A symphony orchestra based in Belfast, The Ulster Orchestra is the only full-time professional orchestra in Northern Ireland. The orchestra plays the majority of its concerts in Belfast's Ulster Hall and Waterfront Hall.
Founded in 1966, the Ulster Orchestra has been at the forefront of musical life in Northern Ireland and the Orchestra's fifty six full-time musicians form the region's only professional symphony orchestra.
The Ulster Orchestra's mission is to enrich the lives of people living in and visiting Northern Ireland, as well as promoting the region through international touring and regular broadcasts with both BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Radio 3. The Orchestra strives for excellence in all it undertakes, be it regular concert performances, learning and community engagement programmes, or creative collaborations across the arts.
The Ulster Orchestra gives around 40 evening and lunchtime concerts each season in its home, the Ulster Hall, and in the Belfast Waterfront. The Orchestra performs for the BBC Radio 3 invitational concert series at the Ulster Hall and in front of tens of thousands for the BBC’s Proms in the Park celebrations each year.
The Ulster Orchestra records regularly, and its most recent recording commitments have been for the Naxos label under the baton of former Chief Conductor JoAnn Faletta and for the Hyperion label with Howard Shelley. The Orchestra has also recorded work for Chandos, SOMM and Toccata Classics.
Music Director Rafael Payare
Principal Guest Conductor Jac van Steen
Artist Laureate Sir James Galway
Leader Tamás Kocsis
Associate Leader Ioana Petcu-Colan