Get Your Irish On With The Celtic Tenors And Cincinnati Symphony

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The Celtic Tenors-Matthew Gilsenan, James Nelson and Daryl Simpson-mark their Cincinnati Pops debut at Music Hall on March 4 at 7 p.m. and perform a second concert with the Pops on March 11 at 3 p.m. at Music Hall. Joining the talented Irish lads is Deirdre Shannon, the versatile singer who recently toured the U.S. as a soloist in the hit show, Celtic Woman.

Tito Muñoz, assistant conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony, is the conductor for these concerts and David Munro is the Celtic Tenors' musical director and pianist.

"The Celtic Tenors are hugely successful classical crossover artists," said Cincinnati Pops Conductor Erich Kunzel. "Their recordings, tours and television specials have cast them into the world spotlight, and Cincinnati audiences will love this Irish celebration so close to St. Patrick's Day."

The Cincinnati Pops thanks Rendigs, Fry, Kiely & Dennis and The Rendigs Foundation for its generous sponsorship of these concerts. The Fine Arts Fund Partner for these concerts is Federated Department Stores/Macy's/FACS.

The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors have established themselves as the most successful Classical Crossover artists ever to have come out of Ireland. Signed on the spot to an international record deal in London in 2000, their first album went on to achieve double platinum status in their homeland, Number 1 in Ireland and Germany, Number 2 in the UK, and won them the "Echo Award" for 'Best Classical Crossover Act' in Germany.

A full-length TV Special "Ein Grosser Irischer Abend" was broadcast to millions on German television, and then released as a coast-to-coast TV Special on PBS in the USA - "Celebrate with the Celtic Tenors". There swiftly followed a second album - "So Strong" - recorded at Abbey Road Studios , produced by the legendary Mike Moran, of Queen and Freddie Mercury fame. Their third album - "The Irish Album" - was recorded at home with those legends of Irish folk - The Dubliners.

The Celtic Tenors have all had classical training, sung leading roles with top opera companies, performed in oratorio and concerts worldwide, and continue to show great flexibility in melding their voices to suit the appropriate Classical, folk, Irish and pop genres. Matthew Gilsenan, James Nelson and Daryl Simpson combine their unique voices, character and wit to provide a show overflowing with vitality and variety from start to finish.

The Celtic Tenors are privileged to have as their Musical Director the talented David Munro from Glasgow. Having worked on the music staff for some of the world's leading ballet companies, and later as Musical Director for Scottish Opera-Go-Round, as well as several West End shows, David's varied experience and virtuosic piano skills have helped raise The Celtic Tenors to another level, as they continue to re-invent the whole tenor idiom.

Their latest album, produced by David Munro and Calum Malcolm (Blue Nile), features such guests as Samantha Mumba, Brian Kennedy and the 80s super-group Air Supply, and has already reached Number 4 in the Canadian Charts, and the Top Ten in the US Billboard Charts. This album was released on the Dara label in Ireland under the title "We are not islands", and on the Telarc label worldwide as "Remember Me".

Another exciting guest on this album is one of the brightest new talents to emerge on the Classical Crossover scene, the soprano Deirdre Shannon.

The Celtic Tenors were invited to sing for Bill Clinton during a visit to Dublin Castle, and later in a private audience for Secretary General of the United Nations-Kofi Annan, and his wife Nanne-at the request of U2's front-man Bono. With a total album sales worldwide, including compilations, of over one million, and a full international touring schedule, The Celtic Tenors continue to move from strength to strength.

Matthew Gilsenan

Matthew Gilsenan is one of Ireland's most accomplished young tenors and has achieved considerable success singing in competitions throughout the island country. His oratorio performances include Beethoven's Mass in C, Symphony No. 9, Mendlessohn's Walpurgesnacht, Saint-Saëns' Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Messiah.

James Nelson

Originally from Sligo, Ireland, James Nelson is a graduate of University College Dublin. His busy opera and concert schedule has taken him throughout the UK and Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Russia, Israel, Singapore and the United States. From an oratorio repertoire of more than 60 works, highlights include Frank Martin's Golgotha in Germany and Switzerland and L'Enfance du Christ alongside Katia Ricciarelli in Rome and Florence. Nelson has performed more than 50 roles in opera and operetta, including Pinkerton, Lensky. Alfredo, Tichon and Basilio. Nelson currently writes a weekly column for The Sligo Weekender.

Daryl Simpson

From Omagh in Northern Ireland, studied with tenors Peter Alexander Wilson and Nicolai Gedda, and completed his Opera Masters Degree at the Alexander Gibson Opera School in Glasgow. Daryl joined Opera Theatre Company's "Young Associate Artist Scheme," performing in many recitals and broadcasts, and in Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea. Daryl furthered his studies at Zürich's "Internationales Opern Studio", where he sang Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), and roles in Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Poulenc) for Oper Zürich. As well as performing worldwide on the concert platform, Daryl is also the Musical Director of the Omagh Community Youth Choir.

Deirdre Shannon

Classical trained in Ireland at Dublin's College of Music, Deirdre Shannon's musical career began in 1996 when she was welcomed into the Irish choir, Anúna. In 1997 she was selected to be Erin the Goddess in Lord of the Dance, touring extensively all over the world to critical acclaim. She has collaborated frequently with The Celtic Tenors, most notably in their PBS television special. Recently Deidre Shannon toured the U.S. as a soloist in the new hit show, Celtic Woman, the album of which stayed at the top of the World Music Charts for more than 45 weeks and earning gold and platinum discs from EMI Manhattan. Future recording plans include her solo album.

David Munro

David Munro's multifaceted career as a classical pianist, composer, musical director for dance companies, arranger and producer includes his current five-year tenure as musical director for The Celtic Tenors. Among the many performers he has worked with are Sinead O'Connor, Maire Brethnach of Clannad and The Dubliners.

Tito Muñoz

Tito Muñoz, 23, was appointed to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducting staff as an assistant conductor by CSO Music Director Paavo Järvi in May 2006.

An alumnus of the National Conducting Institute, Mr. Muñoz made his professional conducting debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in May 2006. At the invitation of David Zinman, he made his Cleveland Orchestra debut at the Blossom Music Festival in August 2006. Mr. Muñoz made his Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra debut in February 2007 conducting the Fine Arts Fund Sampler Weekend concert at Music Hall. -- www.cincinnatisymphony.org

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