Photo: Sabrina Weisz


The New Guard

Argento New Music Project, New York City, USA

‘The New Guard’ is the name of a music project of the Chamber Ensemble Argento: Throughout Ireland’s history, and even since gaining independence from Britain in 1916, there have been exceptional isolated figures, but virtually no major classical music movement that is distinctively Irish. But that has all been changing. In recent years, there has been an unprecedented explosion of talented, young, contemporary composers in Ireland. These young composers are producing work that can easily hold its own on the world musical stage. It is Argento’s goal to bring this exciting new Irish music to international audiences next spring 2016, during the anniversary year of Ireland’s independence.

At the center of the project, that is supported by the EvS Music Foundation, will be a concert at the DiMenna Center in New York City. The program for this concert, to be performed by Argento, will be constructed around Ann Cleare’s piece ‘eyam ii’, for contrabass clarinet and ensemble, a piece commissioned by The Arts Council Ireland in 2011. Other works to be performed include: ‘my heart stopped a thousand beats’ by Jonathan Nangle, ‘Gut, hair, skin, air’ by David Fennessy, ‘The Musicians of Bremen’ by Fergal Dowling, ‘Fine Feathers Far Below the Blue Floor’ by Judith Ring, ‘seam-sew’ by Piaras Hoban, and ‘Junk Box Fraud’ by Donnacha Dennehy.

In addition to performances of work by Ireland’s new guard of classical composers, the concert will feature an open platform for composers, musicologists, and performers to discuss with audiences and each other how and why this blossoming of Irish music has occurred, as well as the history of Irish music in the last 100 years.


March 2016
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, New York City, USA

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