Composers Amanda Feery, Eric Skytterholm Egan and Scott McLaughlin selected to participate in the first Composer Lab

0The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Centre are pleased to announce Amanda Feery, Eric Skytterholm Egan and Scott McLaughlin as the composers selected to participate in the first Composer Lab.

Composer Lab is a new pilot initiative aimed at composers registered with the Contemporary Music Centre who have had their work performed professionally but who have not yet had their work performed by a professional symphony orchestra. It will aim to provide them with a creative and open environment in which to deepen their understanding of writing for the forces of a full symphony orchestra.

With a current work-in-progress as the starting point, the process will involve a one-to-one mentoring session with David Fennessy, a public workshop session in April with David, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gavin Maloney in a performance and feedback role and, following a revision period, a public performance on Monday 16 May 2016 by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Gavin Maloney at the National Concert Hall. Details of the April workshop will be announced at a later date once the creative and collaborative process is fully underway.

New Music Digest: 25 – 31 January


ConTempo String Quartet (photo: Francis Marshall)

Events This Week:

A concert of film music titled Minimal Film will feature music and visuals by Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, and the premiere of a suite of music for a documentary composed by concert curator Natasa Paulberg.

  • 29 Jan, 7.30pm, Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin
  • More

ConTempo’s next 20/20 Experience Tour concert includes a new string quartet by Jane O’Leary, who will give a pre-concert Composer’s Voice talk about the new work.

  • 30 Jan, 1.15pm, Triskel Christchurch, Cork
  • 31 Jan, Sundays@Noon, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin
  • More

Pianist Michael McHale will perform Schubert Impromptus with new works composed by Garrett Sholdice, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly an Simon O’Connor at an Ergodos Santa Rita series concert.

  • 27 Jan, 7pm, Little Museum of Dublin, Stephen’s Green, Dublin
  • More

The Clare Memory Orchestra, with composers Dave Flynn and Anne-Marie O’Farrell, will perform as part of the Temple Bar Tradfest 2016.

  • 30 Jan, 3pm, The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin
  • More

Matthew Jacobson, dlr LexIcon Musician-in-Residence, will showcase the music he has been developing as part of his residency in duos with Linda Buckley and others

  • 29/30 Jan, 8pm, dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin
  • More


A RTÉ Culture File feature interview with composer Dylan Rynhart on his work, Fuzzy Logic Ensemble, and Listen At the Bello Bar.


Santa Rita concert with pianist Michael McHale pairs Schubert with Irish composers

mmchale205-600x600The next concert in the Ergodos Santa Rita series sees pianist Michael McHale perform music by Schubert alongside new works.

The concert will be the premiere of the ‘Schubert Project’ – like many projects from Ergodos, this explores the relationship of new music to past music by pairing existing works with new works composed in response to them. Directors Garrett Sholdice and Benedict Schlepper-Connolly, with Little Museum of Dublin curator and regular collaborator Simon O’Connor, have written new interludes to Schubert’s Opus 90 Impromptus. McHale will perform the full Opus 90 with these newly-composed interludes.

The concert will also see the launch of a new album of the Schubert Impromptus performed by Michael McHale on the Ergodos record label.

The Santa Rita concerts present music by leading performers in an intimate candlelit setting, the Little Museum of Dublin, where the audience can be close to the music, musicians and composers. The concert with Michael McHale takes place at 8pm on 27 Jan, preceded by a wine reception and talk with the performer, beginning at 7pm. Tickets cost €13 and are available from

Jane O’Leary gives Composer’s Voice talk about her new string quartet

Composer Jane O’Leary will give a Composer’s Voice talk about her work, the passing sound of forever, at a concert with ConTempo String Quartet on 30 January. Composer’s Voice is an initiative from CMC presenting composers giving talks and presenting their own works at concerts; past composers include Massimo Davi and Dylan Rynhart, both of which spoke about work at Listen at the Bello Bar events.

ConTempo are marking their 20th anniversary with a tour titled the 20/20 Experience Tour of twenty concerts featuring their twenty ‘recommended string quartets’ in venues in Dublin, Cork and Galway, many with additional guest performers. This concert will be the 3rd of 6 to take place in Cork’s Triskel Christchurch, and will feature Schubert’s Quartet no 14 in D minor D 810 “Death & the Maiden”, alongside the premiere of the new work by Jane O’Leary. The concert takes place on 30 January at 1.15pm, and is free entry.

