New Music Dublin 2023

Thursday 20th - SUnday 23rd April

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A very warm welcome to New Music Dublin 2023!

In order to try to keep up with the times, I was seriously considering asking an AI bot to write my introductory spiel this year. I reckoned it would be interesting to see what a dispassionate artificial intelligence has to say about New Music Dublin – but I also wanted to know what an introduction to the festival in the style of Donald Trump would be like. In the end, however, I decided against it - and not just because the idea was just a little bit silly.

In truth, I felt that getting an anonymous bot to write my words for me was counter to the spirit of the festival. New Music Dublin is a supportive, anti-anonymous celebration of individuality, originality, and creative human endeavour. The final work in this year’s festival (by Andrew Hamilton) is entitled “Friendly Piece” – and if that doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what does.

As always, we have new musical ideas in abundance – over 18 world premieres from internationally-recognised Irish composers including Donnacha Dennehy, Ann Cleare, Andrew Hamilton, David Fennessy, Kevin Volans, Karen Power, Brian Irvine, Amanda Feery, Áine Mallon, Susan Geaney and Jenn Kirby, and many others – alongside multiple premieres of works new to Ireland across multiple genres from electronic music to choral music, and solo performance to symphony orchestras. Perhaps most importantly, alongside all the new musical ideas, this is a festival where coming together to make new music is as encouraged as listening to it – from the “any age, any instrument, any ability” Totally Made-Up Orchestra sharing the stage with the National Symphony Orchestra on Saturday – through to Ensemble Modern side-by-side with instrumentalists from across Ireland on Sunday, and Cor Na Nog, Cor Linn and the Philharmonic Choir taking their places over the weekend in premiere after premiere. There’s even a chance for the very youngest to make new music together in the Natural Creators workshop on Saturday morning.

The festival café/bar in the John Field Room will also be open for meeting up with friends, family and colleagues throughout – so this is also the ideal time to tell you that all tickets give a discount of 10% off your food and drink purchases whilst you are socialising and connecting.

New music is important for the connections it makes – not only with friends, families and colleagues, but also musically - to others’ lives and thoughts and experiences. And so it is with New Music Dublin: this a-livest of live festivals is every year a broad, sprawling and terribly incomplete snapshot of new music from the island of Ireland and beyond – but it is also a buzzing hive of real-life connections with the composers, music creators and all the performers who are presenting here. Nothing here is anonymous. 

Do not be a stranger! You – and everyone – are very warmly welcome (as yourself!) at New Music Dublin 2023.

John Harris, Festival Director (definitely not a bot)

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