New recordings of carols by CMC composers to feature on all Christmas week on Blue of the Night, RTE Lyric FM

ProCathedralGirlsFor Christmas week, the Blue of the Night will feature exclusive recordings of new contemporary Irish choral music.

Enjoy Christmas carols and contemporary choral works by CMC composers Linda Buckley, John Gibson, Eibhlís Farrell, Philip Martin, Colin Mawby and Jonathan Nangle performed by the Girls’ Choir of St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Dublin, conducted by Blánaid Murphy.

Tune in to the Blue of the Night on RTE Lyric FM from 10pm-1am all Christmas week to hear the wonderful voices of St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral Girls Choir.

Listen to the Blue of the Night

Explore more Christmas Choral works by CMC composers with our online catalogues available to download free here.

Gerald Barry nominated for a Grammy Award

4Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest opera recording has been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award.

The opera was written in 2011 and co-commissioned by the LA Philharmonic Orchestra and The Barbican in London. Since its premieres in LA and London, it has received performances across the world and high critical praise. The recording with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and soloists with conductor Thomas Adès was released on NMC Recordings in 2014.

The nomination is in the Contemporary Classical category. The work is up against Norman Andrew’s Play, Stephen Paulus’ Prayers and Remembrances, Joan Tower’s Stroke and Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields (also the winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize).

This will be the 58th annual Grammy Awards, with the ceremony will take place on 15 February in Los Angeles California. For more information on the Awards, see

This news follows RTE’s announcement that Barry will be a composer-in-residence for three years, 2015-18, during which he will write a number of new commissions.

Sean Doherty’s work to be performed by New Dublin Voices

A work by Sean Doherty will be performed by the contemporary music chamber choir, New Dublin Voices, in a number of ‘Carols for Christmas’ concerts.

The work, titled Blessed Be That Maid, Marie is based on a Medieval carol text, and was the winner of the 2012 ‘Choir and Organ Magazine’ Composition Competition, which Doherty has won twice in the past (also in 2014 with A Nywe Werk is Come on Hand). It was premiered by the Choir of Salisbury Cathedral at their service of Nine Lessons and Carols in the same year.

The programme also features music by Irish composer Eric Sweeney, John Tavener, Bob Chilcott, Jan Sandstrom, as well as new arrangements of traditional carols and songs. It will be performed at Christ Church Cathedral on 12 Dec, and Draíocht Blanchardstown on 19 Dec (3pm and 7pm).

For more information, see

norður (north) concert curated by Linda Buckley

Flyer front_draft 2The Association of Irish Composers has launched a new concert series titled Directions, starting with a concert this Sunday. The series builds on previous AIC concerts, The Irish Canon, in which performers chose works for their instrument by Irish composers. Directions sees concert programmes curated by composers instead, from Irish and international repertoire, that reflect their own personal experiences and interests.

The first concert is titled norður (north), and is curated by Linda Buckley to reflect her interests in Nordic music, and her experiences in residencies in Iceland and Gotland. The programme explores themes of winter, sea and  Performers include regular collaborators Michelle O’Rourke (voice), Kate Ellis (cello), and David Bremner (organ).

From Linda:

I have long been fascinated by the North –  the Nordic countries, expanse of land and ocean, from residencies on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, to the vast Icelandic countryside. The title norður comes from the Icelandic word for ‘north’. 

This programme represents many areas of interest from me, with field recording and themes of sea and winter, to music rooted in immersion and atmosphere. I certainly feel an affinity to the Irish composers featured – the sonic experimentation of Conal Ryan, the purity and harmony of Garrett Sholdice, also deeply inspired by a love of Medieval music. 

I also wished to include composers who are perhaps not frequently heard in Ireland – the Danish Jacob Kirkegaard, Icelandic Daniel Bjarnason, Norwegian Jana Winderen and the young New York composer Jacob Cooper, all making work that holds a strong personal connection for me. 

The chosen instrumentation conveys the timbres and combinations that I have been most inspired by over the years: female voice, cello, organ and electronics, performed by close collaborators and friends Michelle O’Rourke, Kate Ellis and David Bremner.”

The concert takes place on 13 December, 8.30pm at Christ Church Cathedral. The series is supported by Arts Council Ireland, and will also features concert curated by Ed Bennett, Grainne Mulvey, Karen Power and Peter Moran.

