The Dublin 2019, Worldcon Philharmonic Concert

It has been an absolute delight for me to be involved with some of the planning process for the Concert on Friday night. A full orchestra of over 50 players, performing music of relevance to us, is an incredible event to enjoy, and it was important to Helen Montgomery and John Brown, the Events division heads, with whom Vince Docherty and I concurred, that as a World Science Fiction Convention in Ireland, we wanted to look at stories, connections to our guests and also connections to Ireland. 

Much thought and consideration has gone into choosing the repertoire, introducing you to both new pieces and old favourites, new performers and challenging and exciting performances. 

Here, for you, is the current order of play for the night:


Title Composer
Game of Thrones Theme & Mhysa Ramin Djawadi
Return of the King – Suite Howard Shore
World of Warcraft: Seasons of War Tracy M Bush. Cond: Eimear Noone
Kid on the Mountain Eimear McGeown
Inis Eimear McGeown
Night on Bald Mountain Modest Mussorgsky
Star Wars: Leia’s theme John Williams
Star Wars: Jedi Steps and Finale John Williams
Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes 3 Movements Gary Lloyd Commission
Claire de Lune Claude Debussy
Messiah – How Beautiful are thy Feet George Frideric Handel
Danny Boy Trad. Arr. Chris Hazel
Mise Eire Sean O’Riada
E.T The Extraterrestrial – Flying Theme John Williams
Star Trek Through the Years  Various. Arranged by Calvin Custer
Star Wars: Throne Room & End Title John Williams


We are living in wonderful times, when so much of the world’s popular culture now has a connection to Ireland. 

Game of Thrones, having been filmed here in Ireland, with so much crucial work and acting coming from the Irish pool of talent, has had a definite impact, and Ramin Djawadi‘s music captures the Fantasy World perfectly.  

Eimear Noone has worked as a composer and conductor on over 25 Film and Video Game titles and her work on World of Warcraft has both been hugely popular with fans, and recognised, internationally and a recipient of the “Hollywood Music in Media Award” in 2014. With Seasons of War we recognise the incredible contribution she has made to games and music.

Eimear McGeown released her first album last year, entitled Inis. This virtuoso flautist from Craigavon is dynamic in her approach to music, skilled in both classical and Irish flute, able to draw on a variety of musical influences, and I am incredibly excited that we can feature Eimer in person playing some of her own wonderful music. 

The Return of the King piece, from the Hugo and Oscar-winning Peter Jackson adaption of the Tolkien classic, includes music originally performed by Belfast flautist, James Galway.

Night on Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky will be known to many of you from childhood, as it featured in the classic 1940 animation Fantasia, with the indomitable Mickey Mouse conducting and creating havoc. Leopold Stokowski, who actually conducted the film music, had an Irish mother, which is a lovely connection.

The music of John WIlliams has transcended genres and generations, and when the world of Star Wars came to the Irish island, Skellig Michael, it presented an incredible opportunity that we have not been shy to take.  

Upon your return from the interval, you will be greeted by three short and moving extracts from a brand new opera, each rich and emotional in very different ways. Composed by Gary Lloyd and featuring dance choreographed by Bettina Carpi, it is based on Mary & Bryan Talbot‘s Costa Award Winning graphic novel ‘Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes‘. Penned by Mary for this special exclusive preview of the opera, the libretto carries a twin narrative about father-daughter relationships – Lucia Joyce and her father James Joyce, and Mary and her own father, a renowned Joycean scholar – and the desire to dance, to be expressive and to be educated, with the hope of a brighter future.

We will then have some classical works. In this the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we will have Claire de Lune by Debussy and then, Messiah – How beautiful are thy feet, by Handel, who debuted the work on 13 April 1742 in the Fishamble music hall in Dublin, linking us dutifully back to Ireland. 

Our next pieces are Danny Boy, a traditional piece, in this instance the version arranged by Chris Hazel and then Mise Eire by Sean O’Riada, who has been a vital element in both Traditional and Orchestral music of the nation of Ireland. He composed for Ballets, Plays and orchestral works, as well as playing traditional folk music. Here we have the 1959 score which he composed and conducted for the documentary film by George Morrison called Mise Éire (“I am Ireland”), about the founding of the Irish Republic. This is performed, kindly by permission of the O’Riada estate.

We then look to one of our Guests of Honour, Diane Duane who, with over a dozen works written in the world of Star Trek, we enjoy the immediately recognisable work of Jerry Goldsmith and others across 50-plus years of Trek. 

It has been terrific fun to work with Adam Robinson, who produced concerts for us in 2009, at  Loncon 3 in 2014, and in 2017, and liaising with Keith Slade, our conductor for the evening and Vincent Docherty, from Dublin 2019. I hope you really enjoy the concert, especially in the wonderful surroundings of the CCD Auditorium.