The Symphony and Ireland – Symposium on 20 April 2013 at DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama

Symphony Symposium ImageThe Symphony and Ireland

20 April 2013

DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama, Rathmines

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

On 20 April 2013, rediscover Ireland’s symphonies, hear the stories behind their composition and attend a performance of the first symphony composed in Ireland.

The catalyst for this event was the recent discovery of the parts for the first-known symphony composed in Ireland, uncovered in the National Library of Ireland. 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.

The discovery provides the first chapter in the story of the symphony and Ireland and raises questions as to the context, development and trajectory of this often-overlooked genre of classical music. This event brings together leading international academics and contemporary Irish symphonic composers to answer these questions.

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 of Irish Symphony Composers


4.30 – 5.00      Professor Harry White, Closing Address


5.00                 Reception




Contact: Dr Catherine Ferris