The National Chamber Choir of Ireland- A Eurocry!

St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral

Friday 3rd May, 7.30pm


Ireland’s premier ensemble, the National Chamber Choir, returned to St Fin Barre’s Cathedral to continue their residency in Cork. Under the direction of Conductor Paul Hillier, and comprising Ireland’s top choral talent, 2013 saw the NCC embark on another unique musical journey, specially developed for the Festival. Premiered on the night was a commissioned piece Euphony from up-and-coming composer Enda Bates, as well as a performance of the winning composition Upon the Rose from the winner of 2013 Séan Ó Riada Competition for Irish composers, Solfa Carlile.

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020_webThe National Chamber Choir of Ireland is the country’s flagship choral ensemble. Under the internationally celebrated and multi-award winning choral conductor Paul Hillier as Artistic Director, the choir is known for its unique approach to programming and has gained a reputation for the high artistic quality of its performances. The choir remains a thriving force on a very active choral scene both at home and abroad.In addition to collaborating with numerous international guest conductors the choir also provides opportunities for and fosters the talents of young Irish conductors and continues to support emerging talent on the conducting scene.

Since its inception, the National Chamber Choir of Ireland has made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary Irish choral music through its commitment to commissioning new work, not least through its annual commissioning collaboration with Cork International Choral Festival. The choir’s repertoire spans from early to contemporary music, regularly commissioning pioneering vocal work by composers such as Gerald Barry, Andrew Hamilton, Siobhán Cleary, Jennifer Walshe, Kevin Volans and Tarik O’Regan.The National Chamber Choir of Ireland has a strong commitment to touring in Ireland and continues to develop its touring network in order to present high quality choral concerts to audiences all around the country. Internationally, the Choir has toured extensively in Europe, Asia and South America and in 2011 undertook its first US tour with the assistance of Culture Ireland as part of Imagine Ireland, a year of Irish arts in America.

Recent appearances include performances at the White House on St Patrick’s Day 2011 and CD releases in 2011 include One Day Fine on the Lyric fm label and Acallam na Senórach on the Harmonia Mundi label, and a performance of Terry Riley’s Sun Rings with the Kronos Quartet in Glasgow as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in July 2012.The Choir continues to foster relationships with other distinguished Irish performing ensembles such as the Crash Ensemble, the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. The Choir enjoys a unique relationship with Cork International Choral festival with which it collaborates on an annual basis as Choir in Residence.Principal funding for the National Chamber Choir of Ireland comes from the Arts Council/an Chomhairle Ealaíon, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery Fund, Dublin City Council and major in-kind support from Dublin City University, where the ensemble has been Choir in Residence since 1996.





Paul Hillier is from Dorset in England and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. His career has embraced singing, conducting, and writing about music. Earlier in his career he was founding director of the Hilliard Ensemble, and subsequently founded Theatre of Voices. He has taught in the USA at the University of California campuses at Santa Cruz and Davis, and from 1996–2003 was Director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University. He was Principal Conductor of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (2001–2007) and has been Chief Conductor of Ars Nova Copenhagen since 2003. His recordings, over a hundred CDs including seven solo recitals, have earned worldwide acclaim and won numerous prizes. His books about Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich, together with numerous anthologies of choral music, are published by Oxford University Press. In 2006 he was awarded an OBE for services to choral music. In 2007 he received the Order of the White Star of Estonia, and was awarded a Grammy for Best Choral Recording. In 2008 he took up the position of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, and in 2009 was invited to form the new Coro Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal. In 2010 he won a second Grammy (this time in the small ensemble category), for Theatre of Voices’ recording of David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion (which also won a Pulitzer Prize), together with a selection of choral works by Lang, sung by Ars Nova Copenhagen.

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CICF were delighted to work with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland for a number of events in 2013.

45th Seminar on New Choral Music
Explored ideas and exchanged experiences with composers Enda Bates, Solfa Carlile & Rhona Clarke, as well as The National Chamber Choir of Ireland.

Composers’ Workshop
Following the successful Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition, The National Chamber Choir of Ireland offered performance readings of a number of the shortlisted works for workshopping and discussion. A perfect workshop for young, aspiring composers and students of music.

Choirland Masterclass
SATURDAY 4 MAY 11.30am,
Illustrated Performance and Conducting Masterclass on works from the Choirland Anthology with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland and their director Paul Hillier in association with Contemporary Music Centre & Association of Irish Choirs. A major opportunity for conductors to learn how to approach the works from a technical and musical standpoint. Equally important for young composers to become aware of the varied compositional techniques employed in the works