Playing for an Inside-Out World In the first review from our new Music Writer Mentoring Scheme, supported by Galway City and Galway County Arts Offices, James Fleming reviews a performance by Sarah Nicolls of her new political work 'Twelve Years'. Presented by Galway Jazz Festival at the Mick Lally Theatre on 29 March, the composition by the British pianist and composer is a direct call for action at a time of crisis.
Adventures in the New Music Fringe The Music Current contemporary music festival – which took place last week in Dublin – has a radicalism in curation that can give listeners a real feeling of discovery. Adrian Smith reviews the four days and asks: can it grow its 'fringe' status in the Irish new music scene?
How Sounding the Feminists Put Music and Gender in the Spotlight In less than two years, the Sounding the Feminists movement has changed the conversation in the Irish contemporary music scene and put the issue of gender equality and composers firmly on the musical map, but, asks Adrian Smith, can it have a long-term impact without more support from the music community?
Some People are Frightened The second Cork Sound Fair took place last week. Spread over four days (28–31 March), the festival displays the fascinating diversity of Irish electronic music. Don O'Mahony reviews a selection of performances from Saturday night and Sunday.
The Newest of the New: An Interview with Fergal Dowling of Music Current Pursuing the latest in contemporary music sounds is key to the focus of Music Current festival, which begins next week in Dublin. Artistic Director Fergal Dowling spoke to the Journal of Music about the ethos of the event, current trends in music, and the ensembles performing this year.
Uncomfortable Story Beautifully Told Irish National Opera's current production of 'Madama Butterfly', exploring themes of exploitation and naïveté, works extremely well – sometimes disconcertingly so, writes Brendan Finan.
‘If we take action, hope will be everywhere’: An Interview with Pianist and Composer Sarah Nicolls Sarah Nicolls has composed a new work inspired by the announcements on climate change last autumn and the activism of Greta Thunberg. She spoke to The Journal of Music about the impetus for the work and being so politically direct with an audience.
'Meeting Maxim has Changed My Life': An Interview with Violinist Patrick Rafter Irish musician Patrick Rafter will perform with the renowned violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov this Friday at the National Concert Hall. The Kilkenny violinist spoke to The Journal of Music about how this significant career moment came about.
The Most Human of Composers Robert Schumann's life had many ups and downs, from his infatuation with Clara Wieck to his attempted suicide, and his passionate nature fed into his music. A new book by Judith Chernaik tells his story and also explores some newly uncovered information on the composer, writes Finghin Collins.
When Concertina Meets Concerto The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra marked St Patrick's Day with a performance of a new concerto for concertina by Niall Vallely, a set by the group Moxie, and Seán Ó Riada's 'Mise Éire'. The concert highlighted the different directions in which Irish traditional music is developing, writes Tim Diovanni.