National Concert Hall Main Auditorium

Earlsfort Terrace Dublin 2

Keaton Henson's Six Lethargies

Performed by string orchestra led by Crash Ensemble 

The Irish premiere of Henson’s new piece performed by string orchestra led by Crash Ensemble, exploring themes of mental illness, trauma and empathy.

Six Lethargies is the culmination of over three years of work from the musician, artist and composer.

Composed around, and from within, issues of mental illness and human emotion, the piece aims to express and explain the feelings of anxiety and depression through six connected movements for string orchestra. .

Known for his inability to perform live due to anxiety, through Six Lethargies, Keaton hands his story over to the orchestra. Not performing himself, he is allowing them to be his voice, as well as providing human connection and empathetic insight, all the while asking the audience ‘if I write how it feels to me, will it make you feel the same?’

The composer Keaton Henson will be attending the performance.

Six Lethargies is a co-commission by The Barbican Centre, London; National Concert Hall, Dublin and Vivid, Sydney.

Presented by NCH

Imagining Ireland: 21st Century Songs

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Imagining Ireland: 21st Century Song promises to be a unique celebration of the multiculturalism of contemporay Irish song featuring performances from Paul Noonan, Lisa Hannigan, Loah, Mango & Mathman and others.

Imagining Ireland: 21st Century Song will present living portraits of a modern, creative, conflicted and diverse Ireland each artist will bring their unique interpretations of Ireland in song, word and visuals including instrumental and electronic music with flavours of soul, alt-folk, gospel and blues.

Imagining Ireland: 21st Century Song – Paul Noonan, Lisa Hannigan, Saint Sister, Seamus Fogarty, Brian Deady, Loah, Mango & Mathman, Stephen James Smith, Maria Kelly, J. Colleran with Crash Ensemble String Quartet.

New Music Dublin: Adés

Gerald Barry, Thomas Adès piano
Crash Ensemble
Timothy Redmond conductor

Gerald Barry Five Chorales from The Intelligence Park [Barry/Adès Piano Duet]
Thomas Adès Mazurkas
Gerald Barry Octet
Gerald Barry Lisbon [Irish Premiere]
Stephen Gardner Jerk [World Premiere]
Thomas Adès Living Toys [Irish Premiere]

Thomas Adès will lead from the piano an evening of instrumental music with Ireland's leading new music ensemble,Crash Ensemble with a programme that includes Gerald Barry’s Lisbon and Adès’s Living Toys, conducted by long-time Adès collaborator and conductor Timothy Redmond.
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Venue: Main Auditorium, National Concert Hall

Prices: €35, €29.50, €23.50, €15 (Choir Balcony)
10% discount for Friends of the National Concert Hall
Festival Package Ticket Offer: Book tickets to the three evening concerts in the Main Auditorium and receive a 15% discount. Click HERE to avail of this offer.

New Music Dublin 2017 is a partnership initiative of RTÉ, the National Concert Hall and The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon

Composing the Island: Love and Death

Crash Ensemble 

Iarla Ó Lionáird, singer

Michelle O'Rourke, singer

Conductor: Alan Pierson

Over three weeks in September (7th – 25th), Composing the Island will present 29 concerts of orchestral, choral, instrumental, song and chamber music by Irish composers written between 1916 and 2016. 

How this music developed, and the times and circumstances in which it was written will unfold over 3 weeks of concerts which will include 6 major orchestral concerts performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, concerts of choral, chamber, song, mixed ensembles and instrumental music recitals, by Ireland’s leading performers will including Crash EnsembleChamber Choir IrelandConcordeVanbrugh QuartetFidelio Trio, Hugh Tinney, and Robin Tritschler alongside a series of supporting talks, related events and an accompanying published book.

Crash Ensemble's first concert for the series presents music from the centuries end from  Ann CleareAndrew HamiltonGerald Barry and Donnacha Dennehy.                                 


Ann Cleare  Dorchadas  (2007)

Andrew Hamilton  music for people who like art  (2009)                             

Gerald Barry  First Sorrow  (2006-2007)                                                            

Donnacha Dennehy  Grá agus Bás  (2007)      

 “A wild spirit most certainly is alive in Ann Cleare’s music, most of which is concerned with timbre, which is the quality of a sound – whether it buzzes or hisses, or sounds breathy or full.”Charlie Wilmoth, Dusted MagazineAnn is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Composition at Harvard University.

