Irish Heritage 2021/22 Music Bursary for Composition

Deadline: 31 January 2022 17:00

Irish Heritage is pleased to confirm that it’s Music Bursary for an original, classical music composition on an Irish theme by a young Irish composer based in Ireland or Britain will be awarded again this
academic year. The Bursary, which has a prize of £3,000, is open to young Irish composers of senior conservatoire or early career level up to the age of 30 studying at recognised music conservatoires and other colleges in Ireland and Britain.
Confirming that the Bursary would be awarded, Audrey McKenna, Artistic Director – Ireland of Irish Heritage said, “Since its formation in 1974 Irish Heritage has focused on the celebration and performance of classical and Irish music of the past, in the process encouraging and launching the careers of many now established Irish singers and musicians.

“We believe that we must continue to promote contemporary, classical music composition with Irish themes and nurture the composers of the music that will be performed by future generations. We are fortunate to have the funding that allows us to continue this exciting bursary. We hope it will attract interest and submissions from young Irish composers in both countries once again.”

The previous recipients of the Bursary are:

2018/19 Niall Tormey, NUI Maynooth, Ireland;
2019/20 Aran O’Grady, Guildhall School of Music, London.
2020/21 Éire Lavery, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Theme for 2021/22

2022 marks the centenary of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” – this 20 th century masterpiece, which was first published in Paris on Joyce’s birthday on 2nd February, brought the Dublin born author international fame. Given this special anniversary, Irish Heritage is inviting composers to take a short extract from “Ulysses” and arrange it for a male voice to be accompanied by either piano, Irish harp or classical guitar.

The conditions for submission of the new composition are as follows:

  • All submissions must be received by 31st January 2022. 
  • The age limit is 30 and composers must be first or second generation Irish.
  • Compositions must feature either piano, Irish harp or classical guitar.
  • Submitted pieces should not exceed 10 minutes. The duration of the work and the year of composition should be written on the score.
  • Composers submitting an entry should not have had more than five fully professional performances of their music within the last year. [Note: “fully professional performances” are those in which all the performers are regular professional performers -not teachers or fellow students for example, and are being paid a full fee for the performance, in a public context, with a royalty payable to the composer.  Many concerts in universities and colleges are therefore not ‘fully professional’ in this context.]
  • Compositions must be unpublished, they must not have won in any other contest and they must not have appeared on YouTube or any other website.
  • The submitted work must not have had a professional performance (see note above).
  • No published works may be submitted.
  • Only one piece may be submitted by a composer.
  • All submissions should be emailed in pdf format with an Mp4 file to: Submission Forms (see guidance below) and other accompanying documents must be emailed along with the scores (also as pdf files). If this is impossible then three paper copies of the score (preferably A4), along with the submission form may be posted to: Composition Bursary, Irish Heritage, Second Floor, 17 Short’s Gardens, London WC2H 9AT.
  • Composers are invited to send a pdf document of their musical background and experience, this information is not obligatory and will not influence the adjudicators’ decision.
  • The five shortlisted compositions will be notified by 15 th February 2021.
  • The adjudicators’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The adjudicators reserve the right not to award the bursary if they consider that no submitted works meet the required standard.
  • There is no submission fee.

The recipient of the successful composition will receive an award of £3,000 to be used in furthering their artistic and professional development. The award includes travel expenses associated with
attending the world premiere of the composition. Subject to government guidance, the composition will be premiered at an Irish Heritage event in London in the first half of 2022 which the composer is expected to attend.

For further details see attached pdf PDF iconih_-_music_bursary_for_composition_2021-22_announcement_invitation.pdf