New Music Digest: 14 – 20 April


Events This Week

Matthew Schellhorn finishes his tour of performances of Ian Wilson‘s new work Stations.

  • 15 Apr, 7.30pm, St. John the Evangelist’s Church, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • More

Composer/harpist Anne-Marie O’Farrell will give a recital in Ranelagh, including some of her own music

  • 15 April, 8pm, Sandford Church, Ranelagh, Dublin
  • More

Crash Ensemble’s Free State 8 will showcase the work of seven emerging composers, curated by Raymond Deane

  • 17 April, 8pm, Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin
  • More

The NUI Maynooth Guitar Ensemble will premiere Shades and Shadows, a new work written for them by Martin O’Leary

  • 17 April, 8pm, Riverstown Hall, NUI Maynooth

The Cork Choral Union‘s 50th anniversary concert will feature the premiere of a work by Fiona Linnane called Spirestone

  • 18 April, 8pm, University Concert Hall, University of Limerick

Isabelle O’Connell performs a concert of solo piano music as part of the Association of Irish Composers’ Irish Canon series, with music by Donnacha Dennehy, Siobhán Cleary, Andrew Hamilton, Peter Moran and Jane O’Leary

  • 19 Apr, 6.30pm, Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall
  • More


Interviews with the featured composers in the Crash Ensemble’s Free State concert on 17 April

The Contemporary Music Centre announces four commissions by four Irish composers for Music Generation Wicklow

The four commissions are being managed and produced by the Contemporary Music Centre under partnership with Wicklow County Arts Office and Music Generation Wicklow and will involve some 300 children and young people aged between six and sixteen.

Elaine Agnew, George Higgs, Vincent Kennedy and Neil Martin are the commissioned composers. Each composer will work with different music groups and schools based around the entire county of Wicklow. They will provide valuable musical experiences for the children and young people through a series of workshops and by participation in the composition process.

George Higgs’ new work Up the Downbeat involves 15 young people from The Vaults, Arklow, and members of The St Mary’s School Orchestra, Arklow, under the direction of Christine Steele. Up the Downbeat is a 12 minute composition for large ensemble including strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. The premiere performance will take place on 16 May 2014 in St Mary’s School, Arklow as part of a concert hosted by The Vaults, Arklow.

Children in the Music Generation Wicklow Foundation years programme at primary school level are the focus of Elaine Agnew’s commission. Elaine has conducted workshops in three schools located in Greystones, Newtownmountkennedy and Roundwood. Elaine’s new work entitled Mostly Me will be premiered on 8 June at the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray. Elaine’s commission process will also produce a workbook with 8 lesson plans for future use across the Foundation programme of Music Generation Wicklow.

The Russborough Suite by Belfast-born composer Neil Martin, is a commission for a traditional piece of music arranged for two traditional groups: Club Ceoil in Blessington and Music Under the Mountains in Hollywood. The two traditional music groups have been coming together for workshops with Neil since January 2014. The premiere of the work will take place in a concert at Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Course, Blessington on 6 July 2014.

Vincent Kennedy’s commission will begin after Easter 2014. It will be a 30-minute work for children playing recorder, ukulele, and violin and will involve three professional percussionists alongside Music Generation Wicklow tutors. This commission will involve Vincent visiting schools in Bray, Lacken, Glendalough and Greystones. The new work will have two performances on 30 November at the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray.

Music Generation Wicklow is a partnership between Music Generation Ireland, Kildare & Wicklow Education Training Board and Wicklow County Council. It is managed and administered by partner Kildare & Wicklow Education Training Board and its Steering Committee, Wicklow Music Education Partnership. Music Generation Wicklow is also supported by Wicklow Town Councils.

It is the intention of the Commissions Strand of Music Generation Wicklow to animate young people’s experience of music participation and performance. This is as a counterpoint to the excellent music education experience being provided throughout the other Music Generation Wicklow strands. The Commissions Strand will be delivered across the Music Generation Wicklow Programmes with the same integral focus on quality of both the music practice and participation experience for young people.

