A new book on composer James Wilson is launched on 13 May

9781782051367-2TCork University Press and DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama will be hosting the launch of The Life and Music of James Wilson by Mark Fitzgerald on Wednesday, 13 May at 6.30pm in DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama Chatham Row, Dublin 2. The book will be launched by composer John Buckley, and will also feature performances of James Wilson’s music.

The book is the first study of James Wilson (1922–2005), a prolific and influential composer who was also one of the founding members of Aosdána, and a key figure in the Music Association of Ireland during the 1950s and 60s. As teacher of composition at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Ennis (later AIC) Composition Summer School he had an important influence on later generations of composers, with pupils including among others Jerome de Bromhead, Derek Ball and John Buckley.

The book contains a detailed biographical study of Wilson, from his birth and education in London, through his wartime experiences in the Arctic to his decision to relocate to Ireland and become a full-time composer. It throws light on the problems composers faced in Ireland in the period 1950–2000 caused by the lack of musical infrastructures, the difficulties in obtaining performances of pieces, the variable standards of performance and criticism and the near impossibility of getting works either published or recorded.

Important collaborations in Ireland and abroad are highlighted and throughout the book individual compositions are discussed to demonstrate the development of Wilson’s style.

The book is available to order direct from Cork University Press’s web site.

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