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IFPI releases Music Listening 2019 | A global snapshot of music engagement

IFPI, the organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, has released its Music Listening 2019 Report, which examines the ways in which music consumers aged 16 – 64 engage with recorded music across 21 countries.

Report highlights:

• Music listening is up. Respondents typically spend 18 hours per week listening to music – up from 17.8 hours in 2018. This equates to about 2.6 hours – or the equivalent of listening to 52 three-minute songs – daily.

• Most people (54%) identify as ‘loving’ or being ‘fanatical’ about music. Among 16 – 24-year-olds, this rises to 63%.

• Older age groups increasingly embrace audio streaming services. Engagement with audio streaming globally is strong, with 64% of all respondents accessing a music streaming service in the past month – up by about 7% over 2018. The highest rate of growth for engagement is in the 35 – 64-year-old age group, with 54% of that group accessing a music streaming service in the past month (+8% on 2018).

• Copyright infringement remains a challenge for the music ecosystem. 27% of all those surveyed used unlicensed methods to listen to or obtain music in the past month, while 23% used illegal stream ripping services – the leading form of music piracy.

Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI, said: “This year’s report tells an exciting story of how fans are increasingly engaging with music. At a time when multiple forms of media vie for fans’ attention, they are not only choosing to spend more of their time listening to – and engaging with – music but they are doing so in increasingly diverse ways. The enduring partnership between record companies and artists is the bedrock on which this growing, exciting global world of passionate music listeners is built. Record companies work with their artists to help connect them with fans around the world. The report also highlights that the availability of music through unlicensed methods, or copyright infringement, remains a real threat to the music ecosystem. Practices such as stream ripping are still prevalent and return nothing to those who create and invest in music. We continue to coordinate world-wide action to address this.”

The full report is available here.

Keychange launches open call to find 74 innovative women & gender minority artists & innovators to take part in year-long programme

Applications are open to artists (writing & performing their own music) and industry professionals (working in music) in Ireland, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

The IMRO sponsored, pioneering international initiative Keychange, has today launched an open call to find the next cohort of participants who will take part in an impactful capacity building and talent development programme throughout 2020.

Led by Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), PRS Foundation (UK) and Musikcentrum Öst (Sweden), Keychange is looking for 37 innovative, emerging artists, with a distinctive and original talent who write/perform their own music and are ready to export to new international territories. As well as the comprehensive training programme, artists will get the opportunity to showcase at one of the 13 festival partners. Ireland Music Week is the partner festival in Ireland for the initiative. Mixed gender groups are welcome to apply for showcasing, with the woman or gender minority member taking part as a Keychange participant. 37 industry professionals will also be recruited, who must be pushing the boundaries of music industry practice, demonstrating an interest in new business models and innovative ways of working with growing professional track record.

Eleanor McEvoy, Chairperson, IMRO & Angela Dorgan, Director, Ireland Music Week

Eleanor McEvoy, IMRO Chairperson said “International collaboration is essential to the creative and business development of all talented artists and the music industry’s future success. Enabling more women access to international networks and new markets at critical stages in their career will help them realise their potential as future leaders of an industry that is ready for and will benefit from change.  Right now we have an opportunity to respond and commit to tangible change within the music industry.  Our hope is that this will be the start of a more balanced industry which will result in benefits for everyone.”

Angela Dorgan, Director of Ireland Music Week added “As one of the first festivals to sign up to Keychange 3 years ago, we can already see the role events like ours have in proving that female and gender minority artists benefit from visibility. Bookers’ can’t ignore talent when it’s put in front of them, our job is to make sure the picture they get of the talent landscape is an equal one. “

Each successful applicant will get a bursary and a programme of stimulating activity facilitated and overseen by the new project management team. Partners in all 12 countries will select the 74 participants at a selection panel taking place in London in December.

The participants will get:

– Participation in full network meet-up in Stockholm in February 2020.
– Showcasing or participation at one of our 13 festival partners.
– Participation in full network meet-up at Reeperbahn Festival in September.
– Mentoring via SheSaidSo.
– For artist applicants: performance at one of our 13 festival partners.
– Promotion via the Keychange database.
– Capacity building with a bespoke training programme.

The deadline is 6pm GMT on Wednesday 30th October.

Each country has local partners and slightly different criteria, before you apply you must read the full criteria / guidance here:

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative which transforms the future of music whilst encouraging festivals and music organisations to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. 74 emerging artists and innovators each year from across Europe and Canada will take part in international festivals, showcase events, collaborations and a programme of creative labs. Keychange aims to accelerate change and create a better more inclusive music industry for present and future generations.

Keychange is led by Reeperbahn Festival, PRS Foundation and Musikcentrum Öst, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, in partnership with Tallinn Music Week, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Oslo World, Linecheck/Music Innovation Hub, Ireland Music Week, SACEM, Liverpool Sound City, Way Out West, Spring Break, MAMA, Mutek and Breakout West.

Keychange is sponsored by FACTOR, Fundación SGAE, GEMA, Gorwelion Horizons, IMRO, Roskilde Festival, Smirnoff Equalising Music, SOCAN Foundation, Songtrust, SoundCloud, STEF and STIM.

