'We don't just host a festival; we create a space where the new, the unknown and the unheard can flourish': New Music Dublin 2024 Programme Announced

A Winged Victory for the Sullen

'We don't just host a festival; we create a space where the new, the unknown and the unheard can flourish': New Music Dublin 2024 Programme Announced

This year's iteration of the contemporary music festival features US ambient duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Laura Bowler's 'ADVERT', a new work by Linda Buckley for Iarla Ó Lionáird and orchestra, a Diatribe stage with Barry Guy, Kirkos ensemble's 'Beginner’s Guide To Slow Travel' and more.

The programme for the 2024 New Music Dublin festival has been announced, taking place at the National Concert Hall from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 April and featuring 27 world premieres and 17 Irish premieres.

The festival returns with a wide range of music, from the US ambient duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen and the Irish premiere of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s A Prayer to the Dynamo, to a new work for Iarla Ó Lionáird and orchestra by Linda Buckley and the world premiere of a Raymond Deane work for Hugh Tinney.

There is also a duo concert by fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhriain and viola da gamba player Liam Byrne, concerts programmed by the record label Diatribe including a world premiere by Barry Guy, the Irish premiere of Kirkos ensemble’s Beginner’s Guide To Slow Travel, a concert by the new group Stone Drawn Circles, and a performance of British composer Laura Bowler’s major new work ADVERT.

Opening day
The festival begins with a Diatribe concert by Emmy-nominated Irish composer David Downes setting poetry by Adam Wyeth. Taking place on Thursday afternoon at 1pm, the concert’s performers include the renowned contemporary music pianist Rolf Hind. The Diatribe stage continues at 3pm with Ní Bhriain and Byrne performing new settings of music by Tommie Potts alongside other original works.

The opening orchestral concert on Thursday evening features Gavin Maloney conducting the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in performances of Deane’s new work Anaphora, the world premiere of Deirdre Gribbin’s Whispering Ogham, and a tribute to the late Kaija Saariaho with her work Aile du songe. The opening night also features ADVERT with Decoder ensemble and Bowler at 9pm, a work that is ‘an exploration of the self in the context of an increasingly tribalist society’, fusing music, multimedia and live tattooing. The final performance of the day is by Stone Drawn Circles (Lina Andonovska, Michelle O’Rourke, Caimin Gilmore, Úna Monaghan, Nathan Sherman and Alex Petcu) with new and recent works by Úna Monaghan, Karen Power, Brian Irvine, Cat Hope and Nicole Lizée.

Friday’s programme begins with Darragh Morgan (violin) and Mary Dullea (piano) and a ‘Gerald Barry in Focus’ concert at 1pm, followed by Crash Ensemble at 3pm performing works from their CrashWorks project, which this year explores ideas around sustainability and climate action.

The orchestral concert later that evening includes the world premiere of Linda Buckley’s Tuile agus Trá for Ó Lionáird and the NSO, the Irish premiere of Donnacha Dennehy’s Violin Concerto, which was first performed in the US in 2020 and on this occasion will be played by violinist Stephen Waarts. There will also be a performance of SLEEPTALKER by Robin Haigh, the 2023 recipient of the NCH Jerome Hynes Young Composer Award. The concert will be conducted by David Brophy.

At 9pm on Friday, the Diatribe stage continues with Nathan Sherman, Alex Petcu and Garrett Sholdice performing works by Nick Roth, Ann Cleare, Benjamin Dwyer and Siobhán Cleary, and the day concludes with the mother and daughter duo of Diamanda La Berge Dramm (violin) and Anne La Berge (flute and electronics).

From trumpets to climate
Saturday morning at 11am will feature a collaborative performance on the streets of Dublin by trumpeters from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Royal Academy of Music London and the Monochrome Project. They will perform Gerald Barry’s one-minute fanfare Trumpeter one-by-one on a route across the city from the Royal Irish Academy of Music to Dublin Castle, gathering for a performance of a new work by American composer David Lang at midday.

A regular and popular part of New Music Dublin will take place at 3pm at the NCH on Saturday – Brian Irvine’s Totally Made Up Orchestra. Musicians of all levels and ages are welcome to sign up. Another regular feature of NMD is the Chamber Choir Ireland concert at the Pepper Canister, which this year will feature works by David Fennessy, Tallis, Eoghan Desmond, Cassandra Miller and Gabriel Jackson.

At 6pm, composer Natalia Beylis will give the Irish premiere of her climate change inspired Around Here, The Birds Plant The Trees featuring Tola Custy (fiddle), Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh (viola), Eimear Reidy (cello) and Willie Stewart (percussion); and at 7pm, A Winged Victory for the Sullen (Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie) will perform a set on the main stage of the NCH, and the NSO under Daníel Bjarnason will also give the Irish premiere of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s A Prayer to the Dynamo, written shortly before the composer’s death in 2018.

Day three ends with a concert by Crash Ensemble at 9.30pm performing a world premiere by Canadian artist Bekah Simms, who was recently composer in residence with the group, and the Irish premiere of Finnish composer Antti Auvinen’s Boundary Bourrée.

Slow travel and Ireland’s boglands
The final day of the festival opens with Musici Ireland performing works by Amanda Feery, Linda Buckley, Deirdre Gribbin and Liam Bates to celebrate the launch of the ensemble’s new CD. This is followed at 1pm by a performance by the youth choirs Cór na nÓg and Cor Linn with works by Gracie Gilmarti, Ferdia Ó Cairbre and Ollie Lambert.

Kirkos perform Beginner’s Guide to Slow Travel at 3pm, a climate change inspired collaborative piece that premiered at Huddersfield in November. Evlana Sinfonietta will perform works on the NCH main stage by inti figgis-vizueta, Ryan Molloy, Rhona Clarke (a world premiere), Karin Rehnqvist and Claude Vivier at 5pm, and, at 7pm, Crash will give the world premiere of Ann Cleare’s TERRARIUM, a piece that explores the evolving geological strata of Ireland’s boglands.

The festival ends with the final Diatribe concert, featuring world premieres by Nick Roth, Olesya Zdorovetska, Izumi Kimura, and Barry Guy, followed by a performance by multi-award winning composer and turntablist Mariam Rezaei.

Throughout the festival, there will also be installations by Diamanda La Berge Dramm and Scott McLaughlin, and the NMDX international new music networking programme will be run by the Contemporary Music Centre.

Commenting on this year’s programme, festival director John Harris said:

Our aim is to celebrate creativity in its most unadulterated forms, showcasing works that are as unpredictably brilliant as the minds of their creators. We don’t just host a festival; we create a space where the new, the unknown, and the unheard can flourish. Our programme is a testament to the vibrant creativity alive in Ireland and around the world, offering something truly new for everyone.

Concert prices range from €10 to €32.50, and packages for groups of concerts are available.

For full details and booking, visit www.newmusicdublin.ie.

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Published on 19 February 2024

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