Andrew Hamilton “presents simple, familiar materials – what sounds like a pop song fragment here, a calypso pattern there – and molds them into something new, by twisting them around in every possible direction, or by repeating them to the point of absurdity.” Charlie Wilmoth, Dusted MagazineAndrew is a visiting tutor in composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire.                          

Gerald Barry, one of Ireland’s best known contemporary composers internationally, is a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Award for his opera The Importance of being Ernest.  A selection of Gerald’s choral and instrumental music Barry meets Beethoven as performed by Crash Ensemble and Chamber Choir Ireland was released on the Orchid Classics label in June 2016. Gerald Barry’s First Sorrow refers to the story by Kafka about a trapeze artist who is happy only when aloft. At the end of the piece the quartet sing a hymn to the melody of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Donnacha Dennehy founded Crash Ensemble in 1997. Grá agus Bás features on the eponymous album which NPR (National Public Radio) named one of its “50 favorite albums’’ (in any genre) of 2011. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Princeton University.


music for people who like art and First Sorrow  were commissioned by Crash Ensemble with funding from the Arts Council. Grá agus Bás was commissioned by Trinity College Dublin.

Sponsored by Bord na Móna and presented by RTÉ and the National Concert Hall as part of RTÉ 1916 and Ireland 2016. 

Imagining Home: On Revolution

Joseph O’Neill, Ahdaf Soueif, Hisham Matar, Pankaj Mishra, Adam Zagajewski, Colm Tóibín.
Première of Casement/Conrad by Colm Tóibín and Donnacha Dennehy featuring Crash Ensemble.

An evening of word and music exploring revolutionary ideals and their impact with an international gathering of writers and commentators from Ireland, Egypt, Libya, India and Europe. The concert includes the world première of a new commission by Colm Tóibín and acclaimed composer Donnacha Dennehy.

Irish author Joseph O’Neill is best known for his acclaimed novels Netherland and The Dog and his family history,Blood Dark Track. Egyptian author Ahdaf Soueif is an influential commentator as well as the acclaimed author of the best-selling The Map of Love. Libyan author Hisham Matar’s debut novel In the Country of Men was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize. Pankaj Mishra is an Indian essayist and novelist who writes literary and political essays for theNew York Times and the New York Review of Books, as well as influential pieces for The Guardian on ISIS. Adam Zagajewski first became known as one of the leading poets of the generation of ‘68’ or the Polish New Wave. He is one of Poland’s most famous contemporary poets. In 2010 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The acclaimed Irish author Colm Tóibín and composer Donnacha Dennehy come together to present a new commission for baritone and bass and Crash Ensemble, entitled Casement/Conrad.

Presented by The National Concert Hall
Media Partners The Irish Times RTÉ Radio 1 

This Must Be The Place: Keaton Henson

Crash Ensemble perform with British singer-songwriter Keaton Henson at the National Concert Hall. 

Keaton Henson, who rarely performs live, will be accompanied by his 16-piece sinfonietta for his Irish debut on 15th of August.

Recognised for his fragile voice and delicate melodies, Henson creates a mesmerizing landscape of almost unbearable grief. His debut album, ‘Dear...’;  a collection of simple, tender songs, stripped to the marrow was released quietly in late 2010, in a limited edition run, hand-made by Keaton, selling out immediately. Fast forward to September 2011 and BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe is threatening to play ‘You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are’ twice in a row, triggering a frenzy of investigations into Keaton’s identity. Ahead of the release of his third Album ‘Birthdays’ Keaton takes tentative steps into the live performing space, giving one-on-one performances for fans from within a dollhouse, as part of an art gallery exhibiting his work. Then, eventually, he started to play conventional gigs - but in unconventional venues (the first was in a dusty old cinema museum in South London). Unannounced, tickets sold out in a little over an hour, and were greeted with 5-star reviews.