Other Voices Returns to Dingle | 29th Nov – 1st Dec

Rounding off another year of adventures in Belfast, Berlin and Cardigan, Other Voices returns to its roots in Dingle, Co. Kerry on November 29th, 2019 for the annual weekend in the heart of winter, often referred to as a musical pilgrimage.

Venues, pubs, cafes and shops around the town will open their doors and welcome attendees to the Dingle Gin Music Trail showcasing over 70 artists across three days. Late-night favourite After Dark (a co-production with the Hen’s Teeth) will return to The Hillgrove with very special guests to be announced. The Music Trail West will take festival goers beyond the streets of Dingle to enjoy off the beaten track performances around various locations around the Dingle Peninsula on the Wild Atlantic Way. A longstanding OV favourite, Jim Carroll’s Banter will return to Foxy John’s for two days of thought-provoking discussions and a series of intimate performances.

From Friday 29th of November, Other Voices will welcome Irish and international artists to perform in St. James’ Church and the IMRO Other Room, where they will be filmed for inclusion in the 18th series of the television show, due to air on RTÉ 2 in 2020.

Ireland’s Edge returns with the theme ‘Endings + Edges, Bonds + Borderlands’. The focus will be on Brexit, Ireland’s place in Europe, the climate emergency, mass migration, immigration, and the role and impact of the digital revolution. As ever, the Ireland’s Edge talks and performances will happen in the company of a curious attendance of thinkers, policy makers, innovators, commentators and artists. Join us at the Edge to connect, disrupt and play. Tickets for Ireland’s Edge are priced €35 for two days and €20 for one day and available now from Ireland’s Edge – Endings + Edges, Bonds + Borderlands is presented in partnership with Intel Ireland.

“Shared Sessions” | An Exciting New Initiative From The RTÉ Concert Orchestra

Hiring an orchestra, studio, engineers and conductor for recording can be an expensive endeavour. The RTÉ Concert Orchestra is now offering flexibility in dividing recording sessions to facilitate many projects. Whether composing for a short film, requiring something greater for a main title, recording new songs, revisiting old songs that might require an orchestra or simply expanding your portfolio. They will provide the renowned Studio 1, control room facilities, qualified engineers, a conductor and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra to bring your orchestral creation to life.

For further information please contact ei.etr@notxes.yraM

In association with IMRO – RTÉ Scoring for Film Programme

Four New Inductees Announced for the 2019 IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame

The 2019 IMRO Radio Awards Hall of Fame inductees were revealed today. RTÉ Radio 1’s Ronan Collins, Newstalk’s Sean Moncrieff, Paul Byrne Chief Executive Radio Kerry, and Seamus McKee from BBC Radio Ulster were announced as the latest recipients of this prestigious accolade. The Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on Tuesday 24th September 2019 in the offices of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland where the Hall is housed year round.

The Hall of Fame is a highly regarded achievement within the Irish radio industry. This years four new inductees join names such as Gay Byrne, Pat Kenny, Larry Gogan, Ian Dempsey, Áine Lawlor, Candy Devine, Dave Fanning and Tony Fenton amongst others. The Hall of Fame celebrates those well-known names on air and also those behind the mic that make Irish radio such an integral part of daily life.

The IMRO Radio Awards take place at the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny on Friday 4th October 2019 where the winners of the 40 categories will be announced.

Ronan Collins is admired and respected throughout Irish broadcasting for his affable personality and his natural style. Ronan is a huge attribute to RTÉ in both the television world and also on radio. Ronan began his national radio career on RTÉ Radio 2. His daily programme The Ronan Collins Show, from 12-1pm, is all about easy listening and light entertainment and is amongst the biggest radio shows on RTÉ Radio 1.Ronan was presented with an IMRO Special Recognition.  The tribute recognises the enormous support that Ronan has given to Irish music and Irish artists over the course of his many years in radio. Ronan is no stranger to the Irish TV screen and hosted Play the Game and the Irish Lotto. In 2017, Ronan featured in RTÉ2 documentary Trauma, where he told his story on how he almost became paralysed.  Just this summer (2019), Ronan Collins presented a new style of radio programme on Sunday mornings, The Collins Collection. Ronan is 41 years married and has three children, two girls and one boy. Originally from Phibsboro in Dublin city, he now resides in Co. Meath.  He enjoys a good game of golf, music and the occasional gig (Ronan used to play in a band along with Dickie Rock!)

Sean Moncrieff presents ‘Moncrieff’ on Newstalk every weekday from 2-4pm including the well-loved Movies and Booze on Friday afternoons. Moncrieff is the longest serving presenter on the Newstalk schedule and has been a consistently strong audience performer.  His unique and quirky style has seen Sean win multiple IMRO Radio Awards. Sean was born in London but moved to Ballinasloe, Co. Galway at the age of 12. He then went on to study journalism in Dublin and then English and Philosophy in UCD. Outside of broadcasting, Moncrieff’s passion is writing, in particular non-fiction books, and to date he has written three novels and two non-fiction books, while he also writes a weekly column for the Irish Times and is the voice of The Restaurant on Virgin Media. Sean has devised and presented many hit TV programmes, including The End, Good Grief Moncrieff, Black Box and IFTA-nominated Don’t Feed the Gondolas.

Paul Byrne
is a native of Tipperary. He began his radio career in pirate radio in the early 80’s before joining WLR in Waterford in the early days of pirate radio.He then moved to Tipp FM as CEO in 2001 before joining Radio Kerry as CEO in 2004. In August 2005 Radio Kerry completed the purchase of Shannonside/ Northern Sound, becoming the first of the original Irish owned local radio stations to expand in this way. His career achievements mean that Paul has played a key role in the development of the local radio industry in eight counties across the country. The Radio Kerry Group has won multiple IMRO and other radio awards across all areas of output, including winning Local Radio Station of the Year on 5 occasions. Graduates from the Radio Kerry Broadcast Training School now work in radio stations across Ireland. Paul is also a Board member of IBI and IRS. Throughout his career he has shown continuous energy, commitment, vision and foresight in the protection of the local radio industry in Ireland.

Seamus McKee is a lead presenter and broadcast journalist who has presented BBC Radio Ulster’s, Evening Extra since 2009. Before moving to Evening Extra, Seamus presented BBC Radio Ulster’s, Good Morning Ulster programme for almost 30-years. Seamus has also presented a number of BBC NI programmes including Spotlight, Hearts And Minds and Songs Of Praise. High profile documentaries Seamus has worked on for BBC NI, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 include the disappearance of Lord Lucan and the life and times of the late Gerry Fitt and presented the Radio Two Arts Programme for BBC Radio Two. Seamus has been the BBC NI commentator at a number of outside broadcasts including President Clinton’s visits and the Omagh Commemoration as well as the 1916 centenary commemorations in Dublin and at the Somme. Seamus attended Queen’s University in Belfast and is a qualified teacher, and previously taught English and French at Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s College, Knock in Belfast. Seamus started his BBC career as a freelance broadcast journalist reporting on sports, arts and current affairs, while he continued to teach part time. In 1981 he became a full time presenter on Good Morning Ulster. Born in Belfast, Seamus still lives in the city with wife Brenda and has two daughters and two grandchildren.

Hall of Fame Inductees to date:

Micheál O’Muircheartaigh – RTÉ Radio 1
Jimmy Magee – RTÉ Radio 1
Des Whelan – WLR FMMarian
Finucane – RTÉ Radio 1Gay
Byrne – RTÉ Radio 1
Larry Gogan – RTÉ 2fm
Mario Rosenstock – Today FM
Gerry Ryan – RTÉ 2fm
Ronan O’Rahilly – Radio Caroline
Candy Devine – Downtown
Seán Bán Breathnach – RTÉ Raidio Na Gaeltachta
Joe Duffy – RTÉ Radio 1
Bill Goulding – RTÉ
Liam O’Shea – clare fm
Tony Fenton RIP – Today FM
Paul Claffey – Midwest RadioÁine Lawlor – RTÉ Radio 1
Walter Love – BBC Radio Ulster
Gerry Anderson – BBC Radio Ulster
Pat Balfe – Communicorp
Des Cahill – RTÉ Radio 1
Henry Owens RIP – Red FM
Eamon Buttle – South East Radio
Trevor Campbell – Downtown Radio
Ian Dempsey – Today FM
Dave Fanning – RTÉ 2fm
Linda McAuley – BBC Radio Ulster
Séamus Mac Géidigh RIP – RTÉ Raidió Na Gaeltachta
Billy McCarthy RIP – WLR FM
Joe King – Broadcast Technical Services Limited
Pat Kenny – Newstalk
Margaret Nelson – FM104/Q102
Willie O’Reilly Ian Wilson – RTÉ Radio 1 & 2fm

Girls Rock Dublin Gear Library Launching on Culture Night

This Culture Night marks the beginning of a fantastic opportunity for teenagers to borrow a musical instrument from Dublin City Libraries.

Dublin City Libraries and Girls Rock Dublin are proud to present “GRD Gear Library”, the gear loan service designed for teenagers under 18 and launching on Culture Night with “Instrument Carousel”.

On 20 September at 6pm 16 teenagers will take over Pearse Street Library in a fun and loud experiment involving electric guitars, basses, synths, keyboards ukulele, glockenspiel, pedal effects and drums.

By moving through different rooms and engaging with GRD coaches, participants will learn a song on each instrument, and finish by performing the song together.

Open to teenagers of all genders. Booking essential: ei.yticnilbud@yrarbilteertsesraep

From Culture Night any teenager who is a member of Dublin City Libraries can borrow their preferred instrument for three weeks. All you need is your library card! Joining is easy

The GRD Gear Library is a collection of instruments, amplifiers and musical accessories that Girls Rock Dublin use for their summer camp and events and are now making available through Dublin City Libraries all year round. Take a look at the instrument gallery at then call into Pearse Street library and borrow what you need!

The collection is made up of donated gear from people in the community who value the work of Girls Rock Dublin and from purchases made from funding received with thanks to The library is an ongoing project and we welcome donations of gear, see


Girls Rock Dublin is a non-profit, volunteer-led organisation that builds girls’ self-esteem through music creation and performance. Providing workshops and technical training, GRD creates leadership opportunities, cultivates a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourages social change and the development of life skills.

Dublin City Libraries are free, fun and easy to use. Find out more at Joining is easy and completely free. Get access to great online resources, borrow books, DVDs and now musical instruments. There are no fines and you can use your card in any library in Ireland. Fill in a membership form at your library or join online at

Teenagers will need the signature of a parent or guardian when completing the membership form.  Their parent or guardian will need to bring photo I.D. and proof of address. 

Irish Freemasons Young Musician Of The Year Competition Returns for Tenth Year

Recognised internationally, the prestigious Irish Freemasons Young Musician Of The Year Competition returns for the tenth year and is one of the most important dates in the calendars of young musicians who will be the future of classical music in Ireland and around the globe. 

This year’s Competition will take place before an International Jury, chaired by Jane Carty, as follows:

·         The Semi-Finals – Thurs. 10th October 2019 @ Freemasons’ Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 @ 1.00pm and 7.00pm

·         The Finals – Saturday, 12th October 2019 @ Freemasons’ Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 @ 7.00pm

The prestige of winning this competition opens many doors for these young musicians from high profile engagements to performing concerts, teaching internationally and holding positions with professional orchestras around the globe.  This competition is recognised internationally. 

How winning the inaugural competition in 2010 enhanced Macdára Ó Seireadáin’s career:   “Winning the competition was of great importance to me for a number of reasons – firstly the prestige and engagements that came with such an award helped a great deal in improving my artistic profile. In the years following on from the competition, I have gone on to perform and teach internationally, have performed concertos with a number of orchestras both in Ireland and Germany, and have gone on to hold my first position in a professional orchestra in Austria. Winning the competition helped kick-start the process which has led to all these things, and as such, I would have to say that its overall contribution to my professional development was of enormous value”.   Macdára is currently performing in Hanover where he is following his first love with a chamber music series with his own chamber group. He is also principal clarinet with the prestigious Tiroler Festspiel Erl Orchestra in Austria. He makes frequent visits throughout Europe, the United States and China and back to his homeland, Ireland, to play with the RTE Orchestras.    At the invitation of the Artistic Director of the IFYM, in view of his subsequent international career Macdara was a member of the Jury for the 2017 Competition. This is the first time a Winner was asked to do this. 

Alex Petcu, who won in 2013, is a brilliant young percussionist from Cork School of Music.  Alex was awarded the ‘Rising Star Award’ from the National Concert Hall, where he has since given a number of concerts and released a CD.

2014 winner Gary Beecher, a gifted young pianist, also from Cork, has been continuing his studies in Europe and playing in concerts both there and in Ireland. As part of his 2014 Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year prize, he made his debut concerto performance with the RTE Concert Orchestra, conducted by their principal conductor, John Wilson, at the NCH in August 2015, playing the Schumann Piano Concerto.   His performance was broadcast live on RTÉ Lyric FM. 

2017’s winner Violinist Richard Thomas debuted playing the Sibelius Concerto at the National Concert Hall on his 22nd birthday with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.   Described as the next Nigel Kennedy Richard Thomas has delighted audiences in Ireland and the UK as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player.   He has co-led the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, lead the RIAM Symphony Orchestra and was also the inaugural leader of the RIAM Philharmonia, with whom he worked under Maestri Kenneth Montgomery, Andrew Mogrelia and Gerhard Markson. Richard is also a regular deputy violinist with the Ulster Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Concert Orchestra, with whom he recently joined for a five-concert tour of China.    Richard currently plays on a beautiful 1732 Nicolaus Gagliano violin, kindly on loan to him from Florian Leonhard Fine Violins, made possible by the Irish Freemason’s Young Musician of the Year Award.

AMY GILLEN (23) (pictured), Winner of the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year 2018, performed with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra at the NCH in June. This performance was part of her prize for winning the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition.

Amy, from Donegal, is a graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, and is currently studying for a Masters in Music Performance at the Royal College of Music in London.

Since becoming the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year in October 2018 she has performed extensively as Principal Flute with the RTE Concert Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra. In 2019 she has also won the McCullough Cup at the Feis Ceoil, the RTE Lyric FM bursary and the RDS Jago Award.  

It is important to The Irish Freemasons, as part of their community outreach, to recognise the longstanding association that Freemasonry has had with music.  Music has always played an important part of masonic life.  Many performers and composers have been members of the craft, including Haydn and even John Walter Bratton (who wrote the music to The Teddy Bear’s Picnic!)  Many people will know about Mozart as a Freemason.  Mozart wrote many pieces of music for use in Masonic Lodges.  

Members of the International Jury for 2019 are: Jane Carty (Chairperson of the Jury), Eric Kushner (USA)     Maighréad McCrann (Ireland),Andrew Mogrelia (U.K.), Michael Pugh (U.K.), and   Seamus Crimmins (Ireland),

Fifteen competitors will perform at the Semi Finals and four of these will then be chosen by the Jury to go on to the Final.  The Semi Finals on 10th October and the Final on Saturday, 12th October 2019 are open to the public. Tickets are on sale at Freemasons Hall, 17 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 from September 1st. The Final particularly sells out very quickly.

The Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition Prizes to be awarded by The Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland are:

·         1st Prize:          €5,000

·         2nd Prize:         €3,000

·         3rd Prize:          €1,500

·         4th Prize:          €1,250

There are two extra prizes in addition:

·         ‘The John Vallery Memorial Prize’ (sponsored by Mary Beattie in memory of her husband, the viola player, John Vallery). This prize is €1,000 and will be awarded to the competitor (in either the semi-finals or the final) who, in the opinion of the Jury has given the best performance by a String player in the 2019 competition.

·         ‘The Conrad O’Sullivan Memorial Prize (sponsored by Mrs. Geraldine O’Sullivan in memory of her son, Conrad).   This prize is also €1,000 and will be awarded to the competitor (in either the semi-finals or the final) who, in the opinion of the Jury has given the best performance by a Wind or Brass player in the 2019 competition. 

The following will also be offered to the Winner of The Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year 2019 Competition:

·         A solo engagement during 2020 with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra

·         Submission of the recording (at RTE LYRIC FM’s discretion) of the Winner’s performance to the European Broadcasting Union New Talent Competition, as RTE Lyric FM’s entry for 2019. 

·         A Recital engagement at the National Concert Hall during 2020

·         An engagement at the ‘Music in Monkstown Festival’ in 2020

The patrons of the competition are: Jane Carty, Dearbhla Collins, Eamonn Lawlor and John Rowden. Full Biographies of the Patrons are available on the competition website which is 

The semi-finalists at The Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year 2019 Competition are selected by the Music Colleges themselves from the cream of their students.  Competitors must be full time students for the college year 2018 – 2019, pursuing a Degree in Music Performance at Undergraduate, Post Graduate or Doctoral Level, or a Post Graduate Diploma in Music Performance at the following Music Institutions in Ireland who offer Performance Degrees:

·         The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin

·         The Technological University, Dublin

·         The DIT Conservatory of Music, Dundalk

·         The CIT Cork School of Music, Cork

·         The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick (MA in Classical String Performance). 

·         Queen’s University Belfast

Music has always played an important part of masonic life.   Here is an interesting list of Masonic Musicians:

Classical: Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Josef Haydn, Emile Schikenader (Librettist of The Magic Flute), Jan Sibelius, Thomas Arne,  Johnann  Christian Bach (Son of J S Bach), Michael Balfe,  Luigi Cherubini, Charles Francis Gounod, Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (‘The Marseillaise’), Sigmund Romberg, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Samuel Wesley.

Popular:  John Philip Sousa, Louis Armstrong,  William ‘Count’ Basie, Irving Berlin, George M Cohan, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Al  Jolson, Paul Whiteman

And finally, John Walter Bratton (who wrote the music to The Teddy Bear’s Picnic!)

Jury Members 2019

Full Biographies and pictures of the jury are available on the competition website which is

JANE CARTY – Patron & Artistic Director and Chairperson of the Jury:

In June 2010 Jane Carty was awarded the highest honour the Royal Irish Academy of Music can give – The Fellowship Honoris Causa (FRIAM).   She was born in Dublin.  Having studied in Paris, Strasbourg and Perugia, Italy, she started her career as a teacher of Piano, Theory and Composition at what is now the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. A singer, pianist and cellist herself, she presented and produced documentary music programmes for Radio from the major European Music Festivals during her subsequent career as Executive Producer for RTE. She organised and directed national competitions for choirs, singers, instrumentalists and composers, and was the Founder/ Director of the RTE Musician of the Future Festival.   See website for her biog:

Eric Kushner (USA) – Juror:

Eric Kushner was born in Louisiana, USA and began his horn studies with 12 years of age. At 15 he performed as a soloist with the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1979 until 1982 he studied at the New England Conservatory with Prof. Thomas Newel and continued in Detmold, Germany with Prof. Michael Höltzel. 1984 he became solo hornist of the Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna. In 1986 he was appointed solo hornist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and held that position for over 30 years. In 2018 he moved down the section and is working in the Vienna Symphony as a low horn player. In recognition of his many years of service in the Vienna Symphony he was given an honorary Professor title by the city of Vienna. He has performed for many years with Concentus Musicus under Nikolaus Harnoncourt on natural horn and performs regularly in festivals throughout Europe, the USA and Japan. As a soloist he has appeared with the Vienna Symphony, the Tonkünstlerorchester, the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg the Wiener Kammerorchester under the conductors Fabio Luisi, Vladimir Fedosejev, Vaclav Neumann, Georges Prêtre, Hans Graf und Frans Brüggen and has recorded extensively for CD and radio productions world-wide.

