New works by Frank Corcoran performed in Italy this summer

Frank Corcoran, who divides his time between Hamburg and Italy, will introduce two concerts in Orvieto in Umbria and Bolsena featuring his work.

The performers are three of Frank’s friends from the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra – cellist Martin Johnson, violist Adele Johnson, and pianist Fergal Caulfield.

The programme will include piano trios from Schubert, Brahms, David Popper, and the first three movements from Frank Corcoran’s new work, 8 Irish Duets for Cello and Piano. Based on Irish slow airs, the composer describes them as being, “neither neo-romantic settings, nor neo-Bartok, nor neo-minimalist and yet neo-Corcoran.”

The concerts take place at the Teatro Mancinelli, Orvieto, on 31 July, and a similar programme in Bolsena’s Piccolo Teatro Cavour on 2 August.

In other news, a book on the composer entitled Festschrift Frank Corcoran and edited by Hans Dieter Gruenefeld will be launched this autumn in Dublin.

Maria Minguella talks about her work in CMC as part of its first summer residency for composers/performers

CMC’s summer residency involves a composer/performer using the Centre during working hours to compose and rehearse. The aim of the residency is to allow composers and performers the use of the space to carry.

Taking place from 13 to 17 July following an open call, the residency was awarded to Cork-based composer Maria Minguella. Maria is based in CMC during this week, and will use the time to explore the CMC’s collection of scores and recordings, as well as working with the Elwood Guitar Quartet to compose a piece for them.

The CMC Summer Residency is kindly supported by Temple-bar Cultural Trust and Dublin City Council.

CMC spoke to Maria today about her work and her plans for the week:

Eoghan Desmond wins 2015 Jerome Hunes Composers’ Competition

IMG_2030Eoghan Desmond has been announced as the winner of the 2015 Jerome Hynes Composition Competition. The Competition is run annually by the National Concert Hall, with past winners including Amanda Feery and Alex Dowling. The prize is in the form of a commission for mezzo-soprano and voice, working with the winner of the Bernadette Greevy Bursary winer.

I was delighted to be informed that I had won this year’s Jerome Hynes award, right on the tail of my Ó Riada win earlier this year. As a singer myself I was particularly excited by the prospect of writing for voice and piano and working with this year’s Bernadette Greevy winner, Gemma Ní Bhriain. 

For the competition, I chose to submit my ‘Meditations on Ave Maris Stella’ for piano trio, first performed in 2012 by ensemble Avalon, and also a piece written specifically for the application – a setting of the final section of Rimbaud’s Phrases for Mezzo-Soprano and piano. I chose these because they embody the more mystical, romantic side of my compositional mindset, which is the style in which I will be composing for Gemma, as opposed to the more snide, cycnical, neo-classical style that my O Riada winning piece represents.

Eoghan Desmond is a Dublin-based composer, conductor and bass-baritone. He holds a BA in music and an MPhil in composition, both from TCD, where he studied under Evangelia Rigaki, Matthew Barnson and Donnacha Dennehy. A choral musician since the age of 9, he composed his first mass at the age of 12, and has since had his choral music performed by leading Irish ensembles.

New Music Digest: 6 – 12 July

soundSCAPE Festival, Maccagno

soundSCAPE Festival, Maccagno

Events This Week:

The soundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno continues this week, featuring Irish Artist-in-Residence Jennifer Walshe, supported by the AIC, CMC and Culture Ireland

  • 3 – 16 July, Maccagno, Italy
  • More

The Fidelio Trio will play Martin O’Leary‘s Bluescape in a concert in St. Patrick’s College

  • 8 Jul, 8.30pm, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin
  • More

Raymond Deane‘s Samara is featured in the RTÉ NSO Beethoven concerto series

  • 10 Jul, 8pm, National Concert Hall, Dublin
  • More

A new work by Trevor Knight with singer Honor Heffernan called The Whistling Girl, based on extracts from the writings of Dorothy Parker, will be performed in Tallaght

  • 10 Jul, 8pm, Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin
  • More


Kate Ellis performing Redshift by Barry Guy with soundSCAPE faculty cellist, Felix Fan, at her 2014 residency at the Festival

New Music Digest: 29 Jun – 5 Jul

Events This Week:

The West Cork Chamber Music Festival continues, with a host of international and Irish performers and composers

  • 26 Jun – 4 Jul, Bantry, Co. Cork
  • More

A new work of Acoustic Theatre, titled in Geheimen, by Ian Wilson will be premiered in Germany by the Elole Trio

  • 2 Jul, 7.30pm, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, Germany
  • More