The Contemporary Music Centre was appointed to manage and produce this commissioning strand on successful completion of a commission tender in August 2013.

For further information on the above commissions, please contact Karen Hennessy, Commissions Manager, T: 01 6731922; E:

For further information on Music Generation Wicklow, please contact Ann Catherine Nolan, Manager, Music Generation Wicklow, T: 0404 60505; Mobile: 086 7909887; E:

Elaine AgnewGeorge Higgs
Vincent KennedyNeil Martin

The final event in Concorde’s series Up Close With Music takes place on 27 April

Rhona Clarke

The event features a new work by composer Rhona Clarke and artist Marie Hanlon and a 70th birthday tribute to Frank Corcoran, including a short film on the composer produced by CMC and directed by Mark Linnane.

Also featured is a new work composed by Concorde’s 2014 student composer Patrick Egan, music from Norway and Dublin contemplating ‘dawn’, and music from Icelandic and Irish composers reflecting on ‘breath’.

Performances take place at 2.30 and 3.45 pm and admission is free. Up Close with Music is supported by a Music Project Award from The Arts Council.

Jane O’Leary, artistic director
Paul Roe, clarinet/bass clarinet
Bogdan Sofei, violin
Martin Johnson, cello
Dermot Dunne, accordion
Clare McCague, concert harp
Visual artist, Marie Hanlon

2.30 pm
Patrick Egan: new piece (premiere) (bass clarinet, cello, accordion)
Ellen Lindquist (USA/Norway): Eos (2005) (solo violin) (Irish premiere)
Judith Ring: swelt belly at dawn (2013) (violin, cello, clarinet)
Rhona Clarke & Marie Hanlon: The Small Hours (accordion solo + visuals) premiere, commissioned by Concorde

3.45 pm
The Light Gleams: a portrait of Frank Corcoran (documentary film produced by CMC and directed by Mark Linnane)
Frank Corcoran: A Dark Song (Irish premiere) (bass clarinet solo)
Ed Bennett: Breath (2006) (commissioned by Concorde for the Beckett centenary) (bass clarinet, violin, cello)
Helgi Ingvarsson (Iceland/UK): Breath (premiere, 2012 revised) (cello, harp)
Rhona Clarke & Marie Hanlon: The Small Hours (2014)

Sonic Vigil 8 call for works

Sonic Vigil 8 Call for WorksSonic Vigil 8 is a festival of improvised music, sound art and performance. The event takes place from 2–4 May in Cork and features a number of performances, screenings and talks over the 3 day period.

As part of the event the festival is currently looking for audio and video works. The deadline is 5pm, 24 April and all submission details and criteria are available to download here [pdf].

A new arrangement of a work by Vincent Kennedy receives its premiere in France

The orchestral version of Vincent Kennedy’s work, Where the North Wind Blows, will be premiered at Opera House, Rennes, France on 10 April.

Performed by Uilleann Pipes soloist Mark Redmond and the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne and conductor Derek Gleeson, the work receives a second performance on 11 April at the Rennes Opera House before moving to L’Arcadie, Ploudalmézeau, Brittany on 12 April.

Where the North Wind Blows was originally commissioned under the Peace III initiative supported by the Ireland Fund and written for Scottish Highland Pipes, Brass, Wind and Percussion. Premiered in April 2011 by a cross community intergenerational group, it is dedicated to Vincent Kennedy’s mother Mary who died at that time. A version for solo Uilleann Pipes and Symphonic Wind Band was premiered in the National Concert Hall in November 2012.

Also on the programme is Gerard Victory’s 1970 work, Cyrano de Bergerac Overture and Kennedy’s solo violin and orchestra piece, Dreams with soloist Pascal Cocheril.

