'This is about representation and visibility for younger generations'

Emma O’Halloran

'This is about representation and visibility for younger generations'

Emma O’Halloran Announced as a Winner of First Hildegard Competition for Female Composers

Irish composer Emma O’Halloran has been announced as a winner of National Sawdust’s first Hildegard Competition for female and non-binary composers, alongside Kayla Cashetta (US) and X Lee (US).

National Sawdust, founded by composer Paola Prestini, is an artist-led performance space in Brooklyn that aims to provide support and space to composers and musicians. Prestini and venue curator Angélica Negrón were joined by Pultizer Prize-winning composer Du Yun to judge the Hildegard Competition. They will present the winners with a prize of $7,000. The winning composers will be coached by Negrón and Prestini and the works will be performed by the Refugee Orchestra. 

Emma O’Halloran is currently a doctoral student at Princeton University and has worked with Crash Ensemble and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra as well as international festivals and ensembles. Speaking to The Journal of Music about the competition, she said: 

In light of recent announcements from institutions like the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Opera, who have programmed zero women in their upcoming seasons, the efforts of institutions like National Sawdust, and the work of Irish initiatives like Sounding the Feminists and the National Concert Hall’s Female Conductor Programme, become more important than ever. This is about representation and visibility for younger generations of music-makers… it’s hard to imagine yourself being something you’ve never seen before.

I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to work with Angélica Negrón, Lidiya Yankovskaya, and the Refugee Orchestra.

To find out more about National Sawdust and the Hildegard Competition, visit nationalsawdust.org.

Published on 19 February 2018

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