Donnacha Dennehy | Composer


Donnacha Dennehy

The First Child


Donnacha Dennehy’s music is marked by a sonic and rhythmic intensity and a kind of volatile tonality that travels in and out of an overtone-based focus. His music has featured in festivals and venues including the Edinburgh International Festival, Carnegie Hall, New York, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, Barbican, London and BAM, New York. In addition to two previous operas with Enda Walsh, The Last Hotel and The Second Violinist (Landmark Productions and Irish National Opera), recent large-scale commissions include The Hunger, a docu-cantata for Alarm Will Sound (presented by BAM, New York and Opera Theatre of St. Louis), Broken Unison for Sō Percussion (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Cork Opera House); Overcasting (commissioned by the LA Phil); Tessellatum for Nadia Sirota, Liam Byrne and microtonal viol consort; and pieces for Dawn Upshaw, National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, Third Coast Percussion, Kronos Quartet, and the Doric Quartet. He continues to maintain a close artistic connection with the group he founded, Crash Ensemble, and they feature in The First Child and in his opera, The Second Violinist, which won the 2017 FEDORA-Generali Prize for Opera. Portrait albums have been released by Nonesuch, New Amsterdam, Cantaloupe, NMC and Bedroom Community. His new violin concerto for Augustin Hadelich was premiered in the Netherlands in October 2021, and will receive further performances in the United States this season. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship earlier this year. He is also a professor at Princeton University and his music is published by G. Schirmer, New York.

May 2022