WITH multiple Irish connections through conductor Jessica Gethin and orchestra chairman Maurice Spillane, it did not take Perth Chamber Orchestra director Bourby Webster long to get everyone onboard for An Irish Night: Easter 1916 Remembered.
“Our concertmaster Paul Wright has also recently been having traditional Irish fiddle lessons from the hugely talented Robert Zielinksi who lives here in Perth, so he was keen to try out his new skills in concert,” Webster, of Mosman Park, said.
The ‘little sister’ of Perth Symphony Orchestra, Perth Chamber Orchestra comprises some of the best players from its bigger sibling and performs a different, more intimate repertoire.
An Irish Night: Easter 1916 Remembered will feature the orchestra’s leading string players and harpist alongside several guest artists performing at Perth’s GPO to mark the centenary of one of Ireland’s most significant historic events – the 1916 Easter Rising.
“It is an event that took place at the GPO in Dublin where a group of men began a rebellion that led eventually to Ireland’s independence from Britain,” Webster said.
“The events of that Easter week rebellion changed the course of history for Ireland, and make for a very fascinating and important story I knew we could tell in a moving and beautiful way.
“We launched the Chamber Orchestra in the GPO in 2013 and loved the acoustic. When we realised the Easter Rising took place in the GPO in Dublin, it was a no-brainer that we should hold the concert there.”
Webster said the moving and historically important event in Irish history would be told through music, poetry, dancing, food and more.
“Whilst it is a concert, it is much more of an experience,” she said.
“Three sets of music are separated by two long intervals, so in true Irish style the social elements are as important as the magical mix of classical music and traditional and contemporary Irish music.
“The audience will be immersed in a night that will leave them feeling they’ve visited Ireland.”
What: An Irish Night: Easter 1916 Remembered
Where: GPO Building, Forrest Place, Perth
When: March 23