Over 13 New Irish Works to be Premiered at New Music Dublin 2019

Kaija Saariaho

Over 13 New Irish Works to be Premiered at New Music Dublin 2019

Kaija Saariaho and Louis Andriessen will be featured composers.

The programme highlights for the New Music Dublin festival 2019 have been announced. The four-day festival will take place from 28 February to 3 March 2019 at the National Concert Hall.

The programme was announced by Festival Director John Harris last Thursday (29 November) at the NCH with a performance by Crash Ensemble of Grainne Mulvey’s e-Greetings and Gerard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum

The featured composers at the festival will be Louis Andriessen, who will be celebrating his 80th birthday in 2019, and Kaija Saariaho, described by Harris as ‘one of the major voices in contemporary music at the moment’. Saariaho’s 1994 work Graal théâtre and Andriessen’s 2005 Vermeer Pictures will receive their Irish premieres by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. 

The festival will also feature a range of new works by Irish composers, 13 of which have been announced already. Speaking about the programme, Harris said:

We… have an enormous responsibility towards building and nurturing the music scene within Ireland, not only in terms of composers and performers but also in terms of the audiences and the new participants.

Gender balance
Four of the works announced so far are by female composers. Harris emphasised that there will be a 50/50 gender balance among the commissions in the festival, saying ‘these commissions range from full symphony orchestra commissions through choral commissions, chamber music commissions, large ensemble commissions and sound art, so we cover almost the whole panoply.’ 

The new commissions include 6 new works written for Crash Ensemble as part of Free State 11, which will form part of the festival. The Free State works, selected by Gráinne Mulvey and Crash, will be by Anselm McDonnell, David Bremner, Maria Minguella, Chris McCormack, Guillaume Auvray and Elis Czerniak.  

New works by sound and installation artists Karen Power, Jürgen Simpson and Danny McCarthy will be located throughout the National Concert Hall for the duration of the festival. Four further works will be featured in the Ergodos walking tour, to be announced closer to the event; commissions for Chamber Choir Ireland, with RIAM and Paris Conservatoire, will also be announced at a later date. 

Other Irish works being performed at the festival include a re-mounting of David Fennessy’s Conquest of the Useless (originally due to be performed at the 2018 festival, but cancelled due to bad weather) and a new commission by Jennifer Walshe, The Site of the Investigation. A new work by Brian Irvine with his participatory ‘Totally Made Up Orchestra’ will provide the festival’s opening fanfare, and a choral work by Elaine Agnew will be performed by RTÉ Cór na nÓg and Cór Linn with Contempo Quartet. 

Also performing at the festival will be Irish pianist Hugh Tinney, who will perform Raymond Deane’s Noctuary, Ensemble Intercontemporain presenting a concert of chamber music with live electronics, and Musikfabrik, who will perform music by Frank Zappa alongside Michael Wertmüller’s antagonisme contrôlé with the saxophonist Peter Brötzmann.

The Contemporary Music Centre and NMD will also host a discussion titled ‘On the Radar’ focussing on how composers can engage with commissioners, festivals and the media about their work.

Tickets to main events go on sale on 10 December. Tickets for the rest of the programme will be available from 1 January 2019. Visit www.nch.ie

Published on 3 December 2018

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