Donal Sarsfield named winner of 2018 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition
Cork International Choral Festival has announced Donal Sarsfield as the winner of the 2018 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition. The judging panel consisted of Paul Hillier, Artistic Director and Conductor of Chamber Choir Ireland, and composers Rhona Clarke and Andrew Hamilton. Chamber Choir Ireland performs the world premiere of Donal’s piece A Grain in the Balance at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral on Friday 20th April at 7.30pm.
Donal Sarsfield was born in County Mayo and completed a MusM and PhD in Electroacoustic Composition at the University of Manchester. During his PhD, Donal composed pieces which focused on one particular sound, such as clapping or snare drums, with the aim of increasing a sense of awareness about listening and sound.
“I am delighted to have been chosen for the O’Riada competition. Having attended Cork Choral Festival before, it has a particular energy which is infectious and it is a pleasure to be invited back when the city will be filled with so many incredible voices. Hearing my piece performed by Chamber Choir Ireland is also an honour which I will enjoy more than words can express. Although winning is a boost for the confidence, when I sent the score in the post I felt somehow that I had already won; can anybody imagine a greater prize than music in one’s life?”
The Seán Ó Riada Competition was created in 1972 to celebrate the creative life and work of Seán Ó Riada (1931-1971). It is open to all composers who were born or currently reside in Ireland, and both established and emerging composers are welcome. Winning works are featured at the Seminar on New Choral Music and be premiered, as stated above, during the Cork Choral Festival. Previous winners of the competition include Solfa Carlile, Rhona Clarke, Patrick Connolly, Frank Corcoran, Séamus de Barra, Eoghan Desmond, Amanda Feery, Michael Holohan, Marian Ingoldsby, Kevin O’Connell, and more.