Daragh Black Hynes Announced as Winner of 2022 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition

Daragh Black Hynes (Photo: Ciarán Hynes).

Daragh Black Hynes Announced as Winner of 2022 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition

His winning work ‘Behind This Light’ will receive its world premiere by Chamber Choir Ireland on 29 April in Cork.

Daragh Black Hynes has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition at the Cork International Choral Festival. 

His choral piece Behind This Light, which was inspired by Joyce’s Ulysses, will receive its world premiere by Chamber Choir Ireland at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork on 29 April. 

Dublin-born composer and guitarist Black Hynes studied composition at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama with Jane O’Leary and later moved to Beijing to complete a master’s in composition with Jia Guoping at the Central Conservatory of Music. On returning to Dublin, he undertook PhD studies with Gráinne Mulvey at TU Dublin Conservatoire, completed in 2021.

His instrumental works have been performed by ConTempo Quartet, Concorde Ensemble, Elaine Clarke, The Doolan Quartet, Kazuhito and Koyumi Yamashita, while his electronic music output includes the 2020 release Relative States Volume I.

Other recent works include guitar piece Proteus for Hungarian guitarist Katalin Koltai, which was chosen for the Contemporary Music Centre’s (CMCUlysses Journey 2022 projectsolo horn work Ditan, composed for Cormac Ó hAodáin and premiered as part of Culture Night 2021; and the score to the animated short film The Dead Hands of Dublin (2020). He is also currently collaborating with flautist Emma Coulthard on a new work for flute as part of the 2022 CMC Colleagues initiative.

Commenting on his win, Black Hynes said:

It’s a great honour to be chosen as winner of the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition. I’m in highly esteemed company with the winners of previous years, and it’s wonderful to have the chance to participate in the Cork International Choral Festival. I had decided at the outset to use a text by Joyce for my work, and ultimately selected Ulysses – I found the process of setting Joyce’s text to music incredibly inspiring, and I’m absolutely delighted that the work will be premiered by the brilliant Chamber Choir Ireland! 

The judging panel for the competition included bass-baritone and Chamber Choir Ireland member Eoghan Desmond, composer Rhona Clarke and Artistic Director and Conductor of Chamber Choir Ireland, Paul Hillier.  

Commenting on Black Hynes’ new composition, the judging panel said:

The composer skillfully exploits the choral texture to illustrate Joyce’s text, and the adventurous harmonic language mirrors the famous stream of consciousness. The diversity of rhythms and varying sense of pace made this piece stand out from the other entrants and will make it interesting also for any choir that may sing it.

Founded in 1972, the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition is a platform for Irish composers in which compositions are anonymously submitted, with the composer’s name not being revealed until after the judges’ decision. Previous winners include Norah Walsh, Rhona Clarke, Frank Corcoran, Michael Holohan, Marian Ingoldsby, Donal MacErlaine, Simon MacHale, Michael McGlynn, Kevin O’Connell, Amanda Feery, Criostóir Ó Loingsigh, Donal Sarsfield, James May and Peter Leavy.

For more on the Cork International Choral Festival, visit www.corkchoral.ie.

Published on 9 February 2022

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