Maighréad McCrann (Ireland) – Juror:  Maighréad McCrann has been Concertmaster of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1993. In 1997 she was appointed Professor of Violin at the University of Performing Arts in Graz. During this time she has also enjoyed a versatile career as a soloist chamber musician and directing chamber orchestras from the violin. Her passion for teaching has resulted in many masterclasses and intense coaching with youth orchestras of Spain, Cataluña, Columbia, the Viennese Jeunesse Orchestra and the National Orchestral Institute in Washington. Born in Dublin where she studied music with Brian McNamara, she graduated from Trinity College of Music in 1984 and commenced studying in Vienna with Ernst Kovacic, and further violin lessons with Sandor Vegh and David Takeno. She was a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and played baroque violin with Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus.

Andrew Mogrelia (U.K.) – Juror:  British conductor Andrew Mogrelia has had an exceptionally versatile career as a prolific recording artist and conductor of both symphonic and ballet repertoire. He has conducted many of Europe’s leading orchestras including the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony in the UK, the RTÉ NSO in Ireland, Residentie Orchestra and Dutch Radio Symphony in the Netherlands and the Slovak Radio Symphony and Slovak Philharmonic in the Czech and Slovak Republics, among others.   Andrew has worked with ballet companies including English National Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, both Australian and West Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre in venues such as London’s Royal Festival Hall and Barbican, Metropolitan Opera House (New York), and Sydney Opera House. He was Music Director and Principal Conductor of San Francisco Ballet from 2003-2005 and in 2009 was named Principal Guest Conductor of Queensland Ballet and returned each season before becoming Music Director from 2013-2015.

In 2016 he conducted the Australian Ballet’s performances of Swan Lake in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, returned to the RTE National Symphony (Dublin) for an Opera Gala with Celine Byrne and conducted concerts at Queensland Conservatorium and Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (both included Stravinsky’s 1919 Firebird suite) and Nutcracker for Hong Kong Ballet with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.    He was Conductor-in-Residence at the Birmingham Conservatoire (UK) from 1992-2002 and has worked with the National Youth Orchestra (UK & Ireland) and the New Perspectives Ensemble at the Royal College of Music in London. From 2005-2012 he was Music Director of the Orchestra at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, establishing a major programme of orchestral concerts, workshops with distinguished guest conductors and a week- long Residence for
composer/conductor John Adams. He conducted Adams’ Harmonielehre and Wound Dresser in the presence of the composer.   He has an extensive discography of some 30 recordings on the Naxos label and his recording of the complete Sleeping Beauty was Gramophone magazine’s “first choice among all available recordings”.   Contemporary music projects include Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (Maxwell Davies’ Vesalii Icones), performances of works by Colin Matthews, Ross Edwards, Brett Dean, Steve Reich and John Adams and working with renowned bassist Edgar Meyer in Australia, conducting his 3rd double-bass concerto with the composer as soloist.

2017 engagements included concerts for the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and a performance of John Adams’ “The Nixon Tapes I” with Opera Australia Orchestra, Chorus and soloists in the concert hall of Sydney Opera House in celebration of the composers’ 70th birthday year. Works by Bryce Dessner and Jonny Greenwood were also featured.   2018 engagements included the Final of the Dublin International Piano Competition with the RTE National SO, a return to HKAPA and Giselle for HK Ballet. In 2019 he will return to the Dutch National Ballet for Swan Lake.

Michael Pugh (U.K.) – Juror:    After studying at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Michael came to international prominence by being the only British pianist in its history to be awarded the Prix d’Or at the Aarau International Piano Competition in Switzerland.    As a soloist his performances have captivated audiences both in the UK and abroad, from London to Osaka, collaborating with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Marin Alsop and Alexander Briger.

As a collaborative artist he has appeared in the QEH in London’s Southbank Centre, Salzburg’s Festspielhaus, Zurich’s Tonhalle and the Lund Art Gallery, Sweden, and performed in Metz, Paris, Berlin and Florence (with Amici di Toscana) as well as at festivals in Pienza, Montalcino and Rome, at both Aldeburgh and Cheltenham Festivals, and with Graham Johnson’s Song Makers Almanac.    Media activities have included live broadcasts for the BBC and LWT, NKH Japan, Funen TV Denmark, Rai 3 Italy and ARVO Dutch TV.    His discography includes work for Miramax Films , Sony and EMI.    In September 2012, Michael was invited to join the staff of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Séamus Crimmins (Ireland) – Juror:   Séamus Crimmins was appointed Executive Director, RTÉ Performing Groups, in 2007, a position he held until his retirement this year.  RTÉ’s performing groups include RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, RTÉ Philharmonic Choir and RTÉ Cór na nÓg – over 350 performers in all. His twin passions for music and broadcasting have resulted in him holding several other key positions in RTÉ: he has served as Senior Music Producer, commissioning Editor and, most notably, as the first Head of RTÉ lyric fm.

For more on Seamus see:

The Patrons

Dearbhla Collins – Patron is one of Ireland’s finest and most versatile musicians. As well as being an accomplished and prize-winning solo pianist with a distinguished performing career nationally and internationally, she is respected equally as chamber musician and vocal coach and musical administrator.   She is the Executive Artistic Director ofthe prestigious triennial Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in Dublin.  She is a Patron of the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition. 

