Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith is Lecturer in Musicology at TU Dublin Conservatoire.

Shots of Politics and Loss in New Irish Opera
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.
Risks in the Wild
Composer Ian Wilson's new album 'Wild is the Wind' has just been released on Diatribe Records. Adrian Smith reviews.
The Enduring Vision of Julius Eastman
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.
Ethereal and Melancholic
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 Bishop's Zeal
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.
New Music Up a Notch
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.
Miracle in Drumcondra
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.
Missing the Main Theme
John Kinsella's 11th symphony received its world premiere last weekend, conducted by Jean Deroyer. Adrian Smith reviews.
Where is All the New Orchestral Music?
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.
The Kiss of a Witch
Raymond Deane's new opera 'Vagabones' received its premiere last week at the Civic Theatre. Adrian Smith reviews.
Composer Discovers Orchestra!
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.
No Magical Ending for Irish National Opera's Season
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.
Skating Around New Audiences
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.
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?
The New Music Festival Ireland Deserves?
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.
More to Unite Than Divide
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.
'Tired of the confrontational': An Interview with Seán Clancy
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.
How Not to Market Classical Music
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.
Not Your Ordinary Megalomaniacal Psycho
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.
New Music on the Margins
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.
Against Resignation: An Interview with Raymond Deane
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.
On Risk and Restraint
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 New Normal?
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.
Glorious Shambles
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.
Hamilton's Relentless Pursuit
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.
Opera for Our Time
For its very first production, Irish National Opera presented Thomas Adès’ 'Powder Her Face', a story of female empowerment and upper-class complacency. Adrian Smith reviews.
Love and Conflict at the NCH
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 Hit the Twenties Running
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 Out of Step?
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.