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Article recently published in The Musical Times by Dr Kevin O’Connell

Dr Kevin O'ConnellCheck out the latest edition of The Musical Times in the library. The Spring 2014 issue contains an article by RIAM composition teacher, Dr. Kevin O’Connell.

The article focuses on Alban Berg’s Orchestral pieces Op. 6, and challenges the assumption that they remain intractably complex, even 100 years after their composition. Noting the presence of clearly demarcated main and subsidiary themes throughout he writes: “This Ariadne’s thread … makes listening to op. 6 surprisingly straightforward, at any rate melodically. In plain language, there is always a tune to hang on.”

Kevin O’Connell, ‘Why is Berg’s op. 6 still so difficult to understand’, Musical Times, 155 (1926), 35-54

ms of berg's op. 6

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Academy Chamber Ensemble on Concert Tour in China!

ACE China 2014The Academy Chamber Ensemble (ACE) is about to commence a concert tour of China which is being supported by Culture Ireland.

During the tour ACE will perform  music by JS Bach, Beethoven, Handel/Halvorsen, Wallace, Messager, Messiaen, Poulenc, Piazzolla and Benoit Granier.


Details of Concerts are as follows:

Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 2.30 pm
YK Pao School

Presented in association with YK Pao School


Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 6.30 pm
Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Yangpu, Shanghai

Presented in association with the Irish Consulate, Shanghai


ACE Tsinghua Poster 2014Thursday, March 13th, 2014 at 7.00 pm
Meng Minwei Concert Hall, Tsinghua University, Haidan District, Beijing

Presented in association with the Irish Embassy, Beijing and Tsinghua University





Friday, March 14th, 2014 at 8.00 pm
Room 701 Central Conservatory of Music, 43 Baojia Road, Xicheng District, Beijing

Presented in association with Central Conservatory of Music


Saturday, March 15th, 2014 at 6.00 pm
Intercontinental Hotel, Chongqing, 101 Minzu Road, Chongqing 400010

Presented in association with the Intercontinental Hotel, Chongqing


All concerts supported by Culure IrelandCulture Ireland logo

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Tuned In – A Workshop for Singing Teachers

Sylvia O'ReganThis exciting course will be conducted by Sylvia O’Regan, Head of Vocal Studies.  Teachers will find this workshop a positive and inspiring step on their path of continuing professional development!

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 11th April, 2014.

Workshop Details


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Winner of Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Awards Announced

Eliza PuchianuFinal year Bachelor student, Eliza Puchianu, is this year’s recipient of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Awards.

Three students representing the cream of Piano talent from the Republic of Ireland’s conservatoires were selected to perform at the finals of the 2014 Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Awards on Tuesday 11th February at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

All finalists performed on Yamaha’s acclaimed CFX concert grand piano, which is an increasingly regular feature on concert platforms the world over, and had their performances, each of thirty minutes duration, judged by a panel of world-class artists and tutors.

Eliza received €2000 to assist the furthering of her studies and musical ambitions.

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BEETHOVEN BOOTCAMP with acclaimed pianist JOHN O’CONOR

Beethoven Bootcamp June 2014The RIAM is delighted to present the Beethoven Bootcamp Summer Course with acclaimed pianist JOHN O’CONOR


Venue: Royal Irish Academy of Music, Westland Row, Dublin 2, Ireland

Dates: June 16th to 27th 2014

Tuition Fee: €1,000 for the two week course

Accommodation: If required, private guest accommodation will be sourced by the Royal Irish Academy of Music

Practice Facilities: Excellent, extensive practice facilities at the Royal Irish Academy of Music

Application Form and further details of Beethoven Boot Camp available from Beethoven Boot Camp


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Riverdance and Trinity College Dublin to offer unique International Summer School to Celebrate 20 Years of Groundbreaking Show


The Riverdance – Trinity International Summer School
to mark 20 Years of the Show

Marking its 20th anniversary, the internationally acclaimed Irish performance, Riverdance, has joined forces with Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin to announce ‘The Riverdance-Trinity International Summer School’.

