Gerald Barry was born in Clarehill, Clarecastle, County Clare, Ireland, in 1952, and studied with Stockhausen and Kagel. His early music from 1979 included "_______" for ensemble, of which Kagel wrote: 'Gerald Barry is always sober, but might as well always be drunk. His piece "_______" is, on the contrary, not rectilineal, but ''
Barry’s orchestral works include the BBC commissions Chevaux-de-frise (1988), The Conquest of Ireland (1996), Day (2005/14), The Eternal Recurrence (2000) for voice and orchestra, and Hard D (1995). No other people, was presented at the 2013 Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov, and Canada (2017) was premiered by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and tenor Allan Clayton under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla at the 2017 Proms, with a repeat broadcast in the 2020 Proms.
Solo concertos include a Piano Concerto (2012) for Nicolas Hodges, an Organ Concerto (2018) and a Viola Concerto for Laurence Power and the Britten Sinfonia.
He is well known for his six operas, The Intelligence Park (1981–88), The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit (1991), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (2001-04), La Plus Forte (2007), and The Importance of Being Earnest (2009-10). His most recent opera Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (2014/15) was premiered in concert in 2016 by the LA Phil New Music Group with Barbara Hannigan in the title role. In February 2020, Thomas Adès conducted the first staged production at the Royal Opera House
Barry’s music has been recorded for release on NMC, Black Box, Marco Polo, BVHaast, and Discovery.
Image Credit Frances Marshall