11 November 2021
By Tom Collins
The Cork International Choral Festival is now accepting entries from Irish composers for the 2022 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition. The closing date for entries is 10th December 2021.
Judged by a panel of experts and composers of international renown, the competition gives up-and-coming Irish composers the chance to have their work assessed, produced and performed at an international level. The winning composer will receive the coveted Seán Ó Riada Trophy, a cash prize (kindly donated by the Ó Ríada family), and the opportunity for their work to have its premiere performance by Chamber Choir Ireland at the Cork International Choral Festival’s Gala Concert held in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral on Friday 29 April 2022, conducted by Paul Hillier.
The winner of the 2021 competition was Dublin-based composer, musical director, pianist and teacher Norah Walsh for her piece On A Quiet Day In the Future.
Initiated in 1972 in recognition of the creative life and work of Seán Ó Riada (1931-71), the present format of the Competition offers a platform for Irish composers to have their work judged and rewarded purely on its own merits without the judges being influenced by the reputation or status of the composer. All compositions are submitted under a pseudonym, with the author’s real name not being revealed until after the judges’ decision has been made. Works composed in the Irish language are encouraged. The competition has, as a central aim, the intention of providing Irish choirs with fresh, authentic material for inclusion in their programmes.
The competition has attracted the attention of many highly-regarded composers, with past winners including Solfa Carlisle, Rhona Clarke, Patrick Connolly, Frank Corcoran, Séamas de Barra, Eoghan Desmond, Michael Holohan, Marian Ingoldsby, Donal MacErlaine, Simon MacHale, Michael McGlynn, Kevin O’Connell, Amanda Feery, Criostóir Ó Loingsigh, Donal Sarsfield, James May and last year’s winner Peter Leavy. Several of these works have been published by international choral publishing houses.
With nearly 250 compositions being submitted since 2010 in the new format, the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition clearly highlights the number of composers now working and living in Ireland, and further demonstrates the Cork International Choral Festival’s continuing commitment to encourage the composition and performance of contemporary music.
Full information on the competition is available on the Festival’s website. Online applications are now being accepted via https://www.corkchoral.ie/sean-o-riada-composition-competition/. The application consists of a Score submission and the Composer’s Contact Details. Postal applications should be forwarded in hard copy by registered post to the Cork International Choral Festival, Civic Trust House, 50 Pope’s Quay, Cork, before the deadline of the 10th December 2021. The composer must use a pseudonym on the printed score. Five unbound copies of the score should be provided in a sealed envelope along with the application form (available at www.corkchoral.ie) detailing the name and contact details of the composer, with the pseudonym detailed on the exterior of the envelope.
For more details, please see our website: www.corkchoral.ie