€12,000 awarded to Maynooth University composers to celebrate 20th birthday of RTÉ lyric fm

Eoin Brady from RTÉ lyric fm with Dr Ryan Molloy and Katie Neville
Monday, October 22, 2018 - 10:15

Maynooth composers Dr Ryan Molloy and Katie Neville to write works celebrating the station’s 20th birthday to be premiered at the National Concert Hall in May.

RTÉ has awarded Dr Ryan Molloy  €10,000 to write a concerto for Irish harp and orchestra celebrating the 20th birthday of RTÉ lyric fm.  It will be premiered by world-renowned harper Máire Ní Chathasaigh and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gavin Maloney, at a gala concert in the National Concert Hall on 1st May 2019.  

“When I first read the call for scores issued by RTÉ lyric fm to celebrate their 20th anniversary, the opportunity to write for Máire Ní Chathasaigh and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra instantly bounced off the page at me,” said Dr Molloy. 

“As a traditional musician and contemporary composer, this seemed the ideal musical playground to explore these two musical passions of mine. The combination of harp and orchestra – and the confluence of traditional and contemporary idioms – suggested to me an energy and creative vitality that came to shape my proposed sketches and I am delighted that I was chosen to undertake the commission."  

Originally from Tyrone, Dr Ryan is a lecturer in composition at Maynooth University for the past six years, and is a traditional fiddle player and pianist as well as a composer. 

Director General of RTÉ, Dee Forbes, said: “It is fitting that a station that celebrates both composition and live performance should mark its anniversary by investing in the composition and performance of new Irish works. I look forward to hearing the results, and to celebrating 20 ground-breaking years of RTÉ lyric fm.”

Dr Ryan Molloy’s compositional work is described as sitting at the boundary of contemporary music and traditional Irish music. His music has been performed to international audiences on four continents for over fifteen years and has been broadcast internationally on BBC Radio 3 and Radio Ulster, RTÉ lyric fm, Radio 1 and Ráidió na Gaeltachta as well as on BBC 2, UTV and BBC World. Ryan was a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow in association with Moving on Music from 2012-2014 and has been a Lecturer in Composition at Maynooth University since 2013. 

Composer and alumnus Katie Neville has also been awarded €2,000 to write a work for the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra Cello Octet to perform at the NCH event.  Katie Neville’s choral composition is a setting of Michael Coady’s poem Though There Are Torturers, which affirms the power of music in a world of uncertainties.

She graduated with a 1st class degree from Maynooth University in 2016. Her work as a musician includes teaching, chamber music and composition. Among her most notable ensemble appearances, she was proud to lead the Irish Youth Guitar Orchestra in 2016 during their inaugural tour. Her compositions have been premiered by both student & professional performers, including the Chamber Choir Ireland and members of the National Symphony Orchestra.