by / December 21st, 2011 /

Top Story: The Score: Contemporary and classical news

Choral services and festive music galas may abound, but this is a quiet time of year in the contemporary classical world. That said, no Christmas would be complete without at least one performance of Handel’s Messiah. This year the Oratorio will be performed by The Palestrina Choir, Dublin Bach Singers and Orchestra of St Cecilia, in the candlelit Pro-Cathedral on the 20th of December. Tickets are priced at €20.

Registration has opened for the Netherlands Gaudeamus International Composers Award 2012. The Gaudeamus Prize is one of the most prestigious and sought-after awards within composition, with the prize consisting of a commission for a new work to be performed at the International Gaudeamus Music Week the following year. The panel, which in the past has included our own Donnacha Dennehy, this year consists of Martijn Padding, Annie Gosfield and Christopher Butterfield. More info and registration here.

Congratulations to Enda Bates and Sean Clancy, who have this month been awarded an RTE Lyric FM/IMRO Mentored Composition Bursary. Enda is a composer, musician and lecturer based in Dublin, whose work explores the boundaries between electronic and acoustic music. He is a co-founder of the Spatial Music Collective, and plays with folk-rock band The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock. Sean Clancy, also from Dublin, is currently completing a PhD at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and is the BCMG/SAM Apprentice Composer in Residence. He was the co-founder of the Irish Composers’ Collective and his work has been performed extensively internationally. We can look forward to hearing the results of this award, two new pieces written for the National Symphony Orchestra under the mentorship of the RTÉ Lyric FM Composer in Residence Linda Buckley, to be performed next year.

Live performances to films are happening more and more regularly on the classical scene, reawakening the music and granting films a new life and turning the fixed movie into a brand new musical spectacle. Wizard of Oz, a Christmas staple and a film whose popularity has endured despite a rapidly ageing score, is the next to receive this treatment from the National Concert Orchestra on the 23rd at the National Concert Hall. More info at