Friday 2nd May 2014
2pm – 4pm
Stack Theatre, CIT Cork School of Music,Union Quay
Admission: Free of charge

The Cork International Choral Festival has a long-standing commitment to foster awareness and appreciation of new choral music.  With this in mind a seminar was initiated in 1962 as part of the Festival programme by the late Aloys Fleischmann, Professor of Music at University College Cork, as being central to this purpose.  The Festival presents the 46th edition of the Seminar on New Choral Music as a joint collaboration with Chamber Choir Ireland, our choir in residence. To date, 132 works from 109 Irish and international composers have been commissioned.

The Seminar on New Choral Music maintains its initial purpose of commissioning new works to provide a platform for, and to encourage the composition, and performance of new choral music in Ireland, and to support their inclusion, and that of other new music, onto the regular repertoire of Irish choirs. In the last few years the Seminar has specifically promoted the commission of new works by Irish composers to develop a wider knowledge of, and understanding of, Irish compositional life. Premiere performances are now integrated into a full concert programme by Chamber Choir Ireland.  The present style of presentation makes the seminar very accessible to all, and assists in making current practice in the performance of new choral music accessible to the wider choral sector in Ireland.

This year will see two new works featured, and given their world premieres in Cork; “Letter to Michael” by composer David Fennessy and “Solomon Grundy” by the winner of this year’s Seán Ó Riada Competition, Donal Mac Erlaine.  The Seán Ó Riada Competition was initiated in 1972 in recognition of the creative life and work of Seán Ó Riada.  It is a composition competition which invites the submission of new works from Irish composers in collaboration between the Cork International Choral Festival and Chamber Choir Ireland.  This year the competition received entries from 30 Irish composers, maintaining the high entry level of the past four years. We are delighted to welcome both composers to Cork to take part in the Seminar.

Without the financial support of the Arts Council in making the commission of David Fennessy possible, and of the Ó Riada Family for its generous support of the Seán Ó Riada Competition, this seminar would not be in a position to continue to fulfil its important role in promoting the work of Irish composers and encouraging the composition of new choral music.

I welcome Rhona Clarke, a highly regarded composer in her own right and a great friend of the Festival, as Seminar Chairperson, and thank Majella Hollywood, Chief Executive of the CCI, for her commitment to continue the involvement of Chamber Choir Ireland in this project.

This year’s Seminar Programme will also feature (a) a most interesting talk by Coral O’Sullivan on the history of the Festival’s Seminars. Titled From Archer to Zuk – Fifty Years of the Cork International Choral Festival Seminars, it will detail, in a multi-faceted manner, the exhaustive research Carol has completed for her MA thesis, and (b) a Performance Reading Session with Chamber Choir Ireland, of works by Seán Doherty and Sam Perkin, selected by the Seán Ó Riada Assessment Panel.  Finally, I would direct your attention to the full collection of Seminar scores now housed in the Cork City Music Library and available for consultation.  General information on the Seminar, including digitised pages of scores, is now also available for perusal on the Library website.  I would like to publicly thank Kitty Buckley, Executive Librarian, for all her dedicated and committed work in following through on the completion of this archive.

John Fitzpatrick

Artistic and Festival Director

 

Both new compositions will receive their world premieres by Chamber Choir Ireland in their Festival Concert.

 

Letter to Michael

For SATB Choir

Composer: David Fennessy

A few years ago I came across an extraordinary image by a woman named Emma Hauck (1878-1920). It was of a page of text written so densely in pencil that it was almost completely black and more or less illegible. Hauck was a patient in the psychiatric hospital of the University of Heidleberg and in the summer of 1909 wrote many similar pages in the form of letters to her husband Michael, begging him to come and collect her. The text consists simply of the phrase ‘Herzenschatzi Komm’ (Sweetheart come) written over and over again, many hundreds of times or simply ‘Komm’ (Come). It seems the letters were never sent and her pleas were left unheard.

David Fennessy, March 2014
Composer

 

David Fennessy

Fennessey-300x225

David Fennessy (b. 1976 Maynooth) began his musical life as guitarist in a school rock band but had no formal musical training until the age of fifteen when he decided to study classical guitar. He became interested in composition whilst studying for his undergraduate degree at the Dublin College of Music. In 1998 Fennessy moved to Glasgow to study for his Masters Degree at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with James MacMillan. He was later invited to join the composition faculty and has held a teaching post there since 2005.

His music has been performed nationally and internationally by many groups including the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the RTE Concert Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, Hebrides Ensemble and London Sinfonietta.

