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Colm Byrne, trumpet; Gerard Gillen, organ

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Biography

Colm Byrne was born in Navan where as a child he played cornet in the town’s Silver Band. At the age of nine he commenced studying trumpet at the RIAM with James Cavanagh. He soon distinguished himself, winning all awards for trumpet playing at the Dublin Feis Ceoil, including the Walton Cup for Brass. Membership of the National Youth Orchestra, the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble and the European Wind Ensemble soon followed. On completing his secondary school education Colm moved to Glasgow where he studied trumpet at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama with John Gracie, and from where he graduated winning the Governors‘ Recital Prize for Brass. Further study followed at the Aspen School of Music in Collerado. On returning to Ireland Colm began his professional career as a teacher and freelance professional performer with numerous orchestras and ensembles both at home and abroad. In 1999 he was appointed Co-Principal Trumpet with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 2021, before resigning to become fulltime professor of trumpet at the RIAM.

Gerard Gillen is currently titular organist emeritus of Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral and professor emeritus of music at Maynooth University. Professor Gillen has an international reputation as an organ recitalist and has given more than 1000 recitals throughout Europe, the Middle East, America , Hong Kong and Australia, performing at such prestigious venues as the Royal Festival Hall, London, King’s College, Cambridge, St Thomas, New York, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, St Thomas’, Leipzig, St Bavo, Haarlem, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and cathedrals and major recital venues in Antwerp, Bratislava, Brussels, Bruges, Copenhagen, Freiburg, Ghent, Hamburg, Jerusalem, Kosice, Lübeck, Luxembourg, Malaga, Stockholm, Oslo, Notre Dame and La Madeleine, Paris, Pittsburgh, Potsdam, Rome, etc. Gerard Gillen was conferred with a Knighthood of St. Gregory (KCSG) by the Vatican in 1984. Other honours include the John Betts Visiting Fellowship at Oxford (1992), and in December 1996 he was nominated the classical winner in Ireland's TV National Entertainment Awards, the first organist to be so honoured. In 2006 he was conferred with the title Chevalier des Ars et des Lettres by the French Government for his contribution to French Music, and in 2007 he was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa by the Pontifical University of Maynooth for his services to Church Music, and he was also elected to Fellowship of the Royal Irish Academy of Music (FRIAM). In 2010 he was decorated by King Albert ll of Belgium as an ‘Officer of the Crown,’ and was awarded the Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst (Cross of Honour for Science and Arts) by the Austrian Government. His CD of the organ music of César Franck and Flor Peeters on the English LCS HiRes label was one of Norman Lebrecht’s special Christmas recommendations for 2009.

Programme

Georg Muffat (1653-1704)

Toccata Septima (Apparatus musico-organisticus)

Jean Joseph Mouret (1682-1738)

Trumpet and Organ: Sinfonia De Fanfares

Rondeau (Premiere Suite)

Air

Fanfares: Allegro Vivace

Jean Baptiste Loeillet (1688-c.1750)

Trumpet and Organ: Sonata in G Minor

Adagio

Vivace

Largo

Allegro

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621)

Ballo del Granduca

G. Ph. Telemann (1681-1767)

Trumpet and Organ: Concerto in D Major

Adagio

Allegro

Grave

(Vivace)

G. F. Handel (1685 –1759)

Trumpet & Organ Suite (from Watermusic, 1733)

Overture

Gigue

Aria (Menuetto)

March (Bourrée)

March