Adrian Smith is Lecturer in Musicology at TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama.
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.
Gábor Tákacs-Nagy's rapport with orchestra and audience is refreshing, writes Adrian Smith, in a review of the Irish Chamber Orchestra (27 September) performing Elgar, Brahms and the world premiere of Sam Perkin's '365 Variations on a Gesture'.
Born in Amsterdam, raised in Ireland, and descended from a long line of musicians from Central and Eastern Europe, Gwendolyn Masin explores her rich roots in 'Origin', writes Adrian Smith.
Is the NCH embarking on a ground-breaking curatorial experiment by embracing non-classical genres? Nothing could be further from the truth, writes Adrian Smith.
The eclecticism on percussionist Alex Petcu's debut recording works very much in its favour, writes Adrian Smith.
In his new recordings of Field and Hammond, Michael McHale always has the larger structural goals in view, writes Adrian Smith.