The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra have announced the details of their 2014 Horizons series, which sees selected Irish composers Marion Ingoldsby, Brian Irvine, Seán Clancy and Rhona Clarke curate orchestral music programmes for free lunchtime concerts, including the premiere of a new commission by themselves.
On 14 January, the series begins with Rhona Clarke‘s Catching Fire, the title of which, according to the composer, ‘refers to the way one creative idea ignites another’. As well as two orchestral pieces by Clarke, 2005’s where the clouds go, and a new commission SHIFT, will be French composer Pascal Dusapin’s Go, Solo No1 for Orchestra, and Gerald Barry‘s 1996 Irish Chamber Orchestra commission La Jalousie Taciturne.
This will be followed by Coloured Time on 21 January, programmed by Marian Ingoldsby, and exploring her own interest in the relationship between visual art and music. From the composer: “Having a lifelong interest in art, I think of music in terms of ‘coloured time’, and this is an apt title for my exploration of the rich palette of orchestral sound, in this ever-fascinating medium, exemplified by the works by Takemitsu [How Slow the Wind] and Webern [Variations for Orchestra] as well as three of my own works, new and old.’ The two older of Ingoldsby’s works to be featured are 1994’s Overture and The Heron By the Weir from 2008. Her new commissioned work is called Dance, ‘a playful and colourful exploration of the idea of momentum”.
Brian Irvine‘s Mavericks and Unicorns programme takes place the following week, on 28 January. A collection of ‘musical enigmas’, the programme will feature Irvine’s own works Big Daddy Motorhead (2009) and new violin concerto À mon seul désir for orchestra and violin, a work inspired by the fifteenth-century French tapestries known as The Lady and the Unicorn, depicting the senses. Alongside these are Frank Zappa’s Dupree’s Paradise and Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question (1946).
Finally, Seán Clancy presents a programme simply called Six Objects in a Concert Hall on 4 February. In a note about the programme, the composer says, ”The majority of my compositional output for the past number of years has dealt with the concept of artistic intervention, or reimagining pre-existing art/materials in new contexts. This concert presents two works of my own alongside those of the composers who have been most fundamental to my artistic thought, not only as teachers and colleagues at Birmingham Conservatoire, but also as friends.’ The programme will feature Joe Ulfer’s Ulf, Ed Bennett‘s recent NSO commission Freefalling, and Howard Skempton’s Lento, beside Clancy’s 2012 work Changing rates of change, and a new work entitled Ten Minute of Music on the Subject of IKEA.
Each concert will be a free but ticketed event, taking place at the National Concert Hall’s main auditorium, preceded by a ‘Composer in Conversation’ presentation with CMC director Evonne Ferguson. Ahead of the premiered work, the composer will talk through the piece on stage with presenter Bernard Clarke, with played excerpts.
Rhona Clarke on her programme and new works: