We are delighted to welcome Composer and Conductor Prof. Brian Irvine MBE as a keynote speaker at the 8th Annual SMEI National Conference.
Brian will be presenting at 4.30pm on Friday, 2nd Nov, and is not to me missed!
Composer/conductor Brian Irvine was born in Belfast. His huge body of work includes operas, orchestral works, large-scale participatory work, film scores, multi-media installations, dance works as well as ensemble, solo, and chamber pieces. His sound world is a personal concoction of contemporary classical, cartoon, punk, jazz, thrash and trash and combines the lost, the fixed, the free, the learned, the naïve, the precious and the junk.
He is Professor of Music at Ulster University, Co – Artistic Director of the artist led production company Dumbworld and in 2015 was appointed as the first Music Laureate for the City of Belfast. He co – founded the music department at the South Eastern Regional College, was Music Director for the Princes Trust ‘s Soundlive Music and was Composer in Residence with the Ulster Orchestra for four years.
His music has been performed and commissioned all over the world by internationally significant performers and organisations. These have included: London Symphony Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, BBC Concert Orchestra, Red Note Ensemble, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Moscow Chamber Players, Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Northern Ireland Opera, Irish National Opera, Ulster Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland), 4-Mality percussion ensemble and the London 2012 Olympics.
Much of his work has involved close collaborations with a broad range of artists including: Seamus Heaney (poet), Eduard Bersudsky (sculptor), Willie Doherty (artist), Cy Twombly (painter), John McIlduff (filmmaker/director), Joanna Macgregor (piano), Jari Nemenin (filmmaker/director), David Holmes (composer/producer) Joel Simon (filmmaker/animator), Matthew Robbins (animator/artist), Jennifer Walshe (composer/vocalist),LAU (BBC Folk Award Winners), Ivor Cutler (poet/ singer), Keiji Haino (guitar), David Holmes (producer/composer/DJ), Paul Dunmall (saxophone/reeds/bagpipes), Darragh Morgan (violin), Owen McCafferty (playwright).
His music often takes the form of giant super structures – as in the head on collision of two symphony orchestras, improvising choir and two conductors in the study of madness that is Praise aloud the trees (collaboration with Seamus Heaney) or the 7 day performance installation of 3000 collected objects, symphony orchestra, choir, intervention performers and soloists in NEST (the Northern Ireland Artists Taking The lead commission for the London 2012 Olympics) or the layering of 500 singing children, symphony orchestra, live shadow puppet animation and narrator in Bluebottle or Montana Strange the 50 minute homage to filmmaker David lynch for symphony orchestra, his own 12 piece ensemble, turntables, two conductors and free improviser – Paul Dunmall.
Brian is a passionate believer in creating aesthetically ambitious work in collaboration with diverse communities and has collaborated with young people in care, flute bands, young offenders, paramilitaries, political and criminal prisoners, professionals, long term unemployed, residential care homes, blind, deaf and autistic adults and children, primary, secondary, third level students, professional orchestras, bankers, police officers, knitting circles, hostels, hospitals, skateboarders, Alzheimer’s society, adults with brain injuries, mental health day centres, and dedicated cerebral palsy schools throughout Ireland, UK, Europe, USA and Russia.
He has won many international awards for his music including two BASCA British Composers Awards (for the Welsh National Opera commission – The Tailors Daughter and the large scale orchestral choral work – Anything But Bland )as well as the Radio 3 Jazz Award for best new work. Other awards include Allianz Arts and Business Arts Award for best use of music in the community (Carlow based community opera – Shelter Me from the Rain) and the Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2015 he was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Composers Award for outstanding Innovation in music composition.
Together with his own 12– piece ensemble (BBC Radio 3 Music Award winners) Brian has conducted and toured extensively throughout USA, Russia, France, Portugal, Germany, Scotland, Malta, Cyrus, Poland, Scotland, Ireland, England, Belgium and the Netherlands appearing at some of the world’s leading international music festivals/venues.