THE University Concert Hall in Limerick has announced details of a major show to mark its silver jubilee in September.
The concert, marking 25 years of magical moments on the UCH stage, will feature the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and special guests, including some who performed in the first weeks of UCH, such as Chieftains legend Paddy Moloney and pianist Barry Douglas.
It will be the high point of an ongoing programme of celebrations to mark the special anniversary of this 1,000 seat venue, which opened amid much fanfare in 1993 as the first purpose-built concert hall in Ireland.
UCH Director Sinéad Hope said when it opened “it was a huge thing for this region and very early on it embedded itself into the arts and culture fabric of the whole country.
“The great thing is that it has delivered brilliantly for the city, county and region. When you think of some of the names that played here over the years, it’s remarkable.
“People got to see Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson perform together here, for example. Morrissey, Nigel Kennedy, Sinead O’Connor all played here. We had phenomenal sell-out shows with Billy Connolly and then you have the likes of our own Christy Moore, Mary Black, Pat Shortt, Sir James Galway - that’s a stellar list,” she added with a laugh.
The Gala Concert will see some of the country’s most respected musicians and performers come together to give a flavour of 25 wonderful years of music. Paddy Moloney will perform traditional favourites including Carolan’s Concerto.
The venue’s great classical tradition will be reflected in a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 by Barry Douglas, while UCH’s long standing relationship with the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance sees pianist and composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin take part.
The popular Limerick Choral Union will also perform a piece from Jenkins’ The Armed Man, while Zoe Conway and Emily Flack will join for a version of Bill Whelan’s Riverdance and singers Mairead Buicke, Amanda Minihan and Richie Hayes will delight audiences with a selection of operatic and musical theatre numbers.
The UCH is marking the milestone by carrying out a €1.85m upgrade in technical, backstage and front of house facilities. The venue will reveal a revamped entrance, foyer, box office, restaurant and dressing rooms for its anniversary concert.
“We’re celebrating all of that appropriately – by putting on a very special anniversary event and by investing in our facilities for both visiting artists and the public,” said Sinéad Hope.
The concert takes place on September 8. See www.uch.ie for more details and to book tickets.