Composing the Island 1916-2016 is a major music festival from 7-25 September 2016 and features two of Kevin's pieces. On Wednesday 21 September in the National Concert Hall at 8pm, the RTE National Symphony Orchestra will perform North (1998) in a programme that also includes John Buckley, John Kinsella and Siobhán Cleary. On Friday 23 September also in the NCH at 6.30pm, David Adams performs Chorale, Toccata and Fugue for Organ (2001). Other composers performed by Adams include Donnacha Dennehy, Jonathan Nangle and Sebastian Adams. Tickets for the RTE SO concert are available from the NCH; the organ recital is free.

An Interview by Dr Jennifer McCay with Kevin about Early Music which was premiered by the RTE NSO at the Galway International Arts Festival on July 18th 2015, conductor John Wilson.

Kevin talks about his Mass which received its first performance in Dublin's Pro Cathedral on Sunday 21 June 2015; interviewed by Evonne Ferguson and Jonathan Grimes with a contribution by choir director Blánaid Murphy.

NDVCDcoverKevin’s setting of ‘Failte don ean’ (Welcome little bird) for choir has just been released by New Dublin Voices on the RTE Lyric FM label. It is his 1987 setting of one of the classic poems of the Gaelic tradition. Both this and his Orchestral Music are available on Spotify.



His Piano Trio no. 2 was broadcast on Radio 3 (BBC iPlayer UK and NI only) on Wednesday February 25th and can still be heard there until 27 March 2015.

David Byers has just published an essay on music in the Northern Ireland Troubles, and interviewed Kevin and other composers. You may download a free copy here and it is compelling reading.


mtcoverwinter2014Kevin O'Connell's review article on Dallappicola and Birtwistle in Winter 2014's Musical Times













Ben Dwyer's new book Different Voices: Irish Music and Music in Ireland (right)dwyercover

was recently launched at the CMC in Dublin. It features extended interviews with Kevin O' Connell and other Irish composers and composers working in Ireland. The subjects covered are wide-ranging: the present and future of art-music in Ireland and beyond; the Irish composer and his or her relationship with a basically literary culture like Ireland's; the joys and trials of performance. 

This book is indispensable reading for anyone interested in Irish music and culture.





Saturday 21 February 2015

Queen's University, Belfast: Kevin O'Connell's Piano Trio no. 2 will be premiered by the Kungsbacka Trio.




musicandidentityMusic and Identity in Ireland and Beyond

(edited by Mark Fitzgerald and John O'Flynn, Ashgate, June 2014)

contains a chapter by musicologist Dr. Jennifer McCay on Kevin O'Connell. Edited by Prof. John O' Flynn of St Patrick's College Drumcondra and Dr. Mark Fitzgerald of DIT, the book is a scholarly exploration of issues of identity in many genres of Irish music.

Dr. McCay's PhD thesis on O' Connell's orchestral music (University College Dublin, 2014) is the longest scholarly treatment of O'Connell's music to date.




Wednesday 7 May, 1pm at Queen's University, Belfast, Music School: 'Journey to a masterpiece'. Kevin O'Connell discusses his two-piano version of Berg's Three Orchestral Pieces op. 6.


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