Greg Caffrey on the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble

Composer and artistic director of the Belfast-based contemporary music group the Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble talks about the group and its upcoming concert tour in April.

More details on the tour here.

CMC presents a mini music festival for children on 18-19 April

cmc_poster_signoff (1)Entitled OurTunes – A weekend in eight colours, the boutique festival for 5–10 year olds takes place from 18-19 April in CMC as part of the MusicTown festival.

The event is curated by cellist Adrian Mantu, Galway Ensemble-in-Residence, RTE ConTempo Quartet, and is repeated 4 times across the weekend. Lasting 3 hours, the show features 8 unique 15 minute performances of new music taking place in different locations in and around the Contemporary Music Centre’s premises in 19 Fishamble Street.

Instrumentation includes trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, cello, guitar, keyboard, flute, voice, violin and video performed by Masters students from the DIT Conservatory of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Galway Ensemble-in-Residence apprentice ensembles will also feature alongside professional musicians Adrian Mantu (cello), Andreea Banciu (viola) and Elizabeth Hilliard (voice).

Children attending are invited to watch out for the Pink Lady, Dark Sounds, Blue Brothers, Golden Sax, Green Shades, Grey Clouds, Royal Fanfare and Red Ribbons!

Adrian Mantu talks about the ideas behind the festival:

CMC’s participation in MusicTown aims to encourage newcomers and enthusiasts alike to engage with the music of Irish composers and to open up the world of contemporary music to young listeners. The Centre would like to thank MusicTown for support for this project.

Admission is free is free but booking is necessary. It is possible to book an entire show or part thereof if available. To book please contact Karen Hennessy,

Download a full programme for the festival here.

For information on other events taking place during MusicTown, see

New Music Digest: 23 – 29 March

WIT New Music Week

WIT New Music Week

Events This Week:

CMC’s Salon returns with programme of electroacoustic works by Roy Carroll, Neil O’Connor and Stephen Roddy, curated by Siobhan Cleary

  • 24 Mar, 6pm, Kevin Barry Room
  • More

Guitarist/composer Benjamin Dwyer performs an AIC Irish Composers on Irish Music concert featuring music by Irish composers

  • 26 Mar, 8pm, Irish Georgian Society, Sth William St., Dublin
  • More

The Irish Composers Collective present a concert with Claire Duff as part of their Strung Series of violin music

  • 24 Mar, 7pm, Irish Georgian Society, Sth WIlliam St, Dublin
  • More

Waterford New Music Week takes place this week, with performances of a range of new Irish music

  • 23-28 Mar, Waterford Institute of Technology/Garter Lane Theatre
  • More

Ergodos present the premiere of a new song collection by Simon O’Connor, Left Behind, performed by Michelle O’Rourke and members of The Jimmy Cake

  • 25 Mar, 8pm, The Little Museum of Dublin, St Stephen’s Green
  • More

Pianist Joanna McGregor continues her Music Network tour featuring a new work by Conor Linehan, who will introduce the work in a pre-concert talk

  • Talk: 25 Mar, 7.40pm, Pavilion Theatre, Dublin
  • 25 Mar, 8pm, Pavilion Theatre, Dublin
  • 26 Mar, 8pm, City Hall, Waterford
  • 28 Mar, 8pm, Tullynally Castle, Westmeath
  • 29 Mar, 7.30pm, The MAC, Belfast (with Moving on Music)
  • More

ConTempo Quartet will be joined by woodwinds/electronics player Sean MacErlaine for a Galway Music Residency concert in their New Music: Different Sounds series

  • 28 Mar, 8pm, Nuns Island Theatre, Galway
  • More

The next concert in Concorde’s Up Close With Music series features the premiere of a new work by Linda Buckley, as well as music by Ed Bennett, Jerome de Bromhead, David Fennessy and international composers.

