Anne-Marie O’Farrell

(b. 1966)

The most important thing to me is a regard for the beauty of melody, the infectiousness of rhythm and the irresistibility of instrumental and harmonic colour. Beyond that, my favourite piece of advice about composing was received from James Wilson who in turn quoted from Alice in Wonderland: “Keep going until you get to the end. Then stop.”

Composer Anne-Marie O’Farrell has received many awards for original composition. She holds a PhD in composition at Queen’s University, Belfast where she studied with Piers Hellawell, a first class honours MA in composition from the NUI Maynooth and an honours BA,BMus from UCD. She has composed for a variety of instrumental and vocal media, and her compositions are featured on the higher examination grades of conservatory syllabuses around the world. She lectures in composition at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and for three years she was Composer in Residence at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Her works have been performed by the Ireland’s RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the University of Limerick Orchestra, the Co-Orchestra Dublin, the BBC Singers, Chamber Choir Ireland, the RTÉ ConTempo Quartet and numerous international solo artists. She is the winner of the BBC Baroque Remixed composition competition with her orchestral work, Rann Dó Trí, which was conducted by Charles Hazlewood at London’s Roundhouse and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and was a finalist in the international USA Sackler Composition Competition in Connecticut. Her choral work, Skimming Stones, has been recorded by the BBC Singers in Maida Vale Studios London, and its premiere in St Paul’s, Knightsbridge in London was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Numerous and wide ranging commissions include Music Network’s commission for a clarinet and harp work for performance by members of the Vienna Philharmonic, Dionysis Grammenos and Anneleen Lenaerts, and Deis Arts Council funding for the writing of original score of Cailleach: The Wilder Wisdom of Auld Ones with actor and storyteller Nuala Hayes. Her solo clarinet work, Ruach is featured on Volume 8 of the Contemporary Music Centre’s New Music from Ireland performed by Deirdre O’Leary.

She is regularly invited to give lecture recitals, workshops and masterclasses at festivals worldwide in addition to presenting regularly at international conferences and acting as jury member for competitions.