Participants will travel to Trinity from all over the world to learn from special guest tutors on aspects of the performance, choreography and the Irish cultural context. They will also examine the development of the music from its ethnic roots through to its Grammy Award-winning success. The international summer school will be hosted by Trinity’s School of Drama, Film and Music, The Lir − Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

“This is an innovative coming together of culture and higher education, where international participants will gain insight into the award winning performance that has contributed to the re-shaping of Irish cultural heritage. Trinity is delighted to host the international summer school, where our global participants will be provided with a deep understanding of one of Ireland’s great success stories and cultural milestones,” said Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity.

The summer school’s seminars and workshops will provide the theatrical, historical, social and cultural contexts of Riverdance, its emergence from the Eurovision Song Contest where it was first performed in 1994 to its global success. It will also provide an overview of the use of popular culture in the construction of a national success narrative for Ireland. Seminars will include guest speakers such as the show’s producer, Moya Doherty and director, John McColgan, costume and set designers Joan Bergin and Robert Ballagh, and Professor of Drama and Theatre at Trinity, Brian Singleton.

The Royal Irish Academy of Music will host the musical component of the summer school, including a master class with Riverdance score composer, Bill Whelan, as well as practical workshops with the show’s percussionists who will explore the relationship between the rhythm of music and the rhythm of dance.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Trinity, Ireland’s auspicious seat of learning and the leading cultural institutions, The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in this summer school. Twenty years on, the journey that is Riverdance continues, and with the aid of our prestigious collaborators we hope to share some of the knowledge that we have gathered along the way with our international participants,” said Moya Doherty, Riverdance producer.

The Riverdance – Trinity International Summer School will take place in August 11th-22nd, 2014 and prospective participants are currently being invited to apply. There are 45 places available. Application details are available on The Lir website.



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Royal Irish Academy of Music Student Wins Major International Piano Competition

Soo JungSoo Jung Ann, a piano student of the Royal Irish Academy of Music has brought honour to Ireland on December 14th following her win at the prestigious International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn. The Korean pianist, a student of John O’Conor and Therese Fahy at the Royal Irish Academy of Music since 2007, performed Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto before a distinguished audience at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, the city of Beethoven’s birth. Soo Jung Ann was one of three finalists vying for the coveted First Prize title, a prize of €30,000 and significant performance engagements worldwide.

The bi-annual International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn was founded in 2005. Almost 100 pianists applied to take part in the 2013 Competition with 28 young virtuosi from 12 countries around the world selected to participate. Soo Jung Ann and fellow finalists, Stefan Cassomenos (Australia) and Shinnosuke Inugai (Japan), performed this evening with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under the baton of the Estonian conductor Olari Elts in the Beethovenhalle.

Speaking from Bonn, John O’Conor said “This win is a tremendous achievement for Soo Jung Ann and highlights the teaching standards at the RIAM which is increasing its prestige worldwide every year.” Soo-Jung Ann has previously won prizes at the Dublin International Piano Competition and also at competitions in Japan and Hong Kong and in 2012 won First Prize at the Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona. John O’Conor also stated: “The list of engagements to include concerts in Germany, Russia, Italy, Holland, France, Portugal, Austria and Switzerland, and the attention which this success brings will set her on the road to a wonderful career”.


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The Royal Irish Academy of Music and Trinity College Dublin Join Forces in an Exciting New Partnership in Performing Arts Education in Ireland

RIAM to become Associated College of Trinity with the aim of developing an International Centre of Excellence in the Performing Arts

The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) have entered a new partnership, fostering academic links for the benefit of performing arts education and creative arts practice in Ireland.  Building on its existing relationship with TCD, the RIAM will become an Associated College of Trinity College, with its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes validated by Trinity College.   The Provost of Trinity, Dr Prendergast and the RIAM Director Deborah Kelleher signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week.

