CICF Seminar on New Choral Music features works by Enda Bates and Solfa Carlile

This year’s Seminar on New Choral Music at the Cork International Choral Festival – now in its 45th year – will feature two newly composed works performed by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland.

The Seminar was established in 1962 by Aloys Fleischmann (then Director of the Festival), to provide an opportunity for contemporary choral composition through yearly commissions, and for the discussion of those works to explore their meaning and context. Past commissions include works from Gerald Barry, Siobhán Cleary, Ian Wilson and many others.

The commissioned work for 2013 is from composer Enda Bates. He has a number of awards and commissions to his name, including the 2010 Música Viva Competition, the 27th Florilege Vocal de Tours, as well as being shortlisted for the 2009 Gaudeamus Music Prize. His work for the seminar, Euphony,  is based on the Cantu a tenore folk singing of Sardinia: a non-sacred form of singing that features an oche voice singing a main melody, accompanied by a three-part chorus. The work features ‘nonsense syllables with idiosyncratic, guttural voicings, and elements of overtone singing’. The title comes from the sense of joy to be found in this music.

Cork-born composer Solfa Carlile – composer-in-residence for the Orchestra of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden and a doctorate student at Oxford University – also has a received several awards for her compositions, including the 2010 Jerome Hynes commission, last year’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival Composition Competition and a patron’s award from the London Chamber Orchestra. Her piece Upon the Rose was this year’s winner of the Seán Ó Riada Composition Compeition. It is based on a poem of the same name by Joseph Mary Plunkett, and uses a fluid metric structure and modal harmony to evoke the wistful text.

The 45th Seminar on New Music takes place at Stack Theatre, CIT Cork School of Music, 2–4pm on Friday 3 May. Admission is free. Both works will be performed  by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland later that day at 7.30pm in  St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.

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