My ultimate Premiere of the Year for 2012' however, has to be the Requiem for the Lost Souls of the Titanic by Philip Hammond.the Year.  Premiered in St Anne's Church of Ireland Cathedral, Belfast on 14  April (2012) the exact centenary of the ship's sinking,  a theatrical presentation in St Anne's, with choral sections interpolated with instrumental interludes and meditative readings from a variety of secular texts, was followed by a liturgical performance in St Peter's Roman Catholic Cathedral the next morning. The scale of the piece posed enormous challenges to the five participating choirs, brass band and four conductors, but Hammond dispersed his forces cleverly and resisted cliché and sentimentality to produce a hugely effective work of genuine originality, beauty and emotional power.

Clare Stevens,  Classical Music Magazine, 18 December 2012


City of London Festival June 24 2013 Drapers Hall London Brodsky String Quartet an Lore Lixenberg


It was an epic concert, because we had begun with Philip Hammond's mysteriously atmospheric voice-and-strings song cycle Chanson d'automne......Richard Morrison (The Times) 26 June 2013


It would take some serious sleuthing to fathom the connections between Northern Irish composer Philip Hammond's song cycle Chanson d'automne, Sir Edward Elgar's Piano Quintet and the nine composers of the brand-new piece entitled Trees, Walls, and Cities....

Philip Hammond's setting of three poems by Verlaine was a subtle and beautiful evocation of French Impressionism, with a dash of Schoenberg's symbolist style thrown in. Lore Lixenberg summoned. Beautifully ripe sound, though it was hard to discern many of the words in the Draper's Hall.....Ivan Hewett  (Daily Telegraph) 26 June


Mezzo Lore Lixenberg was earlier the sensitive soloist in the impressionist Verlaine settings of Philip Hammond's Chanson d'automne.....Richard Fairman (Financial Times) 

Flutist James Galway performs with the Irish Chamber Orchestra at Segerstrom Concert Hall

Review: Galway charms with Irish Chamber Orchestra


The first orchestra of the season, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, showed up for the Philharmonic Society of Orange County on Monday night. The program was billed as an evening of “light classics,” and that it was, in an old school kind of way. There was plenty of lighter fare on the agenda, but none of it was pop, per se. And both halves of the program were anchored by substantial pieces by Mozart.

The first half of the concert belonged to beloved Irish flutist James Galway. He served as host of it as well, taking up the microphone between numbers to talk to the audience, conductor JoAnn Falletta and the orchestra his backup band. Galway is one of the few classical musicians who could also be called an entertainer, and nothing wrong with that, at least the way he pulls it off.

You know that he's going to tell a few stories and tell a few jokes in that melodious Irish brogue of his. You know that he's going to be dressed to the nines in ornamental finery. You know that he's going to charm the audience into complete submission – it's almost his shtick. Two things keep it from being a mere shtick, though. First, Galway seems to genuinely enjoy talking to the audience, and he does it casually, never pressing. Second, he has no need of a shtick once he picks up the flute. He is a virtuoso of the first rank, of course, but also a musician of good taste. He may play sentimental tunes, but he plays them beautifully, purposefully, without gilding the lily. It helps, too, that many of the tunes he plays are Irish folk songs, with their potent mixture of sweetness and melancholy.

 His set, and the concert, began with Hamilton Harty's “In Ireland,” for flute, harp and small orchestra. Composed in 1918, it is a fantasy on folk tunes, supplely scored (Harty was a noted conductor) and lovely to hear. Galway followed it with Mozart's Flute Concerto, K. 314, in an effortlessly precise and cheerful reading, varying his tone in subtle and magical ways. Falletta and the orchestra supported him actively, smartly.

 His wife, flutist Jeanne Galway, joined him for a new work, Philip Hammond's “Carolan Variations,” again based on Irish tunes, these by harpist Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). Hammond's work has a slow, ballad-like slow movement and a fast, neo-classical second movement characterized by rhythmic élan and harmonic adventure, much of it quite tart. An interesting and worthy piece.

The Orange County Register


Tedrin Blair Lindsay — The classical music of Ireland took center stage at the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond on Tuesday evening in a delightful concert featuring world-renowned flutist Sir James Galway and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, currently on tour with American conductor Joann Falletta.

Throughout the evening, Galway treated the audience to humorous insights about the music and Ireland as he introduced the various pieces.

The program began with a light, charming work for flute and orchestra called In Ireland by Hamilton Harty, depicting street musicians in Dublin at dusk.