CMC Library Update for March

Beginning this month, CMC will be posting a monthly update from the library featuring some of the works recently added to its collection. With over 170 active Irish composers registered, CMC regularly receives scores and recordings which are fully catalogued, digitised and added to its library.

During March, works from 10 different composers were added to the CMC online library catalogue. These include works from a range of musical categories – solo instrumental, ensemble, electro-acoustic, vocal, choral and orchestral works – with most having recent premieres. Selected works include:

Ann Cleare (1983-) eyam i (it takes an ocean not to) (2009 – 2013)
for solo clarinet
Commissioned by Carol McGonnell and Argento with funding provided by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.
Premiered by Carol McGonnell on 5 March 2014 at the Night Music series at The MAC, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Ryan Molloy (1983-) Seisiún (2014)
for ensemble
Commissioned by Concorde with funding provided by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.
Premiered by Concorde on 23 February 2014 at the RHA Gallery, Dublin as part of the Up Close with Music series.

Peter Moran (1981-) Gel (2013)
for ensemble
Premiered on 19 January 2014 at Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane as part of AIC Project Evolution.

Christopher Norby (1983-) Three Movements for String Quartet (2013)
Commissioned and premiered by the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet on 16 October 2013 in Ballina, Co. Mayo as part of their 2013 Autumn Tour

Jennifer Walshe (1974-) Die Taktik (2012)
An opera commissioned and premiered by Stuttgart Junge Oper on 14 June 2012 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Matthew Whiteside (1988-) Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass (2013)
Premiered by the Robinson Panoramic Quartet on 3 February 2014 at the Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall.
This work was also performed at the CMC Salon in March 2014. Listen to a recording of the premiere on Matthew Whiteside’s SoundCloud page


Frank Corcoran at 70

To celebrate Irish composer Frank Corcoran’s 70th birthday in 2014 CMC is producing a short portrait film on the composer.

The film, The Light Gleams: a portrait of Frank Corcoran, is directed by filmmaker Mark Linnane and features concert footage and interviews with Corcoran on his life and music recorded earlier this year.

The film will be screened as part of Concorde’s 70th birthday tribute to Frank Corcoran, which takes place at the ensemble’s Up Close with Music event at the RHA Gallery, Dublin on 27 April from 2.30–4.30pm. The concerts also includes the Irish premiere of Corcoran’s work for solo bass clarinet, A Dark Song, as well as new works by Rhona Clarke and Marie Hanlon, Judith Ring, and Ed Bennett.

New Music Digest: 7 – 13 April

Events This Week

Rachel Kolly d’Alba and Christian Chamorel will perform Raymond Deane‘s Petite phrase as part of a Music Network tour.

  • 8 Apr, 8pm, Pepper Canister Church, Dublin
  • 9 Apr, 7.30pm, Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford
  • 10 Apr, 8pm, Curtis Auditorium, CIT, Cork School of Music
  • 11 Apr, 8pm, St. Iberius Church, Wexford
  • 12 Apr, 8pm, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny
  • More

Pianist Matthew Schellhorn will tour Ian Wilson‘s 14-movement piano cycle, Stations, in the UK

  • 8 Apr, 7.30pm, St. George’s Cathedral, London
  • 10 Apr, 7.30pm, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow
  • 13 Apr, 12pm, Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Dublin
  • More

Paul Roe will perform a lunchtime recital of Irish clarinet music, as part of the AIC Irish Canon series

  • 8 Apr, 1pm, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
  • More

Rachel Beetz (picc) and Dustin Donahue (perc) will perform Ann Cleare‘s unable to create an offscreen world in a presentation on her recent works.

