Ina Boyle Songs to Be Recorded at Wigmore Hall
The Ina Boyle Society has announced that a selection of the twentieth-century Irish composer Ina Boyle’s song for voice and piano will be recorded this autumn at the Wigmore Hall. The songs were originally meant to be recorded as part of a live concert at the Wigmore Hall on 29 October, but due to the pandemic it will be a recording instead. The works are being recorded this year to mark sixty years since Dame Janet Baker performed one of Boyle’s songs at her Wigmore debut in 1960. The performers will be Paula Murrihy (mezzo soprano), Robin Tritschler (tenor), Ben McAteer (baritone) with Iain Burnside as accompanist, who has also selected the songs. The album will be released on Delphian Records next year.
Boyle, born near Enniskerry in County Wicklow in 1889, studied under Vaughan Williams and composed a range of choral, chamber and orchestral music, plus songs, ballet scores and an opera. She received an honourable mention for her work at the 1948 London Olympics, when the competition still had a music award. A documentary on her work was broadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM in 2010 (listen below) and her music featured at the Composing the Island festival in 2018. The same year an album of her orchestral music was released on the Dutton label and a biography by Ita Beausang and Séamas de Barra was published by Cork University Press. Boyle died in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, in 1967.
The songs that will be included in the recording for Delphian date from 1905 to 1966 and include settings of texts by Eva Gore-Booth, George ‘AE’ Russell, Austin Clarke, Walt Whitman, Walter de la Mare, and Pádraig Pearse.
The Ina Boyle Society was recently set up to promote the composer’s music. It is chaired by Katie Rowan who is the granddaughter of Boyle’s first cousin. Rowan is the former joint artistic director of the organisation Irish Heritage, which promotes Irish composers and artists in the UK.
Rowan told the Journal of Music there has been increased interest in Boyle’s work over the past few years: ‘There’s so much interest – we’re getting enquires from all over the world.’
A number of Boyle’s songs were performed at the National Concert Hall last year, as well as her chamber and orchestral work; and the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival has plans to perform Boyle’s opera for children Maudlin of Paplewick (1964) in 2021.
For more on the society and Boyle, visit www.inaboyle.org.