RTÉ lyric fm 20th Birthday Commission Competition

RTÉ lyric fm 20th Birthday Commission Competition

RTÉ lyric fm will celebrate its' 20th birthday in 2019 with three newly commissioned works, to be performed live by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir at a gala concert on May 1st. We're therefore inviting composers who were born or are living in Ireland for their submissions using the text below, and we have a total prize fund of €14,000 available for the winning categories. 

Commissions and prize money will be offered in the following categories:

  • A 10-15 minute Irish harp concerto in three movements for soloist Máire Ni Chathasaigh and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra €10,000
  • A 4-5 minute a cappella work for the SATB choir.€2000
  • A 4-5 minute work for the 8 cellos of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra €2000

* No composer may write a winning work in more than one category

RTÉ lyric fm is passionate about communicating the joy and power of music to all of its listeners. Whether you are listening on beach in Donegal, on a farm in West Cork, up a mountain in Kerry or in a Dublin café, the music we play can transcend the moment. We broadcast orchestral and chamber music concerts from around the world and enable the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra reach every corner of Ireland via our live Friday night broadcasts. It does not matter if you are life-long aficionado of classical music, have come to it through film and gaming soundtracks or are new to the genre, on lyric we want to play music that will keep you listening.

Entrants should think about creating melodic, accessible new compositions that will engage the lyric listener and that can ultimately, after its premiere performance, be recorded in studio for repeat broadcast on the station’s prime time programmes. The text for to be set for SATB voices that will be performed by the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir is below. Thematically, Though There are Torturers expresses the universality of music in a way that chimes perfectly with the motivation for this competition. 

Though There are Torturers, by Michael Coady

Though there are torturers in the world
There are also musicians.
Though, at this moment,
Men are screaming in prisons,
There are jazzmen raising storms
Of sensuous celebration,
And orchestras releasing
Glories of the Spirit.

Though the image of God
Is everywhere defiled,
A man in West Clare
Is playing the concertina,
The Sistine Choir is levitating
Under the dome of St. Peter’s,
And a drunk man on the road
Is singing, for no reason.

Oven Lane and Other Poems  by kind permission of Gallery Press

All entrants must submit approximately 1 minute of their proposed score, a 200 word outline of their work and a detailed musical CV including MP3/ WAV audio to support you submission. Submissions should demonstrate a clear ability to write for the forces of their chosen composition. The competition is open to all composers born or resident in Ireland. Award winners must be available to attend the rehearsals and premiere performance in person. Three hard copies of each of these documents must be posted by 5pm on Friday 7th September 2018 to: 

RTÉ lyric fm, 20th Anniversary Competition
Top Floor
Cornmarket Square
Limerick 
Ireland

Listen below as Ellen Cranitch talks to Máire Ní Chathasaigh about the Irish harp - its strengths and limitations when considering it as an instrument in an orchestral setting. 

The submissions will be judged by Ellen Cranitch, Shaun Davey, Anthony Long, Mark Hindley & Una Ní Chanainn. The adjudicators’ decision is final.

(Pictured L-R RTÉ Director General Dee Frobes, harpist Máire Ní Chathasaigh and presenter Ellen Cranitch (lyric presenter and adjudicator; and above with Station Head Aodán O Dubhghaill)

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