Beethoven

A European Tour Under Lockdown

A European Tour Under Lockdown

A European Tour Under Lockdown

The Sligo International Chamber Music Festival took place online this year with four concerts and three new commissions from Irish composers. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.

Published on 13 May 2021

James Camien McGuiggan holds a PhD in the philosophy of art from the University of Southampton. Prior to this, he studied music in Maynooth University. He is currently an independent scholar, with interests in the philosophy of music and R. G. Collingwood.

Is Great Music Always Subversive?

Is Great Music Always Subversive?

Is Great Music Always Subversive?

A major book by American writer Ted Gioia, published last autumn, explores the history of music and many overlooked traditions, and argues that the best music has almost always been subversive. James Camien McGuiggan reviews.

Published on 5 August 2020

James Camien McGuiggan holds a PhD in the philosophy of art from the University of Southampton. Prior to this, he studied music in Maynooth University. He is currently an independent scholar, with interests in the philosophy of music and R. G. Collingwood.

The Composer as Raconteur

The Composer as Raconteur

The Composer as Raconteur

A memoir and diary belonging to the composer Brian Boydell (1917–2000) have recently been published in a book titled 'Rebellious Ferment', focusing in particular on his life and work in the 1940s and 50s. Mark Fitzgerald reviews.

Published on 21 January 2020

Mark Fitzgerald is a Senior Lecturer at TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama.

On Risk and Restraint

On Risk and Restraint

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.

Published on 19 September 2018

Adrian Smith is Lecturer in Musicology at TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama.

No Hint of Bad Taste

No Hint of Bad Taste

No Hint of Bad Taste

Claude Debussy stands apart as a modernist – extremely popular and yet he tore up the rulebook of harmony and form, rebelling against the tyranny of the barline and heavy orchestration. Boulez described it as ‘instantaneous self-renewal’.

Published on 19 April 2018

Stephen Walsh is an Emeritus Professor of Cardiff University, and was previously deputy music critic of The Observer. A well-known broadcaster, he now reviews for the website theartsdesk.com. His books include a major biography of Igor Stravinsky and a study of the Russian Five. His latest, Debussy: A Painter in Sound, was published by Faber.

Tears and Chills

Tears and Chills

Tears and Chills

Why does music provoke such strong reactions in us? How can it make us cry? What is it about music that moves us so profoundly?

Published on 1 February 2011

Jeanette Bicknell is a Canadian writer whose main area of research is the philosophy of art and music. Her book Why Music Moves Us: Making Sense of the Musical Sublime is published by Palgrave-Macmillan. www.jeanettebicknell.org

Empty Space

Empty Space

Empty Space

Commissioned to compose a work in response to 9/11, John Adams confronted the question: can modern classical music still be the transcendental force we need it to be?

Published on 1 August 2010

Barra Ó Séaghdha is a writer on cultural politics, literature and music.

Laughing at the Chaos: György Ligeti (1923–2006)

Laughing at the Chaos: György Ligeti (1923–2006)

Laughing at the Chaos: György Ligeti (1923–2006)

This November, a festival dedicated to the music of György Ligeti, one of the giants of twentieth-century composition, takes place in Dublin.

Published on 1 September 2007

Benjamin Dwyer is a guitarist and composer and the author of 'Different Voices: Irish Music and Music in Ireland'. He is Professor of Music at Middlesex University's Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries.

On Fatwahs and Compressed Frequencies

On Fatwahs and Compressed Frequencies

Composer Raymond Deane picks through notions of musical elitism, popular and classical music crossover and what composers ‘should’ and ‘must’ do…

Published on 1 September 2007

Raymond Deane is a composer, pianist, author and activist. Together with the violinist Nigel Kennedy, he is a cultural ambassador of Music Harvest, an organisation seeking to create 'a platform for cultural events and dialogue between internationals and Palestinians...'.

E-debate: Music and Society – Raymond Deane and Ronan Guilfoyle

E-debate: Music and Society – Raymond Deane and Ronan Guilfoyle

E-debate: Music and Society – Raymond Deane and Ronan Guilfoyle

If pulse-based music is the norm in our society, are most contemporary composers hopelessly out of touch? Does choosing to create pulse-based music mean one is succumbing to American cultural imperialism?

Published on 1 January 2006

Raymond Deane is a composer, pianist, author and activist. Together with the violinist Nigel Kennedy, he is a cultural ambassador of Music Harvest, an organisation seeking to create 'a platform for cultural events and dialogue between internationals and Palestinians...'.

Must Music be Accessible?

Must Music be Accessible?

Must Music be Accessible?

The accessibility of music is a political issue, not an aesthetic one, writes composer Raymond Deane

Published on 1 July 2004

Raymond Deane is a composer, pianist, author and activist. Together with the violinist Nigel Kennedy, he is a cultural ambassador of Music Harvest, an organisation seeking to create 'a platform for cultural events and dialogue between internationals and Palestinians...'.

The National Ear: Part 2

The National Ear: Part 2

The National Ear: Part 2

The story so far: in the first extract from his book on music and broadcasting (JMI Vol. 3 No.

Published on 1 March 2003

Richard Pine, Director of the Durrell School of Corfu, is a former Concerts Manager in RTÉ. He is the author and editor of books on Irish music history and of definitive studies of Oscar Wilde, Brian Friel and Lawrence Durrell.

Knocking on the Castle Door: A Place for Traditional Music at Third Level?

Knocking on the Castle Door: A Place for Traditional Music at Third Level?

Making the case for traditional music as an independent area of study in the Irish education system.

Published on 1 July 2002

Fintan Vallely lectures in traditional music at Dundalk Institute of Technology. He is author of several biographical and ethnographic books on the music, and is editor of the A-Z reference work Companion to Irish Traditional Music.

Changes in Music Education in Ireland: Part 1

Changes in Music Education in Ireland: Part 1

Changes in Music Education in Ireland: Part 1

Ita Beausang charts the changes in music education in Ireland in instrumental tuition, music in schools, and third level music education.

Published on 1 May 2002

Ita Beausang has recently retired from the School of Music and Drama in the Dublin Institute of Technology, where she held various teaching and administrative positions. Her research interests include music education in Ireland, Anglo-Irish music and music criticism.