The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to announce that Chief Conductor Rafael Payare is to extend his contract and, in recognition of the valued and special relationship he has with the Orchestra, he will now take the title of Music Director.
With the opening of the 2016/17 Season at the Ulster Hall on Friday 23 September, Maestro Payare began the final year of his initial three-year contract with the Orchestra and then, on the occasion of the Orchestra’s 50th Birthday, the conductor put pen to paper on a contract extension that had been eagerly hoped for by audiences and musicians alike. We now look forward with great pleasure to continuing working under the leadership of this inspiring young conductor for a further two years from 2017/18 Season.
Rafael Payare and the Ulster Orchestra have developed a partnership that is now recognised as one of the most dynamic in the United Kingdom. Highlights have included Maestro Payare’s debut with the Orchestra at this year’s BBC Proms in August 2016 and their acclaimed Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonic cycles, which continue in the 2016/17 Season.
Warmly welcoming the appointment, Ulster Orchestra Managing Director Richard Wigley said;
“We are delighted that Rafael will continue to work with the Ulster Orchestra beyond 2016/17. In recognition of Rafael’s rapport with the players, the tremendous reception that the people of Northern Ireland have given him and the incredible impact that he has made on concerts, the Orchestra has given him the title of Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra. The organisation is enthusiastic for what the future holds with this brilliant conductor at the helm of our Orchestra.”
In response, Ulster Orchestra Music Director Rafael Payare said,
“I am thrilled to be extending my contract with the Ulster Orchestra for another two seasons. The Orchestra has managed a challenging couple of years and these wonderful musicians have come through it with such passion and commitment.
It was an exciting and proud moment for me to make my Proms debut with the Orchestra this summer. The commitment and high level of playing was outstanding and it was a clear sign to me that I wished to extend my contract and continue working with this special group of artists.
Across the next few seasons we will continue to explore a vast amount of repertoire and there are exciting plans in 2017-18 to perform on the international stage as the Orchestra and I are planning our first European tour together.
Feliz cumpleaños, Ulster Orchestra!”