OPW and Farmleigh are delighted to welcome – for the first time under its Writer-in-Residence programme – a contemporary composer from Ireland, Dave Flynn. We are looking forward to a truly imaginative residency which will give Dave a wonderful opportunity to explore Farmleigh as an inspiration for music composition and performance while further enhancing our visitors’ experience of Farmleigh through a beautiful contemporary music programme.
Dave Flynn, founder and Artistic Director of the Irish Memory Orchestra, is a composer and guitarist equally at home in the worlds of classical, folk and rock music. His work, praised for its ‘’power and grittiness’’ by The New York Times, defies and challenges the concept of musical genre. He has been commissioned by RTÉ, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Arts Council of Ireland, Clare County Council the Masters of Tradition Festival and the Contemporary Music Centre.
His work has been performed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art; The Kremlin, Moscow; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Dvorak Hall, Prague; Brisbane Conservatory of Music; Ireland’s National Concert Hall and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, City of London Festival, Guitar Festival of Ireland, EBU Folk Festival and the Secret Festival, Sweden.
As a ceaseless cross-genre collaborator, he has worked with an array of renowned artists including the RTÉ Concert, Irish Chamber and Prague Chamber Orchestras; the New Juilliard, Crash and Concorde Ensembles; the Con Tempo, Vanbrugh and Smith Quartets; Irish fiddlers Martin Hayes and Liz Carroll; songwriter Declan O’Rourke; guitarists Niwel Tsumbu, John Feeley and Hugh Buckley and choreographer Gerd-Kaisa Vorren.
Flynn has featured on RTÉ TV, TG4, Lyric FM and the BBC. In 2009 an edition of John Schaefer’s WNYC New Sounds radio show was dedicated to Flynn’s music and broadcast throughout the US. He has also featured on Lyric FM’s ‘Cross Currents’ and ‘Culture File’.
Flynn’s numerous awards and grants include the composers’ awards at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Dublin’s Feis Ceoil, multiple grants from the Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland, a Business to Arts Award and bursaries from the Bliss Trust, Guildhall Trust, Galway County Council and the Michael Collins Memorial Foundation.
Flynn has founded several ensembles including The Irish Memory Orchestra and Dublin Guitar Quartet. His 2009 album ‘Contemporary Traditional Irish Guitar’ was acclaimed in folk and classical music publications. Flynn’s music has been published by Mel Bay, Reed Music and Frisbee Publications. He performed at Áras an Uachtaráin in 2014 at the invitation of President Higgins.
Flynn completed his PhD dissertation ‘Traditional Irish Music: A Path to New Music’ through the Dublin Institute of Technology, where he also obtained his BMus Degree in Composition. He holds a Master’s degree in Composition from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
Recent achievements include winning the 2016 Galway Eamonn Ceannt commission award and receiving commissions for the Crash Ensemble and the Arts Council’s Cultural Programme for Ireland’s Presidency of the EU. His most recent recording is ‘Stories from the Old World’ an album of his string quartet music produced by ten-time Grammy winner Judith Sherman.
Flynn is also an innovative educator who devised the acclaimed Irish Memory Orchestra Apprentice Scheme in 2013. Through this scheme he has given over 200 musicians and singers, of all ages, a unique opportunity to be mentored to perform in a professional cross-genre orchestral environment with the Irish Memory Orchestra. He is now working with visually-impaired musicians towards the premiere of his third Symphony ‘The Vision Symphony’ in 2019.