Trinity College has a long track record in performing arts education and research at the School of Drama, Film and Music. Recent developments include the Creative Arts, Technologies and Cultures initiative, and the foundation of the Lir, the National Academy of Dramatic Art and the Music Composition Centre.

The Royal Irish Academy of Music’s history of success in music performance education spans over 160 years.  Today, by providing instrumental and vocal tuition of the highest international standard, the RIAM holds a central place in the promotion of Ireland’s cultural and educational agenda.

TCD RIAM Memorandum of Understanding

Brian Aylward, RIAM, Deborah Kelleher, RIAM, TCD Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast and Prof Michael Marsh, TCD.

Commenting on its significance, Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “Building on each institution’s expertise, together we aim to develop an internationally renowned centre of excellence in the performing arts.  Linking research to practice and focusing on the interface between innovation and tradition are key values that Trinity and the RIAM share.  This collaboration will specifically concentrate on the future education and training of performing arts students, the performance of new music compositions as well as the enhancement of teacher music education.“

RIAM Director, Deborah Kelleher welcomed the new partnership stating: “By maximising collaborative creativity and resources, as well as the education and artistic strengths of both institutions, we are confident that we can develop a dynamic and thriving partnership which will foster and nurture outstanding twenty-first century musicians.”

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RIAM student highest placed competitor in VDISC

Patrick HylandRIAM graduate Patrick Hyland received the Dermot Troy Award for the highest placed Irish singer in the 8th Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition.

The winner of the Competition was Fatma Saïd from Egypt.

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Sopranos! Arias, Stories and song of the great operatic sopranos

Sopranos!will be presented and performed by Regina Nathan on Monday 22nd February 2016 in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

In this concert of homage to the great sopranos, Regina Nathan provides a fascinating insight into the world of some of opera’s greatest singers and their unique contribution to the world of music and performing.

With the music of Verdi, Puccini, Boito, Donizetti, Bellini, Mozart and Catalani, Regina will reveal through story and song the techniques and characteristics that defined the singing styles of sopranos such as Montserrat Caballé, Renata Tebaldi, Leontyne Pryce, Margaret Burke-Sheridan and Lisa Della Casa.

More than simply divas, these women led extraordinary and often turbulent lives, giving and risking everything for their art and their audiences in the highly competitive and sometimes ruthless arena of international opera.

Their styles have a significant influence on today’s singers and highlight a valuable heritage that performers, students, and lovers of opera can learn from, refer to and ultimately contribute to.

Celebrate Sopranos during this entertaining, informative, engaging and, most of all, enjoyable evening!

BOOK NOW AT: National Concert Hall
Telephone: +353 1 417 0000

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RIAM Young Scholar Programme announced

RIAM logoFor many years the RIAM has supported its especially committed young students with additional challenges and supports on an ad hoc basis. This tradition is one of our great strengths, and we now wish to build on it in a systematic way.

This new ‘opt-in’ programme will appeal to those students whose principal interest is in music, and who may wish to pursue it at third level.

Students who wish to be considered for the RIAM Young Scholar Programme will be assessed by the Heads of Faculty in a December repertoire competition, whose task will be to balance the Scholars across a range of ages and achieving faculty balance.

For further information please contact the General Office

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TCD and RIAM launch Master in Education Summer School Programme

Trinity LogoThe Master in Education (MEd) (Music in Education) is a new course offered by Trinity College Dublin in association with the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM). It is provided for recognized teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary education, youth leaders, music in education practitioners, performers and others with a professional interest in the music and the arts in education.

This programme which is is available by Summer School to suit distance learning and full-time professionals.

For further details, please contact Marita Kerin  at kerinm@tcd.ie or telephone 00-353-1-8961145.

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‘Drums and Guns’: RIAM, Guildhall and Juilliard Song Project 2016

RIAM joins forces with Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Julliard School for Irish Song Project 2016.