  • 29 Mar, 2.30pm, RHA Gallery, Dublin
  • More

A performance in the US by Doug Sabo (Tenor) and Jaime K. Castellanos (pf) features music by Eoin Mulvaney, Eoin O’Keefe Gerard Victory and Philip Martin

  • 28 Mar, 8pm, Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, MA

Two concerts by ConTempo Quartet with harpist Clíona Doris feature Deirdre McKay’s mr. shah stares to the heavens

  • 27 Mar, 1pm, The Granary Library, Limerick
  • 29 Mar, 12pm, Sundays@Noon, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
  • More


A playlist of music by Simon O’Connor ahead of his song collection premiere on Wednesday

Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble to tour Pierrot Lunaire with Irish works

hrThe Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble, recently announced as ensemble-in-residence at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, embark on their final tour of the season with a programme built around Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.

The ensemble expand their forces for the performance of the influential 1912 work, to include soprano Aoife Miskelly and conductor Sinead Hayes. Director Greg Caffrey explains the ensemble’s affinity with the work:

‘Written in in 1912, Pierrot Lunaire, Op 21. is an expressionist melodrama combining atonality with “sprechstimme”, a vocal technique somewhere between singing and speaking. The work is based on a German translation of a setting of a cycle of 21 poems by Belgian writer Albert Giraud. It is a wholly appropriate work for Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble to interpret as the instrumentation of the ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano) has only become standard since the work’s inception. As a result of the success of Pierrot Lunaire many other works now exist for this instrumentation.’

The ensemble will perform the ‘hyper-expressive’ Pierrot Lunaire four times, with differing accompanying programmes. The opening concert, as part of the Derry Walled City Music Spring Series (10 April), will feature Bartok’s Contrasts and a piano piece by Ryan Molloy, Sliabh Geal gCua (2012), based on an Irish air by Pádraig Ó Miléadha and exploring the aural tradition of Irish traditional music. The same programme will be performed at Dublin’s Hugh Lane on 12 April. In Belfast (11 April) the programme will instead feature Simon Mawhinney’s new piano solo work Haykal, performed by the composer.

  • 10 Apr, 7.30pm, Walled City Music Festival, The Great Hall, Ulster University Magee, Derry
  • 11 Apr, 7.30pm, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
  • 12 Apr, 3pm, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
  • 13 Apr, 1pm, Renehan Hall, Maynooth University

Chatham Saxophone Quartet performs works from by Brian Irvine and Kenneth Edge in Dublin and Dundalk

Music Network’s Young Musicwide awardee 2012, the Chatham Saxophone Quartet will perform works by Brian Irvine and Kenneth Edge, both from their forthcoming album of Irish works, at two Kaleidoscope Night events on 1 April (Odessa Club, Dublin) and 2 April (Spirit Store, Dundalk).

Just a Lighter Cut of The Same Girls by Belfast composer Brian Irvine and Etudes by Kenneth Edge feature alongside other works in Kaleidoscope Night’s typically diverse programme for April, entitled Music For The Curious Ear.

For more details, including booking details for both events, see

Composer Conor Linehan will give a talk about his new work for pianist Joanna MacGregor

avatars-000132973452-9u4tqs-t500x500The talk, part of CMC’s Composers’ Voice programme of pre-concert talks, takes place prior to its performance at the Pavillion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire on 25 March at 8.00pm

The piece by Conor Linehan, Roadshow, was written especially for Joanna MacGregor, who performs it as part of a mixed programme of works in venues around Ireland.

Composers’ Voice is an audience development initiative of the Contemporary Music Centre and is made possible through the continued funding of the Centre by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaion.

Further information on the tour is available from Music Network.

Pianist Thérèse Fahy presents a programme of Irish works in Belfast on 1 April

ThereseFahyThe concert takes place at the MAC, Belfast from 8.15pm and is part Moving on Music and Belfast Music Society’s ‘Night Music’, a new series of concerts involving top Irish and Northern Irish musicians on the first Wednesday of each month.

Pianist Thérèse Fahy will perform works by Siobhán Cleary, Raymond Deane and Gráinne Mulvey from her recent Handprint project, a series of commissions from Irish composers of works for small hands. Also on the programme are works by Schoenberg and Messiaen.

Presented in an informal setting, along with opportunities to eat, drink and meet the artists, the performance takes place at 9pm and will be preceded by a panel discussion hosted by the Contemporary Music Centre as part of its Resonating Now: New Music Voices programme of public talks.

Further details and booking here.

