Jacqueline Fletcher Wins Finding A Voice 2023 Emerging Composer Competition

Finding a Voice and the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland are delighted to announce Jacqueline Fletcher as the winner of the 2023 competition for Emerging Composers.

Finding a Voice’s Artistic Director Róisín Maher says:

We had our largest ever number of entries this year for the emerging composer competition and it was wonderful to be able to partner up with the Contemporary Music Centre yet again to offer shortlisted candidates a viola workshop with Nathan Sherman and mentorship from Dr Judith Ring. I know that it was very difficult to draw up a shortlist and then even more difficult to select a piece for performance. I’m absolutely delighted at Jackie’s success and excited to hear the work performed live next month.

Evonne Ferguson, Director, Contemporary Music Centre, adds:

It’s an honour to partner with Finding a Voice for this competition and the complementary workshop programme and mentoring that offer an essential annual professional development opportunity for emerging women composers in Ireland. Warmest congratulations to Jacqueline Fletcher from all of us at CMC. We are looking forward to hearing this new work in March.

Jacqueline Fletcher is a Co. Galway based composer, music educator and viola player who has lived in Ireland since 2001. She has a degree in music from Manchester University and an MA in Composition from Maynooth University. She has written works for Ficino Ensemble and Crash Ensemble and is a member of the Irish Composer’s Collective. She currently works with Music Generation Galway in addition to teaching privately. Her work song of the weeping ice for viola and tape evokes the atmosphere of a glacial ice cave: a place of eerie and otherworldly beauty. The cave is still and silent, but for the sound of dripping water – a sound that increasingly becomes more threatening as we realise its significance: the glacier is melting.

Jacqueline adds:

I am thrilled to have my piece chosen as winner of this year’s competition, and am most grateful to Finding a Voice, CMC and Judith Ring for this opportunity. It was fantastic to have the chance to write a piece for Nathan and I’m very much looking forward to hearing him perform it.

Independent adjudicator for the competition was the CMC-represented composer Dr Judith Ring, who writes:

Congratulations to all the composers on submitting such terrific pieces for this competition! It has been an incredibly difficult task to single one out for the concert in March. I was very impressed by the quality of the pieces, and hope that all the composers enjoyed the process and are happy that they now have a new piece to put out into the world at some stage. Everyone who submitted a piece is a winner in my book!

Renowned Dublin-based American viola player Nathan Sherman who will première the piece in March adds:

This is so exciting! There was a very high standard of entries this year, and any one of them could have won this competition. I am delighted that Jacqueline's piece will be included in the programme, and I look forward to performing what looks like a unique and interesting work.

Jacqueline’s piece will receive its world premiere on Saturday 11 th March in Clonmel in Nathan Sherman’s concert with percussionist Alex Petcu as part of Finding a Voice 2023. The programme will also include the world premire of Siobhán Cleary’s Sheherazade: Tales of the Trickster (2022), for viola, percussion, and electronics, alongside works by Rebecca Saunders, Áine Mallon, Kate Moore and Missy Mazzoli.

Finding a Voice runs from Wednesday 8 th to Sunday 12 th March 2023 in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. For further information on Finding a Voice, visit findingavoice.ie