Dearbhla was a member of the Board of the National Concert Hall, Dublin from 2010 – 2015 having previously served two terms as a Director of Culture Ireland.  She is also a piano teacher and Vocal Coach at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  She often teams up with her brother Finghin Collins for 4-hand recitals and 2 piano performances.   Dearbhla has travelled regularly to China, where she has given performances with bass John Molloy, mezzo soprano Aylish Kerrigan and soprano Lynda Lee, including a recital of Irish music in the prestigious National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.  Dearbhla regularly plays for classes and masterclasses with Dame Ann Murray and has also played for lessons with Sir Thomas Allen, Sergei Lieferkus and Brigitte Fassbender.   Performances include concerts with sopranos Sarah-Jane Brandon, Anna Devin and Pumeza Matshikiza; mezzo-sopranos Tara Erraught, Rachel Kelly, Dame Ann Murray and the late Bernadette Greevy; tenors Paul Austin Kelly, Paul McNamara, Mark Padmore and Robin Tritschler; baritones Gavan Ring and Detlef Roth. These performances include engagements nationwide in Ireland, in the US, Germany, Tunisia, Paris and the Wigmore Hall, London. She has also toured the US with Tara Erraught and given masterclasses and recitals in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan in China.   She has worked with the NSOI, Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Company and Welsh National Opera.  In 2006 she coordinated, in association with the Austrian Embassy, all major events taking place in Ireland to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mozart.     Dearbhla was the moving force behind the 2003 Dublin Hugo Wolf Festival, when under her artistic direction the complete songs of the Austrian composer were performed for the first time in Ireland. She curates Dublin Song Series with her brother Finghin in partnership with the National Concert Hall and the Hugh Lane Gallery.   Other projects included concerts at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin with Angela Brower, mezzo soprano and BBC 3 recordings with Egyptian soprano, Fatma Said.

Eamonn Lawlor – Patron: Before joining RTÉ lyric FM when the station opened in 1999, Eamonn was one of Ireland’s leading news and current affairs broadcasters. He was RTÉ’s European Correspondent for ten years and presented the ‘Six One’ news and ‘Prime Time’ on RTÉ One.   More recently he was the ‘voice of music’ on RTÉ lyric FM, presenting The Lyric Concert (Mon-Thurs, 8.30pm-11pm) as well as the regular Friday night RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra concerts live from the National Concert Hall.   He holds an MA in Modern English and American Literature from University College Dublin. Since his schooldays he has been passionately interested in the Arts, particularly music and literature. 

Since his retirement from broadcasting he has been actively pursuing his interests in Buddhism, languages, literature and music, and has appeared on stage as reader/narrator in Michael Murphy’s Stories, Poetry and Dreams and Simon Morgan’s Keep the Home Fires Burning

John N Rowden – Patron: started playing piano at the age of eight, realising his ambition by transferring to organ at the age of 16. He studied under W S Grieg at St Patricks Cathedral, Dublin, and then later became a protege of Ralph Vaughan Williams. He has played at the National Concert Hall Dublin, The Ulster Hall Belfast, The Guildhall in Derry, Notre Dame, Paris and Liverpool Cathedral, England; not to speak of most of the Churches in and around Dublin. He was accompanist to many Choral Societies including the Seafield Singers, and has been Grand Organist of the Grand Lodge of Ireland for over 20 years.


Full Biographies and pictures of the 2019 Semi-finalists are available on the competition website which is

Claire Austen                 Piano                            RIAM
Murrough Connolly        Classical Guitar             Cork School of Music
Robert Finegan             Saxophone                   TU Dublin
Ben Gannon                  Oboe                            RIAM
Oran Halligan                Piano                            RIAM
David McElroy              Violin                            Cork School of Music
J.J. McNamara              Piano                            RIAM
Connor McQuillan          Piano                            Queen’s University Belfast
David Mitchell               Flute                             Queen’s University Belfast
Molly O’Shea                Violin                            Cork School of Music
Kieran Sharkey              Trombone                     TU Dublin
Louise Sullivan              French Horn                  Cork School of Music 

Going Live: On Stage and On the Road

Date: 29th November 2019
Time: 7pm
Location: IMRO, Copyright House, Pembroke Row, Dublin 2
Tickets: €8 via Eventbrite

Panel Discussion . Live Performance . Art . Zines

This panel discussion puts live music centre-stage. Some of the most common questions directed at the SelfMade initiative revolve around navigating the live music scene, from advice about performance nerves to the practicalities of getting on the road. This event brings together new and seasoned musicians and live music experts to discuss the steps of building a live profile and how the live scene has impacted their careers.


ÆMAK, Ailbhe Reddy, Gráinne Hunt & Mango Dassle

Hosted by Úna Molloy

What’s it all about?

The Going Live panel will look at some of the fundamental questions about building a live music presence. What do promoters expect when they hear from a new artist? How does your live activity help to strengthen your releases? What is the role of an agent? What are the practicalities of applying for festivals and booking your first tour? What have you learned, loved and hated in your years on the live scene? This discussion aims to give new artists genuine advice on how to self-manage their booking and live promotion, how to plan and budget for their first tour, and looking ahead to build a team around their live-project. The discussion will wrap up with a Q&A session with the audience. Following the SelfMade format, the event will open and close with live, stripped back performances – from Gráinne Hunt and Ailbhe Reddy.