Listen to a recording of Gráinne Mulvey’s Calorescence from CMC’s latest promotional release, new music::new Ireland 2, performed by Thérèse Fahy

Waterford New Music Week takes place from 23-28 March

Screenshot 2015-03-20 12.32.06The annual festival, which is in its 17th year, is presented by the Department of Creative & Performing Arts, School of Humanities, Waterford Institute of Technology and Garter Lane Arts Centre.

Celebrating and promoting new music in formal and informal settings throughout Waterford City, the festival features a packed schedule of events ranging from performances and workshops for emerging composers to participatory events for young people.

Irish composers feature throughout the week. Highlights include a free lunchtime performance by Dublin Sound Lab including works by Fergal Dowling and Gráinne Mulvey; a talk and recital by composer and pianist Martin O’Leary featuring his own work alongside pieces by Copland; and British pianist Joanna MacGregor performing a new work by Conor Linehan.

Further information and booking from and on Facebook .

Download a programme here.

Benjamin Dwyer performs an Irish Composers on Irish Music series concert

Ben DwyerThe Association of Irish Composers present the third concert in the Irish Composers on Irish Music concert series, with Benjamin Dwyer performing a concert of music for guitar by Irish composers on 26 March.

Raymond Deane opened the series with a talk and his first public piano recital in almost twenty years, followed by a talk and performance given by David Bremner. Benjamin Dwyer brings his experience and knowledge as a composer and researcher as well as a performer to choosing a programme of Irish guitar works, and will share this unique insight into these works at the concert. The programme includes works by Dwyer himself, alongside a number of pieces by Paul HayesJennifer Walshe, Jerome de Bromhead, David Fennessy and Peter Moran/Judith Ring, representing a cross-section of styles and approaches to composition.

The concert will take place at the beautiful Octagonal Room at the Irish Georgian Society’s Sth William St. building on 26 March at 8.00pm, also known as the City Assembly House. Tickets cost €10 or €8 for IGS members, and will be available on the door.

Irish Composers on Irish Music is supported by the Arts Council’s Music Project Award. The Association of Irish Composers is supported by IMRO.

Paul Hayes: Non in Fretta (1987)
Paul Hayes: Thirteen Little Things that Touch the Heart (1984)
Paul Hayes: Pre-Prelude for Morton Feldman (1926-1987) (1987)
Paul Hayes: Sonata a niente (1990)
Jerome de Bromhead: Gemini (1970)
David Fennessy: Security Blanket (2005)
Peter Moran/Judith Ring: Anois ‘s Arís (2009) (amplified guitar & tape)
Benjamin Dwyer: Quasimprovisation No. 1 (2015) (amplified guitar)
Jennifer Walsh: This is Why People O.D. on Pills (2004) (amplified guitar)

CMC’s Salon Series returns on 24 March with an eclectic programme of electro-acoustic works

Roy Carroll

Roy Carroll

Taking place at the Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall on 24 March at 6pm, the programme features electro-acoustic music from Irish composers Roy Carroll, Stephen Roddy and Neil O’Connor. All three composers will present their own work and talk with Salon curator Siobhan Cleary.

The CMC Salon involves a panel of independent curators and the Spring 2015 season is curated by Irish composer Siobhan Cleary. Siobhan has curated an international mix of solo and ensemble performers playing works by a variety of composers from around the Island of Ireland and living overseas.

Dublin-born Roy Carroll’s work encompasses improvisation, composition, music/choreographic collaboration and practical/experimental research. Stephen Roddy is a composer and sound artist exploring musical meaning making and narrative in various electronic, contemporary and minimalist styles. Neil O’Connor began his career as a filmmaker and has been involved with a diverse range of musical activities including folk, jazz, rock, contemporary, experimental, electronic and electro-acoustic music.

Future events in the series will feature Eamonn Cagney (percussion), Niwel Tsumba (acoustic guitar), Martin Tourish (piano accordion ) and Roger Doyle (electronics) on 28 April, and Emma Lloyd (viola/viola d’amore) and Matthew Whiteside (electronics) on 20 May.

6pm – 7pm, 24 March 2014, FREE ADMISSION

Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin 2

Booking is recommended through or phone 01 417 0000

Stephen Roddy
The Human Cost
Doom & Gloom
Extensive Structure No.1

Roy Carroll
un, un, un, un, un

Neil O’Connor
Fex Valley


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