RIAM Announces 2018-2019 Events Schedule

The RIAM looks forward to an energetic and exciting 2018–19 Season including the Irish première of Stephen McNeff’s opera Banished in Kilmainham Gaol Museum, an array of concerts celebrating women, collaborations with leading musicians from around the world and a new public engagement initiative for audiences called First50Free.

In the year ahead the Royal Irish Academy of Music will offer audiences a myriad of opportunities to experience its vibrant pool of talent, with public performances, concert series and large-scale musical projects, both in its historical home in the Georgian buildings of Dublin’s No 36 Westland Row, and in venues throughout Ireland. The Academy is flourishing, producing a wealth of artists in many musical disciplines, some of whom are on the threshold of professional careers. It also counts amongst its teachers many of Ireland’s most distinguished performers, and amongst its alumni, internationally celebrated artists.

Sharing its love of live music with audiences, this season the RIAM launches a new public engagement initiative – First50Free (F50F) – which will see 50 free admission tickets ring-fenced for 12 special RIAM concerts across the 2018–19 season, including performances by such household names as Sir James Galway and John O’Conor. For each of these 12 concerts, 50 tickets will be available to book online the day before public booking opens (details below). The Academy will also continue to present numerous free admission events at its premises at 36 Westland Row.

This year, a concerted effort has been made by the RIAM to increase the representation of women in its programme of events. This is the real start of a journey to place women – composers, performers and pedagogues – centre stage in the RIAM’s programming output in the years ahead. For the third year running, an opera by a woman will be mounted: on this occasion Francesca Caccini’s Alcina, the first known opera by a female composer, will be presented in the stunning surroundings of Freemasons’ Hall on Molesworth Street which will become a magical island for performers and audiences alike as they journey through the building in this innovative site-specific promenade performance on May 17th and 18th. Also on May 17th, the Academy presents its now annual Saluting the Feminists day of concerts, talks and panel discussions on the impact women have had and continue to have on the Irish musical landscape. There is a musical salute on November 25th to the trailblazing French Boulanger sisters on the 100th anniversary of the untimely death of Lili Boulanger, and the significant contribution of two extraordinary pedagogues, cellist Aisling Drury Byrne and the late Deirdre Doyle is marked over two concerts on January 26th and February 23rd. An array of music written by women in the 17th century is highlighted in concert at St Ann’s Church on March 14th in a programme entitled Concerto di Donne and on October 18th, the RIAM collaborates with composer Siobhán Cleary and pianist Isabelle O’Connell in the presentation of a number of works by female composers at the National Gallery of Ireland, including the Irish première of Cleary’s Ondine. On November 23rd, music by some of Ireland’s finest compositional voices will be performed in Sounding Out at Seanad Éireann, an intimate event presented in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland and the Houses of the Oireachtas in the Seanad Chamber, to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage. The RIAM has also made a firm commitment to include music by at least one female composer in each of its 11:11 coffee morning concerts from January to March 2019.

Following the hugely successful inaugural series of the RIAM/NGI International Visiting Artists and Friends Series, presented in partnership with its neighbours, the National Gallery of Ireland, the RIAM is delighted to return to the magnificent Shaw Room for a second series this season. Once again, Irish audiences will experience performances by exceptional artists as we celebrate the Academy’s impressive roster of International Visiting Artists, all musicians of world renown, over five concerts: Sir James Galway (flute), John O’Conor and Iain Burnside (piano), Xuefei Yang (guitar) and Daniel Rowland (violin).

In recent years, the RIAM has carved a very special niche in Ireland’s opera world. Working in collaboration with strategic partners, including The Lir, the Abbey Theatre and IADT Dún Laoghaire, its wide-ranging operatic repertoire has included a world première, first Irish performances of operas by living composers, all in addition to a huge array of chamber operas and operatic gems. These annual productions have provided a hugely valuable training ground for countless numbers of young singers, who now represent the Academy on the world stage, and have provided audiences with an advance preview of the next generation of operatic stars. In January 2019, in partnership with the Office of Public Works and in collaboration with Design for Stage and Screen, IADT Dún Laoghaire, the RIAM is proud to break more new ground by presenting the Irish première of Stephen McNeff’s Banished, an adaptation of Steve Gooch’s play Female Transport, to a libretto by Olivia Fuchs in the potent, historical setting of Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol Museum. Putting young women firmly centre-stage, this brave new work tells the compelling story of women who were transported to Australia in the last years of the 18th and early 19th centuries and their survival against all odds on a long, arduous and dangerous passage to the other side of the world.

Audiences will also have abundant opportunities to experience the Academy’s vibrant pool of talent in a number of concerts across the year, including Sound-Beits at Russborough House, Centre Stage at Killruddery House and March at St Ann’s – a four-concert series in the elegant setting of St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street. The popular 11:11 Friday coffee morning concerts return in January, during which audiences will have a chance to savour some of Ireland’s finest emerging talents, along with guest appearances from RIAM staff and alumni. Around the country, the RIAM continues to celebrate local talent through its High Achiever Awards Programme and toasts the Local Centre Examination System, which is 125 years young in 2019, with a very special family concert at the National Gallery of Ireland on February 3rd.

The 2018/2019 International Masterclass Series will offer opportunities to learn from top-notch musical experts including cellist Natalie Clein, Chinese guitar sensation Xuefei Yang, the charismatic violinist Daniel Rowland and one of Ireland’s finest musical ambassadors, Ann Murray, and many more; all free and for RIAM performers and observers alike. The RIAM particularly looks forward to welcoming new audiences to its premises on Westland Row for two series of music appreciation classes, A Highly Opinionated History of Opera (October/November) with Deborah Kelleher and mezzo-soprano Liz Ryan, and The Perfect Playlist (January/February/March), during which 11 personalities from different walks of life will reveal musical works that hold special meaning to them.

For further information on these and other RIAM events:
Web: www.riam.ie | Tel: 01 632 5300 | Twitter: @RIAMDublin

For media information please contact:
Ciara Higgins, Head of Artistic Programming | Ciara Higgins |087 2391420

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018




Concerts F50F Offer Date Concert Date
Ondine: Ravel and Beyond September 20th October 18th
RIAM Philharmonia/Michel Galante September 24th October 25th
Sinae Lee Piano Recital September 29th November 13th
Boulanger Day October 1st November 25th
International Visiting Artists and Friends/Sir James Galway October 8th December 7th
International Visiting Artists and Friends/John O’Conor October 15th December 16th
International Visiting Artists and Friends/Iain Burnside November 12th January 11th
RIAM Philharmonia/Gerhard Markson (March) January 8th March 7th
International Visiting Artists and Friends/Xuefei Yang January 28th March 31st
Drumming at the RIAM February 18th April 16th
International Visiting Artists and Friends/Daniel Rowland February 25th April 28th
RIAM Philharmonia/Gerhard Markson (May) March 13th May 16th



  • Only available on F50F Offer Date from 10.00 am
  • Only available online
  • Limited to 1 ticket per person
  • Patrons of F50F Tickets requested to respectfully advise the RIAM if unable to use the ticket on the date of the performance