Professor Helen Phelan was appointed as the new director of Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. Professor Phelan is an educator, scholar and singer whose work specializes in the fields of music, migration and the use of arts-based research methods. She is co-founder of the female vocal ensemble Cantoral, specializing in Irish medieval song, and founder of the research group Singing and Social Inclusion and president of IMBAS – a national network for artistic research in Ireland. Professor Phelan is also the author of books including Singing the Rite of Belonging: Music, Ritual and New Irish with Oxford University Press, and The artist and academia, co-edited with Graham Welch. She is the IRH leader for PART–I AM: Participatory and arts-based methods for involving migrants in health research.
Music Network announced the recipients of its Music Capital Scheme, a program that funds the purchase of musical instruments. Total funding of €306,096 from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has been awarded to 28 performing groups, 18 established musicians and 9 emerging musicians from across Ireland in the framework of the program.
Recipients include flautist Lina Andonovska, guitarist Luan Parle, violinist Frankie Gavin, harpist Cormac De Barra, concertina Caitlín Nic Gabhann, cellist Sharon Howley and singer-songwriter Niamh Regan. Na Píobairí Uilleann, the Dublin Concert Band, the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras and the Sligo Academy of Music are among the organizations that have received funding.
For the complete list of winners, see the document below. For more information visit: https://www.musicnetwork.ie/instrument-hub/music-capital-scheme
Music Network also announced the six musicians participating in his RESONATE program. The project associates established musicians with cultural spaces across the country and offers an €8,000 prize to each artist to support the creation of new works and creative partnerships.
Recipients include mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell who will develop a cycle of songs for voice, piano and live electronics with pianist Gary Beecher and composer Emma O’Halloran during her residency in Glór; singer Pauline Scanlon will work on a collaborative traditional singing project with bagpiper and flute player Barry Kerr at Ionad Cultúrtha in Baile Mhúirne; concertina player Niall Vallee will collaborate with Kate Ellis on cello and Kenneth Edge on soprano saxophone for a project at the National Opera House, Wexford; Irish-Dutch singer and guitarist Patrick Stefan Greenland will collaborate with the Navá group at the Regional Cultural Center in Letterkenny; soprano Elizabeth Hilliard will work with composer Gráinne Mulvey to create a new comic work for voice and tape during her residency at The Dock in Carrick-on-Shannon; and classical violinist Patrick Rafter will work with composer Sam Perkin in a residency at the Triskel Arts Center in Cork.
To learn more, visit www.musicnetwork.ie.
The Royal Conservatory of Scotland announced the violinist Nicholas Benedetti as honorary president. The honorary president supports the Conservatory in various ways, including as an ambassador and at graduation ceremonies. Appointees serve a five-year term. Commenting on his appointment, Benedetti said:
It is such an honor to be made Honorary President of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as it celebrates its 175th anniversary and to follow such an illustrious list of people in this role. Institutions that cultivate the highest excellence have a vital role to play in Scotland’s future.
In 2019 Benedetti founded the music education society Benedetti Foundation and was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (ECBlisten)) in recognition of his musical career the same year. In 2017 she was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music and holds nine honorary degrees to date. In March 2022, she became Designated Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, becoming Festival Director on 1 October 2022.
To learn more, visit www.rcs.ac.uk.
Teacher Jonathan Vaughan was appointed as the new director of Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.
Vaughan joined the school fifteen years ago as director of music and has worked as acting director since Lynne Williams’ retirement in 2021. Commenting on his nomination, Vaughan said:
Since I started working at Guildhall School in 2007, I have loved this place to the core, so it is a huge honor and privilege to lead the school into the next chapter of its development… In a rapidly changing society, our job is to create the next generation of artists, who are not only exceptional performers and creators, but also global citizens, cultural leaders and agents of change. Guildhall School is ready for the challenge.
After studying double bass and piano at the Royal College of Music, Vaughan became a member of the London Symphony Orchestra for ten years, of which he was elected president in 1999. He was director of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for five years, before joining the Guildhall School. He is currently preparing a doctorate on the theme “Artistic citizenship and performance excellence in music conservatories”.
To learn more, visit www.gsmd.ac.uk.
The London Chamber Orchestra announced the participants of its 2021/22 LCO New program, which supports emerging composers whose work has not yet been performed by a professional orchestra.
The five successful composers are Alexander Papp, Darius Paymai, Florence Anna Maunders, James Banner and Robert Crehan.
The program will see composers engage in get-togethers and workshops throughout the summer with LCO 2021/22 Composer in residence Freya Waley-Cohen. Each workshop provides participants with opportunities to work with LCO musicians to compose a new piece for the orchestra. The five new works by the composers will be performed and recorded at LCOOpening concert of the 2022/23 season.
Gael Linn announced the appointment of Réamonn Ó Ciaráin as CEO. Ó Ciaráin has worked with the organization and Irish-language music label since 1993, taking on a variety of roles during this time, including Director of Education.
Ó Ciaráin, from Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh, holds a degree in Education and Celtic Studies from Saint Mary’s University College, Belfast, a MY in Irish Studies from Queen’s University Belfast and a MY in Cultural Management from Ulster University, Jordanstown.
He has written three books on the legend of Cúchulainn as well as articles in various publications. He is co-founder and chairman of Aonach Mhacha, the new Cultúrlann of Armagh City, and has held numerous officer positions in the GAA at county level, as well as its National Committee for the Irish Language. He has also been a board member of St Catherine’s College, Armagh since 2006, as well as being a past president of A UltachComhaltas Uladh magazine.
Commenting on his new appointment, Ó Ciaráin said:
I really look forward to taking on this new role in an organization that has so influenced awareness of the Irish language and its heritage for almost 70 years. Gael Linn has a committed and capable team and I look forward to working closely with them in the future to achieve Gael Linn’s goals.
Ó Ciaráin succeeds Antoine Ó Coileáin who retired in May.
Tipperary singer-songwriter and educator Edel Meade was assigned a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Professional Research Fellowship and the Mary McPartlan Scholarship. Meade is one of 40 Fulbright Laureates announced last month.
From January 2023, she will be based at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley for six months, exploring the intersection between jazz and Ireland’s traditional music and song. His award will conclude with a world premiere live concert in collaboration with Bay Area musicians at the California Jazz Conservatory in June 2023.
The 23 Times Irish Theater Awards took place last month at a ceremony at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Awards were given in fifteen categories, including Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Production.
In the Best Opera Category, Irish National Opera, Lovett Theater and Abbey Theater were the winners for their co-production of Hansel and Gretel. The production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera was launched at the Abbey Theater in February 2020 before going on a national tour. The opera was directed by Muireann Ahern and Louis Lovett, conducted by Richard Peirson, and starred Raphaela Mangan and Amy Ní Fhearraigh as the main characters.
Helen Atkinson, Teho Teardo and Sean Carpio won the award for Best Soundscape for their work on Medicine – a work by Landmark Productions and the Galway International Arts Festival by Enda Walsh. Medicine premiered at the Galway International Arts Festival in 2021 and was presented in person and online.
For more information visit: https://bit.ly/3z1kZdn
After thirty-one years as musical director, David Milne announced his retirement from Guinness Choir. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Milne has long been associated with choral music, notably through his work with the Camerata Singers and St Bartholomew’s Church Choir. He also worked with the TEN Singers and Chorus and with Musica Sacra, and was the founder-director of the West Dublin Youth Orchestra. He is also the former Director of Music at Kilkenny College. The choir is looking for a new musical director for September and applications are open until July 15 at 5 p.m.
For the June musical events, see here.