Brendan Finan is a teacher and writer. Visit www.brendanfinan.net.
Composer, double bass player and traditional flute player Neil Ó Lochlainn premiered his new work 'Emain Ablach' with a 14-piece ensemble in Galway and Dublin last weekend. Brendan Finan reviews the Smock Alley performance.
Irish fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhriain and Welsh harpist Catrin Finch have recently released their first album together, 'Double You'. Brendan Finan reviews.
An intimate new opera, 'Breathwork' by composer Éna Brennan, received its premiere at the Dublin Theatre Festival last week. Brendan Finan reviews.
On 3 September at the Hugh Lane Gallery, violinist Larissa O'Grady performed six new works for violin by Irish composers. Brendan Finan reviews.
The West Cork Chamber Music Festival in Bantry, Co. Cork, took place from 23 June to 2 July and featured Ensemble Diderot, Trio Gaspard, Armida Quartet, Mairéad Hickey, Anna Devin, Lotte Betts-Dean, Caroline Melzer and more. Brendan Finan reviews the final weekend.
The Louth Contemporary Music Festival took place last weekend and featured American composer Caroline Shaw, new work by Linda Catlin Smith, Cassandra Miller and Sam Perkin, and a version of Terry Riley's 'In C' performed by Irish traditional musicians. Brendan Finan reviews.
The premiere of Neil Ó Lochlainn's new suite 'Tairseach', inspired by the music of fiddle player Tommie Potts, took place at Solstice Arts Centre on 26 May. Brendan Finan reviews.
Composer Jamie Thompson's Adjunct Ensemble has just released 'Sovereign Bodies / Ritual Taxonomy' on the Diatribe label, focusing on the ordeal of asylum seekers. Brendan Finan reviews.
Irish National Opera's 'Werther', featuring mezzo-soprano Niamh O’Sullivan and Italian tenor Paride Cataldo, is currently on a nationwide tour. Brendan Finan reviews a performance at the Solstice Arts Centre.
Composer Roger Doyle has just released a second volume of works inspired by Joyce's 'Finnegans Wake'. Brendan Finan reviews.
The new Metronome series began at the NCH last week (16 March) with Ordnance Survey's 'Nomos: O’Riada Reimagined' and Sharon Phelan's 'Radio Ocean'. Brendan Finan reviews.
Damien Dempsey's 'Tales from the Holywell', a theatrical production directed by Conor McPherson and telling the story of the singer's development as an artist, is currently on a sold-out run at the Abbey Theatre. Brendan Finan reviews.
The Inishowen Trad Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Martin Tourish, presented a new work, 'Inishowen', at the National Concert Hall on 22 January. Brendan Finan reviews.
Crash Ensemble celebrated 25 years with two concerts at the NCH on 3–4 December. Brendan Finan reviews the Saturday performance, which featured a new work by Diamanda La Berge Dramm and Neva Elliott, and Donnacha Dennehy's 'Grá agus Bás'.
Accordion player and composer Johnny Óg Connolly has just completed a national tour with his new work 'An Cosán Draíochta'. Brendan Finan reviews the performance at Solstice Arts Centre on 11 November.
Composer Bill Whelan's new memoir, 'The Road to Riverdance', explores growing up in Limerick, working in the Irish music industry, and the famous performance of his work during the Eurovision interval in 1994. Brendan Finan reviews.
'Who’d Ever Think It Would Come To This? – A Civil War Cantata', composed by Anne-Marie O’Farrell with a libretto by Ed Vulliamy, received its premiere at UCD on 30 September. Brendan Finan reviews.
On 11 September, the Irish Traditional Music Archive hosted a gala concert at the National Concert Hall with a range of musicians and dancers who have featured in its Drawing from the Well series. Brendan Finan reviews.
Irish composer Finola Merivale's debut album 'Tús', winner of the National Concert Hall/Sounding the Feminists Music Recording Award, features five works performed by New York chamber music ensemble Desdemona. Brendan Finan reviews.
David Bremner's chamber opera 'Slow Recognition' was premiered at Unit 44 in Dublin last week. Brendan Finan reviews.
'Chimp', the new solo album from violinist and singer Diamanda La Berge Dramm, is a collection of avant pop with words by Steven J. Fowler. Brendan Finan reviews.
Irish National Opera's production of Donizetti’s 'Maria Stuarda' opened in the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin at the weekend, ahead of dates in Cork, Wexford and Limerick. Brendan Finan reviews.
Violist Nathan Sherman and percussionist Alex Petcu have recently released a new album that includes commissions from Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Kate Moore as well as works by Ian Wilson and Berio. Brendan Finan reviews.
Last weekend, Louth Contemporary Music Society presented the Irish premiere of American composer Michael Pisaro-Liu's, ‘asleep, wind, voice, poe’. The concert featured London group Apartment House, pianist David Bremner, composer and audio producer David Stalling, and actor Olwen Fouéré. Brendan Finan reviews.
Pianist Michael McHale has recently released an album that combines the famous Beethoven 'Moonlight' and' Appassionata' sonatas with new works by Linda Buckley and Áine Mallon. Brendan Finan reviews.
After a delay of two years due to the pandemic, fiddle player Martin Hayes finally premiered his new group the Common Ground Ensemble at the National Concert Hall last weekend. Brendan Finan reviews.
The seventh Ortús Chamber Music Festival took place recently in Cork, featuring Mairéad Hickey, Fiachra Garvey and a new work by Sebastian Adams. Brendan Finan reviews.
Malachy Robinson's recent album 'The Irish Double Bass' features works by his grandfather Joseph Groocock, Eoghan Desmond, John Kinsella, Ian Wilson, Kevin O'Connell, Judith Ring, Deirdre Gribbin, and Ryan Molloy. Brendan Finan reviews.
The Spike alternative cello festival took place in Dublin on the weekend of 11–13 February. Brendan Finan reviews the Saturday night performance at the Pepper Canister featuring Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Martin Johnson and Adrian Mantu.
The opening night of Irish National Opera's production of Vivaldi's 'Bajazet' took place in Navan this week. Brendan Finan reviews.
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