RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland in association with RTÉ lyric fm announce composers selected for Composer Lab 2020

Composer Lab - a collaborative approach to developing and expanding composers’ creativity

Adam McCartney, Seán Ó Dálaigh, Rachael Lavelle, Judith Ring

The Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland (CMC) and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (RTÉ NSO), in association with RTÉ lyric fm, are delighted to announce the composers selected to participate in the fifth year of Composer Lab. The successful applicants for Composer Lab 2020 are Rachael Lavelle, Adam McCartney, Seán Ó Dálaigh, and Judith Ring.

Composer Lab is aimed at composers who wish to write for Symphony Orchestra and focuses on providing these composers with a creative and open environment to deepen their experience in writing for symphonic forces, under the mentorship of composer David Fennessy.

“As we enter our fifth iteration of Composer Lab, I am more inspired than ever by the possibilities of what a symphony orchestra can be and am gobsmacked by what the Lab composers produce. Every time, with every composer, the journey is unique, drawing together contrasting backgrounds and musical inputs, coalescing them into a singular vision expressed on the largest canvas imaginable. The results are as diverse and remarkable as the people that produce them and I can’t wait to start the journey once again.” 

-David Fennessy

The four composers now begin work on their compositions (6–8 minutes in length) in preparation for a one-to-one mentoring session in the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland with mentor composer David Fennessy in late February 2020.

This will be followed by an orchestral workshop with section principals of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in May 2020. Here, the composers learn how to work with a large symphony orchestra and acquire the skills necessary to adapt and assimilate orchestral requirements into their compositions. They also receive guidance and advice from the RTÉ NSO and CMC team on preparing and presenting their final scores.

On 15 July 2020, the four composers will participate in a workshop that will be open to the public. Each composer will receive the opportunity to work with the full orchestra in a workshop facilitated by mentor composer David Fennessy and conducted by Gavin Maloney.

Composer Lab 2020 will culminate in a public performance of the composers’ works performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Gavin Maloney, in a radio and online broadcast live from the RTÉ Radio Centre in November 2020 on RTÉ lyric fm’s Blue of the Night with Bernard Clarke. This performance will be open to the public.

The final performance of Composer Lab 2019 was broadcast on RTÉ lyric FM’s Blue Of the Night programme. This broadcast won the silver award for Irish Programme or Initiative at the IMRO Radio Awards 2019. You can view last year’s broadcast here.