Adrian Smith is Lecturer in Musicology at TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama.
Responding to the circumstances of the pandemic, Irish National Opera recently commissioned twenty new miniature operas from composers in Ireland that were filmed and premiered online as '20 Shots of Opera'. Adrian Smith reviews all twenty works.
Composer Ian Wilson's new album 'Wild is the Wind' has just been released on Diatribe Records. Adrian Smith reviews.
This week, in a livestream from the National Concert Hall, Crash Ensemble performed 'Femenine' by the black American composer Julius Eastman whose career was cut tragically short. Adrian Smith reviews.
Irish composer Linda Buckley this week releases 'From Ocean's Floor', a new album of electronic and chamber work on the NMC label. Adrian Smith reviews.
The recently released album 'The Red Book of Ossory' by Anakronos is a meeting of medieval music and jazz, inspired by the curious fourteenth-century poems by Richard de Ledrede. Adrian Smith reviews.
Ireland's largest contemporary music festival New Music Dublin took place at the National Concert Hall and nearby venues last weekend and featured twenty concerts and twenty-two world premieres. Adrian Smith reviews.
The 7th Fidelio Trio Winter Chamber Music Festival took place last weekend, featuring the Apple Hill String Quartet and world premieres by Brian Irvine and Louis Karchin. Adrian Smith reviews the Saturday and Sunday concerts.
John Kinsella's 11th symphony received its world premiere last weekend, conducted by Jean Deroyer. Adrian Smith reviews.
The amount of new work commissioned and performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra has dropped significantly in recent years. Such short-termism affects our musical culture and the generations to come, writes Adrian Smith.
Raymond Deane's new opera 'Vagabones' received its premiere last week at the Civic Theatre. Adrian Smith reviews.
Gerald Barry's Viola Concerto received its world premiere last week, performed by Lawrence Power and the Britten Sinfonia with Thomas Adès conducting. It's Barry's third concerto in recent years and it may be 'the wackiest of the lot', writes Adrian Smith.
Irish National Opera concluded its January to May short season with 'The Magic Flute' at the Gaiety last week, but it was a disappointing final production with questionable directorial decisions, writes Adrian Smith.
Crash Ensemble continue to reach out to new listeners, most recently in a concert dedicated to music related to skateboarding. Adrian Smith reviews the film and music event which featured new work by Sam Perkin and Jennifer Walshe.
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?
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?
New Music Dublin 2019 featured four days of contemporary music including over twenty-two world premieres. Does Ireland now have the new music festival it deserves? Adrian Smith provides a comprehensive review of 15 events, with additions for two concerts from Ryan Molloy and Toner Quinn.
The latest concert in the Female Composers Series at the NCH featured works by composers of the Belle Époque – from Lili Boulanger to Mélanie Bonis – illuminating our understanding of the music of the period, writes Adrian Smith.
The Journal of Music recently published an extensive interview with the composer Raymond Deane in which he was critical of the new generation of Irish composers, describing some of their work as ‘unchallenging’. In this interview, Adrian Smith interviews Seán Clancy, a composer of the new generation, about his work, Deane’s views, and the music of new Irish composers.
The marketing of orchestral concerts is becoming increasingly whimsical and condescending in an attempt to make classical music more accessible, but audiences deserve more respect, argues Adrian Smith.
Irish National Opera presented the Irish staged premiere of Bartók's 'Bluebeard’s Castle' on 12–14 October, with its luminous music and dark folk-tale of castle doors revealing the inner world of the protagonist. The production came with a twist, however, writes Adrian Smith.
The 'Music of Our Time' concerts struggle to find an audience on mid-week afternoons. Adrian Smith examines how a lack of regard for new music and a lack of vision impact the series.
Is there a lack of solidarity among composers? Will classical music ever become a part of Ireland's national consciousness? And have young Irish composers unwittingly subscribed to a code of musical prohibitions influenced by the US? In a wide-ranging interview, Raymond Deane, whose new opera 'Vagabones' will be premiered in 2019, discusses aesthetics, politics and occasional strokes of good luck with Adrian Smith.
Adrian Smith reviews the opening concert of the Irish Chamber Orchestra's 2018/19 season, conducted by French conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi and featuring a new work by Sam Perkin.
The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra has just announced its 2018/19 season. Adrian Smith looks at the range of music on offer – from contemporary and classical to traditional – and considers some of the overall trends in programming.
Gerald Barry's inspirations come from many sources – his new Organ Concerto, performed in Dublin in May, was partly inspired by a cat mourning the loss of atonality – or was it? Adrian Smith reviews.
Andrew Hamilton's 'music for people who like art' was the nearest thing to a smash hit in contemporary music, writes Adrian Smith. A new recording on the NMC label includes works composed either side of it too.
Adrian Smith reads Adès’s 'Powder Her Face' as a story of female empowerment and upper-class complacency in the very promising first production from Irish National Opera.
It is a critical time for the RTÉ NSO, but it celebrated its 70th year with a diverse programme and impassioned performances, writes Adrian Smith.
Crash Ensemble celebrated 20 years with two nights at the National Concert Hall in November. Adrian Smith reviews all twenty newly commissioned works, from composers Andrew Hamilton, Ann Cleare, Jennifer Walshe, Sean Clancy and many more.
An orchestra playing less new music, writes Adrian Smith, is out of step with contemporary culture. Has the amount of contemporary music being played by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra been in decline in recent years? Smith undertook an analysis of recent programming.
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