Tickets are available from A limited number of tickets will also be available on the door on the night.

Read more about Linda’s time in Iceland here


John Luther Adams (Alaska) – At a Still Point (tape)
David Bremner – Sweelinck Fractal (Organ solo)
Maurice Duruflé – Pie Jesu from Requiem (Voice, Cello, Organ)
Jana Winderen (Norway) – Submerged (Tape)
Daniel Bjarnason (Iceland) – Bow to String II: Blood to Bones
Bow to String III: Air to Breath (Cello & Electronics)
Jacob Kirkegaard (Denmark) – Auditorium (Tape)
Conal Ryan – fifth ooze (Organ solo)
Jonathan Nangle – Coastal Field Recordings (Tape)
Jacob Cooper – Silver Threads (Voice & Electronics)
Benjamin Britten – Corpus Christi Carol (Voice, Organ)
Garrett Sholdice – Organum on Viderunt Omnes (Voices, Cello, Organ)
Linda Buckley – improvisation on Passages installation piece (Voices, Cello, Organ, electronics)

New Music Digest: 8 – 13 December

Gotland-Baltic_Linda.JPGEvents This Week

The Association of Irish Composers presents the first in a new concert series curated by Irish composers: norður (north) curated by Linda Buckley

  • 13 Dec, 8.30pm, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
  • More

RTÉ Cór na nÓg and RTÉ Concert Orchestra premiere a new work by Philip Martin called The Stars Looked Down

  • 8 Dec, 8pm, National Concert Hall, Dublin

The Revenue Choir give a two Christmas recitals, with soloist Sarah Power, with a work by Fiontán Ó Cearbhaill

  • 8/9 Dec, 1.15pm, St. Ann’s Church, Dublin
  • More

Cassiopeia Winds continue their tour of John Buckley‘s specially-composers Wind Quintet 2

  • 8 Dec, 8pm, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
  • More

CMC hosts it’s annual Christmas Event for invited guests featuring a short performance by Sylvia O’Brien

  • 10 Dec, 6-8pm, CMC, 19 Fishamble Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Pianist Gary Barnett gives a performance in California which features a work by Fergal Dowling called Stops VIII

  • 11 Dec, 8pm, University of California

Cora Venus Lunny with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra will premiere Ciaran Hope‘s new Violin Concerto

  • 12 Dec, 8pm, Cairo Opera House, Egypt
  • More

New Dublin Voices choir will give a Carols at Christmas concert, featuring Sean Doherty‘s Blessed be that Maid Marie

  • 12 Dec, 8pm, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
  • More

Kilgarry National School Choir will premiere Elaine Agnew‘s new Christmas Carol, Child Within

  • 12 Dec, 8.30pm, Ramor Theatre, Virginia, Cavan
  • More


Massimo Davi and Monica Miuccio’s The Iride Project’s Listen. See. Sneak Out, part of the recent work The Delight of Being Misunderstood, performed at Listen @ The Bello Bar last month


RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and CMC announce ‘Composer Lab’


David Fennessy

CMC and the RTE National Symphony Orchestra are delighted to announce the new pilot initiative, Composers Lab, for 2016. Aimed at composers who have had their work performed professionally but who have not yet worked with a professional symphony orchestra, the purpose of this initiative is to provide a creative and open environment for composers to deepen their experience in writing for symphony orchestra.

What happens in Composer Lab?

  • A maximum of four composers will be selected to take part in the Composer Lab.
  • Composers selected will be expected to prepare a 6 – 8min work in progress for symphony orchestra ( / / tmp+3 / hp / str).
  • This work in progress will be the focus of a preparatory meeting with the Composer Lab mentor, David Fennessy at the CMC on 18 February 2016. 
  • This completed work will be submitted to the RTÉ NSO by 11 March 2016.
  • This work will then be the focus of an intensive workshop, taking place at the National Concert Hall on 4/5 April 2016 which will be open to the public.
  • The workshop will be led by David Fennessy and will involve the RTÉ NSO and conductor Gavin Maloney.
  • Following this workshop and subsequent revisions to the score and parts, the composers’ works will be performed by the RTÉ NSO in a concert at the National Concert Hall on Monday 16 May 2016.

Would you like to apply for Composer Lab?

The RTÉ NSO and CMC are now seeking expressions of interest in this initiative. In order to make a submission, composers must submit the following by email to by 5pm on Tuesday 22 December 2015 (please put RTÉ NSO in the subject).

