Contemporary Irish Music

Music Network actively supports and promotes the work of contemporary Irish composers by commissioning new work and including works by Irish composers in tour programmes.


Music Network actively commissions new works by Irish composers, and promotes existing works within relevant Music Network concert programmes. Read more here.

Since the roll out of our Strategic Plan in 2014, we have included contemporary Irish works in 91% of relevant touring programmes:

Deirdre McKay’s A Million Miles From the Moon, commissioned by Music Network in 2015/16, was premiered in April 2016, and received 9 performances by Chloë Hanslip and Danny Driver on their Music Network tour.

Music Network commissioned Tola Custy, Colin Dunne, Maeve Gilchrist and David Power to create Edges of Light, a new cross art form work that premiered in September and received 11 performances.

Music Network commissioned Philip Martin to write a new work Avoca: a Celtic Journey for large-scale harp ensemble, premiered on 20th November 2016.

Music Network commissioned Anne-Marie O’Farrell to write a new work for our November ’16 tour featuring Anneleen Laenarts (harp) and Dionysis Grammenos (clarinet)

Our second commission for child/family audiences with co-commissioning partners The Ark is in process following on the success of A Most Peculiar Wintry Thing by composer Brian Irvine in 2014.

In addition, our Young Musicwide Awardees Chatham Saxophone Quartet launched their debut album New Irish Music in June 2015 with Music Network's help. Released on the RTÉ lyric fm label, the CD features works by Brian Byrne, Ian Wilson, Brian Irvine, Jonathan Nangle and Kenneth Edge. 

Composers Voice

Our partnership with the Contemporary Music Centre under its Composers' Voice initiative has brought composers Ian Wilson, Marion Ingoldsby, Conor Lenihan and Deirdre McKay to talk about their work at our concerts in 2015 and 2016, enhancing the listening experience for audiences.

Two Composers' Voice talks took place during our Autumn 2016 season as follows:

Gráinne Mulvey's "Interference Patterns" was performed by young French pianist Nathalia Milstein, winner of the 2015 Dublin International Piano Competition during her Music Network tour from 11 -21 October. As part of the tour, Gráinne Mulvey spoke at the Triskel Christchurch Cork concert on Saturday 15 October.

Anne Marie O'Farrell spoke about her piece, Klaria, a new commission by Music Network, at its premiere performance at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin on Tuesday 8 November, performed by Anneleen Lenaerts, Principal Harpist of the Vienna Philharmonic and clarinettist Dionysis Grammenos on their Music Network tour from 8 -15 November.