Finghin Collins joins the NSO for music to 'soothe, revive and restore' in Galway on October 6. Photo: Celine Michel

National Symphony Orchestra celebrates Music for Galway's 40th anniversary

The National Symphony Orchestra makes a long-awaited and welcome return to Galway on Thursday, October 6, in Leisureland at 8 p.m.

The occasion sees the ‘exceptionally fluent, exceptionally intelligent, exceptionally sensitive’ (International Record Review) pianist and artistic director of Music for Galway, Finghin Collins, joining the NSO and ‘conductor of international renown’ (Irish America), Kenneth Montgomery, for music to soothe, revive and restore.

Commissioned by Finghin Collins and Music for Galway in celebration of its 40th anniversary, Jane O’Leary’s unfolding soundscapes for piano and orchestra is given its world premiere, revealing a work of ‘quiet energy’.

With the piano silhouetted against a background of shimmering strings and expressive orchestral colours, it moves from dream-like anticipation to joyful rapture through three movements.

The evening also includes two giants of symphonic music.

Tchaikovsky’s elegantly lush and luxurious Serenade for Strings is a melancholy-accented, musical swoon harking back to Mozart but timeless in its appeal.

The second half of the concert is filled with images of aromatic freshness of the countryside, rustic village life and sounds of bucolic birdsong and babbling brooks invoked by Beethoven’s lithe, lyrical Sixth Symphony. Few hymns to the natural world are as hypnotically persuasive as this work, a thrilling blend of the sylvan and the elemental.

Grab this chance to hear Finghin Collins, the ‘equally sensitive sound aesthete as well as thundering piano lion’ (Ostsee Zeitung), and to bask in the sounds that the National Symphony Orchestra conjures under the baton of Kenneth Montgomery.

Tickets cost €30 (€27 concession), with a reduced price for full-time students and school-going children of €10, while MfG Friends pay €26. To book or find out about how to join as MfG Friend, visit or telephone (091) 705962.

The concert will be repeated the following night (Friday, September 7) at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

This concert is presented in partnership with the National Symphony Orchestra. Music for Galway gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council.