dublin c.1816


12.30 –13.30 Session 3

Chair: Professor Jan Smaczny

  • Professor Jeremy Dibble, Three Accents, Three Irish Symphonies: Three National Symphonic Essays by Stanford, Esposito and Harty
  • Dr Ita Beausang, From Glencree to Amalfi – Ina Boyle’s Symphonic Journey


1.30 – 2.30      Lunchbreak


2.30 – 3.30      Session 4

Chair: Dr Gareth Cox

  • Dr Ruth Stanley, Programming, Investment and Cultural Value: the History of Symphonic Music in Concerts of the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra (1924-39)
  • Joe Kehoe, Fair Days, Chocolate, and Music: The Radio Éireann Symphony Orchestra 1948 – 1955


3.30 – 4.30 Session 5

Chair: Dr Philip Graydon

  • Dr John Buckley, John Kinsella, Dr Grainne Mulvey and Dr Kevin O’Connell, Panel Discussion


4.30 – 5.00      Professor Harry White, Closing Address


5.00                 Reception




Contact: Dr Catherine Ferris


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