CMC Composers Ed Bennett, Shaun Davey and Andrew Hamilton Elected to Aosdána

Via THE JOURNAL OF MUSIC, published: 27 March 2024. See original article here.

Shaun Davey, Andrew Hamilton and Ed Bennett Elected to Aosdána

Composers elected at the 42nd General Assembly of the affiliation of Irish artists.

It has been announced that composers Shaun Davey, Andrew Hamilton and Ed Bennett have been elected to Aosdána.

The composers were among eight new members elected at the organisation’s 42nd General Assembly at the Hibernia Centre, Dublin Castle, yesterday (26 March). The full list of artists elected included writers Paul Lynch and Catherine Dunne, architects Louise Lowe and Roisin Heneghan, and painter Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

Aosdána honours artists who have made a significant contribution to the arts in Ireland, and also supports them financially to allow them dedicate their time to their work. Membership is limited to 250 and includes artists working in a wide range of disciplines including architecture, choreography, music, literature and visual art.

Among the members are composers: Roger Doyle, Gerald Barry, Jane O’Leary Raymond Deane, Elaine Agnew, Donnacha Dennehy, Bill Whelan, Jennifer Walshe, Kevin Volans, Linda Buckley, Benjamin Dwyer, John Buckley, Dónal Lunny, Rhona Clarke, Siobhán Cleary, Frank Corcoran, Éibhlís Farrell, Ronan Guilfoyle, John McLachlan, Jerome de Bromhead, Ciarán Farrell, Michael Holohan, Fergus Johnston, Trevor Knight, Philip Martin, Gráinne Mulvey, Kevin O'Connell, Jane O'Leary, Colman Pearce, Ian Wilson and Stephen Gardner*.

New members

Shaun Davey is best known for The Brendan Voyage, composed for uilleann pipes and orchestra, and works such as Granuaile and The Deer’s Cry also combine traditional and classical elements. Davey composed the Special Olympics anthem, ‘May We Never Have to Say Goodbye’, and his work in theatre and film has been recognised by two BAFTA nominations, an Ivor Novello Award and, on Broadway, by a Tony nomination. His latest work, Refuge, a suite for cello and orchestra, was composed during the pandemic and premiered at the National Concert Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra in 2023. His recordings include The Brendan Voyage, The Pilgrim, Granuaile, The Relief of Derry Symphony, and Voices from the Merry Cemetery, all on Tara Records, as well as the soundtracks to Waking Ned, Ballykissangel, and The Tailor of Panama.

Andrew Hamilton, from Dublin, has composed for a range of artists, ensembles and companies including Irish National Opera, Alarm Will Sound, Manchester Collective, Crash Ensemble and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. His Friendly Piece was given its world premiere by Crash Ensemble at New Music Dublin in 2023, and his short online opera erth upon erth, performed by Sinéad Campbell Wallace, featured as part of INO’s 20 Shots of Opera in 2020. In 2018, NMC released his album, music for people, which included his work music for people who like art (2010), and in 2020 Ergodos released Joy, his album of works for voice and violin. In 2017, Hamilton won a British Composer Award for his choral work Proclamation of the Republic, commissioned by EXAUDI and James Weeks. He was recently composer in residence with Crash Ensemble and currently teaches at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

From Bangor, Co. Down, Ed Bennett’s music includes orchestral works, ensemble pieces, solo works, electronic music, opera, and works for dance and film. Recent works include Psychedelia for the National Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Adès, Ausland for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Reinbert de Leeuw, and performances at the Lincoln Centre, Carnegie Hall and London’s Southbank Centre. He recently released Strange Waves with Kate Ellis on the Ergodos label, and this was preceded by Gold​.​Berg​.​Werk with Xenia Pestova Bennett, Psychedelia, Togetherness with the Decibel ensemble, of which he is Artistic Director, and My Broken Machines. He was recently awarded the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Major Individual Artist Award.

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*Publisher's Note: This article by JOURNAL OF MUSIC was updated by CMC to include all registered CMC Composers who are members of Aosdána (as of March 2024).