33 World Premieres for New Music Dublin 2021

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will perform a new work by Irene Buckley during New Music Dublin later this month.

33 World Premieres for New Music Dublin 2021

Contemporary music festival to take place from 23 to 26 April; all concerts will be free to view.

New Music Dublin has announced the programme for this year’s fully online festival. The event, which is usually on in February and March, will this year take place from 23 to 26 April, presenting a series of live-streamed performances from the National Concert Hall and Smock Alley Theatre, as well as pre-recorded shows, workshops, outdoor projections, virtual networking events and live listening parties on Twitter. 

The programme features thirty-three world premieres, including a concert on the opening night (23 April) by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, performing an all-female programme with three premieres from Irene Buckley, Anne-Marie O’Farrell and Caroline Shaw.  

Soprano Michelle O’Rourke and harpist Richard Allen will be premiering new works from Deirdre Gribbin and Ed Bennett in Grounded (23 April) – a project inspired by the growing numbers of performers travelling by sea and land (rather than air) in light of the climate emergency. Also taking place on the opening day of the festival are three performances by contemporary ensemble Evlana, who will play works by composers including Linda Buckley, Gráinne Mulvey, Judith Ring, Donnacha Dennehy, Amanda Feery, Elaine Agnew, Deirdre McKay, Jane Deasy, Raymond Deane and John McLachlan live from Smock Alley. 

On 24 April, flautist Ruth Morley and vocalist Laura Bowler will perform new works by Laura Bowler, Deirdre McKay and Carmel Smickersgill on the theme of the natural world, while the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will perform Atomic Hope by Australian/Irish composer Natasa Paulberg later that evening.  

Crash commissions
Crash Ensemble will present two concerts on Saturday, featuring new works by Barry O’Halpin – the Crash Ensemble composer-in-residence – and emerging composers from the ensemble’s Free State programme: Darragh Kelly, Gemma Doherty (from the band Saint Sister) and Ultan O’Brien. Crash will also perform new works from their Reaction project (which commissioned new work in response to the pandemic) by composers Anselm McDonnell, Sean Ó Dalaigh, Rachel Lavelle and Stephen Shannon of Mount Alaska. 

On Sunday, Crash Ensemble will perform another concert with new works by Robert Coleman and Lara Gallagher – as part of the Free State programme – and Amy Rooney, Bébhinn McDonnell (SYLK) and Deirdre Gribbin, also from the Reaction project. In addition, the closing concert of the festival will feature Crash playing two world premieres – Bekah Simms’ Metamold and Images and Sensations by Ellen King – live-streamed from Smock Alley.  

Also on the line-up are the Earlsfort Brass Quintet (24 April) who will perform five new works for brass quintet (the composers’ names are yet to be announced), Kirkos Ensemble presenting works by Eimear Walshe, Elis Czerniak, John Godfrey, Judith Ring, Rachel Ní Chuinn, Robbie Blake and Susan Geaney (25 April), and Chamber Choir Ireland with conductor Andrew Synnott (25 April) performing a programme of music including David Fennessy’s chOirland, Siobhán Cleary’s Theophilus Thistle and the Myth of Miss Muffet and world premieres by Rhona Clarke and Ed Bennett.

Composition workshop
The Totally Made Up and Socially-Distanced Orchestra will facilitate an online workshop on 19 April where participants will contribute to the creation of a new work that the group will perform during the festival (25 April). On 26 April, in association with the Contemporary Music Centre, New Music Dublin will host an online networking event for composers and producers in the industry, and from 23 to 26 April, the festival will present ‘Big Mistake’, a video installation in collaboration with Dumbworld that will be projected onto multiple sites across the city, in association with music festival MusicTown. 

Commenting on the four-day event, Festival Director John Harris said:  

I’m delighted and amazed in equal measure that we have been able to stage a full ‘pandemic edition’ of New Music Dublin this year. The question ‘how do we make new music together, when we can’t come together to make new music?’ is being answered throughout this festival in a multitude of different ways, as we present what we believe is a timely and relevant programme-for-our-times packed with Irish new music by Irish composers and performers. 

New Music Dublin is presented in partnership with the Arts Council, the National Concert Hall and RTÉ. All concerts will be free for audiences and can be viewed on New Music Dublin’s website, RTÉ Culture, Lyric FM and the NCH YouTube channel. 

For further details, visit: www.newmusicdublin.ie/programme

Published on 1 April 2021

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