6 episodes

Welcome to Bittersweet Symphony, a podcast about the bitter, the sweet and the bittersweet experience of life for classical musicians during a global pandemic.
I'm Cliodhna Ryan and I'm a violinist. In each episode, I chat to a fellow musician about what happened when the concert halls shut their doors, and the music stopped. Many put down their instruments for the first time since they were children, some out of grief, some out of relief. So what did they discover about what matters to them? What about their sense of identity, value and self-worth, and what do they choose to never forget?

Bittersweet Symphony Cliodhna Ryan

    • Society & Culture
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Welcome to Bittersweet Symphony, a podcast about the bitter, the sweet and the bittersweet experience of life for classical musicians during a global pandemic.
I'm Cliodhna Ryan and I'm a violinist. In each episode, I chat to a fellow musician about what happened when the concert halls shut their doors, and the music stopped. Many put down their instruments for the first time since they were children, some out of grief, some out of relief. So what did they discover about what matters to them? What about their sense of identity, value and self-worth, and what do they choose to never forget?

    Íde Ni Chonaill

    Íde Ni Chonaill

    Hello and welcome to Bittersweet Symphony, a podcast where classical musicians share the bitter, the sweet and the bittersweet of life when the concert halls shut their doors and the audiences vanished.

    I’m Cliodhna Ryan, violinist with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and freelancer. In this episode, I’m chatting to Íde Ní Chonaill, a freelance bassoonist from Cork, who is based in London. She has a career as a performer and community music practitioner.

    As a performer she is predominantly a chamber orchestra and chamber musician, regularly travelling back to Ireland to perform with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her core work, Íde enjoys exploring new challenges, like donning a praying mantis costume for her first experience as an actor-musician in The Nightingale and the Rose, an experience she loved.

    Alongside her career as a performer, Íde works in a variety of settings, facilitating communication through music. She is involved in a wide range of community music projects for adults and children with profound and complex needs. Since 2013 she has worked on intensive music projects and has provided staff training in special schools for the charity Jessie’s Fund.

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    CREDITS

    Thumbnail Art || Colm MacAthlaoith

    Writers || Mick Jagger, Richard Ashcroft, Keith Richards

    Violin || Cliodhna Ryan

    Production || Cliodhna Ryan

    Mastering || Patrick Stefan Groenland

    • 24 min
    Cormac Ó hAodáin

    Cormac Ó hAodáin

    Hello and welcome to Bittersweet Symphony, a podcast where classical musicians share the bitter, the sweet and the bittersweet of life when the concert halls shut their doors and the music stopped.

    I’m Cliodhna Ryan, violinist, member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and freelancer. In this episode, I’m chatting to Cormac Ó hAodáin, principal horn with the RTE Concert Orchestra.

    He shares the bitter experience of his Mum being ill, becoming a carer overnight, and the burnout that followed. His sweet memory is of regular meetups on Zoom with a community of musicians and composers, facilitated by the Contemporary Music Centre in Dublin. His bittersweet is while isolation was challenging, he felt equipped to handle it after a decade of living alone.

    Between 1993-1996, Cormac represented Ireland in the European Union Youth Orchestra, working with such eminent maestros as Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink, Mstislav Rostropovich and Vladimir Ashkenazy. In 1997 he joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and in 1999 became a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Cormac moved back to Ireland in 2009 to join the RTÉ Concert Orchestra as principal horn. Since his return to Ireland, he has established the Cassiopeia Wind Quintet and joined the teaching staff of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He is currently doing a Masters in Conducting at TU Dublin, under the mentorship of David Brophy.

    CREDITS

    Thumbnail Art || Colm MacAthlaoith

    Songwriters || Mick Jagger, Richard Ashcroft, Keith Richards

    Violin || Cliodhna Ryan

    Production || Cliodhna Ryan

    Mastering || Patrick Stefan Groenland

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    Cassiopeia Winds

    Contemporary Music Centre

    Norah Walsh

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    • 22 min
    Caitríona Frost

    Caitríona Frost

    Hello and welcome to Bittersweet Symphony, a podcast where classical musicians share the bitter, the sweet and the bittersweet of life when the concert halls shut their doors and the music stopped.

