At Ireland’s “Composing the Island” festival, where are living female composers?

Posted on: June 30, 2016

In Tuesday’s (6/28) Irish Times (Dublin), Michael Dervan writes about Ireland’s upcoming Composing the Island festival, a “celebration of Irish composers [that] extends to seven orchestral concerts and 20 concerts of vocal, chamber, instrumental and choral music [September 7-25]. It is a joint venture between RTÉ and the National Concert Hall.” The festival includes Ina Boyle’s Symphony No. 1 (1927) and Rhoda Coghill’s rhapsody for tenor, chorus and orchestra Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking (1923). Festival composers also include Arnold Bax, EJ Moeran, Percy Buck, Charles Kitson, Michele Esposito, and Fritz Brase. “The organ recitals are an all-man domain, and Michael McHale’s Celebration of 21st-Century Piano Music is also an all-man affair. The failure of the 500 words of introductory text on the Composing the Island webpage to mention a single living woman composer sends a negative message, as does the absence of any first performance of a work by a woman. The biggest faux pas is the omission of one of the country’s most successful composers, Jennifer Walshe…. And there’s another issue in the neglect of living composers under 30, only three of whom make the cut.”

Posted June 30, 2016