Stephen Bell appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Stephen Bell and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra are due to take part in a celebration of John Williams’ 90th birthday, with performances at Leisureland, Galway on Thursday February 10 and University Concert Hall, Limerick on Friday February 11.
Stephen Bell has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for the next two years, RTÉ announced today.
Over the past few years Bell has been a regular and popular visitor to the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, his eclectic range and gift for communicating with the public making him an ideal partner for the band. Prior to his current role, he was appointed Artistic Director of the City of Oxford Orchestra in 2009 and since 2013 has served as Associate Conductor of the Hallé.
Stephen’s acclaimed career as a conductor follows an equally remarkable career as a horn player. After studying the French horn and conducting at the Royal College of Music – notably under the famous conductor Norman Del Mar – he went straight on to play a role with the BBC Concert Orchestra, where he remained until ‘ on his retirement as Principal Horn in 2015. Highlights of his career as a player included working on two of the star wars movies with John Williams.
“Since my first appearance as guest conductor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in 2015, I have always enjoyed my visits to Dublin and the opportunities to work with this collection of wonderfully talented and creative musicians,” commented Stephen Bell today, after the news.
“Having spent over 30 years as a principal actor in a UK broadcast orchestra, I feel I bring a unique insight to this new role as Principal Guest Conductor, particularly in terms of the wide variety repertoires and musical styles RTÉ Concert Orchestra are required to perform.
“Their versatility and expertise are infectious, and I look forward to reconnecting with the loyal and discerning audience at the National Concert Hall and beyond in the months and years to come,” added the gifted conductor and musician, before recognizing Ireland. renowned musical culture.
“Of course, there is a legendary vibrant music scene in Ireland with a rich history and tradition, and additionally my aim is to bring as wide and varied a musical experience to as wide and diverse an audience as we can. reach through our concerts and broadcasts. We look forward to welcoming you back to the joy of live music!”
His recent discography includes working with award-winning singer Clare Teal on MUD Records, he appears frequently on Classic FM and BBC radio and TV, performing projects such as a Stanley Black tribute concert at the Royal Festival Hall and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Texas Pop Legends in 2017. Bell was also part of the 2008 Doctor Who Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.
Given his star wars history, Stephen Bell’s first appearances with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra as Principal Guest Conductor will be a celebration of John Williams’ 90th birthday with concerts at Leisureland, Galway on Thursday 10 February and University Concert Hall, Limerick on Friday February 11th. Stephen will be on Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1 talking about John Williams on the birthday itself, Tuesday 8 February, and talking about his new date on Marty in the morning on RTÉ lyric FM on Thursday February 10.
Delighted to announce that Stephen Bell is the new Principal Guest Conductor @rte_co! His first gigs in the role will be John Williams’ celebrations in Galway (10th) and Limerick (11th) – given he played French horn on two Star Wars scores. Welcome, @stevebell62! pic.twitter.com/22yLYamYod
— RTÉConcertOrchestra (@rte_co) February 1, 2022
RTÉ Concert Orchestra will perform “A Woman’s Heart Orchestrated” in 2022, with Eleanor McEvoy, Maura O’Connell and Wallis Bird at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.
One of the most successful Irish albums of all time, A woman’s heart sold over 750,000 copies in Ireland alone after its release in 1992. The album also featured iconic Irish artists Mary Black, Dolores Keane, Sharon Shannon and Frances Black.
A cover of her title track “Only A Woman’s Heart” was released by Irish Women in Harmony in July this year. Only A Woman’ is the collective’s original take on the iconic Irish song, originally sung by Mary Black and McEvoy.