Dave Flynn

(b. 1977)
© John Kelly 2017

An igloo looks radically different to a modern house, yet an igloo is a house. Therefore, are all houses not igloos?

Praised in the New York Times for the “power and grittiness” of his music, composer Dave Flynn has redefined the possibilities of orchestral music by creating the cross-genre Irish Memory Orchestra, a “formidable collective of musicians” (The Irish Times) who are the first and only orchestra in the Western world to perform exclusively by memory.

He works with some of the world's best musicians across several genres and his music is acclaimed internationally.​ He is also a virtuoso guitarist who has toured worldwide.

2017 marked Dave Flynn's 40th birthday year with events around the world including a tour of Japan, the premiere of his Memory Symphony by the Irish Memory Orchestra in Dublin and the release of 'Genre Jumping' on Frisbee Records.

Recent work includes being the first Composer-in-Residence at Ireland's state guest-house Farmleigh and the ground-breaking world premiere of 'The Vision Symphony' by the Irish Memory Orchestra and 26 blind/vision-impaired musicians in glór.

Flynn's music has been performed in prestigious venues including MoMa (New York), Moscow Cathedral and Ireland's National Concert Hall. He has featured in performances of his own music in Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and all over Europe including Germany, the UK, Russia, Estonia, Romania, France, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

His compositions have been performed by ensembles including the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, New Juilliard Ensemble, Smith Quartet, Vanbrugh Quartet, ConTempo Quartet, Dublin Guitar Quartet and RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

He also regularly collaborates with some of the most renowned traditional Irish musicians, these have included Liz Carroll, Paddy Glackin, Tommy Peoples, Mick O'Brien & Máirtín O'Connor.

His music, published by Mel Bay, Reed Music and Frisbee Publications, is regularly featured by broadcasters around the world including WNYC's John Schaefer, who dedicated a special edition of New Sounds to Flynn's work in 2009.

Awards: Dave is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2016 Eamonn Ceannt Commission, 2004 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Composers' Award, the 2002 IMRO/Feis Ceoil Composition Award and multiple grants from the Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland.

​Performer: As a performer Dave Flynn is “a masterful guitarist” (Sing Out) who has toured internationally. He plays a nylon string guitar custom made by the German Luthier Friederike Linscheid. He made his conducting debut with the Irish Memory Orchestra in 2017.

Academic: He has a distinguished career as a music academic, holding a PhD from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama for his much cited thesis 'Traditional Irish Music: A Path to New Music' (2011). His writings have been published by The Journal of Music, RTÉ, The Irish Times & Na Piobairí Uilleann.

Summer 2020 saw the publication of Flynn's Complete Solo Guitar Works by Mel Bay.

Autumn 2020 saw the world premiere of 'E-Bow' a work for electric guitar and string quartet, commissioned by the Galway Music Residency for Dave to perform with the ConTempo Quartet.

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