The musicians then offered Mozart's Flute Concerto in D Major, one of the standard works for the instrument despite its origins as an oboe concerto in C major. This little fact was but one of the interesting morsels Galway fed the audience in his fun patter before the concerto, which had the large crowd laughing uproariously as he explained the reasons for Mozart's antipathy toward the flute. The sense of unrestrained enjoyment continued into the performance of the concerto itself, especially in the buoyant third movement, when Galway's virtuosity particularly dazzled the audience. It was a joy to observe the lively engagement between the soloist and the conductor as the piece progressed.

Following the concerto, Galway's wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, also a superb flutist, joined the forces onstage for Carolan Variations by Philip Hammond, another lovely work utilizing two melodies by the legendary Irish harpist Turlough O'Carolan. The piece opens with a gorgeous extended passage for solo string quartet, which the principal players of the Irish Chamber Orchestra fulfilled with utmost beauty of tone, echoed in turn by the intimate ensemble between the two flutes.

Read more here:

Lyrical brilliance

Der irische Pianist Michael McHale The Irish pianist Michael McHale

"Lyric FM" heißt der Klassiksender von RTE, des öffentlichrechtlichen Rundfunks in Irland. "Lyric FM" is the classical music station of RTE, the public broadcasting in Ireland. Dort - wie bei uns, in Ö1 - ist freilich das Musikprogramm bereits weit über die Klassik hinausgewachsen. There - as with us, in OE1 - indeed is already out grown far beyond the classical music program.

Die "CD des Tages" wurde von lyric Fm produziert; sie ist über weite Strecken lyrischer Musik gewidmet. The "CD of the Day" was produced by lyric Fm, it is dedicated to long stretches of lyrical music. Das hat aber nichts mit dem Namen der Station, sondern der bewussten Auswahl des Pianisten Michael McHale zu tun. But this has nothing to do with the name of the station, but the conscious choice of pianist Michael McHale. Aus der Fülle irischer Klaviermusik hat er 19 Stücke kompetent ausgewählt und in eine kluge Reihenfolge gebracht. From the wealth of Irish piano music, he has 19 pieces competently selected and placed in a wise sequence.

Audio als mp3Brillant ebenso wie feinfühlig führt er uns durch lichte Tanzarrangements ebenso wie dunkle "Nocturnes" - ja, der Erfinder dieses Titels, John Field, ist auch dabei. Brilliant as he sensitively, we pass through dance arrangements as well as dark "Nocturnes" - yes, the inventor of this title, John Field, is also there. Manche der kurzen Charakterstücke wurden eigens für McHale komponiert, andere sind wahre Hits der romantischen Literatur, wie die Version des Gassenhauers "Molly On The Shore" von Percy Grainger. Some of the short character pieces were composed for McHale, others are true hits of romantic literature, such as the version of the streets Hauer's "Molly On The Shore" by Percy Grainger. Zu den Entdeckungen, für die sich ein Erwerb der CD allein schon lohnt, gehören die witzigen, mitreißenden Miniaturen von Philip Hammond. Among the discoveries for which a purchase of the CD alone is worth include the witty, captivating miniatures by Philip Hammond.

Mit behutsam erweiterten Akkorden, die Harmonien des Volksliedes gleichsam austestend, und, natürlich, immer wieder die irische Harfe nachahmend, hat McHale selbst auch ein paar Arrangements beigesteuert. With carefully extended chords, the harmonies of the folk song as it austestend, and, of course, always imitating the Irish harp, McHale has even contributed a few arrangements. All das aber präsentiert er mit Geschmack und unmaniriert. All this, however, he presented with taste and unmaniriert. Genau deswegen verfügt dieses CD-Album über so manchen Moment, in dem wir uns verstohlen eine Träne von der Wange wegwischen. Exactly why has this CD album on many a moment in which we are furtively wipe away a tear from her cheek. Schönheit mit einem Tropfen Schwermut. Beauty with a drop of melancholy.

The Irish Piano. The Irish piano. Michael McHale. Michael McHale. RTE lyric fm RTE lyric fm

Albert Hosp am 20.9.2013 Albert Hosp on 09/20/2013

Reviews of Philip Hammond musical work

“Philip Hammond’s setting of three poems by Verlaine was a subtle and beautiful evocation of French impressionism, with a dash of Schoenberg’s symbolist style thrown in. Lore Lixenberg summoned a beautifully ripe sound….” Ivan Hewitt Daily Tel
Philip Hammond News

Sir James and Lady Galway will be performing my "Carolan Variations" on their tour of the US October/November 2013 with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and JoAnn Falletta
Listen to Philip Hammond's Music

Miniatures and Modulations includes "The Beardless Boy" which appeared on Michael McHale's recent debut CD album entitled "The Irish Piano". You can see Michael perform it at
Contact Philip Hammond

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Philip Hammond Music
Composer and Arts Correspondent