John Toal introduces a special concert to mark the BBC’s centenary on 13 February 2022. The event is part of a weekend of live performances on BBC Radio 3, with all of the BBC Performing Group showcasing music written in the 1920s and the 2020s.
The Ulster Orchestra, under conductor Andrew Gourlay, performs works by two local compsoers. The first is Sir Hamiliton Harty, the Hillsborough man who went on to become Chief Conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester. He wrote his Piano Concerto in 1922 – the same year as the BBC was founded – and the soloist in this performance of it is the Belfast pianist Michael McHale.
The programme also features Democracy Dances by the Belfast composer Conor Mitchell. This orchestral work, with its story of the search and struggle for democracy, was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award in November last year. It was premiered in March 2021 by the Ulster Orchestra with live electronics, but has been specially reworked for this broadcast.
Hamilton Harty: Piano Concerto in B minor (37’)
Conor Mitchell: Democracy Dances (14’)
From the Ulster Orchestra:
Michael McHale (Piano)
Andrew Gourlay (Conductor)
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