Frank Corcoran announced as winner of the Sean O’Riada Composition Competition

Established in 1954, the annual Cork International Choral Festival hosts concerts from the best in international choral performance, and since 1972 it has run the Seán O’Riada Composition Competition for new choral works by Irish composers. The winning entry each year is premiered by the Choir in Residence, the National Chamber Choir, as part of the festival. Past recipients have included Rhona Clarke, Michael Holohan, Séamus de Barra and, last year, Patrick Connolly.

This year’s winner has been announced as Frank Corcoran. Corcoran, a founding member of Aosdána, has been a professor of music and composition in Stuttgart and Hamburg, as well as a guest lecturer at Princeton University and Harvard among others. His work is best known for his exploration of the Irish language, history and art. His Two Unholy Haikus was chosen as the winning submission out of 33 applicants by a panel of judges including NCCI director Paul Hiller, Rhona Clarke and Gerald Barry, the festival’s commissioned composer for this year, with each commenting on the piece “eccentricity and real, genuine comedy” and describing Corcoran’s as “a truly individual voice with no compromise”.

Two Unholy Haikus will be premiered by the National Chamber Choir’s concert as part of their An Irish Colloquy tour, at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral on May 4th, and will be one of two featured works (alongside Gerald Barry’s Long Time) at the Seminar on New Choral Music on Saturday May 5th at the CIT Cork School of Music. For more information, see

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