Latest Music Appointments (September 2021)

Ruth O’Mahony Brady is the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Musician in Residence 2021 (Photo: Filippo De Dionigi)

Latest Music Appointments (September 2021)

A round-up of recent appointments and awards including Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Music Network, Irish National Opera, Salem State University, Serious, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Berliner Festspiele.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Music Network have announced the appointment of musician and composer Ruth O’Mahony Brady as the latest Musician in Residence for 2021. 

During the residency, O’Mahony Brady (piano/synthesizers/electronics) will collaborate with Mary Barnecutt (electric and acoustic cello), combining their individual musical fields. The duo will compose music inspired by field recordings and found sounds captured from various areas within the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. The music created will be semi-scored with elements of live improvisation and will draw from an eclectic blend of chamber, folk and electronic influences. The performance will be recorded and later released as a six-track EP.

The Musician in Residence scheme is jointly funded by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the Arts Council and managed by Music Network.


Irish National Opera has announced the participants in its mentoring programme ABL Aviation Opera Studio 2021–22. The participants include four singers, sopranos Ami Hewitt and Catherine Donnelly, tenor Conor Prendiville and countertenor Francesco Giusti. Conductor Molly de Búrca, composer Éna Brenna and director Davey Kelleher will also take part in the programme. 

Members of the studio will benefit from individual coaching, masterclasses and mentorship with leading Irish and international singers and musicians. The programme also offers performance opportunities in INO productions and bespoke activities such as concerts, producing new works and outreach activity with studio participants. 

INO Studio and Outreach Producer James Bingham said:

I’m delighted that we’re able to return to in-person activity this year with the studio. We were able to run a huge amount of digital activity in the past 12 months which has left a legacy that really adds to the more traditional approach of working in a room together. We’ve a terrifically strong intake of artists this year and I’m looking forward to working closely with all of them.

For more, visit:

Grace Tallon, Director of Newpark Music Centre, has been appointed Visiting Fellow with Salem State University. Her research will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in music education, and the role that arts education plays in social mobility. 

Speaking about her research, Tallon said:

The lack of accessible music and arts education in our national syllabus plays a huge part in our sector being overlooked. It is beyond time that music education is accessible to all instead of being perceived as the preserve of the elite. I am delighted to be working with Salem State University to identify best practices in broadening and diversifying access to music education.

Tallon, who studied at the Conservatory of Music and Drama at DIT, and holds a Professional Diploma in Creativity, Innovation and Leadership from UCD, will continue her work as Director of Newpark Music Centre while completing her fellowship. Formerly a Councillor on Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, she is also a member of the Board of Directors at Smock Alley. 

Live music producers Serious have announced the participants for the latest edition of their talent development scheme Take Five – an annual mentorship programme for eight emerging jazz and improvising musicians from across the UK. This year’s eight artists include Jas Kayser (drums), Lara Jones (saxophone, electronics, piano), Romarna Campbell (drums), Jamie Thompson (composer, producer), Sarah Heneghan (drums), Mark Kavuma (trumpet, piano), Nathaniel Cross (trombone), and Johnny Hunter (drums). 

In August, the participants took part in an online residency featuring talks, discussions and breakout sessions with 25 industry experts over the course of a week. Earlier this month, the participants met in person and collaborated on a series of pieces that each of them arranged for the entire group, directed by composer and saxophonist Jason Yarde. This culminated in a video recording of their works that will be released as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival’s digital programme in November. 

Take Five is funded by the PRS Foundation, Help Musicians, Arts Council England and Serious Trust. 

To find out more, visit:

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) has announced the appointment of Kazuki Yamada as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor with effect from 1 April 2023 for an initial four-and-a-half-year period.

Yamada made his debut with the CBSO in 2012 and has been the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor since October 2018. He succeeds Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, who has led the orchestra since 2016.

Born in Japan, Yamada will become the first non-European to lead the CBSO. He is also Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo. In Japan he holds the further titles of Permanent Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.

Commenting on his appointment, Yamada said: 

I first worked with the CBSO in 2012 and immediately felt a very sincere connection with the players. This connection has really grown and developed over the last 9 years; our tour together to Japan in 2016 was one of the highlights of my career. After this the relationship was even deeper. I am so happy, thrilled and above all honoured to be continuing our journey together as the Orchestra’s Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor.


The board of directors of Berlin cultural venue Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes (KBB) has announced the appointment of curator and theatre manager Matthias Pees as the new director of Berliner Festspiele, the major series of festivals in the city. He will begin his new role on 1 September 2022, succeeding Thomas Oberender, who has been director of Berliner Festspiele since 2012.

Commenting on the announcement, Pees said:

I am very much looking forward to the great challenge of heading Berliner Festspiele. As an institution, it is both rich in history and eminently contemporary. It has a strong team, two great houses, outstanding, optimally positioned individual festivals and programme series as well as Gropius Bau with its innovative and pioneering exhibition programme. I  consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to take over such a flagship of contemporary arts from Thomas Oberender and I would like to thank him, the artistic directors, managers and individual teams for keeping it on a course towards the future in such a courageous, decisive and unbiased fashion. 

Matthias Pees was previously artistic and managing director of the production house Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt/Main, dramaturg at Wiener Festwochen, founder and co-managing director of the production agency in São Paulo, programme dramaturg at Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, theatre dramaturg at Schauspiel Hannover and at Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and, previous to that, an arts journalist and theatre critic.


In other recent news, Dónal Lunny has been announced as one of three Artists-in-Residence at the new Creative Futures Academy; Randall Shannon has been appointed Executive Director of Wexford Festival Opera; and Ciara Glasheen-Artem has been appointed Head of MTU Cork School of Music. 

For August appointments and awards, see here

Published on 24 September 2021

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