Another concert in Germany this week features music by David Fennessy performed by the Munchener Kammerorchester

  • 2 Jul, 8pm, Prinzregenttheater, Munich, Germany

The RTÉ NSO Beethoven Concerto Series continues with a performance of Seóirse Bodley‘s A Small White Cloud Drifts Over Ireland

  • 3 Jul, 8pm, National Concert Hall, Dublin
  • More

Jennifer Walshe begins her residency with a concert at the soundSCAPE summer festival in Italy in association with CMC and the Association of Irish Composers

  • 3 Jul, 8pm, Maccagno, Italy
  • More

The Guitar Festival of Ireland 2015 begins this week, with a range of performers and styles, including the premiere of a new work by Roland Dyens by GuitaRIAM.

  • 3 – 6 July, venues in Dublin
  • More


Meditation on Ave Maris Stella, by Eoghan Desmond, recent winner of the NCH Jerome Hynes Young Composer Competition.

Irish works feature in the international line-up of the 2015 West Cork Chamber Music Festival

The 2015 West Cork Chamber Music Festival begins on Friday, with over a week of concerts, masterclasses and talks taking VBQ-homepage-111214place in Bantry. In its 20th year, the festival boasts a strong line-up of Irish and international acts, with a strong contemporary music presence and a number of world and Irish premieres. It also features the premiere of works by the four winning composers of the West Cork Chamber Music Composition Competition and the Young Composers’ Forum.

The festival opens with a concert in Bantry House (now sold out), with the Cremona Quartet playing Mozart, Barry Douglas playing Schubert, and the Vanbrugh Quartet performing a string quartet by Sean Doherty, commissioned by Vanbrugh as part of the Crossings project and premiered earlier this year.

“My String Quartet No. 3 ‘The Devil’s Dream’ was commissioned by the Vanbrugh Quartet as part of their Crossings project—a collaboration between artists from backgrounds of classical and Irish traditional music. I was introduced to music through the fiddle tradition of my native Donegal. The tradition is distinctive in Ireland: not like the languid lilt of the Clare style nor the light patter of the Galway style, the Donegal style looks outwards, across the sea, for its closest kin—to Scotland and to Nova Scotia. Aggressive, driving, and un-ornamented, the tunes are as stark as the bogland, the bowing as jagged as the cliffs. A leading of exponent of this tradition was my teacher, the fiddle player James Byrne and this string quartet is loosely based on two tunes that I learned from his playing: An Londubh and The Devil’s Dream. This quartet was written in his memory.” –Seán Doherty

Other premieres by Irish composers include Alina Ibragimova playing Ian Wilson’s Sonáin Béaloidis for solo violin (29 Jun, 8pm, St Brendan’s Church), while Tabakova’s Such Different Paths (30 Jun, 4pm, St. Brendan’s Church) and Fagerlund’s Transient Light (30 Jun, 8pm, Bantry House) are among the international works receiving Irish premieres.

The four winning composers of the 2015 Composition Competition for Young Composers are Robert Coleman, Peter Leavy, Finola Merivale and Amy Rooney. These four composers works were chosen from an annual call for submissions of works for string quartet, to be performed and workshopped throughout the festival. Coleman’s work Monster will receive its premiere by the Arioso Quartet; Leavy’s Kintsukuroi by the Lir Quartet; Merivale’s The Language of the Mountains is Rain by Sonora Quartet; and Rooney’s Viscosity for String Quartet by the Vuillaume Quartet. All concerts are afternoon events taking place at St. Brendan’s Hall, and see the young composers’ works paired with music by Beethoven, Debussy, Schubert, and Barber. The composers will also take part in the Young Composers’ Forum directed by Finnish composer Sebastian Fagerlund on 27 June.

For more information and full programme, see

New Music Digest: 22 – 29 June

10514469_1120981414583670_3427189605910252695_nEvents This Week:

The Quiet Music Ensemble present an evening of music throughout all the rooms and spaces of Freemasons’ Hall on Molesworth St, including music by Pauline Oliveros, Jennifer Walshe and John Godfrey.

