There will be lots of performances of Grá agus Bás this spring, culminating in a performance by Crash Ensemble and Iarla O'Lionaird as part of Nonesuch Records' 50th anniversary celebrations at the Barbican in May. Other performances include those given by Alarm Will Sound at Carnegie Hall, Contemporaneous also in New York, and Present Music in Milwaukee. Please see Concerts for details.
Miguel Harth Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra did a great job with Crane on 10, 11 and 12 January. You can read a little about it here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/01/10/5476752/review-fort-worth-symphony-with.html http://frontrow.dmagazine.com/2014/01/will-the-music-of-donnacha-dennehy-stand-the-test-of-time/
United of Instruments of Lucilin will present the world premiere of 'dirty light' especially commissioned by them on 20 September 2013 in their portrait concert of Dennehy's music (to be presented at their Studio Lucilin in Luxembourg). Other pieces presented include Bulb, Glamour Sleeper and Stainless Staining.
The New York Times on The Hunger, performed by Rachel Calloway and Alarm Will Sound at Zankel, Carnegie on 6 April 2013: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/arts/music/alarm-will-sound-at-zankel-hall.html New York Times on Crash's performance of Grá and That the Night Come at Zankel on May 17 2013: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/arts/music/crash-ensemble-at-carnegie-hall.html Washington Post on same program at Kennedy Center, May 14 2013: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/dawn-upshaw-and-crash-ensemble-at-the-kennedy-center/2013/05/15/eefbab98-bda2-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_story.html
Darragh Morgan and the Ulster Orchestra (conducted by David Brophy) will perform Elastic Harmonic (2005) as part of the BBC Invitation concert at the Sonorities Festival in Belfast on April 26
Alarm Will Sound will premiere new sections of The Hunger, the large-scale music theatre piece that Dennehy is writing for them, at Sheldon Hall St. Louis (March 20, 2013) and Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall (April 6, 2013). They will be joined by the mezzo-soprano, Rachel Calloway.
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in Texas appoints Dennehy composer in residence for their 2013-14 season. As part of the residency, The FW Symphony Orchestra (under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya) will perform That the Night Come, The Vandal and Crane. Previous composers-in-residence include Jennifer Higdon and Kevin Puts.
The portrait concert of Dennehy's music - given by Crash Ensemble - which opened the renowned Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival on 16 November 2012 gets 4 star reviews in the Times (UK) and Guardian. The Times UK 4/5 stars Richard Morrison, Tues 20th Nov, 2012"I shamefully confess that I have never encountered the Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy before. I’m sure I would have remembered the name. That’s my loss. In his early forties he is clearly a major talent, as was shown by the pieces showcased to open the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival on Friday. It was a refreshing choice, not least because Huddersfield’s annual avant-garde jamboree often rolls out wall-to-wall cerebral complexity. By contrast, Dennehy’s music – rooted in minimalism, though of the gritty European kind – embraces tonality, tempestuous passions and a desire to engage rather than befuddle.That was most apparent in his wild, stunning Grá agus Bás. Here the Dublin-based Crash Ensemble (conducted by Alan Pierson) was joined by the traditional singer Iarla Ó Lionaird in a 24-minute lament that fused the texts, anguished wails and unearthly embellishments of ancient Irish sean-nós singing to atmospheric chamber-orchestra textures.Even the restrained opening suggested some seething primordial primordial savagery. By the time the climax was reached, with Dennehy unleashing electric guitars and drums, the stomping intensity was spine chilling. The Gaelic text articulated a woman's fear of being impregnated by her lover. For me, however, Dennehy's setting evoked the "howling storm" of an English poem on a similar theme: Blake's The Sick Rose.A couple of his other pieces seemed over-extended, though I was constantly intrigued by his way of subverting minimalist pulsing with lurching cross-rhythms and extreme, stabbing instrumental timbres. The Crash Ensemble’s fervent performances would be a sensation at the Proms.”http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/music/classical/article3604968.ece#.UKtheukLjHg.mailto The Guardian UK4/5 starsGuy Damann, Tues 20 Nov 2012 "....The Dublin-based but internationally revered Crash Ensemble kicked off the 2012 Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival with a portrait concert of their co-founder Donnacha Dennehy, who is very much the life and soul of Ireland's buzzing new-music party. An unusually upbeat beginning to the festival, then, or at least it would have been were Dennehy's upbeats more easily distinguished from his down. Though his music is driven by explosive and irrepressibly pulsating patterns, its rhythmic profile is curiously elusive: you want to tap your feet, but two feet rarely seem enough......" http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/nov/19/crash-ensemble-nicolas-hodges-reviewThe Irish Times Michael Dervan, 21 Nov 2012 "....what lingered in the mind most after a whole concert of his work was the extraordinary texturisation of the material. This is music that uses its sometimes frantic activity to create luxuriant surfaces that shimmer and buzz..."http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/2012/1121/1224326885059.htmlHuddersfield Examiner, 19 Novhttp://www.examiner.co.uk/news/local-west-yorkshire-news/2012/11/19/huddersfield-contemporary-music-festival-gets-off-to-a-flying-start-86081-32259192/
From the November 2012 American Edition of Gramophone: "Dennehy creates sonorities at once glistening and hypnotic...Every moment is suffused with delicate or dramatic propulsion... Lisa Moore, founding pianist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, plays both works with mesmerising command of Dennehy's simmering soundscapes and finely graded dynamic palette". Donald Rosenberg
Stainless Staining, the EP of Donnacha Dennehy's piano music, recorded and released by Lisa Moore on Cantaloupe at the end of July, has made NPR's Heavy Rotation List - "5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing". It was previously Album of the Week on member station Q2 of New York.
