RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Centre announce composers selected for Composer Lab 2019

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

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with the Contemporary Music Centre, is delighted to announce the composers selected to participate in the fourth year of Composer Lab. The successful applicants for Composer Lab 2019 are Peter Fahey, Kerry Hagan, Daniel McDermott and Sam Perkin.

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.

Congratulating the participants, Anthony Long, General Manager, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra & RTÉ Philharmonic Choir said:

Composer Lab is an important development project on which the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is delighted to collaborate with the Contemporary Music Centre. There are many challenges facing contemporary composers, a major one being access to the resource of a professional orchestra in order to hone the craft of writing for orchestral forces. We are pleased to provide composers with the opportunity of writing for a full symphonic orchestra. We look forward to working with David and the 2018–2019 participants and to presenting their work in public workshop and performance. In this case, the journey is every bit as important as the final destination.

Evonne Ferguson, Director of The Contemporary Music Centre said:

The Contemporary Music Centre is delighted to partner again with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra to offer this unique professional development opportunity. Composer Lab is an essential programme in the nurturing of compositional talent, enabling composers with limited experience of writing large scale works to reach their artistic potential, under the expert mentorship of composer David Fennessy.

CMC and the RTÉ NSO were delighted with the response this year, both in terms of the volume and quality of applications, making it a very difficult process to select four composers from the applications received. Three of those selected are represented by CMC, and one composer selected this year is not represented by CMC. Another innovation this year is the inclusion of electronics as an option in Composer Lab compositions. We’re very much looking forward to hearing the musical results.

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 with mentor composer David Fennessy in December 2018.

This is followed by an orchestral workshop with section principals of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in February 2019. 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 Monday, 1st April 2019, the four composers participate in a workshop that will be open to the public. Each composer receives the opportunity to work with the full orchestra in a workshop facilitated by mentor composer David Fennessy and conducted by Gavin Maloney.

Composer Lab 2019 culminates with a public performance of the composers’ works performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Gavin Maloney, on Tuesday, 28 May 2019.