Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (July 2023)

Violinist Sarah Brazil has been awarded the Young Musician Award for String Players by the NCH.

Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (July 2023)

A round-up of recent appointments and awards with news from the National Concert Hall, MTU Cork School of Music, The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Belfast City Council and the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.

The National Concert Hall (NCH) has announced the recipients of its 2023 bursaries, which recognise the talent of promising young musicians and composers. 

The Young Musician Award for String Players was granted to violinist Sarah Brazil and cellist Adam Joyce. Brazil (aged 15) will receive a prize of €6,000 and Joyce (aged 16) will receive €4,000. National Symphony Orchestra violinist Elaine Clarke and Joe Csibi, General Manager of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, adjudicated the award.  

Soprano Clare Quinn has been awarded the NCH Bernadette Greevy Bursary Award and will receive a prize of €5,000 and a performance in the Kevin Barry Recital Room. The award, which recognises young singers, was adjudicated by the soprano Mairéad Buicke and Diego Fasciati, Executive Director of Irish National Opera.

Irish/British composer Robin Haigh has been announced as the recipient of the Jerome Hynes Young Composer Award – an award that includes a €2,500 prize and a new commission to be performed at the NCH later this year. This award was adjudicated by Irish composers Amanda Feery and Brian Irvine.

Commenting on the awards, CEO of the NCH Robert Read said: 

With these bursaries we are very proud to provide opportunities for musicians and composers and to support them in their early careers. In making these awards I am reminded of the abundant talent that exists within this island’s creative community, as evidenced by the consistently high quality of entries to these awards. Congratulations to all those who entered and to this year’s winners, we wish them every success in the future.



Viola player and lecturer Cian Ó Dúill has been appointed Head of the Department of Orchestral Studies at MTU Cork School of Music (CSM). Ó Dúill, who has been a lecturer in viola at CSM since 2016, has previous teaching experience at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the University of Limerick. 

Ó Dúill is a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Solas String Quartet. He has also performed with ensembles such as the Vanbrugh, Carducci, and Calino String Quartets, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He was a founding member of the Regent String Quartet and the Rothko String Trio and has performed extensively across Ireland, the UK and Europe. 



The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, together with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Department of the Taoiseach, have announced the 43 successful recipients of the Creative Climate Action Fund II – Agents for Change, worth a total of €5.8 million. This initiative from Creative Ireland supports artistic projects that raise climate change awareness and encourage positive change.

The initiative includes two strands. Strand 1, Ignite, offers awards of €50,001 to €250,000 and will support 19 large-scale interdisciplinary projects that involve significant public engagement across Ireland. Strand 2, Spark, will fund 24 local, community-focused projects, with awards of €20,000 to €50,000. These projects, aimed at piloting new ideas for public engagement, are due for completion by the end of 2024.

Music for Galway has been awarded funding as part of Strand 2, and will work with Galway Atlantaquaria on a project titled Galway Bay is Calling. The project will combine music and ocean literacy workshops with the goal of educating local choirs and music groups about the effects of climate change in their local environment. 

Also awarded funding as part of Strand 2 is Cavan composer Ian Wilson, who will lead the Rewetting Cavan’s Boglands project. The aim of the project is to inspire landowners in the western region of Cavan to rejuvenate their peatlands. Wilson will document the resurgence of wildlife in these boglands through a series of field recordings which will contribute to a new composition. Collaborating on this project are the West Cavan Bogs Association, Heather Bothwell, and Dr Francis Mackin.



Belfast City Council has appointed 24 individuals to a newly formed Belfast Region Music Board, with the aim of implementing its status as a UNESCO City of Music, which the city was awarded in 2021. 

Following an open call earlier this year, the board includes musicians, promoters, artist managers and music industry professionals such as music manager Ben Magee; Bethany Simpson, Belfast Music Society Concerts Manager; Brian Coney, Editor of The Thin Air; Paula McColl, Creative Producer at Moving on Music; and musicians Rebekah Lutton, Paul Connolly and Cheylene Murphy. 

The board’s current task is to develop an implementation plan dedicated to integrating music into all city communities and endorsing music as a viable career choice for creators and the wider gig economy.



The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) has announced the appointment of conductor Catherine Larsen-Maguire as Music Director – a newly established role she will assume in 2024 for a three-year tenure. 

Larsen-Maguire brings to the role an extensive background in orchestral performance and conducting, having served as the principal bassoonist at Komische Oper Berlin before turning to conducting in 2012. Since then, she has conducted orchestras throughout Europe and in Central and South America, including her NYOS debut in 2018 conducting the NYOS Senior Orchestra.

Commenting on her appointment, Larsen-Maguire said: 

As a young musician, I was a member of several youth orchestras, and I know how life-changing this experience can be; the music comes first, but it is about so much more than that. NYOS is a place where young instrumentalists can grow as musicians and people, and where friendships and memories that last a lifetime are created. 



For June 2023 appointments and awards in music, see here

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Published on 25 July 2023

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