The programme for the New Music Dublin 2023 festival has been announced, including performances from four choirs, three orchestras and four ensembles, as well as solo concerts, workshops, live podcast recordings and a delegates' programme.
The line-up offers 20 world premieres, with work from internationally-recognised Irish composers, including Donnacha Dennehy, Ann Cleare, Linda Buckley, Andrew Hamilton, David Fennessy, Kevin Volans, Karen Power, Brian Irvine, Amanda Feery, Áine Mallon, Susan Geaney and Jenn Kirby, plus many others.
Taking place from 20th - 23rd April 2023, venues include the National Concert Hall, Richmond Barracks, Merrion Square, St. Ann's Church, the Windmill Quarter and the Sugar Club; as well as live performances there will be festival-long installations, workshops, live podcast recordings and the annual NMDX international new music international networking programme.
New Music Dublin regulars Crash Ensemble take to the stage on the opening day of NMD 2023 with a programme of solo works by Crash founder Donnacha Dennehy, alongside the World Premiere of Limina – a piano chamber concerto written for pianist Eliza McCarthy.
Crash return on Friday 21st April for a performance of five world premieres, marking the culmination of Crash Works - a two-year commission and development hub for composers offered by the ensemble in partnership with New Music Dublin. Their work comes to fruition in a musical programme inspired by everything from sleep patterns to the natural environment, climbing, auditory systems, parallel happenings and the frequency of instruments in printed word.
Elsewhere, the National Symphony Orchestra will present two world premieres at New Music Dublin; Amanda Feery's My Year of Rest and Relaxation, and Ann Cleare’s MIDHE, performed by solo voices, accordion, choir and orchestra; the programme opens with Seóirse Bodley's kaleidoscopic masterwork A Small White Cloud Drifts Over Ireland, celebrating the composer's 90th birthday. Elsewhere, the ever-popular (and completely bonkers) any-age-any-instrument-any-ability collective the Totally Made up Orchestra return under the direction of Brian Irvine to perform FAT CHAIR I in the NCH, alongside the NSO conducted by David Brophy.
On Sunday evening, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted by Gavin Maloney, present a programme that examines humanity's fragile relationship with nature, including two world premieres: Brett Dean's Testament is a depiction of Beethoven’s anguish as he began to fall deaf, while Kevin Volans’s Piano Concerto No. 4b features Irish pianist Isabelle O’Connell. The evening ends with Karen Power’s new commission inspired by a research trip to the South Pole - an evocation of Antarctica’s wild and remote landscape, incorporating live performance, recorded audio and visuals.
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Listen to the New Music Dublin 2023 playlist, via Spotify
One of the world's leading current music groups, Ensemble Modern, will be joined by 3rd level student performers from across Ireland to close the festival with the Irish premiere of composer David Fennessy’s Open Ground, paired with Hans Zender's open form Modelle für variable Besetzung.
Festival Director John Harris said: "New music is important for the connections it makes – not only with friends, families and colleagues, but also musically - to others' lives and thoughts and experiences. And so it is with New Music Dublin: this a-livest of live festivals is every year a broad, sprawling and terribly incomplete snapshot of new music from the island of Ireland and beyond – but it is also a buzzing hive of real-life connections with the composers, music creators and all the performers who are presenting here."
Additional highlights include:
-Pioneering chamber group Evlana take to the stage with a thrilling programme that includes the world premiere of Jenn Kirby’s Surrounding, alongside works from two of the most exciting composers on the New York scene today— Pamela Z and Missy Mazzoli.
-Festival favourites Cór na Nóg and Cór Linn perform the Irish premiere of Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard, composed to celebrate the life of a young man cut short by hate and violence.
-Jurgen Simpson performs Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt’s 1977 composition Canto Ostinato with a hypnotic new rendering for live electronics.
-Dublin's Richmond Barracks in Inchicore is the historic setting for Great Women, a concert of works written and presented by remarkable women. Performed by Irish soprano Elizabeth Hilliard, the programme is built around Great Women by Gráinne Mulvey.
-Chamber Choir Ireland with Guest Director Sofi Jeannin present Poets, Passion and Peace, a concert of contemporary works on the theme of peace, bringing together pieces by Irish, French, and Swedish composers employing texts from some of the greatest poets and writers across the centuries.
-In a late-evening concert, Irish electronic legend Roger Doyle presents extracts from his acclaimed work iGIRL, exploring female grief, sorrow and sacrifice through the voices of mythological and historical characters Joan of Arc, Oedipus and Antigone.
Karen Power will be hosting the Natural Creators workshops, in association with Quiet Music Ensemble, exploring sound, creativity and music from the ground up for kids aged 2-6 years old
Robert Curgenven’s Baile Átha Cliath Pailliún Aeir i bhFoirm Oscailte (Dublin Open Form Pavilion of Air) is an audio work - using a mobile phone, the Echoes app and headphones, the audio work is presented as a Pavilion without walls - a roof made from sound - in Merrion Square.
New Music Dublin 2023 runs at various venues across the capital from 20th - 23rd April 2023- find out more about this year's programme here.