  • 2 recent completed scores in pdf format (not excerpts) and a link to a recording of a performance or electronic realisation of each score.
  • CV to include details of past performances.
  • A short paragraph outlining your reasons for wanting to engage with this initiative.

Please note that the project is open to composers registered with the Contemporary Music Centre. Please note there is no age restriction for applicants. Composers chosen to participate will be informed by 15 January 2016 and may apply for CMC travel bursaries in respect of travel within the island of Ireland.

More information on Composer Lab can be found here. 

Modern Irish Music concert

modernirishmusicfrontedited1A concert titled Modern Irish Music takes place on 7 December in Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin and features works by a number of Irish composers performed by the RTÉ ConTempo String Quartet, harpist Triona Marshall, and saxophonist Gavin Brennan.

Organised by Gavin Brennan, the concert seeks to “change perceptions of what Irish music is by bringing together traditional Irish music and contemporary music”.

The programme includes traditional music alongside works by composers including Linda Buckley, Michael McGlynn, Deirdre McKay, Jane O’Leary, Eric Sweeney and Martin Tourish. Also featured is a new work from young composer and RIAM student Chris Moriarty-Pearson, and visual art by Úna Kavanagh inspired by the music on the programme.

The concert is supported by Music Network, the Arts Council Ireland and RTÉ. Tickets cost €12/8 and are available from an Eventbrite page for the concert.

Fidelio Trio Launch new CD this weekend

cd coverThe new CD,  Dancing in Daylight, will be launched on 6 December as part of the trio’s third Winter Chamber Music Festival at Belvedere House, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, from 4-6 December.

Dancing in Daylight is released by the Métier label and features Irish piano trios specially written for the Fidelio Trio by John Buckley, Rhona Clarke, Seoirse Bodley and Fergus Johnston.

The launch is hosted by St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and CMC, and takes place at the Red Room, Belvedere House, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin at 1.30pm on 6 December. The event will feature guest speaker Benjamin Dwyer, whose trio also receives its Irish premiere in the final concert of the weekend at 3pm.

Booking for the Winter Chamber Music concerts is available here.


Winter Chamber Music Programme

  • Friday 4th Dec Evening Concert: Ravel, Bartok, Debussy/Beamish
  • Saturday 5th Dec Lunch-time Concert: Telemann, Handel, Buckley, Villa-Lobos, Poulenc
  • Saturday 5th Dec Evening Concert: All Beethoven
  • Sunday 6th Dec Launch of CD Dancing in the Daylight Piano Trios from Ireland
  • Sunday 6th Dec Afternoon Concert: Dukas, Satie, Dwyer, Brahms


New Music Digest: 30 Nov – 6 Dec


Events This Week:

CMC present Musical Tales, a concert curated by Dr Mark Fitzgerald of DIT and celebrating the music of contemporary Irish composers in connection with four published books in the CMC Library

  • 4 Dec, 1pm, Rathmines Library, Dublin
  • More

A Christmas Crackers concert by the St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Girls’ Choir features music by Jonathan Nangle, Colin Mawby and Linda Buckley

  • 2 Dec, 1.05pm, John Field Room, National Concert Hall
  • More

Fidelio Trio’s Winter Chamber Music Festival takes place this weekend, and features the launch of a new CD titled Daylight: Piano Trios from Ireland

  • 4–6 Dec, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin
  • More

Performances of Ian Wilson’s experimental chamber opera with Lauren Kinsella and The Quiet Club, The Last Siren, continue

  • 6 Dec, 6pm, Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo
  • More


A new work by Amanda Feery for piano and electronics

A new Christmas Carol by Elaine Agnew is available to download

1Child Within is the title of Elaine Agnew’s latest Christmas carol, and it is available to download without charge here.

The work for unison choir and piano is commissioned by RTÉ lyric fm for their Choirs for Christmas competition and is a setting of a specially commissioned Christmas poem by Gabriel Fitzmaurice.

Child Within is one of three Christmas carols by Elaine Agnew commissioned by RTÉ lyric fm, the other two being Curoo Curoo (2008) and Christmas Day (2011), both of which were written as part of her Composer in Residence with RTÉ and performed widely.

The new carol joins an expanding collection of Christmas-inspired choral works in CMC, many of which are listed in the centre’s recent Christmas Choral Catalogue which is available to download here.