New Appointments in Music (April 2021)

Amanda Feery – new Lecturer in Composition at NUI Galway

New Appointments in Music (April 2021)

A round-up of recent music and arts appointments including NUI Galway, Crash Ensemble, Music Generation, Centre Culturel Irlandais and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Send your news to [email protected].

Dr Amanda Feery has been appointed Lecturer in Composition at NUI Galway. Her appointment follows the introduction in 2018 of the new BA degree programme in Music, which is led by Dr Aidan Thomson.

Dr Feery is a composer working with acoustic, electronic and improvised music, having written for chamber and vocal ensembles, film, theatre, installation and multimedia.

She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in Music in 2006 and continued her studies in Music and Media Technologies at Trinity College Dublin, completing an MPhil in 2009. She was the Mark Nelson Fellow in Music at Princeton University, completing her PhD in Music Composition in 2019. Her research focused on Kate Bush’s song suite, The Ninth Wave. While in the US Dr Feery formed collaborative relationships with a number of ensembles and musicians including Alarm Will Sound, Third Coast Percussion and cellist Amanda Gookin. Closer to home, past collaborators include Crash Ensemble, RTÉ ConTempo Quartet, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, This is How We Fly, Michelle O’Rourke and Lina Andonovska.

Her work has featured at New Music Dublin, First Fortnight Festival and Dublin Fringe Festival, among others, and she has been composer-in-residence at Bang on a Can Summer Festival, SOUNDscape and Greywood Arts. Her 2019 residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais focused on recording piano improvisations on public pianos in Paris.

Recent projects include works for National Sawdust’s Hildegard Commission, Spilt Milk Festival, Music Network’s ‘Butterfly Sessions’ and Tadhg O’Sullivan’s film To the Moon. Upcoming projects include works for Chamber Choir Ireland, Cork Midsummer Festival, and Kaleidoscope Night, and the premiere of A Thing I Cannot Name, an opera commissioned by Irish National Opera with a libretto by Megan Nolan. Future projects include 5–60 second micro pieces for Fiachra Garvey and Sebastian Adams and a work for flute for Lina Andonovska.

Commenting on Dr Feery’s appointment, Dr Thomson said:

It is wonderful to be able to welcome Amanda Feery to NUI Galway as our first ever Lecturer in Composition. Not only is she one of the outstanding composers working in Ireland today, but she is also an experienced, versatile and dedicated teacher who, I am certain, will be an inspiration to our students. I look forward to working alongside her in the years to come.



Crash Ensemble has made a number of announcements: Ryan McAdams is the new Principal Conductor, Malachy Robinson is now Resident Conductor, Caimin Gilmore has been appointed as double bassist with the group, and violinist Larissa O’Grady has been appointed Community Manager.

McAdams succeeds Alan Pierson who worked with the ensemble for a number of years and conducted works such as Donnacha Dennehy’s Grá agus Bás and The Hunger. McAdams has worked with Crash since 2017. A resident of Brighton, he was the conductor for Elliott Carter’s 103rd birthday celebration, named one of the ‘Best Classical Music Events’ of the year by the New York Times. Commenting on his appointment, McAdams said: ‘From our first rehearsals of Donnacha Dennehy’s The Second Violinist, the Crash Ensemble team has felt like family. Crash and I share a commitment to high-intensity performances, meaningful and creative relationships with our communities, and (occasionally reckless) artistic exploration. It is a dream to plan new projects with such ferocious, ambitious, and joyful musicians, especially during this time of global uncertainty and disappointment. I’m thrilled that we will continue to create together in the coming years.’

Malachy Robinson has been double-bassist with Crash since the group began in 1997 and began conducting with the ensemble in 2005. He is also a member of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Gregory Walkers and the Robinson String Quartet.

Caimin Gilmore is also a singer and songwriter with Sun Collective. During lockdown he made a series of recorded performances of new double bass works by Irish composers Sam Perkin, Linda Buckley, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Nick Roth, culminating in a digital release of the pieces in June 2020 entitled String Ogham Live.

Larissa O’Grady has been a member of Crash Ensemble since 2017, premiering new works by Donnacha Dennehy, Ann Cleare and Nico Muhly among others. She completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCD in 2020. In her new role, O’Grady will focus on conversations, collaboration and communication between the creative arts community and the ensemble’s audience, while at the same time performing new works and researching collaborative possibilities within the arts.



Centre Culturel Irlandais has announced the artists who will take up residencies for the Centre’s 2021–2022 programme.

39 artists will spend one month in Paris to develop their proposed projects, which range from the development of a new presentation of Beckett’s The Unnamable to documenting the work of artisans who embellish Haute Couture gowns; and from creating a ‘Slow Mo’ dance work to making music to accompany Colum McCann’s latest book about two grieving fathers in the Middle East.

