Read some profiles of our recent graduates below to get a feel for their experience in the Music Department in Trinity College as well as finding out what they are currently working on.
"I remember at first feeling inspired by the beautiful architecture and surrounding grounds of the campus itself, like entering an oasis of calm, a sanctuary in the middle of the bustling city. Then discovering exciting new music and ways of thinking about sound from lecturers at the time, Donnacha Dennehy and Dermot Furlong in particular. I also treasured the sense of community I found at the Music and Media Technologies Masters course. Many of the students had come from a diverse range of backgrounds, all walks of life, and I learned so much from their ideas and differences. I came from a Music degree background, especially rooted in instrumental composing and ethnomusicology - suddenly I was introduced to a whole new world of electronic music, expanding out to the visual arts and mixed media. This had a major impact on the work that I went on to explore after my studies. I then completed a doctorate in Composition, which allowed me to focus on honing my skills in both instrumental and electroacoustic writing. I’ve just returned from London where I was having a piece of mine Fall Approaches performed for string orchestra and electronics, by an Australian chamber orchestra Ruthless Jabiru. The piece is all about Icelandic landscape and darkness coming into the change of seasons, so it was very appropriate timing to have this played within the atmospheric setting of Union Chapel. Just before that I was in New York, for Fall for Dance Festival, performing a new work with the dancer Colin Dunne, with string quartet and live electronics. I look forward now to embarking on new composing work for upcoming commissions, for the Crash Ensemble, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra with Philharmonic Choir, and the AXA International Piano Competition."
Born in 1987, David Coonan is an Irish composer currently based in London. His work is driven by a notion of creative recycling, and his all-embracing musical curiosity has led to a body of compositions mindful of many diverse musical influences. From the Horn Trios of Brahms and Ligeti, to the ballads of Edith Piaf, his work plays on, and plays with, the many different musical ideas, works, genres, and styles that excite his imagination.
His works have been performed by, amongst others, the London Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RAM Manson Ensemble, EXAUDI vocal ensemble, the Choir of the Chapels Royal HM Tower of London, and Belfast city organist Colm Carey, and with conductors including Gavin Maloney, Maxime Tortelier, François-Xavier Roth, and Elgar Howarth. Current projects include works for Vivre Musicale, the Pythagoras Ensemble (UK), and a new orchestral piece for the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
He was a featured composer in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Horizons’ Series in January 2015; this saw the premiere of his Sarcasms for orchestra, an RTÉ commission, and his violin concerto Träumerei, with soloist Kristine Balanas, in a portrait concert at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, and was subsequently broadcast on RTÉ Lyric fm. He is a member of the Association of Irish Composers, the Irish Composers Collective, and the London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub community. He is currently composer-in-residence to Vivre Musicale as well as BBC Symphony Orchestra / Sound and Music Embedded composer in residence for 2015-16. In 2014 he was awarded an artist bursary by Kildare County Council, which saw him take up a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. Recently he was awarded a 16x16: Next Generation Bursary Award by the Irish Arts Council, as part of their celebrations of the 1916 Easter Rising Centenary.
He studied at Trinity College Dublin with Donnacha Dennehy, and pursued further composition studies with Christopher Austin at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with funds provided by the Irish Arts Council and the Arts & Humanities Research Council UK. He graduated with Distinction and the DipRAM award for outstanding final portfolio in 2011.
Elis seeks to create music that is both void of structure and procedure. His music is that of a world created by the exploration of sound itself. He believes nothing is more important than the instrument and the range of timbres that can be obtained from it. His scores employ graphic notations, which abolish form and give the performer freedom to make their own choices. The use of unusual instrumental, organic and electronic sounds make up the diverse palette in which he draws his material from.
The thoughts and ideas of composers such as Morton Feldman, Luigi Nono and Horatiu Radulescu play a big role in his work as a composer. Elis holds a degree in music from Trinity College Dublin, a masters in music from the Royal College of Music in London and is currently at Trinity obtaining a scholarship to finish his PhD under Evangelia Rigaki. He has had his pieces played throughout Ireland and the UK by a variety of performers including RCM Symphony Orchestra, Co-Orch Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, Hermes Experiment and RTÉ Con Tempo Quartet.
"Being from Galway, obtaining a university music degree locally wasn’t an option. I am very glad that I chose Trinity College Dublin for music studies. Since day one I have found the faculty inspiring, supportive, and willing to help. The course has allowed for many incredible opportunities that have aided my personal and musical development, including directing the music department chamber choir, The Campanile Consort, and attending seminars in Oxford University. Most recently, I have been granted a scholarship from Indiana University which will allow me to continue my studies with an MA in musicology in the States."
"The BA music course in Trinity College Dublin provides wide ranging module options, from medieval counterpoint to film composition to sound design, and allows a thorough specialisation in either musicology, composition or music technology. The strong academic standing of the lecturers of the department enables them to draw from a wealth of experience in each of their respective fields and prepare students for specific career paths. In my final year, I have composed music for a short film which I created with a group of students from the Music, Film, and Drama departments, composed works for performance by professional chamber groups, and developed several new skills, including keyboard realisation of figured bass and sound recording."