As part of an audio publishing initiative to support and promote the work of Irish composers, the Arts Council and RTÉ today (11 October 2011) launched a new CD of orchestral works by Dublin-born composer and Aosdána member John Kinsella, performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Funded by RTÉ and the Arts Council, the CD is part of the Composers of Ireland series.
John Kinsella joins Gerald Barry, Raymond Deane, Seóirse Bodley, Deirdre Gribbin and Ian Wilson in this project promoting the orchestral works of Irish composers. There are five more CDs to be issued as part of the series which will feature the music of Donnacha Dennehy, Kevin Volans, Kevin O’Connell, Elaine Agnew and Stephen Gardner.
John Kinsella has been described as ". the most significant Irish symphonist since Stanford," by BBC Radio 3. He has written over 21 compositions for orchestra including nine symphonies - works which have been performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and major orchestras throughout the world.
The impulse to create music has been with John Kinsella since he was a child, studying pocket editions of the scores of Sibelius and Beethoven. In 1988 he retired from RTÉ as Head of Music to concentrate on composition. The earliest piece on John Kinsella: Orchestral Works is his Symphony No.6, a celebration of friendship and shared musical interests dating from 1992.
Kinsella himself admits that Symphony No.7, also on the CD, while very much written in his own style, contains deliberate points of contact with Sibelius’ 7th Symphony. The other two compositions on John Kinsella: Orchestral Works are Cúchulainn and Ferdia: Duel at the Ford and Prelude and Toccata for String Orchestra, the latter originally written as a string quartet for the 2007 West Cork Chamber Music Festival. Cúchulainn and Ferdia, whose title is echoed by the Louis le Brocquy work on the CD cover, received its world premiere at a gala concert celebrating the 60th anniversary of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in 2008.
This year the Arts Council marks its 60th anniversary and speaking today, Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council, said: "Artists are central to all aspects of the Arts Council’s work. They make a unique contribution to society and our advocacy on their behalf is underpinned by a range of financial supports, both direct and indirect. To enable Irish composers engage with as wide a public as possible it is essential for them to have their music performed, recorded and extensively distributed. I am delighted this CD with compositions by John Kinsella has been issued today and that the Arts Council is collaborating with RTÉ on this exciting recording initiative to support the work of Irish composers."
Aodán Ó Dubhghaill, Head of RTÉ lyric fm, described the Composers of Ireland series of CDs on the lyric label as: "A prime example of what can be achieved when state funded organisations work in partnership. This series is receiving very positive critical reviews and is promoting the work of Irish composers at home and abroad."