This year sees CCI partnering with some 16 organisations for its artist residencies. The recipients are as follows:

Conor Caldwell (in association with Belfast City Council)
Duo ConTe
Caitriona Frost (in association with Music Network)
Chris Guilfoyle
Christy Leech (in association with Meath Arts Office)
Colm Mac Con Iomaire
Myles O’Reilly
Jack O’Rourke
Xenia Pestova Bennett (in association with Moving on Music)
Karen Power (in association with the Contemporary Music Centre)
Max Zaska

Performing Arts
Andrew Duggan (in association with Ealaín na Gaeltachta)
Maria Fusco
Kellie Hughes (in association with MoLI)
Jo Mangan
Rita Marcalo
Liam McCarthy (in association with Draíocht)
Shane O’Reilly
Sarah-Jane Scott (in association with Galway County Arts Office Council)

David Ian Bickley
Jonathan Creasy
Bob Gallagher

Dermot Bolger
John Holten
Jean O’Brien (in association with Poetry Ireland)
Joanna Walsh (in association with Literature Ireland)

Visual Arts & Design
Nadia Armstrong (in association with RDS/Mason Hayes & Curran)
Felicity Clear
Mary Cremin
Irina Gheorghe
David Lilburn
Kate MacDonagh (in association with Graphic Studio Dublin)
Paddy McCann
Cecilia Moore (in association with DCCI)
Jennie Moran
Abigail O’Brien (in association with Visual Artists Ireland)
Mick O’Shea and Irene Murphy (in association with Visual Artists Ireland)

The Rev. Liam Swords Foundation Bursary
This bursary provides financial support to a student from the Irish higher education sector to pursue his/her studies/research/training for three months based at Centre Culturel Irlandais. The recipients for 2021/2022 are Rosanne Gallenne, School of English, Drama & Film, University College Dublin, and Tracey Mc Carthy, Department of History, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

For more, visit


Music Generation has made four new appointments: Mairéad Duffy has been appointed LMEP (Local Music Education Partnership) Support Manager, Cecelia Molumby is now Communications & Marketing Officer, Aoife Ruth has been appointed Reporting & Analysis Manager, and Anita Butler is Finance & Administration Officer.

Mairéad Duffy graduated from the University of Ulster with a BMus Hons and a PGCE in Music Education. During her university years in Belfast she was a member of the Belfast Harp Orchestra, which recorded and toured with The Chieftains. She was the featured vocalist in many of these performances, performing at Milwaukee Irish Fest and Carnegie Hall. She studied choral conducting with Dr Doreen Rao and is a past chair of TOSINI – Teachers of Singing in Ireland. Duffy released her debut album Silver Tin House as a singer-songwriter in 2016. She is currently on a career break from St Patrick’s Academy where she has been Head of Music for the past twenty-four years. This career break enabled her to become the Music Development Officer for Music Generation Cavan/Monaghan from January 2019 to December 2020. She has extended her career break to pursue the role of LMEP Support Manager.

Cecelia Molumby received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Maynooth University, a Professional Diploma in Education from Trinity College Dublin, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Kodály Music Pedagogy from the Kodály Institute of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Hungary. She also holds an M. Phil. in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Trinity College Dublin in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London. Before joining Music Generation’s National Development Office, she worked in the Marketing Department of the Gaiety School of Acting. Prior to that, she held positions in the Marketing and PR Department of Wexford Festival Opera as well as the Education, Community and Outreach Department of the National Concert Hall.

Aoife Ruth is a researcher, educator and qualified psychotherapist. She holds a BA (Hons) in Politics and Sociology, a HDip in Psychology, and an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy. Her Master’s research focused on supporting musicians’ mental health. Aoife has over fifteen years’ experience working in the not-for-profit, charitable and public sectors. Prior to taking up her role as Reporting & Analysis Manager with Music Generation, she worked as a researcher in the public sector. She is a violinist/violist and keys player and has played with rock, indie and folk bands.

Anita Butler is Australian-Irish with a Bachelor Degree in English and Theatre Studies and a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Human Studies. She has several years’ experience working in operations and as a project officer for the Australian Government. She has also volunteered in arts organisations such as Screen Hub and performed in the Melbourne Fringe Theatre Festival. Anita has played violin from a young age and has performed in a number of bands over the years.



The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has appointed American conductor Kellen Gray as Assistant Conductor.

Gray joins the RSNO after serving as Assistant Conductor of South Carolina’s Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra. He will conduct a variety of the RSNO’s concerts and will play a role in engaging audiences and communities throughout Scotland as part of the orchestra’s Learning and Engagement work.

The RSNO Assistant Conductorship is a two-year post and benefits from the support of the Solti Foundation. RSNO Music Director Thomas Søndergård said: ‘It is my pleasure to welcome Kellen to the RSNO family. The standard of applicants this year was once again very high, and we were reminded of how competitive this position is by the international interest. Kellen impressed in his application, and audition, and we are looking forward to seeing him in action with the orchestra soon. This is of course an unprecedented time in music, but we have many good things to look forward to including a return to live concerts, seeing our audiences across Scotland, and of course a return to international touring to showcase Scottish talent.


For March 2021 appointments, see here. For the latest jobs and funding opportunities, see here.

Published on 7 April 2021

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