New Music Dublin is a new partnership initiative whereby the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the RTÉ Orchestras, the National Concert Hall and the Contemporary Music Centre are working together to create a major festival of contemporary music. The inaugural Festival took place in March 2013.
In addition to providing significant funding to New Music Dublin, the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon plays an important role in contemporary music by providing ongoing funding to specialist organisations including the Contemporary Music Centre and Crash Ensemble. Many other Arts Council funded music organisations make a significant contribution to contemporary music. The Council also offers awards to individual composers, musicians and organisations including project awards, commissions, bursaries, travel awards and festival grants.
The commitment to New Music Dublin arises as part of the Arts Council’s ongoing response to its 2006 policy publication Sounds New.
RTÉ is the most significant employer of orchestral musicians in Ireland. The commissioning, performance and recording of contemporary music is a key element in the work of RTÉ Orchestras, Quartet and Choirs with notable highlights including the presentation of six contemporary music festivals dedicated to major international figures and involving the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet as well leading Irish and international specialist ensembles and soloists; the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s Horizons Contemporary Music Series; the Music Commissions scheme which recently announced six new commissions for RTÉ’s orchestras, string quartet and choirs; a 2011 focus by the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet on the music of composers Frederick May and Frank Corcoran and the Irish Music Recording Project in collaboration with RTÉ Lyric fm and The Arts Council.
The National Concert Hall has a remit that includes the support of contemporary music. As more space has become available within the Earlsfort Terrace site, particularly through the Kevin Barry Room, the NCH has been able to respond flexibly and imaginatively to the needs of many contemporary music practitioners and organisations through offering space for rehearsals and performances. The National Concert Hall has received additional funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht towards the festival which forms part of the EU Presidency Cultural Programme.
The Contemporary Music Centre supports the work of composers throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland and engages in an ongoing programme of development works and innovative events and programmes to promote new Irish music at home and abroad. The Arts Council’s annual support enables CMC to continue nurturing the composition and performance of new music in Ireland.