Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (October 2022)

Bekah Simms

Latest Appointments and Awards in Music (October 2022)

A round-up of recent appointments and awards with news from Crash Ensemble, the Irish Research Council, the Patrick O'Keeffe Traditional Music Festival, Intermusica, Welsh National Opera, and Opera North.

Crash Ensemble has announced Canadian composer Bekah Simms as its latest Artist-in-Residence.  

Simms is currently based in Glasgow and has had her work performed across Europe and North America by ensembles such as Crash Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird and l’Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal. Her work metamold was nominated for the 2022 Gaudeamus Award, and works from her debut album Impurity Chains (2018) were nominated for the JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year. 

As of last month, Simms is a Lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, following previous positions at the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario. Crash Ensemble have performed various works by the composer and she has received a commission award from the Canada Council for the Arts to create a new work for the group. 

Crash Ensemble celebrate twenty-five years this year with two concerts at the NCH in Dublin this December.

For further information, visit:


The Irish Research Council has announced the funding recipients for new research projects under its Government of Ireland programme. The fund provides 316 awards worth €27m, for 239 postgraduate scholarships and 77 postdoctoral fellowships. 

Included among the awardees is arts writer, critic and Journal of Music contributor Andrea Cleary who has begun a PhD research project at TU Dublin on the purposes, functions and motivations of women’s music collectives on the island of Ireland. Other recipients of the scheme include soprano Sandra Oman whose doctoral research will focus on the role of Manon in Puccini’s opera Manon Lescaut; Benedict Lamb O’Sullivan, who will research new interfaces for DIY music production and performance; Clair Marie Butler, whose work will focus on indigenous Australian composers; Janet Harbison, who will research the Belfast Harp Orchestra, its music, history and politics; and Kevin Boushel, who will study the use of non-functional tonal harmony in contemporary a cappella choral music in the US; Yaoshen Liang will carry out research on Matteo Ricci’s contribution to the history of Sino-Western musical exchanges; Leandro Pessina will research cultural heritage and enhancing the tourist experience in Louth; and Martin Clancy will work on a research project focused on AI and music.

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Fiddle player Máire O’Keeffe has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Dedication to the Music of Sliabh Luachra award by the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival. 

O’Keeffe is a well known fiddle player, teacher and scholar. From Tralee, her fiddle playing reflects the influence of Sliabh Luachra as well as Cape Breton. Her first solo album, Cóisir / House Party, was released in 1994 on the Gael Linn label. She also features on the albums Re-Joyce – Tunes And Songs From The Joyce Collection and Domhnach Is Dálach/Many’s a Wild Night with Jackie Daly.

The award will be presented to O’Keeffe at the 30th Anniversary Sliabh Luachra concert, which takes place on 29 October at the River Island Hotel, Castleisland. She will perform along with a line-up of traditional musicians including Jackie Daly, Matt Cranitch, Paudie O Connor, Aoife Ní Chaoimh, Brian Mooney, Emma O’Leary, Anne McAuliffe, Con Moynihan, Denis O’Connor, Gearoid Ó Duinín and more.  

For further information and tickets, visit:


London classical music agency Intermusica has made two recent appointments to its Vocal & Opera team.  

Nathan Morrison will join the Vocal & Opera department as Associate Director. With degrees in both music and law, Morrison trained as a singer before his career at Askonas Holt, where he became a Senior Manager, working with artists including SeokJong Baek, Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, Gihoon Kim and Victoria Karkacheva.

Also joining the Vocal & Opera team is Nicholas Moloney as Senior Artist Manager. An accomplished pianist, Moloney worked closely with singers and creative teams as Artistic Administrator of English Touring Opera. He subsequently moved to the UK Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport where he worked on delivering COVID-19 recovery programmes for the live events sector.

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Welsh National Opera has appointed three new members to its Board of Directors, Dr Arun Midha, Clare Pillman and Professor Medwin Hughes.

Midha has had a number of roles in the fields of regulation, standards, governance, health and education; Pillman is the Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and has a background in culture and tourism; and Hughes is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and of the University of Wales. He has also served as the Deputy Chair of the Welsh Language Board and on advisory committees of the Welsh Government and the Council of Europe with regards to educational and cultural policy. 

The Board oversees the company’s affairs and is made up of 14 members, including the Chair, Yvette Vaughan-Jones. 

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Opera North has announced Professor Edward Venn of the School of Music, University of Leeds, as its new Academic in Residence. Professor Venn will spend a year at the company bringing together diverse voices from the performing arts and academia for a series of discussions, events and an exhibition focusing on race, ethics and representation in operatic storytelling. 

Venn’s programme of activity begins this Thursday (6 October) with a webinar titled ‘Telling Operatic Stories: Race, Ethics and Authenticity’ as part of Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute’s Sadler Series.  

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In other news, the National Concert Hall appointed two new members to its Board; and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra has appointed Gavin Maloney as Associate Principal Conductor of the orchestra. 

For September appointments in music, see here. 

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Published on 4 October 2022

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