Recent significant works include Pass the Spoon, an evening length music theatre collaboration with the English visual artist David Shrigley and Haupstimme, a work for solo viola and ensemble premiered by Garth Knox with Rednote Ensemble at last year’s Huddersfield Festival. Since 2012 he has been working on a trilogy of large scale works based on the diaries of the German film director Werner Herzog written during the production of the 1982 movie Fitzcarraldo.

His music is published by Universal Edition (Vienna)

 

Rhona Clarke

Rhona Clarke was born in Dublin. She studied music at University College, Dublin, and completed a Ph.D. at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is a lecturer in music at St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. Her output includes choral, chamber, orchestral and electronic works. She has received commissions from RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Cork International Choral Festival, Concorde, Music Network and the National Concert Hall, among others. Her work has been performed and broadcast throughout Ireland and worldwide.

Recent works include SHIFT for orchestra (2013), which received its premiere in the Horizons series at the National Concert Hall, performed by The RTÉNSO conducted by Gavin Maloney, and a newly commissioned work in collaboration with visual artist Marie Hanlon for Concorde, performed at the RHA Gallery, Dublin. From July- September 2014 her work will feature alongside Hanlon’s in a two-person exhibition at Draoícht Arts Centre. Rhona Clarke is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists.

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hjCIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay, Cork
Friday 2nd May 2014
4:15pm
From Archer to Zuk
Fifty Years of the Cork International Choral Festival Seminars
A Presentation by Coral O’Sullivan

The Seminars on Contemporary Choral Music of the Cork International Choral Festival have generated a significant platform for the development of choral composition in Ireland.  During the 50-year period from 1962 to 2012, 128 works from 105 Irish and international composers were commissioned for the 44 Seminars. These compositions reflect the development of choral composition and performance, both nationally and internationally, through the provision of an opportunity for creative freedom, enlightened debate, and performer and audience development.  Until recently, the Seminar scores were held in several locations and were not comprehensively catalogued or indexed. They have now found a permanent home in the Music Section of the Cork City Library. This presentation, highlighting the content of Coral O’Sullivan’s MA Thesis, examines the context for the origination of this corpus of material, discusses the generation of the annotated catalogue of the collection, and presents an overview of the Seminar compositions. The talk also includes a summary of compositional issues, musical styles and vocal techniques which feature in the Seminar works, and concludes with an outline of the current role of the Seminars.  This talk is presented as part of this year’s 46th Seminar on New Choral Music.

Coral O’Sullivan is a Law Graduate of University College Cork, later graduating with a B Mus. and an M.A. from CIT Cork School of Music, where she lectures in Oboe.  She also teaches Oboe with the County Cork School of Music. Coral is a Librarian with the Cork County Library and Arts Service, and is an active free-lance musician.

 

Seminar Activity Schedule

Choir in Residence

  • Chamber Choir Ireland –  Paul Hillier Artistic Director and Conductor

Seminar on New Choral Music (Admission Free)

  • Friday 02 May 2014 – 2 – 4:00pm at Stack Theatre, CIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay
  • Chairperson: Rhona Clarke
  • Analysis and discussion on new works TITLE TBC by David Fennessy (Festival and CCI Commission), and Solomon Grundy by Donal Mac Erlaine (Winner of Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition 2014).

“From Archer to Zuk”– Fifty years of the Cork International Choral Festival Seminars (Admission Free)

  • Friday 02 May 2014 – 4:15-4:45pm at Stack Theatre, CIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay
  • This interesting presentation by Coral O’Sullivan, highlighting the content of her MA Thesis, will outline the context for the origination of this corpus of material, discuss the generation of the annotated catalogue of the collection, and present an overview of the Seminar compositions.

World Premiere Performances of Seminar Commissions

  • Friday 02 May 2014 – 7:30pm, St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral as part of the Gala Concert presented by Chamber Choir Ireland (Conductor: Paul Hillier)

Composers’ Workshop – Performance Readings of Selected Scores– (Admission Free)

  • Saturday 04 May 2014 – 10am – 12:00pm  at Stack Theatre, CIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay
  • As an added incentive to composers who enter the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition the work of two composers, recommended by the Assessment Panel, will receive a Performance Reading by Chamber Choir Ireland, and subsequent open workshop discussion. This year’s selected composers are Seán Doherty for his work Dreams, and Sam Perkin for his work Goldfish. This session is presented as part of the educational activities of CCI and CICF and will be of interest to all composers, students, conductors, singers, and general public.