  • 8 Apr, 8pm, UC San Diego Music Department, San Diego, USA

The TCD MPhil in Music Composition present Ascension, their graduate showcase, with eleven new works performed by ensemble-in-residence Lucilin Ensemble

  • 9 Apr, 7.30pm, Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin 2
  • More

Ed Bennett’s Cartoon Music will be performed in London

  • 9 Apr, 8pm, The Forge, London

The Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne will be joined by Mark Redmond on uilleann pipes and Pascal Cocheril (violin) for a performance of two works by Vincent Kennedy and one by Gerard Victory

  • 10/11 Apr, 8pm, Opéra de Rennes, Rennes, France
  • 12 Apr, 8pm, L’Arcadie, Ploudalmézeau, Brittany, France
  • More

The DIT chamber and orchestral ensembles will perform together in a concert titled All Together Now at the National Concert Hall, including a performance of Linda Buckley‘s cosán de solas gealaí buí.

  • 13 Apr, 7pm, National Concert Hall, Dublin
  • More

The NUI Maynooth Ladies Choir will perform at the college, including the premiere of a new piece by Martin O’Leary, in desperate music wound

  • 10 Apr, 1.10pm, Aula Maxima, NUI Maynooth
  • More

A programme titled When We Were Children by Chamber Choir Ireland pays tribute to Steve Martland and John Tavener, and includes the world premiere of a work by David Lang

  • 12 Apr, 8pm, St. Thomas’ Parish Church, Belfast
  • More

CMC will host an exhibition on contemporary Irish choral music, marking Handel Day 2014

  • 13 Apr, 12pm, Contemporary Music Centre, Fishamble St, Dublin
  • More


Ian Wilson’s Stations, performed by Matthew Schellhorn, out on the Diatribe label

Handel Day 2014

1957724_10151914615537581_1625790512_oAs part of the annual Handel Day on Sunday, 13 April, marking the date of the first performance of Handel’s Messiah on Fishamble Street, CMC will hold an exhibition of contemporary Irish choral music.

The library will be open between 12.00 and 3.00pm for visitors to explore the wealth of choral music produced by Irish composers today. With works by almost 200 Irish composers in CMC’s library, a selection of choral scores will be on display along with recordings, concert programmes and other ephemera from performances over the past fifty years.

The exhibition at 19 Fishamble Street is part of a daylong celebration of events marking Handel’s connections with Dublin, which includes the famous Messiah on the Street performance of extracts from the work by Our Lady’s Choral Society.

For further information on the exhibition, please contact Caitríona Honohan at

CMC’s April Salon features flautist William Dowdall

BillDowdall2CMC’s Salon series continues on 24 April 2014 in the Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall with a programme of works for solo flute.

Performed by William Dowdall, the programme will include works by Massimo Davi, John Buckley, Solfa Carlile, Raymond Deane, Patrick Connolly, and a new piece by Sebastian Adams.

One of Ireland’s leading musicians, Dublin born William Dowdall combines a busy career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. In addition to a wide ranging repertoire, his interest in contemporary music led him to develop a workshop based on contemporary solo flute music by Irish composers, which has been presented to considerable acclaim in Europe, United States, New Zealand, and Australia. He has introduced Irish audiences to new works from the international repertoire, and has actively promoted the music of Irish composers abroad with many composers writing works for him.

Curated by composer Ian Wilson, CMC’s Salon series aims to encourage newcomers and enthusiasts alike to engage with the music of Irish composers. Each performance takes place in an informal atmosphere with dialogue encouraged between composers, performers and audience. The Spring 2014 series features an international mix of solo and ensemble performers playing works by a range of Irish composers and will include Matthew Schellhorn (28 May), and Trio Scordatura (25 June).

Admission is free but booking is strongly recommended. To book please contact the National Concert Hall on tel: 01 417 0000 or online at

6pm – 7pm, 24 April 2014, FREE ADMISSION
Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin 2

William Dowdall (flute)

Massimo Davi – Fluidi for solo flute
John Buckley – Sea Echoes for Glissando Head Flute
Solfa Carlile – Distopia for solo flute
Raymond Deane – Tekeli-li
Patrick Connolly – Softly, This Way Comes for solo flute
Sebastian Adams – New Work (world premiere)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,165 other followers