Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, launches the Irish Composers Project at the Contemporary Music Centre.

The Contemporary Music Centre welcomed Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, to launch CMC’s major digitisation initiative, the Irish Composers Project (ICP) on Tuesday 24 May. The Irish Composers Project is a digital archive for Irish Contemporary Music and is a partnership between the Contemporary Music Centre and the An Foras Feasa research consortium comprising the music departments of Dundalk Institute of Technology, NUI Maynooth, and St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. The project also received funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Its overall purpose is to enable the research and promotion of the music of Irish Composers of the 20th and 21st century.

Launching the project Minister Deenihan complimented the Contemporary Music Centre and their partners in the Irish Composers Project on the initiative. “This  project  is  of  huge  significance  as  it increases access for the general  public as well as musicians, teachers, composers and performers to the  music  of  Irish  composers.  It is a major achievement to have such a complete collection of work immediately available to browse online.”

CMC’s Director, Evonne Ferguson, outlined the importance of the launch to the CMC. “The launch of the ICP celebrates the contribution of Irish composers to the cultural development of this island and CMC’s unique position in the development of expertise in digital archiving. Of course the ongoing support of the Arts Council has been essential in CMC achieving the project goals to date”

Among those congratulating the partners in the project were members of other national Arts bodies, composers who have been generous in their support for the initiative, as well as performers and well wishers from the new music sector, who had also gathered for this special occasion.

The Irish Composers Project involves the scanning and digitising of CMC’s unique collection of Irish composers’ scores, recordings and related collections for future online access and has been running since late 2008. CMC has reached a significant stage in the project, currently having completed the digitization of 60% of its score collection (over 3000 scores) as well as 1000 recordings. Sample pages and audio clips from the digitised files are now available via CMC’s web site for browsing at http://www.cmc.ie/digitalarchive.

“Reaching  this  point  is a milestone for the CMC and for Irish composers.This  launch  celebrates  the first step in the digital preservation of our modern  musical  heritage, which is central to CMC’s future. It is critical to  the  development of composers careers both at home and abroad for their music,  both  scores  and  recordings,  to  be accessible through this archive” added the Minister.

Left: Jonathan Grimes, General Manager, CMC outlining the detail of the Irish Composers Project at the Launch.

The Irish Composers Project is available to view at www.cmc.ie/digitalarchive. More materials will be added to the archive on a regular basis.


  1. Eve O'Kelly
    Posted 25 May 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wonderful work guys! Great to see this all forging ahead. So sorry I couldn’t make it for the launch.

    • Posted 25 May 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink | Reply

      It was a great day – sorry you couldn’t make it but you were very much with us in spirit!

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