John Kinsella

(1932 - 2021)
John Kinsella
Eugene Langan

"Generally speaking, my style is very bold, but it has not the slightest tendency to subvert any of the constituent elements of art. The prevailing characteristics of my music are passionate expression, intense ardour, rhythmical animation and unexpected turns." Quotation: Berlioz. Aspiration: mine.

Born in Dublin in 1932, John Kinsella pursued two careers in artistic administration and in composition, until 1988 when he resigned from his position as Head of Music at RTÉ to fully devote his time to composition. He went on to compose eleven symphonies, a second violin concerto, a cello concerto and a fifth string quartet, and many solo and chamber works.

He has been commissioned by, among others, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin International Piano Competition and The Arts Council of Wales.

He composed an orchestral work to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. His Symphony No.10 was premiered in 2012 by The Irish Chamber Orchestra with conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy. His Symphony No. 11 was premiered by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Jean Deroyer, on 29 November 2019.

He received the Marten Toonder award for artists in 1979 and was a founding member of Aosdána in 1981. In 2019, he received the National Concert Hall (NCH) Lifetime Achievement Award. Some of his works are recorded on Chandos, Naxos, RTÉ lyric fm and Irish Chamber Orchestra labels.