Display of CorkCity Library Archive of Seminar Compositions

  • Friday 03 May and Saturday 2014 – CIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay  (During the period of Seminar Sessions only)
  • The Cork City Library (Music Section) will display the full collection of Seminar scores which were commissioned for the Seminars on Contemporary/New Choral Music from 1962 to the present.  Many of these scores are still in manuscript form.  Sample pages of all scores may be accessed for perusal on the City Library website, and access to full scores may be had by prior agreement with Library staff.

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Seminar History and Background
– Seamus de Barra
 
In 1962, eight years after the Cork International Choral Festival was established, Aloys Fleischmann, Director of the Festival, initiated the Seminar on Contemporary Choral Music. Although its success in promoting the development of choral singing inIrelandwas already generally acknowledged by this time, Fleischmann decided it was now appropriate to extend the scope of the Festival by encouraging also the development of modern choral composition. Accordingly he established a scheme whereby a number of contemporary composers would be commissioned each year to write new·works, which would be premiered in the Festival programme.
Fleischmann was aware, however, that the reception of new music can often be problematical: in his experience, many listeners tended to find the idioms of contemporary music merely puzzling, and reaction was not infrequently one of incomprehension – a situation that was more acute in the 1960s, perhaps, than it is today. It was in order to provide a context, therefore, for the reception of the newly commissioned pieces, that he established the Seminar on Contemporary Choral Music, structured to allow for the presentation of analyses of the new·works, informal performances before the official premiers in the City Hall, and contributions from the composers and the conductors and members of the participating choirs.

Following Fleischmann’s retirement in 1987 as Director of the Festival, the format of the Seminar changed, and after undergoing a number of further transformations, it was temporarily suspended in 2004. In 2008, a revitalized version of the Seminar of Contemporary Choral Music was reintroduced into the Festival’s calendar of events.

Seminar on Contemporary Choral Music Commissions

                                                          

COMPOSER
COMPOSITION
YEAR
Archer, Violet Reflections

1984

Bäck, Sven-Erik The naming of cats

1981

Badings, Henk Evocations

1962

Badings, Henk Cinq poèmes chinois

1973

Barra, Séamas de Magnificat

1983

Barra, Séamas de Song of Pan

1989

Barry, Gerald The Coming of Winter

1997

Barry, Gerald Long Time

2012

Bassett, Leslie A ring of emeralds

1979

Bates, Enda Euphony

2013

Beaumont, Adrian In paradisum

1979

Beckerath, Alfred von Oratio Sancti Augustini

1970

Bialas, Günter Lamento

1987

Blacher, Boris Anacaona

1969

Blacher, Boris Vokalisen

1974

Bodley, Seóirse Trí aortha

1963

Bodley, Seóirse The radiant moment

1979

Böhlke, Eric Gebet des Franz von Assisi

1971

Bourgeois, Derek A Tail of Two Fishes

1989

Bose, Hans-Jurgen von Four madrigals

1986

Boydell, Brian Come sleep & I loved a lass

1964

Boydell, Brian Mouth music

1974

Bromhead, Jerome de Joy

1982

Buckley, John Scél lem duíb

1981

Buckley, John He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

1996

Burgan, Patrick CRY

2002

Busto, Javier Ametsetan

2003

Byers, David Rhymes

1980

Carlile, Solfa * Upon the Rose

2013

Clarke, Rhona Rorate Caeli

1994

Clarke, Rhona The Kiss

2008

Cleary, Siobhan Theophilus Thistle and the Myth of Miss Muffett

2011

Connolly, Patrick * Geimhridh

2011

Corcoran, Frank Symphonies for voices

1975

Corcoran, Frank * Two Unholy Haikus

2012

Cox, David Harold Song of The Paving Stones

1996

Csemiczky, Miklos Two Motets:Ave Regina CaelorumHodie Christus Natus Est

1997

Cruft, Adrian Medieval prayer

1976

Deane, Raymond ..e mi sovvien l’eterno

1988

Dickinson, Peter Three Carols:Christmas Is ComingFor the Nativity

O Christmas Time,O Hateful Time

1998

Eaton, John Duo

1977

Eben, Petr De circuitu aeterno

1991

Eben, Petr Rhythmus de gaudiis Paradisi

1996

Farrell, Eibhlís Exaudi voces

1992

Fennessy, David Letter to Michael

2014

Fisher, Alfred Kodesh

1992

Fleischmann, Aloys Games

1990

Forbes, Sebastian Seasonal roundelay

1984

Fritschel, James Four about life and death

1976

Fritschel, James Lament of a man for his son

1980

Gardner, John Five philanders

1975

Gardner, John Four part-songs to poems by Robert Herrick

1992

Geary, Bernard The trumpet

1984

Genzmer, Harald Irische Harfe

1966

Hamel, Peter Michael Dona nobis pacem

1985

Hamilton, Andrew Everything is Ridiculous

2009

Hoddinott, Alun Danegeld

1964

Holmboe, Vagn Song at sunset

1979

Holohan, Michael Quis est Deus?