This programme will be repeated at The Hugh Lane Gallery’s Sundays@Noon concert the following day.  ConTempo String Quartet are the current RTÉ String Quartet in Residence; full details and dates of the 20/20 Experience Tour can be found on their page on the RTÉ website.

Minimal Film concert features premiere of music by Natasa Paulberg

12493532_10153835267668698_4677297087631894807_oComposer Natasa Paulberg has curated a concert of film music by minimalist composers with visual accompaniment, called Minimal Film.

Paulberg is an Australia-born and Dublin-based composer with an interest in audiovisual and film music. She completed the MPhil in Music and Media Technologies at Trinity College Dublin, and attended the University of California Los Angeles Film Scoring programme. She has worked with a number of film composers, as well as composing music for short films and documentaries. The Minimal Film programme will include the premiere of a new suite of pieces written for the documentary Butterfly, directed by Stuart McLaughlin, which has featured at a number of prominent film festivals and events.

Also on the programme for the concert will be music by Michael Nyman (The Piano), Philip Glass (Mishima) and David Lang (Untitled), performed by Kirkos Ensemble, with visual extracts from the films, while David Bremner and Kian Geiselbrechtinger will perform further music by Philip Glass on two Fender Rhodes. On the Nature of Daylight by Max Richter from his The Blue Notebooks album, which has been featured in a number of films, will be accompanied by live improvised visuals from Derek Cosgrave and Alan Jacob of MIDASpaces.

The concert is supported by the Visual and Performing Arts Fund, Trinity College Dublin, and takes place on 29 Jan at 7.30pm at the Beckett Theatre. Tickets are available online, and booking is highly recommended.


Best Practice Session – Working with Children and Young People in Performance Music Education

Music Generation and the Contemporary Music Centre are working together to develop a mutual understanding of best practice in relation to composers engaging with children and young people in a performance music education context.
Best Practice Session - Working with Children and Young People in Performance Music Education (1)Composers, Music Generation musicians and those interested in working with composers in the context of performance music education across Ireland are invited to attend a ‘Best Practice Session’ on Tuesday, 2 February from 10am – 12.30pm.

The aim of the session is to learn more about the residency-type composition projects that Music Education Partnerships around the country are developing and to gain understanding about the work opportunities these projects present for composers.

A discussion will also take place with a view to drafting guidelines to clarify best practice in relation to Performance Music Education projects, as distinct from the more familiar commissioning process for adult and professional musicians.

The event will be held at the Contemporary Music Centre Library, 19 Fishamble Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 8 on Tuesday, 2 Feb from 10am – 12:30pm. Places are limited so booking is recommended. To book your place at the Best Practice Session, please email Leanne Fitzgerald on

The schedule for the morning is detailed below:

10.00am: Arrival and coffee

10.30am: Welcome – Karen Hennessy, Promotion and Development Manager,
The Contemporary Music Centre and Rosaleen Molloy, National Director, Music Generation

10.35am: Eve O’Kelly – Programme Manager, Music Generation/Arts Council Partnership
Overview – Engaging with children and young people in Performance Music Education contexts.

10.50am: Case Study One – Rhona McGrath (Coordinator, Music Generation Sligo) – Music Generation Sligo’s work with composer Brian Irvine

11.05am: Case Study Two – Elaine Agnew (Composer) – Music Generation Wicklow / Foundation Level Programme

11.20am: Chaired panel to discuss: Best Practice – The Way Forward: Pit falls / Experiences with Q & A

Contributors to include – Eve O’Kelly, Elaine Agnew, Rhona McGrath, Karen Hennessy

12.20pm: The Next Step – Drafting guidelines

12.30pm: Ends

Raymond Deane on his new work ‘The Alma Fragments’

Ahead of its premiere by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra on 22 January 2016 at the National Concert Hall, Raymond Deane talks about working on his new RTÉ commission, ‘The Alma Fragments’.

