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Crash Ensemble. Photo courtesy of artist.


​CANCELLED 6.02pm (30 mins), Thursday 01 March
Front Steps NCH

Join us for our opening fanfare at sunset in the great outdoors! Crash Ensemble presents a brand new composition from the award-winning Grainne Mulvey, music from Ed Bennett’s Accel and Terry Riley's Loops For Ancient-Giant-Nude-Hairy Warriors Racing Down The Slopes Of Battle. The performance will be live and amplified on the steps of the National Concert Hall, free for all.

Crash Ensemble, an Irish new-music collective with international cachet and considerable chops

The Washington Post

Internationally revered…Ireland's buzzing new-music party

The Guardian

Crash Ensemble. Photo courtesy of artist. Crash Ensemble. Photo courtesy of artist.

Curious about new music? This is the perfect opportunity to come along and check it all out - the event is free and accessible for all. To celebrate the opening of the festival, New Music Dublin have commissioned a new composition from the award-winning Grainne Mulvey, to be performed by Crash Ensemble alongside work from her fellow composers Ed Bennet and Terry Riley. Riley's composition Loops for Ancient-Giant-Nude-Hairy Warriors Racing Down the Slopes of Battle was written especially for Crash Ensemble. The concert will be conducted by the young American Ryan McAdams, one of the most exciting and versatile conductors of his generation. McAdams recently conducted the new Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh opera 'The Second Violinist'.


Composed by

Grainne Mulvey, eGreeting (World Premiere)

Composed by

Ed Bennett, Accel

Composed by

Terry Riley, Loops For Ancient-Giant-Nude-Hairy Warriors Racing Down The Slopes Of Battle

Conducted by

Ryan McAdams

Crash Ensemble is Ireland’s leading new music ensemble; a group of world-class musicians who play the most adventurous, groundbreaking music of today.

Founded in 1997 by composer Donnacha Dennehy, some of the most distinctive living composers have written for the group, including Terry Riley, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Louis Andriessen, Arnold Dreyblatt, Kevin Volans, Glen Branca, Nico Muhly and Gerald Barry.

Many well-known artists from diverse musical backgrounds have performed with the ensemble; Gavin Friday, Íarla Ó Lionáird (The Gloaming), Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Sam Amidon, Dawn Upshaw, Julie Feeney, Lisa Hannigan and Beth Orton.

As well as performing throughout Ireland, Crash regularly perform internationally, with appearances in the last few years at the Edinburgh International Festival, The Royal Opera House (London), The Barbican (London), Carnegie Hall (NYC) The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), Virginia Tech (Virginia), GAIDA Festival (Lithuania) and residencies at The Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival (UK) and Princeton University (NJ

Gráinne Mulvey’s music has been performed and broadcast across the globe. She has been the recipient of many awards, commissions and honours. She has represented Ireland twice at the ISCM World Music Days in 2008, and 2009 and at the International Rostrum of Composers in 1994 and 2006. RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra has commissioned many pieces by Grainne and her work featured in the Horizons Series in 2015 and in 2007. Her work has also been performed by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, The Northern Sinfonia, UK, The Hradrec Králové Orchestra, Prague, The Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra and Orchestre National De Lorraine, France. The Dublin International Piano Competition commissioned a test piece for May 2015 and she also composed a piece for Chamber Choir Ireland to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising 1916.

Co. Down-born Ed Bennett’s body of work includes large-scale orchestral works, ensemble pieces, solo works, electronic music, opera, installations and works for dance and film. He has lived and worked in recent years in Paris, Berlin and London. He has been commissioned and performed internationally by many diverse artists, ensembles and organisations, including the BBC, RTÉ, PRSF, Music Network, Moving On Music, 2012 Olympics, Integra and the Arts Councils of England, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Noted collaborators and performers of his work include the BBC Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, the National Orchestra of Belgium, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, Crash Ensemble, Orkest de ereprijs, Fidelio Trio, Berlin Percussion Ensemble, Ensemble SurPlus, Lontano, Concorde, the Smith Quartet, Noszferatu, Ensemble Ars Nova, Garth Knox, Pedro Carneiro, Reinbert de Leeuw, James MacMillan, Darragh Morgan, Mary Dullea, Rolf Hind and Paul Dunmall.

Terry Riley is an American composer and performing musician associated with the minimalist school of Western classical music, of which he was a pioneer. His work is deeply influenced by both jazz and Indian classical music, and has utilized innovative tape music techniques and delay systems. He is best known for works such as his 1964 composition In C and 1969 album A Rainbow in Curved Air, both considered landmarks of minimalist music.

Riley cites John Cage and "the really great chamber music groups of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, and Gil Evans" as influences on his work, demonstrating how he pulled together strands of Eastern music, the Western avant-garde, and jazz.

Riley began his long-lasting association with the Kronos Quartet when he met their founder David Harrington while at Mills. Over the course of his career, Riley composed 13 string quartets for the ensemble, in addition to other works. He wrote his first orchestral piece, Jade Palace, in 1991, and has continued to pursue that avenue, with several commissioned orchestral compositions following. He is also currently performing and teaching both as an Indian raga vocalist and as a solo pianist. Riley continues to perform live, and was part of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in May 2011.

Ryan McAdams has been recognised as one of the exciting and versatile conductors of his generation. He made a highly successful subscription European debut with the orchestra of the Maggio Musicale in Florence, where he has since returned regularly. His Eastern European debut was made with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Julian Rachlin, and Mischa Maisky. His subscription debut with the Israel Philharmonic was hailed as “extraordinary,” “masterful,” and “immense[ly] dramatic” by the Jerusalem Post; a live recording of the concert was released by the IPO on the Helicon Classics label. He has returned to the Israel Philharmonic twice since, most recently in a series of performances featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein and Orff’s Carmina Burana. A Fulbright scholar, he previously served as Apprentice Conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, assisting then-Chief Conductor Alan Gilbert. Mr. McAdams is the first-ever recipient of the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award.

Media Credits

Header: Crash Ensemble. Photo courtesy of artist.
Overview images:.
Crash Ensemble. Photo courtesy of artist.
Gallery images:.
Ryan McAdams. Photo by Kristin Hoebermann.
Terry Riley. Photo by Betty Freeman.

The Irish Times

Read a review of Crash Ensemble live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival



From early February through to March 5th.