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 Commissions

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

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

Siobhán Cleary and Benjamin Dwyer composed two new works especially for the March and April classical tour programmes of Spring 2018. Siobhán Cleary’s ‘An Cailleach’ received its premiere at Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen on Sunday 4th March. Benjamin Dwyer’s 'sin títolo' received its premiere at St. Iberius Church in Wexford on Sunday 22nd April.

Two composers wrote new music for Music Network's Autumn 2017 season. Virtuoso trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth and pianist Gunnar Flagstad premiered an intriguing new work by Deirdre Gribbin, "Through every wind that blows", in October, and Rhona Clarke's Edge, String Quartet No. 3, was written especially for Quatuor Voce for their tour in November.

Music Network commissioned Ian Wilson to compose a new work for an all-violin quartet, which was premiered in April 2017 and received 9 performances by Mia Cooper, Katherine Hunka, Ioana Petcu-Colan & Helena Wood. The work was inspired by Cy Twombly’s ‘Quattro Stagioni’.

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 Lenaerts (harp) and Dionysis Grammenos (clarinet)

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.

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

Music Network is continuing to commission new works for performances in the future:

Amanda Feery and Sebastian Adams have been commissioned by Music Network to write new pieces for Autumn 2018. Amatis Piano Trio will premiere Feery’s composition in Castlebar in October, while Adams’ work will receive its premiere performance from Yury Revich and Benedict Kloeckner in Dublin city in November.

Our second commission for child/family audience 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.