2002

Howells, Herbert The summer is coming

1965

Iannaccone, Anthony A Walt Whitman madrigal

1985

Ingoldsby, Marian Regeneration

1995

Josephs, Wilfred Spring songs

1981

Joubert, John Three portraits

1983

Kelemen, Milko Drei Irischen Volkslieder

1980

Kelly, Bryan Dover Beach

1995

Killmayer, Wilhelm Speranza

1977

Killmayer, Wilhelm Sonntagnachmittagskaffee

1983

Kinsella, John Three children’s songs

1977

Kinsella, John Dawn

1986

Kocsár, Miklós Six choruses

1982

Koszewski, Andrzej Pastorale

1975

Kyllönen, Timo-Juhani Innisfree Op. 33

1994

Leeuw, Ton de The birth of music

1976

LeFanu, Nicola On The Wind-a lament

1997

Mac Erlaine, Donal* Solomon Grundy

2014

MacHale, Simon * With Heart and Soul and Voice

2010

Maconchy, Elizabeth Nocturnal

1965

Prayer before birth

1972

Mäntyjärvi, Jaakko Psalm 150 in Kent Treble Bob Minor

1999

Martin, Philip Three Gaelic lyrics

1985

Martinez, Odaline de la Two American Madrigals

1978

Mathias, William A May Magnificat

1978

Maw, Nicholas Five Irish songs

1973

Mawby, Colin Nonsense for gombeens

1991

Mawby, Colin In Memoriam Aloys Fleischmann

1994

McCabe, John Siberia

1980

McGlynn, Michael When the War is Over

1999

Mellers, Wilfred Cloud Canticle

1971

Mellnäs, Arne Spring

1995

Merkelys, Remigijus Kyrie

1992

Milhaud, Darius Traversée

1962

Mulvey, Gráinne Stabat Mater

2003

Nees, Vic Babel

1998

Ó Riada, Seán Ceathramhaintí Éagsamhla

1962

Ó Súilleabháin, Mícheál Maranatha

2000

O’Regan, Tarik The Spring

2008

Panufnik, Roxanna Two Poems by Wendy

2010

Peeters, Flor When God the Lord

1963

Potter, Archie Ten epigrams

1969

Purser, John Love in season

1976

Reutter, Hermann Tres laudes

1964

Rubbra, Edmund Tenebrae: Third Nocturne

1962

Rubbra, Edmund Three Greek Folk-Songs

1977

Schürmann, Gerard Summer is coming

1970

Shchedrin, Rodrion Concertino

1984

Searle, Humphrey The canticle of the rose

1966

Simpson, Robert Tempi

1988

Stockmeier, Wolfgang Gloria

1978

Sweeney, Eric Gloria

1973

Sweeney, Eric Memorials

1993

Tanev, Alexander Guslar mí gusli

1978

Tavener, John Eonía

1990

Thomas, Adrian Man mai longe lives weene

1988

Tucapsky, Antonín Veni, Sancte Spiritus

1986

Victory, Gerard Quartetto

1966

Victory, Gerard Trois chansons de Verlaine

1978

Victory, Gerard A musical instrument

1993

Viñao, Ezequiel Beowulf: Scyld’s Burial

2009

Vlad, Roman Lettura di Michelangelo

1966

Vlad, Roman Lettura del Magnifico

1974

Vogt, Hans Soldiers

1972

Walton, William Cantico del sole

1974

Warren, Raymond There is a time

1970

Wellesz, Egon Laus nocturna

1963

Williamson, Malcolm Sonnet

1969

Wilson, Ian bluebrighteyes

2000

Wilson, James Xanadu

1971

Wilson, James Keats on Keats

1993

Zimmermann, Heinz Make a joyful noise

1965

Zuk, Patrick An das Angesicht des Herrn Jesu

1998

 

*Winners of the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition