Gerald Barry Nominated for British Composers Awards
Irish composer Gerald Barry has been shortlisted for the British Composers Awards for his new opera, The Importance of Being Earnest, which is based on the play by Oscar Wilde. Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Barbican Centre in London, the work has been touring Ireland this month in a production by Wide Open Opera and NI Opera, reaching Derry, Belfast and Cork, with two Dublin performances to take place on at the Gaiety Theatre on 8 and 9 November.
The Los Angeles Times described the opera as ‘a new genuinely comic opera and maybe the most inventive Oscar Wilde opera since Richard Strauss’ Salome more than a century ago’ following its premiere in 2012. The work has already received an RPS Award for Large-Scale Composition and a recording is due to be released on NMC. Barry, who was born in Clare in 1952, studied at UCD before moving to Amsterdam and Cologne; while in Germany he studied with Stockhausen and Kagel.
The British Composer Awards, founded in 2003, are run by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composer and Authors (BASCA) ‘to reflect as effectively as possible the spectrum of new music coming out of the British Isles in the twenty-first century’.
This year’s awards — which include twelve different categories, — is for works that received a UK première between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013. The winner will be announced at ceremony held at Goldsmith’s Hall, London, on 3 December.
Barry is nominated in an ‘international award’ category, which also includes Per Nørgård for his Symphony No. 8 and Toshio Hosokawa for Woven Dreams. The full list of nominees is here.