    I’m Cliodhna Ryan, violinist, member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and freelancer, and in this episode, I’m chatting to Caitríona Frost.

    Caitríona is a freelance percussionist whose career started at the age of 4 playing an egg shaker with the local concert band. She performs regularly with Ireland’s leading orchestras and has toured extensively with Celtic Woman and Declan O’Rourke. She is a founding member of Bangers & Crash percussion ensemble, which is led by Alex Petcu.

    Recently Caitríona has been composing works for percussion that are steeped in the Irish tradition, drawing on her early experiences of playing fiddle and tin whistle. 

    In 2020, she was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Music Bursary, as well as a residency at Roadbooks, Co.Cork. She has just returned from a residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, funded by Music Network.

    Caitríona’s bitter memory is of her work suddenly stopping, and her relationship ending. Her sweet memory is of a wonderful Christmas Day spent with family in West Cork. There were gifts exchanged, sea swims, and lots of love and laughter.  Much of her experience at this time felt bittersweet, as her extraordinary artistic and personal journey came about through the pain of her relationship break up, devastating loss of work, and the sudden impact the pandemic had on her entire way of living.

    This conversation was recorded in September 2021.

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    CREDITS

    Thumbnail Art || Colm MacAthlaoith

    Writers || Mick Jagger, Richard Ashcroft, Keith Richards

    Violin || Cliodhna Ryan

    Production || Cliodhna Ryan

    Mastering- Patrick Stefan Groenland

    • 24 min
    Elizabeth McLaren

    Elizabeth McLaren

    Hello and welcome to Bittersweet Symphony, a podcast where classical musicians share the bitter, the sweet and the bittersweet of life when the concert halls shut their doors and the audiences vanished.

    I’m Cliodhna Ryan and I'm a violinist. In this episode of the podcast, I’m talking with Scottish born violinist Liz McLaren, sub-principal Second Violin with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland since 2000.

    She has enjoyed a varied musical life in Ireland, including performing with the Orchestra of St Cecilia as Principal Second Violin, playing all of Bach's Cantatas, and almost all of Haydn's 107 symphonies. 

    She has also recorded for cabaret artist Camille O'Sullivan, the Irish Film Orchestra and artist Jaki Irvine, at IMMA. 

    Brought up in a house ringing with the sound of bagpipes, accordions and fiddles, McLaren continues to play Scottish traditional music with her mum.

    This interview was recorded in August 2021.

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    CREDITS

    Thumbnail Art || Colm MacAthlaoith

    Song || Bittersweet Symphony

    Writers || Mick Jagger, Richard Ashcroft, Keith Richards

    Violin || Cliodhna Ryan

    Production || Cliodhna Ryan

    Mastering || Sean Mac Erlaine

    • 22 min
    Aoife Burke

    Aoife Burke

    Hello and welcome to Bittersweet Symphony, a podcast where classical musicians share the bitter, the sweet and the bittersweet of life when the concert halls shut their doors, the audiences vanished, and the music stopped.

    I’m Cliodhna Ryan and I'm a violinist. In this first episode of the podcast I’m talking with cellist Aoife Burke. Selected by The Arts Council as a recipient of a Next Generation Artist Bursary 2020, Aoife is a member of the Opalio Piano Trio and the Banbha String Quartet, supported by the National String Quartet Foundation. She currently holds a residency at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork City, where she curates the 6 Summertime Concerts Series and the Spotlight Chamber Music Series, which she founded in 2017.

    This interview was recorded in August 2021.

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    CREDITS

    Thumbnail Art || Colm MacAthlaoith

    Song || Bittersweet Symphony

    Writers || Mick Jagger, Richard Ashcroft, Keith Richards

    Violin || Cliodhna Ryan

    Production || Cliodhna Ryan

    Mastering || Sean MacErlaine

    • 23 min
    Bittersweet Symphony

    Bittersweet Symphony

    Welcome to Bittersweet Symphony, a podcast about the bitter, the sweet and the bittersweet experience of life for classical musicians during a global pandemic. 

    Violinist, producer and host Cliodhna Ryan chats to fellow musicians from every section of the orchestra about what happened to them when their world went quiet, and what they have chosen to never forget. 

    Bittersweet Symphony is launching on Tuesday 7th December and will be available on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month.

    • 1 min

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