Brendan Finan

Gathering and Scattering Sounds
The Galway orchestra Luminosa recently premiered a new adventurous work by Sam Perkin as part of its second 'Arcadia' concert. Brendan Finan reviews.
A Modern Tour of Ancient Music
The 25th Galway Early Music Festival took place on 21–23 May, featuring Enea Sorini and Peppe Frana, the Irish Consort and Siobhán Armstrong, Aisling Kenny, Róisín Elsafty, Resurgam and more. Brendan Finan reviews.
A Festival of Different Futures
On 14–18 April, Louth Contemporary Music Society presented a five-day online festival featuring work by Sarah Hennies, Kevin Volans, Cornelius Cardew, Leo Brouwer and more. Brendan Finan reviews.
Many Sides to the Galway Cello
Music for Galway's inaugural Cellissimo festival, presented in partnership with Galway 2020, took place at the end of March, featuring seven days of cello concerts, workshops, talks, a Bill Whelan world premiere, an exhibition, and a new cello made in Galway. Brendan Finan reviews.
Exploring Musical Life in Ireland in the 1700s
Irish Baroque Orchestra's latest release 'The Trials of Tenducci', featuring Tara Erraught, uncovers a number of works with connections to music in Ireland in the eighteenth-century. Brendan Finan reviews.
A Society Rallying After the Silence
Louth Contemporary Music Society's new album features chamber works by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov and Raymond Deane. Brendan Finan reviews.
The Worlds Within a Single Work
Music for Galway's annual midwinter festival, which took place online at the weekend (22–24 January), focused on a single, relentlessly inventive work: the Goldberg Variations. Brendan Finan reviews.
No Obstacle for Erraught Online
The Irish mezzo Tara Erraught performed on 15 November at Dublin Castle as part of Irish National Opera's livestream series, Mezzo Masterpieces. Brendan Finan reviews.
Freefalling and Unfolding
Composer Ed Bennett's new album 'Psychedelia' includes a number of large-scale works and features Decibel, Kate Ellis, Eliza McCarthy and Jack McNeill. Brendan Finan reviews.
Against the Party Line of Western Music
Jennifer Walshe's recent album, 'A Late Anthology of Early Music Vol. 1: Ancient to Renaissance', uses Artificial Intelligence to reimagine the taught history of Western music. Brendan Finan reviews.
Circling Inwards
Andrew Hamilton's new album, 'Joy', on the Ergodos label, is a collection of solo works for violin and voice – performed by the composer himself. Brendan Finan reviews.
Dukas Beyond Disney
A recently published book by Laura Watson on the French composer Paul Dukas is the first full-length academic study of the artist in English and explores his range of music and his music criticism. Brendan Finan reviews.
Collins' New Collaboration
On Finghin Collins' latest release on Claves records, he is joined by Roseanne Philippens, Istvan Várdai and Máté Szücs for a performance of Mozart's two Piano Quartets. Brendan Finan reviews.
A New Time for the Irish Language and Classical Music
A new collection of Irish-language art songs, written by a range of Irish and international composers, is being premiered in three concerts at the National Concert Hall. Brendan Finan reviews the first concert which took place on 15 February.
Questions the Famine Left Behind
Donnacha Dennehy's famine-themed work 'The Hunger' received its European premiere in Dublin last week. Brendan Finan reviews.
The Ritual of Daily Tunes
Lau fiddle-player Aidan O'Rourke has just released his fifth solo album, twenty-five tune compositions in response to the stories of James Robertson, accompanied by jazz pianist Kit Downes. Brendan Finan reviews.
To See the Changing Light
Louth Contemporary Music Society's festival focussed on the work of Kaija Saariaho this year (21–22 June), with the composer in attendance. Brendan Finan reviews.
Sticks in the Air
The Colin Currie Quartet gave the Irish premiere of Kevin Volans' '4 Marimbas' at the recent Great Music in Irish Houses festival, as well as performances of works by Reich, Pereira, Xenakis and Stockhausen. Brendan Finan reviews.
Screens Draw the Eye
Louth Contemporary Music Society presented the world premiere of Canadian composer Nicole Lizée's 'Spielberg Études' at Drogheda Arts Festival on 4 May, as well as her 'Hitchcock Études' and 'Kubrick Études'. Brendan Finan reviews the unique audio-visual works.
The Winter We Don't Expect
We’re trained to think of musical winters in a certain way, writes Brendan Finan, but Ergodos' latest release, featuring the Ficino Ensemble and a new work by Garrett Sholdice, brings the unexpected.
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.
New Voices Singing Women's Stories
Last week, the RIAM presented an Irish opera premiere and TU Dublin Conservatoire presented a Baroque opera double bill, featuring a range of emerging artists. Brendan Finan reviews.
Hard to Reconcile
The Fidelio Trio's second album of French piano trios has all the fine musicianship of the busy trio, writes Brendan Finan, but too many eccentricities.
Layering Irony and Politics
Irish National Opera's final production of its first season is a non-traditional retelling of Verdi's 'Aida' featuring Gwyn Hughes Jones, Orla Boylan and Imelda Drumm in the lead roles. A visually spectacular production, it brings the story's imperialism to the centre, writes Brendan Finan.
Opera and Dance Music from the Poly-Doyle
Brendan Finan reviews two recordings from the diverse musical world of Roger Doyle – his 2018 'Heresy' opera and a forthcoming release of new pieces based on the same work.
 Experiments in Musical Language
The 2018 edition of New Music Dublin featured two ambitious concertos by Unsuk Chin and Kevin Volans exploring the language of the traditional sheng from China and the Irish uilleann pipes. Brendan Finan reviews.
Following the Logic of Dreams
Collaboration is at the heart of Seán Mac Erlaine's third album on the Ergodos label, in which patterns and textures shift subtly and constantly. Brendan Finan reviews.
Together Never Fails
From Rebecca Saunders and Séverine Ballon to Gavin Bryars and Galina Grigorjeva, the music at The Book of Hours two-day festival in Louth knew no borders, writes Brendan Finan.
Uncommon Roscommon
'The Golden Cassette', a recording of work by prolific outsider artist Caoimhín Breathnach, includes his subliminal tapes, which he subjected to odd physical processes, from burning them to screening kung fu films for them. The experience of listening goes beyond the music, writes Brendan Finan.
Emanating Sparks
At this year's Drogheda Arts Festival, Louth Contemporary Music Society presented a spectralist work from the 1970s alongside a postminimalist one from the last decade and a series of techno-inspired shorts. Brendan Finan finds the connections.