Alarm Will Sound, the dynamic American new music ensemble, will premiere the first part of The Hunger, a large work-in-progress, at the Mizzou New Music Summer Festival on July 26. The soprano wil be Anne-Carolyn Bird.
Stainless Staining, an EP of Donnacha Dennehy's piano music performed by Lisa Moore, will be released by Cantaloupe Records (New York) in July 2012. Stainless Staining is the third of Lisa Moore's portrait EPs to be released by Cantaloupe.
Dawn Upshaw and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will premiere "If He Died What Then" in St. Paul Minnesota on 10 February. Stefan Asbury conducts. Kronos Quartet will premiere "One Hundred Goodbyes" at Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall on 28 February.
Grá Agus Bás is one of NPR Music's Top 50 Albums (in all genres) of 2011. It also features in end of year lists from Alex Ross (The Rest is Noise) and Paul Griffiths. It made WNYC's New Sounds top ten of the year (both John Schaefer's list and the Listener Poll).
Icebreaker to perform Disposable Dissonance in Belgium on 30 September, and members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra are to play To Herbert Brun on 17 October in Chicago as part of their Music Now Series
Grá Agus Bás, Dennehy's debut Nonesuch CD, gets a 5 star review from Andrew Clements in the Guardian. Mark Swed in the LA Times calls it rapturous, and Anne Midgette in the Washington Post describes the title piece as "an ecstatic vision set in a dreamscape of sound". Edward Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee says it's "easily one of the most bewitching releases of the year", John Fleming in the St. Petersburg Times writes that "Dennehy's score is hauntingly strange, a modern sonic world like no other, but also unusually accessible for new music" and Daniel Stephen Johnson, writing in the New Haven Advocate declares it to be "absolutely a revelation". Grá Agus Bás is one of the Editor's Choices in the August 2011 Edition of Gramophone Magazine.
Grá Agus Bás and That the Night Come are now streaming on NPR's First Listen. Anastasia Tsioulcas in her review for NPR calls it "one of the best and most satisfying listening experiences of the year so far". Elsewhere Norman Lebrecht calls That The Night Come "captivating", and Steve Smith in a review for the New York Times of a recent Carnegie Hall workshop lead by Dawn Upshaw and Donnacha Dennehy refers to the upcoming album as "gorgeous". Interviews about the album are now online at WNYC's Soundcheck and NPR's Weekend Edition.
Nonesuch Records have just announced the release date for the first recording of Donnacha Dennehy's music with the label. Called Grá Agus Bás, it features that piece of the same name (sung by Iarla O'Lionaird) and That the Night Come (with Dawn Upshaw as the soloist). Crash Ensemble (conducted by Alan Pierson) perform both works. It is possible to pre-order the disc here.
Am excited to announce that I will be writing a new piece for Dawn Upshaw and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, to be premiered in their 2011/12 season
Fidelio Trio feature Bulb (which was originally written for them) in their American tour this February. See concerts.
The new Smith Quartet CD, based on the idea of Dance, features the premiere recording of Stamp, a piece commissioned by the Smith Quartet in 2008. Also features pieces by Tan Dun, Michael Nyman, John Adams and Joe Cutler. Release date: January 31, 2011.
Creating and collaborating on new vocal works: a workshop week and performance stewarded by Dawn Upshaw and Donnacha Dennehy at Carnegie Hall in April 2011.
Dawn Upshaw will premiere That the Night Come, a song cycle for her and Crash Ensemble (cond. Alan Pierson) to texts by W.B. Yeats at IMMA in Dublin on 2 October 2010. That The Night Come is written especially for Dawn and was commissioned by her with funds provided by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Crane for orchestra (2009) was recommended by the 57th International Rostrum of Composers on the 4 June 2010 in Lisbon.
Some radio broadcasts online: Interview with John Schaefer on WNYC (May 07 2010); Crash Ensemble in concert in London (including interviews with composers) on BBC (June 12 2010). Available on their iplayer too; Crane for orchestra on Bernard Clarke's Nova on RTE Lyric FM (June 20) and on Danish Radio. Update July: Crash Ensemble's Le Poisson Rouge gig in New York is now up online at WQXR's Q2. Features live performances of Streetwalker and As An Nós.