Born in Dublin in August 1970, Donnacha Dennehy studied music composition with Hormoz Farhat at Trinity College Dublin, and at the University of Illinois, USA, where his main teachers were Salvatore Martirano, Erik Lund and William Brooks. He pursued further studies in electronic music at the Hague, and at IRCAM, Paris. Returning to Ireland to take up a position as lecturer in music composition at Trinity College Dublin, he founded the Crash Ensemble, Dublin's now-renowned new music group, in 1997. Among the pieces premiered in Crash's first concert was a piece that Donnacha specially wrote for the group called 'Junk Box Fraud'.
He has received commissions from Dawn Upshaw, the Kronos Quartet, WNYC New York (for the Bang On A Can All-Stars), Electra, the Fidelio Trio, Icebreaker, Joanna MacGregor, Lisa Moore, Monica Germino, New Noise London, Isabelle O'Connell, Orkest de Ereprijs, Orkest de Volharding, Percussion Group of the Hague, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, RTE TV (for Elastic Harmonic), Ulster Orchestra (BBC Radio 3), Smith Quartet, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players among others. Other noted performers include the group he founded, Crash Ensemble, Darragh Morgan, Ensemble Intégrales, Jenny Lin, Prism Quartet, Sonic Generator (Atlanta), Tatiana Koleva and the London Sinfonietta. Collaborations include pieces with the choreographers Yoshiko Chuma (To Herbert Brun) and Shobana Jeyasingh, (Hinterlands), and the visual artist John Gerrard (Composition for Percussion, Loops, Blips and Flesh).
His work has featured in festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Bang On A Can in New York, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, WNYC’s New Sounds Live, Sonic Evolutions Festival at Lincoln Center, EXPO, the Ultima Festival in Oslo, Fuse Leeds, the Saarbrucken Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the State of the Nation at the South Bank in London and the Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam (bothJunk Box FraudandTraces of A Revolutionary Songwere shortlisted for the Gaudeamus Prize in 1999).
Recent premieres includeThat The Night Come(2010) for Dawn Upshaw and the Crash Ensemble,Crane(2009) for the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (which was 'recommended' by the 2010 Unesco International Rostrum of Composers), andAs An Nós(2009) for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.
Donnacha is currently working on a large piece for string quartet and electronics for the Kronos Quartet, probably America's best known string quartet. He is also collaborating on a music theatre project with Enda Walshe and Cillian Murphy. His first portrait album with the highly esteemed label Nonesuch will be released in May 2011. It features the performers Dawn Upshaw, Iarla O'Lionaird and Donnacha's own Crash Ensemble.
Evangelia Rigaki has a diverse compositional portfolio ranging from instrumental works to experimental music theatre, opera and dance.
She has a PhD in Composition (exploring notions of theatricality in music) from University of London, following which she was awarded an ENMR (European Network for Musicological Research) fellowship in order to undertake postdoctoral research at Humboldt University in Berlin. In addition she has been awarded several composition residencies such as the Jerwood Opera Writing Course (Aldeburgh, 2006), Jerwood Opera Writing Programme (Aldeburgh, 2007), New Music/New Media (Aldeburgh, 2008) and recently the OpenOp Forum for Musiktheater (Neukollner Oper, 2010) and VOX (Royal Opera House, 2010).
Her works have been performed in venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Linbury Studio (Royal Opera House 2), Darmstadt New Music Summer Course, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham Festival, Operadagen Rotterdam Festival and the Dublin Innovation festival.
Recent performers of her works include the Crash Ensemble, Avalon Ensemble, BBC Singers, EXAUDI, Ensemble Amorpha, Chroma Ensemble, Barbirolli String Quartet, Rolf Hind, David Alberman, Stuart King, Richard Alston Dance Company, Darren Ellis Dance Company, Studio Minailo and Tete a Tete Opera.
Recent premieres include ‘Professional Suicide’ (libretto by Tamsin Collison, Exposure Concert, Royal Opera House 2, 2011), ‘Lullabaloo’ (libretto by W.N. Herbert , Tete a Tete Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, 2010), ‘Exiles’ (Studio Minailo, Amsterdam 2009), ‘Little Instruments of Apprehension’ (libretto by W.N. Herbert, Tete a Tete Opera Festival, Riverside Studios 2009), ‘Tutare’ (for four tabla players and four percussionists, commissioned by Kuljit Bhamra for Darbar International South Asian Festival, 2008) ‘Antonius is forsaken by his God’ (words by Constantine Cavafy, for choir and organ, John Armitage Concert Series, Manchester Cathedral 2008), ‘Bumblepuppy’ (words by W.N. Herbert, ‘the world’s first opera in a zorb ball’, Tete a Tete Opera Festival, 2008). ‘Hadith Al Rooh’ (Dutch Title: Gesprekken Van De Ziel, words after a song by Oum Kalthum, OperadagenRotterdam Festival 2008).
Upcoming projects include an Arts Council IE (Opera Project Award) commissioned opera ‘AntiMidas, or, Bankers in Hades’ (libretto by W.N. Herbert, director John Lloyd Davies).
Gerald Barry is internationally regarded for a series of groundbreaking operas from The Intelligence Park to the most recent, The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant. He is at present finishing The Importance of Being Earnest for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As adjunct professor at Trinity, he will be an inspiring figure for the students in its new Centre for Music Composition.
Kevin Volans rose to international prominence with his string quartets White Man Sleeps, Hunting Gathering and Songlines. His music has been promoted by some of the major performing groups of our time, such as Kronos Quartet and the London Sinfonietta, and has been performed at most of the major international venues, including Lincoln Center (New York), Wigmore Hall, and South Bank (London) as part of a festival to mark his 50th birthday.
Bill Whelan is known throughout the world for Riverdance, which has played everywhere from Beijing to New York. Other landmark compositions include The Seville Suite and The Spirit of Mayo. Bill Whelan also has enjoyed a hugely successful career as a producer and arranger (working with the likes of Kate Bush, U2 and Van Morrison) and as a composer of film music (including Lamb, Some Mother's Son and Dancing at Lughnasa).
Roger Doyle is known for his pioneering work as composer of electronic music. He has worked extensively in theatre, film and dance, in particular with the music-theatre company Operating Theatre, which he co-founded. Babel, his magnum opus was released on a 5-CD box set in 1999. It contained 103 pieces of music. Recent work includes a series of soundtracks for imaginary films - a cinema fior the ear. He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists.
Rolf Hind is a pianist and composer, who speaks nearly six languages, practises yoga daily and loves reading, travelling, eating and meditation. He has played and written throughout Europe, Asia and North America, produced over 30 CDs, and played at the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall.
Dan Trueman is Associate Professor of Music at Princeton and visited Trinity for the academic year 2010-11 as a Fulbright Scholar. During his visit to Trinity, he collaborated with traditional fiddler, Caoimhin O Raghallaigh, and composed a piece especially for the Crash Ensemble. This was premiered as part of Crash Ensemble's Spring 2011 season. Prof Trueman is a composing performer on both the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle and 6-string electric violin. His duo Trollstilt released its first CD of original tunes in 2000 and they have performed widely at both contemporary music festivals and folk music festivals. As an improviser, he performs regularly with interface, an electronic improvisation ensemble. As a composer of concert music, Prof Trueman has completed commissions (most of which include him as a performer) for the American Composers Forum (Hardanger fiddle and orchestra), the Society for New Music (electronic chamber ensemble), the Tarab Cello Ensemble (8 cellos), and the American Composers Orchestra. He co-founded the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) for which he has composed several works, including a piece for tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, Trueman (on Hardanger fiddle) and So Percussion.