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Media Release 1 May 2013

New National Music Hub launched at National Concert Hall

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, was at the National Concert Hall today to launch its new RESIDENCIES programme, creating a national music hub at Earlsfort Terrace.

As part of the National Concert Hall’s role as the centre for musical excellence in Ireland, the Hall has offered residency space at its Dublin site to two key music organisations, the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the National Chamber Choir of Ireland. In addition to welcoming these national organisations to the building, the National Concert Hall is throwing open its doors to contemporary Irish musicians within the Residencies programme. Through the creation of a pilot Artist Writing Space programme, acclaimed songwriters Cathy Davey, Neil Hannon, Glenn Keating, James Vincent McMorrow and Paul Noonan will have access to one writing space each at the National Concert Hall for the next year to develop their own work, and potentially, collaborate with each other and with the National Concert Hall.

Speaking at the National Concert Hall this morning, Minister Deenihan said: “This is a new and welcome initiative being taken by the National Concert Hall. It progresses the Hall’s role as the national centre for musical excellence and a leading cultural institution. I hope that these residencies will allow for greater creative exchange between these musicians, benefitting both them and their audiences into the future.”

This positive initiative by the National Concert Hall will not only support and benefit musicians and artists in Ireland, but also lead to synergies between artists, ensembles and the National Concert Hall, building a vibrant centre of excellence for music in Ireland.

The National Concert Hall is delighted to support Irish composers and musicians through its new residencies programme”, said Simon Taylor, Chief Executive of the National Concert Hall. “This programme is an integral part of the National Concert Hall’s development plans for its Earlsfort Terrace site, making productive use of space, initiating artistic and strategic partnerships, facilitating musical creativity, delivering additional value for public money and building the Hall’s status as the home of music in Ireland. Since it opened in 1981, the National Concert Hall has been proud to be the home of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and it is very exciting for us now to be welcoming these organisations and artists to their new home. I’m particularly delighted that the programme can provide for contemporary song culture as well as classical music, all – literally – under one roof. We look forward to fascinating creative connections and collaborations emerging and to our residents becoming an integral part of the Hall’s programme.”
The organisations participating in the residencies programme echoed their positive response to this new initiative. “The IBO is thrilled to be a participant organisation in this visionary residency programme, and the strategic collaboration marks an exciting chapter for both organisations”, said Stella Konik, CEO, Irish Baroque Orchestra. 
Majella Hollywood, CEO of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland added “The National Chamber Choir of Ireland is delighted to become one of the resident ensembles at the National Concert Hall.  The NCCI and National Concert Hall share aspirations with regard to world-class music provision and development both in Dublin and throughout Ireland.  Working together, and with the other resident ensembles, this residency can only serve to strengthen and expand that provision to allow us to reach new audiences.”
For media information, contact
Annette Nugent • annette@annettenugent.ie • +353 86 6820971


The Artist Writing Spaces initiative seeks to further expand the work of the Residencies for classical music organisations by adding space for those working in contemporary song-writing. The project plans to provide space to artistically acclaimed song-writers who seek to engage with the programme of the Hall and to develop programme platforms with those artists at the Hall. A pilot programme will run from May 2013 to May 2014, where five artists are provided with one writing space each for 12 months. Artist selected for the Pilot Phase are the following:
Cathy Davey is an Irish singer-songwriter. She has released three albums, Something Ilk (2004), Tales of Silversleeve (2007) and The Nameless (2010). Her second album garnered her a Choice Music Prize nomination, and Meteor Award for Best Irish Female. The Nameless was the top selling album in Ireland upon the week of its release. It was also nominated for the Choice Music Prize.
Neil Hannon is a Northern Irish singer and songwriter, best known as the creator and frontman of the chamber pop group The Divine Comedy. Hannon has also collaborated with Thomas Walsh, from the Irish band Pugwash, to create a cricket themed pop album under the name The Duckworth Lewis Method. In April 2012, Hannon's first opera commission, Sevastopol,[12] was performed by the Royal Opera House.
Composer and electronic musician Glenn Keating is a member of the band Jape and performs with The Redneck Manifesto, Somadrone amongst others.
James Vincent McMorrow is an Irish folk singer and songwriter.  His debut album Early in the Morning was released in February, 2010 to widespread acclaim.
Paul Noonan is a song-writer best known for his work with his band, BellX1, who premiere their new album Chop Chop at the Hall in June.  Upcoming projects include an album of pared back collaborations with female vocalists like Martha Wainwright, Joan Wasser and Gemma Hayes.
The Irish Baroque Orchestra brings to life the beauty of baroque music as it was intended to be heard. Under the inspirational artistic direction of Monica Huggett, the simmering tension, colours and emotions of 18th Century Europe are vividly displayed in the IBO's authentic period performances which continue to receive widespread critical acclaim, in concert and in recording.  The IBO is kindly supported by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council. More details on the IBO and our forthcoming season can be found at www.irishbaroqueorchestra.com
The National Chamber Choir of Ireland is the country’s flagship choral ensemble. Under the internationally celebrated and multi award winning choral conductor Paul Hillier as Artistic Director, the Choir is known for its unique approach to programming and has gained a reputation for the high artistic quality of its performances. The Choir remains a thriving force on a very active choral scene both at home and abroad. Since its inception, the Choir has made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary Irish choral music through its commitment to commissioning new work while its performance repertoire spans from early to contemporary music. www.nationalchamberchoir.com
The National Concert Hall is Ireland’s centre for musical excellence, promoting in excess of 1,000 concerts and events each year. Based in Dublin city centre, it is rated by performing artists as one of the finest concert halls in Europe and boasts a thrilling line-up of some of the world’s greatest performers. Its resident orchestra is the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Classical, opera, traditional, jazz, musicals, popular music and music education are all part of its offering.
The National Concert Hall’s plans for its Earlsfort Terrace site over the next five years include a complete refurbishment of its main auditorium, the creation of a 500-seat recital hall and the upgrading of the Kevin Barry Room into a contemporary space for the performing arts, for which it is currently fundraising. www.nch.ie