Derek Ball

Derek Ball
(b. 1949)

'Proust says it better than I could: "…et aussi parce qu’ils avaient l’air de cacher au-delà de ce que je voyais, quelque chose qu’ils invitaient à venir prendre et que malgré mes efforts je n’arrivais pas à découvrir. Comme je sentais que cela se trouvait en eux, je restais là, immobile, à regarder, à respirer, à tâcher d’aller avec ma pensée au-delà de l’image ou de l’odeur."'

Derek Ball
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Derek Ball was born in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and studied composition at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, with A. J. Potter and James Wilson. A founder member of the Association of Young Irish Composers, he was active as a composer in Ireland throughout the 1970s. During this time his music was performed by the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra and the Dublin Symphony Orchestra and at many Dublin Festivals of Twentieth Century Music.

Since moving to Scotland in 1978 he has largely concentrated on a career in medicine while continuing to compose and involve himself actively in musical life. He was the secretary and treasurer of the Scottish Society of Composers from 1991 to 2003. Retirement from medicine has allowed him to resume full-time composing. In recent years his pieces have been performed by pianist Owen Lorigan, clarinetist Paul Roe, violinist Leonie Curtin, cellist Marc Coppey, Unison (Glasgow University), Two’s Company, the Saltire Quartet (Edinburgh), Dublin Guitar Quartet, the Paragon, Argento and Crash Ensembles and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, among others. He was featured composer in one of the 2009 Horizons series concerts, which took place in the National Concert Hall in February 2009.

(biography © Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland)

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