Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (September 2022)

Killian Farrell (Photo: Andrew Bogard)

Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (September 2022)

A round-up of recent appointments and awards in music with news from the Meininger Staatstheater, Wexford Festival Opera, Irish Traditional Music Archive, Galway Music Residency, Scoil Gheimhridh Ghaoth Dobhair, The Guinness Choir, Gramophone Classical Music Awards, PRS for Music, and Help Musicians.

The Meininger Staatstheater in Germany has announced Irish conductor Killian Farrell as its new General Music Director from the 2023/24 season. Farrell, aged 28, will succeed Swiss conductor Philippe Bach and is the first Irish music director at a German state theatre. 

From Dublin, Farrell studied piano, organ and conducting at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and musicology at Trinity College, Dublin. He made his professional conducting debut at the age of 17 with a performance of Bach’s St John Passion. He moved to London to further his studies as a répétiteur at the National Opera Studio and he is also a former Britten-Pears Young Artist. Farrell is currently First Kapellmeister at Theater Bremen. As a conductor he has also worked with the National Symphony Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Wide Open Opera.


Wexford Festival Opera has announced the three young pianists who will take part in its newly developed répétiteur programme. The programme will be a part of the festival’s professional academy for young singers – the Wexford Factory – and will see the pianists join the previously announced singers for the 2022/23 term. 

The participants of the programme are pianists Aoife Moran, Eléna Maria Esposito and Rebecca Warren. They will take part over the course of two weeks in September, prior to rehearsals for the 71st Wexford Festival Opera in October, during which they will be provided with opportunities to perform.

Wexford Festival Opera takes place from 21 October to 6 November. For further information, visit

The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) has appointed Stephanie Marbach to the role of Project Archivist for the Cullinane Archive Collection. Marbach will begin her role this September and will work with ITMA for three months.

The Cullinane Archive Collection is an extensive multimedia collection of material relating to the history of Irish dance compiled by Dr John Cullinane. It includes books and periodicals, academic theses, non-commercial sound recordings, video recordings, photographs, historical documents, newspaper clippings, ephemera and artefacts. The collection is currently located in Cork city. 

Marbach is an independent dance researcher and primary school teacher based in Switzerland and Ireland. 


Galway Music Residency has appointed composer, director and vocalist Robbie Blake to the role of Executive Director for a temporary period covering the maternity leave of Maeve Bryan. Blake has already begun the new role and will lead the organisation in its programme of performances and education over the next nine months and into its 20th anniversary year in 2023.

Blake is artistic director of the new music vocal group Tonnta, which has premiered over 70 new vocal works, with a particular focus on working with living Irish composers with noticeable highlights including Ireland: A Dataset by Jennifer Walshe.

As a composer and performer, Blake has toured nationally and internationally, and often uses the body, movement and site-specific elements in live performance. Their music will feature in the collaborative project Town Choir by Theatre Replacement as part of the 2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival in October. 

For more on Galway Music Residency, visit:

Cathal Ó Curráin has been appointed as the new director of Scoil Gheimhridh Ghaoth Dobhair.

Ó Currain is a traditional singer, bouzouki player, fiddle player and banjo player from Gaoth Dobhair in Donegal. He studied music and Irish at the University of Limerick and recently released his debut album Cosán Ceoil. He also recorded with Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and Caitlín Nic Gabhann on the album The High Seas. 

The festival takes place this year from 27 December to 1 January 2023 and features workshops, concerts, sessions and more. 


The Guinness Choir has appointed Ciarán Kelly as Music Director. He will take up the post this September.

Kelly is a singer from Derry who has performed and competed in Ireland, the UK and the US. He is the recently appointed Head of Music in King’s Hospital School, Palmerstown, and is a former Assistant Director of Music at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral in Dublin. Kelly has an MMus in Choral Conducting and has led workshops with choral societies, schools and universities in the UK, Europe and Asia. He is also founder and Artistic Director of the vocal ensemble Ardú.


The Fidelio Trio have been nominated in the Chamber Music category of the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2022 for their album Ernest Moeran: Chamber Music, which is a collection of music by the English composer with works dating from the 1920s to the 40s. Also nominated – in the Contemporary category – is the recording of Irish National Opera’s production of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground featuring Claudia Boyle, Clare Presland, Hilary Summers, Gavan Ring, Peter Tantsits, Stephen Richardson, Alan Ewing and the Irish Chamber Orchestra with conductor André de Ridder. 

The Gramophone awards recognise classical music recordings released within the year in 11 categories, also including choral, concerto, early music and instrumental. One album will be selected as the winner in each category in addition to an album being named Recording of the Year. The winners will be announced during a live ceremony on 4 October that will be shared online from 7 October. 



PRS for Music in the UK has appointed singer-songwriter Laura Mvula to the PRS Members’ Council, which ensures the views of PRS members are heard while focusing on oversight of the company’s performance.

Mvula is a songwriter and performing musician. A graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with a degree in composition, she received an Honorary Doctorate for her services to music from her alma mater Birmingham City University. She has led several acapella, jazz, neo-soul and gospel choirs in her career, and her albums have received numerous awards including the Ivor Novello Award in 2022 for Pink Noise.



Help Musicians has announced the appointments of cellist Abel Selaocoe as a new Ambassador and Isabel Garvey, Managing Director of Abbey Road Studios, to its Board of Trustees. 

Help Musicians is a UK based organisation that offers support to professional musicians of all genres. Ambassadors donate their time and expertise to support the work of the charity. 

Selaocoe is a South African recording and performing cellist based in Manchester. He joins musicians such as Bryan Adams, Susan Bullock, Chris Difford, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Sir Simon Rattle and more as Ambassadors.

At Abbey Road Studios, Garvey was responsible for launching Europe’s first music technology incubator, Abbey Road Red, and leading the launch of the music production school Abbey Road Institute. She has also led the implementation of the largest investment in the Studios since opening in 1931, encompassing the build of three new studio spaces.



In other news, the winners of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2022 are here; the Arts Council announced the recipients of its Next Generation Award; the National Concert Hall posthumously awarded the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award to the late Mícheál Ó SúilleabháinTyrone tenor Owen Lucas has won the 12th Glenarm Festival of Voice competition; and Armenian baritone Grisha Martirosyan has won of the 10th Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. 

For July appointments in music, see here.  

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Published on 31 August 2022

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