New Music Dublin Announces 2022 Programme
Ireland’s largest contemporary music festival, New Music Dublin, has announced its 2022 programme. The four-day event will take place from from Thursday 28 April to Sunday 1 May and features 39 world premieres and 10 Irish premieres in 25 concerts in the National Concert Hall and other venues such as Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle.
The opening night (28 April) will feature the Irish premiere of Jennifer Walshe’s PERSONHOOD, a work exploring what personhood means when our every moment is surveilled, mined and monetised by electronic devices. Performed by Oslo Sinfonietta and accordionist Andreas Borregaard, the piece sees the orchestra surround Borregaard and subject him to a range of tests and procedures. It was first performed at the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.
The opening day of New Music Dublin also features a concert by Nathan Sherman and Alex Petcu to launch their new CD Totemic on the Ergodos label; a Choral Sketches programme featuring Chamber Choir Ireland with works by David Bremner, Kerry Hagan and Peter Moran; and Jill Richards and composer Kevin Volans performing the latter’s piano études, marking the launch of a new Diatribe CD, and including the world premiere of a new duet Vanishing Point.
At 10pm in the Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle on Thursday, Ergodos will also present the vocal ensemble Tonnta performing a range of works including a newly commissioned work by Síobhra Quinlan titled The Hunter, The Mourning Dove & The Thieved Throat.
On day two at the NCH (Friday 29 April), the National Symphony Orchestra will perform the Irish premieres of In Memoriam Maharishi Mahesh Yogi by Benjamin Dwyer and Rebecca Saunders’ trumpet concerto Alba, as well as the late Louis Andriessen’s Anachronie I. New group Ensemble Interforma, led by violinist Sarah Sew, and musicians from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris will also perform Irish premieres by Bastien David (L’impatiente) and David Fennessy (Panopticon).
Friday begins at the NCH with a concert of works by Frank Corcoran, Rhona Clarke and Elaine Agnew performed by Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble at 12.30pm, followed by Crash Ensemble at 2pm performing five world premieres by Laura Hyland, Anselm McDonnell, Úna Monaghan, Amy Rooney and Yue Song Dao Ying, and then at 4.30pm the concert launch of three albums (Cryptoqueen, A Good Onion, and Rockpools) from the Irish Composers’ Collective.
Later that evening, at 9.45pm in the Kevin Barry Room at the NCH, Ergodos present Avenue Azure, a duo featuring Netherlands-based musicians Pete Harden (guitar) and Saskia Lankhoorn (piano and voice). At 11pm, violinist Diamanda La Berge Dramm, artist in residence with Crash Ensemble, will perform Songs from the Brain Book, a collection of sonic spaces based on texts by Steven J. Fowler.
On Saturday 30 April, Chamber Choir Ireland at Christ Church Cathedral will present a concert of works by Steve Martland (Sea Songs), John Frandsen (weather4casts: 4 seasons in 4 movements) and John Luther Adams (A Brief Descent into Deep Time). Also taking place the same day is BrassFest at Dublin Castle featuring a range of new works for brass quintet; Irene Murphy, Natalia Beylis and Óscar Mascareñas performing their Landscape Series; and a world premiere by George Higgs titled Music for 5 Silent Poems that features sign language. The work includes five gestural poems for a signer to perform with an accompanying score for trombonist, pianist, double bassist and sampler.
Also on Saturday at the NCH, at 5pm, Crash Ensemble will present two world premieres, Emma O’Halloran’s What I Was Gonna Say, and Sam Perkin’s Children in the Universe, which marks the culmination of his time as composer in residence with the group. Saturday night concludes with a Diatribe label jazz triple bill featuring Roamer (Lauren Kinsella, Matthew Halpin, Ruth Golle and Matthew Jacobson), Shane Latimer on guitar and electronics, and BigSpoon (Chris Engel, Darragh O’Kelly, Shane O’Donovan and Matthew Jacobson).
O’Connell and McHale
The final day of the festival (Sunday 1 May) features a record fair from Ireland’s independent record labels in the foyer of the NCH, plus the NARLI (National Association of Record Labels of Ireland) AGM, a performance featuring representatives from all labels. There is also a concert featuring the youth choirs Cór na nÓg and Cór Linn with a set of four pieces by Peter Leavy and two by choir members Esther Adanikin and Ferdia Ó Cairbre; the finale of NCH Creative Lab, a programme for young artists from traditionally underrepresented groups; and, at 5.30pm in the NCH, pianist Isabelle O’Connell will give a concert of works by Nina C. Young, Linda Buckley, Ann Cleare, Chris Cerrone, Donnacha Dennehy and a world premiere, Whirligig, by Siobhán Cleary.
At 7.30pm on the main stage of the NCH, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra under Gavin Maloney, with pianist Michael McHale, will perform four world premieres including Garrett Sholdice’ Prelude No. 12, Stephen Gardner’s Deliverance, Ailís Ní Ríain’s Flower Scar Road, and Andrew Synnott’s Waiting for Elvira.
The final concerts on Sunday night feature Crash Ensemble and Diamanda La Berge Dramm performing a reimagined version of her Songs from the Brain Book by composer Barry O’Halpin; and Colm O’Hara’s 10tet will close the event with a concert of new music for improvising large ensemble.
Screenings, installations and conference
Throughout the four days there will also be screenings of works from the Contemporary Music Centre’s recent Ulysses Journey project; an installation by video artist and filmmaker Jack Phelan responding to the themes of Barry O’Halpin’s 2021 work Wingform (premiered at last year’s NMD); screenings of the [REACTIONS] films created by Crash Ensemble, Laura Sheeran and Adrian Hart; and Hauntology, which features tape pieces composed by Irish Composers Collective members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Contemporary Music Centre will also host the annual NMDX conference, a networking event for representatives from international festivals, venues and broadcasters.
Commenting on the programme, New Music Dublin Festival Director John Harris said:
It’s truly wonderful that, after the fully digital festival in 2021, we are all able to be gathered, live and in person, to celebrate the making of new music together again, and to be a part of all of the diversity, breadth, range and depth that Irish new music has. We know that there will be a whole raft of different emotions at this return to being ‘in the room’, after everything that we have all gone through recently, and our hope is that somewhere in amongst all the world premieres, Irish premieres, multiple repeat listens and everything else that is going on in the 25 concerts of the festival, you will find expressions for at least some of them. If music is about anything, it is about this; that someone, somewhere has experienced the emotions that you have, and to recognise that in that, we are all connected. It will be very, very good to be all together again.
New Music Dublin is presented in partnership with the Arts Council, the National Concert Hall, Culture Ireland and RTÉ. Selected concerts will be livestreamed on social media.