Abigail Smith Wins 'Finding a Voice' Women Composers Competition

Abigail Smith (Photo: John O’Reilly)

Abigail Smith Wins 'Finding a Voice' Women Composers Competition

The new work will be premiered on Culture Night (17 September) and be performed by Alex Petcu.

The Finding a Voice festival and the Contemporary Music Centre have announced composer Abigail Smith as the winner of the 2021 competition for Emerging Women Composers. Smith’s winning piece, Certain of Uncertainty, for solo marimba will be performed by Alex Petcu on 17 September in Clonmel as part of the festival’s event for Culture Night. Petcu will also perform works by composers Evelyn Glennie and Keiko Abe during the concert. 

Certain of Uncertainty was selected as the winning piece by adjudicator and composer Judith Ring, and centres around the concept of time and the expectations of the audience and performer. The piece depends on the marimba-player’s choices and thus each performance will be unique. 

Smith is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, conductor and educator. She studied music at NUI Maynooth, viola with Simon Aspell and Vanessa Sweeney, and Music Production and Games at Griffith College Dublin. She released her debut album Night Time Walking in 2009, and in 2015 her song cycle Fall into Silence was released. This year, Smith was awarded the Arts Council Ireland Agility Award.

Commenting on her win, Smith said:

I am honoured that my piece Certain of Uncertainty for solo marimba was chosen this year … I am very grateful to the Finding a Voice team and the CMC for the opportunity to have my music performed by the talented percussionist Alex Pectu in a live setting. It is a privilege to have the freedom to express our ideas and creativity. This can never be taken for granted.

Finding a Voice Artistic Director Róisín Maher said:

We had a record number of entries this year for our emerging composer competition and were delighted to be able to partner up with the Contemporary Music Centre for a second year to offer shortlisted candidates a percussion workshop with Alex Petcu. There was an exceptionally strong field of talented composers. The future is certainly bright for composition in Ireland!  Abigail is a very worthy winner and I’m excited to hear the work performed live in Clonmel on 17 September.

The competition is now in its fourth year and previous winners include Rose Connolly and Carol Hayes.

For tickets to the concert on 17 September, visit:https://bit.ly/3BTuc6o

Published on 8 September 2021

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