New Music Dublin stages over 30 world premieres in online edition

New Music Dublin will stage 33 world premieres this month, plus six Irish premieres. The festival will take place online from 23-26 April, with live-streamed performances from the National Concert Hall and Smock Alley Theatre.

Featuring a mix of live-streamed concerts, pre-recorded shows, interviews with artists and workshops, NMD 2021 will showcase world premieres by Irish composers — including works by at least 17 female composers.

The first night sees the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra perform three premieres from Irene Buckley, Anne-Marie O’Farrell and Caroline Shaw.

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Festival Director John Harris said: “I’m delighted and amazed in equal measure that we have been able to stage a full ‘pandemic edition’ of New Music Dublin this year. The question ‘how do we make new music together, when we can’t come together to make new music?’ is being answered throughout this festival in a multitude of different ways, as we present what we believe is a timely and relevant programme-for-our-times packed with Irish new music by Irish composers and performers.

“My sincere and heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has kept the faith on the journey to making this festival happen – the composers, the performers, RTÉ, CMC, the National Concert Hall, the Arts Council, Music Town, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland – and of course my wonderful colleagues and the Board of New Music Dublin, who have worked so tirelessly and brilliantly to bring this festival to life once again.”

Soprano Michelle O’Rourke and harpist Richard Allen will premiere new works from Deirdre Gribbin and Ed Bennett during Grounded – a programme inspired by the growing numbers of performers who, for ecological reasons, travel only by sea and land, and refuse to fly.

Natasa Paulberg
Natasa Paulberg, whose work Atomic Hope will be premiered

Composers Linda Buckley, Gráinne Mulvey, John McLachlan and Amanda Feery also have work on at the festival. The RTÉ Concert Orchestra will give the premiere of Atomic Hope by Natasa Paulberg, four movements “exploring the component parts of the atom as a metaphor of our current human experience”.

The festival is available for free at the New Music Dublin website.