Symphony Club of Waterford proudly present:
Cork School of Music Symphony Orchestra
Conor Palliser conductor
Zoë Nagle cello
Initially under the direction of the School’s former Head of String Studies, Adrian Petcu, the School’s Symphony Orchestra has developed from relatively modest beginnings as a Chamber Orchestra more than twenty-five years ago to become hailed in the national press as ‘the finest orchestra of its kind in Ireland’. The continuous tradition of high-standard playing is indebted both to its founder and to the leadership of Dr. Geoffrey Spratt who conducted the group for nearly twenty years. The orchestra continues to go from strength-to-strength under the guidance of its current conductor, Conor Palliser. The orchestra owes a great deal of gratitude to the high-class training that is issued in all areas at the CIT Cork School of Music.
Its regular performances in Cork are complemented by visits to venues throughout Ireland and abroad. The orchestra has twice taken part in the International Festival of Youth Orchestras held annually in Valencia, Spain, and successfully pioneered the concept of ‘Proms’ concerts in Cork. It has commissioned works from a number of Irish composers – most notably John Kinsella, whose Symphony No. 7 it premièred in 1999. More recently it gave performances of orchestral works by Séamas de Barra, David Wallace and Sam Perkin. It has also recorded scores by Stephen Parker for award-winning films: Poker Nights (2004) and Forty shillin’ shame (2008).
Many of the orchestra’s past members now hold positions in some of the leading orchestras across the globe.
A Somerset Rhapsody, Op. 21 Gustav Holst
Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 Edward Elgar
Symphony No. 2 “London” Vaughan Williams
Conor Palliser conductor
Conor Palliser has quickly established himself as one of Ireland’s leading young conductors. He is the conductor of the 150-member Fleischmann Choir, the Cork School of Music [CSM] Symphony Orchestra and chorus master to the Cork Operatic Society. He is also a highly-regarded french horn player, pianist, répétiteur and educator. He is on the staff of CIT CSM as conductor, lecturer, piano tutor and coach accompanist. He has also been recently appointed as conductor to the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra for 2020.
Conor has been guest conductor to the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (including a national tour in 2015), the RTÉ Concert Orchestra (including a performance in the presence of President Michael D. Higgins as part of the Easter 1916 anniversary festivities) and the Ulster Orchestra. Following his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta in 2017, the Epoch Times wrote that Conor is an “outstanding Irish conductor.” He has guest conducted the Cork Concert Orchestra, the Cork Philharmonic Winds, was a former conductor of the CSM Wind Ensemble and has been a brass tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland for many years. Conor also frequently runs workshops for both national and international amateur orchestras and choirs.
As a horn player, Conor has worked professionally with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Wexford Opera and Camerata Ireland as well as being a former member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and the International Youth Wind Orchestra. He has also worked alongside both the Callino Quartet and the RTÉ Contempo Quartet.
As a piano player, Conor has appeared on stage at the National Concert Hall, Dublin in a performance of Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds and his debut piano recital in 2008 was broadcast by RTÉ’s lyric fm from the John Field Room, NCH. In recent times, he has been the official accompanist for the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and is hugely in demand to accompany young musicians in competitions and festivals across Ireland. In 2010, Conor was a finalist in the inaugural Irish Freemasons’ Young Musician of the Year.
Conor is an advocate for bringing previously unheard works to Irish audiences and often performs music of Irish composers including Linda Buckley, Aloys Fleischmann, John Gibson, John Kinsella, Simon O’Connor, Pierre O’Reilly, Seán Ó’Riada, Sam Perkin, and Bill Whelan.
Zoë Nagle cello
19 year old Zoë Nagle has just completed her part time musical studies at the CIT Cork School of Music, where she was a student of Christopher Marwood. During her transition year of secondary school, Zoë studied for two months with Prof. Gotthard Popp at the Robert Schumann Hochschule für Musik in Düsseldorf, and in October of 2019, she will commence a Bachelors degree at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Munich, Germany, as a student of Julian Steckel.
A former section leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, Zoë has participated frequently in competitions throughout Ireland, and has received numerous prizes over the years. This year these included 1st place in the Clyde Twelvetrees Cup for Cello Concerto, 1st place for the third time in the Breda Cullen Cup for unaccompanied Bach and 1st place with pianist Ellen Jansson in the Elsner Memorial Cup for piano and string or wind duo at the ESB Feis Ceoil in Dublin.
Earlier this year, Zoë was awarded 1st place in the CIT Cork School of Music Senior Recital Competition, as well as 1st place in the school’s Senior Concerto Competition. As a result, she will perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the CIT CSM Symphony Orchestra in the coming year.
In October 2017, she made her debut with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta in Carnegie Hall, New York, performing Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Other notable performances this year include Poulenc’s Sonata for Cello and Piano at the National Concert Hall, as part of the ESB Feis Ceoil Gala Concert, a solo performance in the Kevin Barry Room, NCH as part of the Inaugural NCH International Master Course and a performance in the ‘Young Musicians of the Future’ concert at the Clandeboye Festival.
Zoë has participated in many masterclasses with renowned cellists such as Xenia Jankovic, Peter Bruns, Frédéric Audibert, Daniel Müller-Schott, Jérôme Pernoo, Emmanuelle Bertrand, Louise Hopkins and Andrés Díaz.
An avid chamber musician, Zoë participated in the masterclass programme at both the 2018 and 2019 West Cork Chamber Music Festivals with the Red Abbey Quartet and Vanir Quartet respectively. She has received masterclasses from members of the Vanbrugh, Danel, Apollon Musagète and Chiaroscuro quartets, as well as performers including Alina Ibragimova, Kirill Troussov, Maxim Rysanov, Liana Gourdjia and Andreas Reiner.