What is SelfMade?

A platform to explore DIY music in Ireland through performance, discussion, and art, with a strong focus on women in music. Their goal is to celebrate the work of DIY musicians and to create a supportive space to explore the realities of getting a music career off the ground. SelfMade is organised independently by artist, Joanna Bain, and musician/label coordinator, Julie Hough (HAVVK, Veta Records) in collaboration with a collective of Irish musicians.

Pitch Perfect: Write It! STF Workshop 3: Writing about Music for the Public, 18 Oct 2019

‘Writing about music is like dancing about architecture’ is a quip attributed to various individuals from Elvis Costello to Frank Zappa. Whatever its origins, there is no disputing the huge public interest in the work of those who endeavour to talk and write about music.

Reviews, articles, blogs, and podcasts are some of the ways in which writers connect with listeners and readers, fans and scholars. But how do you go about producing that content? What music do you want to write about? How do you convey sonic experiences in print? Which forms of communication will enable you to reach your desired audience?

To help address these questions, Sounding the Feminists has just announced STF Workshop 3! Writing about Music for the Public, a FREE workshop, which takes place at IMRO from 4 – 7pm on Friday, 18 October 2019.

Facilitated by Laura Watson of STF, the workshop features a panel of experts who write, edit and produce content for diverse audiences. Their work spans the spectrum of print media, academia, online media platforms, podcasts, radio, the blogosphere, and more. They are:

Further details:

Who: female, trans, and non-binary writers and musicians of any age, any experience, and any musical genre are welcome to participate in this workshop.

Where: IMRO, Copyright House, Pembroke Row, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2. D02 HW59

When: Friday, October 18th 4pm to 7pm

Cost: Free. STF can offer to cover the travel expenses (bus or train return tickets) of artists travelling to the workshop from outside Dublin city centre.

To Confirm Your Participation: To participate, book your place by emailing moc.stsinimefehtgnidnuos@ofni by 16 October 2019. Please give a 50-word summary of your musical interests / experience if relevant, and let us know if you require travel expenses

beatvyne’s Music x Tech Experience – Showcasing Artists For 2019 Announced

The IMRO sponsored beatvyne’s Music x Tech Experience has announced its list of Showcasing Artists from across Europe to perform at the 2019 event in Dublin this October 10-12. This curated line-up of the best emerging artists will play on multiple stages at the official Launch Party at the iconic Windmill Lane Recording Studios on October 10, as well as the MxT ‘Hive Stage’ on October 11 and 12 respectively for industry professionals from the entertainment and tech industries, international media and music fans.

The full line of artists from a multitude of genres includes: AikJ · Ailbhe Reddy · Bri · Double Screen · Fallen Lights · FIELDS · Fintan McKahey · Gary O’Neill · happyalone. · JaXson · Lōwli · Máni Orrason · Niall Mc Guigan · Pursued By Dogs · Rachael Lavelle · Reevah · ROE · Rumi · runabay · Sun Mahshene · SYLK · The Ocelots · VINCI · Weiss Video Orchestra

Each year, beatvyne’s Music x Tech Experience also selects a Featured Artist for a closer collaboration, widely featuring their music across different channels and facilitating access to mentorship for creative and entrepreneurial career development. 2019’s Featured Artist is female noir pop duo SYLK.

MxT2019 follows a ‘fan’-centric interdisciplinary approach, bringing together 2500+ global leaders and innovators of the music, tech and multimedia industries as well as connected ecosystems (automotive, health, retail, marketing etc.) to discuss the future of the entertainment industry and encourage interdisciplinary collaborations on the intersection of tech, creative and sustainability.

The Two-Day event will feature hands-on, immersive experiences with talks by the world’s leading companies and disruptors such as Amazon, IBM, Adobe, Sigur Rós, Magic Leap, Warner Music, AEG, The VOID, Lollapalooza Berlin, music performances as well as networking opportunities at intimate roundtable sessions, workshops, and stellar side events across the city.

Immersive showcases include the first ever AI-Artist live performance in Ireland, Extended Reality experiences such as Sigur Rós’ & Magic Leap’s “Tónandi” which just completed a successful run at Venice’s Biennale and many more, and follow in the footsteps of great experiences such as Björk Digital’s “Not Get” VR and Gorillaz’ “Saturnz Barz” VR experience which were on display in 2018.

CEO of the Music x Tech Experience Kenn Davis emphasises the event’s objective: “We live in a rapidly changing world. The Music x Tech Experience is an exciting opportunity for the entertainment and tech industries to keep up to speed on current developments that are redefining and influencing all sectors working with music and sound and to find the next big breakthroughs by getting together with the leading technologists, entrepreneurs and creative professionals and defining the way forward.”

beatvyne’s Music x Tech Experience 2019 will take place October 10-12, 2019. For more information, please visit To register for the event, please visit

MxT2019 is supported by Fáilte Ireland, Windmill Lane Recording Studios, IMRO, Miloco Gear, Music Gateway, Startup Ireland, MusicTech Germany, and International Sound Awards.

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