Turning to orchestration and instrument writing, Henson produced ‘Romantic Works’, his first collection of classical compositions. It was made available without prior warning on the same day as his biggest show to date; headlining London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall at the personal request of UNKLE’s James Lavelle for Meltdown Festival (with Keaton’s show selling out in a morning). More recently he scored ‘Young Men’, a full-length ballet for Balletboyz and choreographer Iván Pérez, which premiered in January 2015 at Sadler’s Wells. A fully immersive production of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ – billed as Keaton Henson presents Cellophony – sold out two nights at London’s Oval Space, in association with The Barbican. He recently launched ‘Crooked Darlings’, his range of homewares on the theme of self-loathing, and is currently putting the finishing touches to his first book of poetry. Plus he is at work on his third album!

Presented by the National Concert Hall.

CONCERT2: Bang on a Can All-Stars - David Lang's Festival of Music 2015

Crash Ensemble are joined by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Chamber Choir Ireland and So Percussion for a special performance of Steve Reich's monumental work Music for 18 Musicians. This piece is a staple of modern music and will be the final performance of the festival.

In addition to the Reich, a performance of Brian Eno's Music for Airports will take place.

CONCERT1: Bang on a Can Marathon - David Lang's Festival of Music 2015

Presented by New Music Dublin, this truly unique festival featuring a range of Irish and internationally renowned ensembles, is curated by the Bang on a Can co-founder and Pulitzer prize-winning composer David Lang.

As part of the festival, Crash Ensemble will partake in the Bang on a Can Marathon taking place in the main auditorium of the National Concert Hall on Saturday March 7th 2015.

We will perform a world premiere by Linda Buckley (which was commissioned by the Cork Midsummer Festival) as well as Andrew Hamilton's music for people who like art and Sean Clancy's Fourteen Minutes of Music on the Subject of Greeting Cards. In addition to Crash performing these pieces, the rest of the groups involved in the marathon (Bang on a Can All-Stars, So Percussion, RTÉ Contempo Quartet and more) will perform works by Donnacha Dennehy, Kate Moore, Bryce Dessner and George Crumb.

Free State 7

Free State is Crash Ensemble’s annual concert of up-and-coming composers. Selecting the most vibrant new music Ireland has to offer from over 100 open-submission entries, Free State 7 introduces you to the talented new names to watch out for.

Since Free State’s inception in 2006 Crash Ensemble have showcased works from composers who have gone on to become leading lights of the Irish New Music scene: among them, Ed Bennett, Linda Buckley, Julie Feeney, Garrett Sholdice, and Andrew Hamilton.

If there is a concert that showcases the future of music in Ireland, Free State 7 is it.

The programme includes works for classical instruments and electronics from Daniel McDermott, who released his first Album "fractal" in April 2011; Conal Ryan, architect ,composer and joint-winner of the West Cork Chamber Festival Composition Competition in 2011; Garrett Sholdice whose Tanka for Aki Takahashi was premiered by its dedicatee at Tsukuba Nova Hall, Japan, in December 2011; Irene Buckley whose work Miniatus was commissioned by the NJO (Netherlands Youth Orchestra),  Jonathan Nangle, who represented Ireland for a second time in 2011 at the 58th International Rostrum of Composers, Eric Skytterholm Egan, an Irish-Norwegian composer whose work Non-Stable Equilibrium is based on the psychological notion of working memory; Sebastian Adams (Director of Ictus ensemble); Donal Sarsfield winner of the Priz Luigi Russolo; Emma O’Halloran, co-founder of SoundSet, and Enda Bates, composer, guitarist and lecturer, whose piece ‘Calls from the Fog’ uses multiphonics, a technique which allows the flute to produce several notes at once.

The Dublin Laptop Orchestra will also feature as special guests in Free State 7, ‘dueting’ with Crash on Alex Dowling’sRecommended by Dentists’.

Free State 7 was guest curated by Andrew Hamilton (composer) this year in conjunction with Crash Ensemble. Crash premiered Andrew Hamilton’s commission ‘music for people who like art’ at Free State VI in 2011. 

Crash Ensemble is Ireland’s foremost music ensemble and one of the best in the world, as recognised internationally. Crash Ensemble, an Irish new-music collective with international cachet and considerable chops. Washington Post, 2011.