  • 25 Jun, 6.30pm, Freemasons’ Hall, Molesworth St., Dublin
  • More

The RTÉ ConTempo Quartet with William Dowdall perform Donnacha Dennehy‘s pushpulling as part of their ‘Father & Sons’ concert series

  • 26 Jun, 1pm, The Granary Library, Limerick
  • 28 Jun, 1pm, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin
  • More

Derek Ball‘s crowdfunded song cycle The Way We Are receives its premiere, performed by David Bremner and Elizabeth Hilliard

  • 26 Jun, 6.30pm, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Westland Row, Dublin
  • More

The West Cork Chamber Music Festival opens on Friday with a concert featuring a new string quartet by Sean Doherty performed by the Vanbrugh Quartet

  • 26 Jun, 8pm, Bantry House, Bantry, Cork
  • More

The RTÉ NSO‘s Beethoven summer series continues with a performance of David Fennessy‘s Prologue (Silver are the Tears of the Moon)

  • 26 Jun, 8pm, National Concert Hall, Dublin
  • More

A symposium and concert titled Breaking the Sound Barrier: New Paths in Extended Techniques takes place in Middlesex University, with presentations and performances from composer Benjamin Dwyer and composer/performer Nick Roth

  • 23 Jun, 9am – 8.30pm, Middlesex University School of Media and Performing Arts, London

Breifne Holohan launches his debut album of works for electric guitar and electroacoustic music, Eastern Passageswith a concert in Drogheda

  • 26 Jun, 8pm, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda
  • More


Quiet Music Ensemble perform Jennifer Walshe’s Dordán at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Centre

Quiet Music Ensemble perform a programme of five new works in Dublin on 25 June

The programme, entitled The Mysteries Beyond Matter, takes place at the Freemasons’ Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 from 6.30-10.30pm on 25 June (admission €20/12).

The programme features five major works created for the group, two of which are world premieres.

Pauline Oliveros’ The Mystery Beyond Matter processes sound of the instrumentalists which is diffused throughout the building via a multichannel sound system. The work invites the audience to move through the building to experience the soundscape, with each audience member creating their own unique listening experience.

Irish composer Jennifer Walshe features in the programme with her work Dordán, drawing on the fictitious Irish outsider artists Pádraig Mac Giolla Mhuire and Caoimhín Breathnach, telling the story of Pádraig’s life and the invention of early Irish Minimalism. Originally premiered at the 2013 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the work receives its Irish premiere.

Formed in 2008, Quiet Music Ensemble is Ireland’s only professional ensemble dedicated to Experimental and improvised music. The group recently released a CD, also called The Mysteries Beyond Matter, on the Farpoint Recording label.


Pauline Oliveros The Mystery Beyond Matter (world premiere of the multichannel version)

Jennifer Walshe Dordán (Irish premiere)

Martin Iddon in’ei (world premiere)

Christopher Fox Qui/nt/et

John Godfrey hand tinted

Kevin O’Connell on his new setting of the Latin Mass

Kevin O’Connell and Director of the Palestrina Choir Blánaid Murphy talk about his new setting of the Latin Mass for the choir.

The Mass receives its first performance at 11am mass at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Dublin on 21 June 2015.

More on the mass here.

RTÉ NSO series featuring Irish symphonic works paired with Beethoven concertos takes place during June and July

nso beethThe RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra present a series of Beethoven piano concertos programmed beside works by Irish composers, as well as specially-chosen significant orchestral works. The concerts will take place every Friday at the National Concert Hall, and will feature a variety of Irish solo performers.

The series kicks off on 12 June with Beethoven’s first Piano Concerto paired with John Kinsella’s Cúchulainn and Ferdia – Duel at the Ford, and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. The Kinsella work was commissioned by RTÉ in 2008 to mark the orchestra’s 60th anniversary, and is a dramatic work drawing on the Irish legend. The soloist for this concert will be contemporary music performer Isabelle O’Connell.

Following this will be a programme featuring Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 with Ian Wilson’s Man-o’-War, in association with the Royal Irish Academy of Music’s Beethoven Project, and will feature as soloist RIAM alumni Maria McGarry. The third week of the series features an Irish premiere in David Fennessy’s Prologue (Silver are the Tears of the Moon), a work which is inspired by Werner Herzog’s film Fitzcarraldo. This piece will be paired with Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, and performed by pianist Peter Tuite and featuring the New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor Courtney Lewis.

The penultimate concert (3 July) features Michael McHale performing the Beethoven Concerto No. 4 alongside Copland’s Symphony No. 3 and Seoirse Bodley’s 1975 traditional music-inspired work A small white cloud drifts over Ireland. The series wraps up with another RTÉ commission, Raymond Deane’s Samara (2005), whose title is a reference to the winged seed of certain trees. This final concert will be performed by Hugh Tinney, a regular performer of Deane’s music, and will also feature Sibelius Symphony No. 7 and the final Beethoven Concerto, ‘The Emperor’ Concerto.

Tickets are available for each event individually at the National Concert Hall Box Office at; discounted series package tickets are also available for purchase.


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