S&H News

Seen & Heard contributor Ailís Ní Ríain wins prestigious prize in the Republic of Ireland.

Ailís Ní Ríain has this month won the RTÉ Millennium Composer of the Future competition, worth £4000, a trophy and a commission. Her winning piece The Man Made of Rain was performed in the National Concert Hall, Dublin and broadcast live on RTÉ television and radio.

She was born in Cork 1974, graduated BMus (Hons) from University College Cork in 1996, followed in 1998 by a Masters degree in Composition from York University, where she had studied with Prof. Nicola Le Fanu.

As a result of her recent success, she has been commissioned by RTÉ to write a song cycle for the winners of the other classes. In 1999 Ailís won the IMRO Mostly Modern Composition Competition in Ireland with her work for solo double bass Dogs in Waiting, subsequently performed by Barry Guy.

As a pianist, Ailís has performed the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1, a two-piano version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and the Berg Piano Sonata.

She is particularly interested in composition, performing contemporary piano music, artistic collaboration and reviewing. She has had works performed by the Cornelius Cardew Ensemble, Concorde, Barry Guy, Ruth Hickey and Dearbhla Collins, the Black Hair ensemble, and by Roger Heaton and Steven Pruslin. Ailís was the Co-ordinator of the York Late Music Festival in 1997 and 1998 and is a member of The Association of Irish Composers.

Ailís wrote and presented Horizons, an hour-long radio programme for the Irish classical station, Lyric FM, on the subject of today's young composers and their diverse interests and experiences. She is presently working on other radio projects relating to contemporary music. In addition, Ailís is a reviewer for the on-line music journal Seen & Heard, and has written for Women in Music Now. 

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