Co-produced by the National Concert Hall Free State 7 combines a world-class ensemble with a world-class concert venue to bring our audiences the future of new music.

Book Online or ring 01 417 0000

In discussion:

The Contemporary Music Centre presents a pre-show discussion with Free State 7 composers and curator, 6.30pm, The National Concert Hall, Carolan Room. Free event.



Free State 7 is being recorded by RTÉ lyric fm for broadcast on Nova, presented by Bernard Clarke, at 9pm on 3rd June. for more details.



Thursday, April 5th, 7.30pm, 2012 | The National Concert Hall | Main Auditorium

Tickets €20/€15(conc.) available from / 01 417 0000

Discounts apply to groups of ten or more.



Irene Buckley - Miniatus

Daniel McDermott - In this Skin

Garret Sholdice - Tanka for Aki Takahashi

Sebastian Adams - Miniature for Cello and Piano

Enda Bates - Calls from the Fog

Donal Sarsfield - Everybody knows everything

Emma O'Halloran - Truth and Beauty

Conal Ryan - Apertures

Eric Egan - Non-Stable Equilibrium

Jonathan Nangle - Where distant city lights flicker on half frozen ponds

Alex Dowling - Recommended by Dentists (feat. The Dublin Laptop Orchestra with Crash Ensemble)


Conductor:  Gavin Maloney


Crash Ensemble:Emily Thyne -Violin;Larissa O’Grady- Violin; Lisa Dowdall- Viola; Kate Ellis- Cello; Malachy Robinson- Double Bass; Deirdre O’Leary- Clarinet; Susan Doyle -Flute; Roddy O’Keeffe -Trombone; John Godfrey -Electric Guitar; Owen Gunnell -Percussion; Andrew Zolinsky - Piano



Neva Elliott | admin [at] , Claire Layton | info [at] | (01)8586645

*Interviews with the composers and curator can be arranged.


For more information on Crash Ensemble     




This concert is co-produced by The National Concert hall, in partnership with Lyric fm and the Contemporary Music Centre and supported by Dublin City Council.

Riverdance: The Music of Bill Whelan

Presented by RTÉ Concert Orchestra

The National Concert Hall, Main Auditorium
Thursday 17th May, 8pm

RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Bill Whelan, piano
Crash Ensemble
UCD Choral Scholars
David Brophy, conductor
Guest Artists:
Eleanor McEvoy, vocals
Zoë Conway, fiddle
Máirtín O'Connor, accordian
Maitiú Ó Casaide uilleann pipes
Mick Donegan & Yolanda Gonzalez Sobrado, dancers
Crash Ensemble, as special guests of RTÉ Concert Orchestra, will perform Jazzical Cyclebike (2011) at this special concert celebrating the music of Grammy Award-winning composer, Bill Whelan.

Jazzical Cyclebike was originally composed as a short piece for chamber strings and which featured violin and cello duets. It was written in Paris and was inspired by many cycling journeys around that city. The original version received its first performance in Holland in 2007 with the Magogo Chamber Orchestra. Subsequently, Donnacha Dennehy suggested to Bill Whelan that he might consider adapting it for the Crash Ensemble. And so emerged this new version for Piano and
String Quartet, which will received its first performance in January 2011 at the Launch of the Music Composition Centre at Trinity College of which Bill Whelan is an Adjunct Professor of Music Composition.

Presenting a wide range of his music, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will also perform the world premiere of Bill Whelan’s Symphonic Suite from Riverdance.
Bill Whelan: ‘The idea for a Riverdance Symphonic Suite has been on my radar for some time. Over the years I have often had requests from foreign orchestras for a full-length concert piece containing the music from the show. As my original score incorporated traditional instruments, it was not always easy to assemble the various ethnic elements for a concert in say, Japan. So what I have done with this new score is to present all the themes from Riverdance in a way that is playable by a full symphony orchestra anywhere in the world, without the traditional musicians. There were two principal challenges – the first was to arrange the themes and melodies as a colourful and dynamic concert piece. The second was to choose the instruments from within the orchestra to appropriately replace the original ethnic instruments and voices. As this will be its first performance, I look forward with anticipation as this augmented RTÉ CO under David Brophy brings the work of the last few years to life'