CMC Library Update for November and December 2015


This update from the library features some of the works added to its collection during a two month period. In November and December, works from 26 different composers were added to the CMC online library catalogue. Selected works include:

John Buckley (1951-) Wind Quintet No. 2
Commissioned by Cassiopeia Winds with funding provided by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.
Premiered by Cassiopeia Winds on 7 November 2015 at Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, Birr, Co. Offaly.
Watch a video of the CMC Salon featuring the work here

Greg Caffrey (1963-) In Search of a Human Dialogue
Premiered by Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble with director Greg Caffrey on 26 November 2014 at the CMC Salon, Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin.
“The intention in writing this piece was to create a piece of chamber music in the truest sense; it is a piece that relies on all the players listening carefully to one another and a piece that requires a large degree of interaction within the group.”

Sean Clancy (1984-) Four Pieces of Music Lasting Thirty Seconds Each
Premiered by Xenia Pestova (pf [toy]) on 26 March 2015 at the Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham, England.
Dedicated to the memory of Bob Gilmore.
Listen to this work on the composer’s SoundCloud page here

Benjamin Dwyer (1965-) Nocturnal, after Benjamin Britten
Premiered by Fidelio Trio on 11 October 2015 at London Chamber Music Society Concert, King’s Place, London, England.
“My new work for the Fidelio Trio entitled Nocturnal, after Benjamin Britten is, of course, inspired by Britten’s work for solo guitar – his famous Nocturnal, after John Dowland, Op. 70.”

Eric Skytterholm Egan (1983-) Falling
Premiered by Hugo Queiros (bcl) on 21 February 2015 at Impuls, Graz, Austria.
Listen to an extract from this work on the composer’s website here

Andrew Hamilton (1977-) Ros Tapestry Suite X: Hunt in the Forest of Ros
Commissioned by New Ross Piano Festival with funding provided by the Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.
Premiered by Alexei Grynyuk (pf) on 27 September 2015 at the New Ross Piano Festival, St. Mary’s Church, New Ross, Co. Wexford.
For more information about the Ros Tapestry project, visit

Marian Ingoldsby (1965-) Never Give All the Heart
Commissioned by Music Network with funding provided by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.
Premiered by Benjamin Appl (Bar-solo) and Gary Matthewman (pf) on 15 November 2015 at Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen, Co. Cork.
The composer also gave a CMC Composers’ Voice talk at the premiere.

Ryan Molloy (1985-) Irish Suite
Premiered by Zoe Conway (fiddle) on 19 May 2015 at ICC The Strung Series, The Teacher’s Club, Dublin.
Listen to this work on the Irish Composers’ Collective SoundCloud page here

Ailís Ní Ríain Dubinina’s Tongue
RIAM Percussion Ensemble and Jim Royle Drum Studio US on 15 April 2015 at MusicTown: Drumming – 3 Day Percussion Extravaganza, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin.
“The piece is dedicated to the memory of Ludmila Dubinina who died at Dyatlov Pass, in 1959 aged 21. The Dyatlov Pass incident was an event that resulted in the death of nine skiers north of the Ural mountains, Russia.”

New recordings of carols by CMC composers to feature on all Christmas week on Blue of the Night, RTE Lyric FM

ProCathedralGirlsFor Christmas week, the Blue of the Night will feature exclusive recordings of new contemporary Irish choral music.

Enjoy Christmas carols and contemporary choral works by CMC composers Linda Buckley, John Gibson, Eibhlís Farrell, Philip Martin, Colin Mawby and Jonathan Nangle performed by the Girls’ Choir of St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Dublin, conducted by Blánaid Murphy.

Tune in to the Blue of the Night on RTE Lyric FM from 10pm-1am all Christmas week to hear the wonderful voices of St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral Girls Choir.

Listen to the Blue of the Night

Explore more Christmas Choral works by CMC composers with our online catalogues available to download free here.

Gerald Barry nominated for a Grammy Award

4Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest opera recording has been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award.

The opera was written in 2011 and co-commissioned by the LA Philharmonic Orchestra and The Barbican in London. Since its premieres in LA and London, it has received performances across the world and high critical praise. The recording with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and soloists with conductor Thomas Adès was released on NMC Recordings in 2014.

The nomination is in the Contemporary Classical category. The work is up against Norman Andrew’s Play, Stephen Paulus’ Prayers and Remembrances, Joan Tower’s Stroke and Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields (also the winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize).

This will be the 58th annual Grammy Awards, with the ceremony will take place on 15 February in Los Angeles California. For more information on the Awards, see

This news follows RTE’s announcement that Barry will be a composer-in-residence for three years, 2015-18, during which he will write a number of new commissions.


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