A collaboration between the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Juilliard School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama is announced. ‘Drums and Guns’ is a dramatic piece based on Irish song and poetry curated and led by Iain Burnside with director Conor Hanratty.

The project culminates March and April with performances by students from all colleges in Dublin (9th/10th March), London (12th/13th March) and New York (28th April). This collaboration is supported by Culture Ireland.
Culture Ireland logo

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RIAM appoints new faculty

RIAM logoInternationally acclaimed pedagogues continuing the tradition of excellence

The Academy is pleased to announce the appointments of Imelda Drumm, Owen Gilhooly and Regina Nathan (singing); John Hearne and Ates Kirkan (bassoon); Simon Aspell, Lisa Dowdall and Cian O Dúill (viola); Cormac O hAodáin and Jacqueline McCarthy (french horn) and Michael O’Toole and  Redmond O’Toole (guitar). In additional we welcome new International Visiting Artist Xufei Yang (guitar).

These distinguished musicians bring still further prestige, allure and experience to the Academy’s distinguished faculty across a range of instruments and voice. Being still very active in the profession, nationally and internationally, they bring with them first-hand experience of music performance at a high level. All are hugely committed to teaching future generations of Academy musicians, helping them to thrive in their own musical lives.

We look forward to welcoming them to the Academy family and we wish them a long, happy and fruitful association with us.

For the full faculty listings, please refer to Faculties

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Assad Duo – Guitar Masterclasses

Assad Duo

Guitar Masterclasses will be conducted by the Assad Duo in the Recital Room

and the Organ Room from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm

Observers €5 payable at the door

Assad Duo assad duo


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RIAM Opera’s ‘Suor Angelica’ receives rave review in international ‘Opera Magazine’

Suor AngelicaRIAM’s recent searing production of the Puccini classic received a rave notice from reviewer Ian Fox, who described the production as ‘marvellously fresh’ with strong performances noted in all the major roles.  Opera Magazine

The  phrase  ‘Magdalene laundries’  can  still  send  a shiver  down  most  Irish  spines. Created in the 18th century to house unmarried mothers, whose babies were taken away (or sold),  they condemned  many unfortunate  girls and women  to a lifetime of hard labour in squalid  laundry-rooms. Horrifyingly, some of them persisted  into the 1990s when finally the Dickensian misery was exposed and, along with the paedophile priests scandal, served to bring the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland to its knees, and to cost the Irish government  large sums in compensation. lt was an inspired idea for the young Irish  director  Tom  Creed  to  link  these  workhouses  to  the  story  of  Puccini ‘s  Suor Angelica, with its reek of incense and old-world  religiosity. Creed set his staging  in a huge laundry room in the recent past. Most of the chorus were the enslaved  workers, with  a  few  nuns  and  some  sadistic  overseers   to  maintain  order.  The  relocation transformed  the work, replacing  its syrupy sentimentality  with a sharp cutting edge. Angelica’s aunt was a smart businesswoman, carrying the fatal papers in her briefcase. The  final, over-the-top  apparition  was thankfully  dropped, as Angelica  died on  the laundry-room floor, coughing blood into one of the recently-ironed  sheets.

This  marvellously  fresh  presentation  was given  by the  ROYAL IRISH  ACADEMY OF MUSIC’s opera school in collaboration  with the LIR NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DRAMATIC  ART.

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Gaiety Theatre Bursary awarded to Louise Martyn and Richard Thomas

Louise MartynSoprano Louise Martyn (pictured) and violinist Richard Thomas are the RIAM recipients of this year’s Gaiety bursary, worth €5,000.

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Lucien and Maura Teissier Bursary awarded to two RIAM pianists

pianoWe are delighted to announce that the Maura and Lucien Teissier Bursary for pianists 2015, worth a total of €15,000, has been awarded jointly to Cahal Masterson and Billy O’Brien.

This bursary is awarded annually to one or more RIAM piano students. It is just one of the growing number of internal prizes on offer to students of the Academy.

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