WCLC: Songs of Sustainability at Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama

WCLC: Songs of Sustainability
Martin Harris Centre for Music & Drama
18th April 2024

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A concert at the Martin Harris Centre
Martin Harris Centre

A concert of songs concerned with the environment and sustainability, born from a collaboration between poet John McAuliffe and composer Richard Whalley.

Richard Whalley is a composer and pianist living in Manchester, where he is a Senior Lecturer in Composition at the University of Manchester. He also teaches every summer alongside Peter Swinnen on the composition masterclass at the ARAM-Poitou Summer School in France. He studied composition at the University of York, then Harvard University for a PhD, and previous teachers include Roger Marsh, Nicola Lefanu, Mario Davidovsky and Joshua Fineberg. As a pianist he regularly performs both classical and contemporary music, and has given numerous premieres. As a composer he was finalist in BBC Young Musician of the Year 1992 and Gaudeamus 2001, his music has been performed in the ISCM World Music Days in Flanders in 2012 and Milan Expo in 2015, and in 2016 his work Misplaced Time Refound for solo flute was shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award. His music has been performed in the US and throughout the UK and Europe by numerous outstanding soloists and ensembles, including Psappha, Trio Atem, Ensemble 10/10, the Quatuor Danel, and the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet.

John McAuliffe‘s main interests are in poetry, creative writing, contemporary literature and Irish Studies, and he is interested in supervising research in any of these areas.

He published his first collection of poems, A Better Life (Gallery), in 2002, which received a major bursary from the Irish Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaion and was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Award. His second collection Next Door was published in June 2007, and he has also published poems in the TLS, Poetry Ireland Review, Metre, PN Review, Poetry London and Poetry Review.

John writes essays and reviews of contemporary poetry for journals and newspapers in Ireland and the UK, including reviews and short essays on W.B. Yeats, Paul Muldoon, Derek Mahon, Cesare Pavese, Conor O’Callaghan, David Harsent, Peter Sirr, Thomas McCarthy, Mark Doty, contemporary British poetry and Patrick Kavanagh. He has also published critical essays on post-colonial literatures, Victorian travel writing and twentieth-century Irish poetry and fiction.

He previously taught at a number of Irish universities and The Open University, as well as at creative writing workshops at UCD and Birkbeck College and residential courses including the Aran Islands Festival, the Cuirt Festival and the Arvon Foundation.

He was programme director of Ireland’s biggest poetry festival Poetry Now at Dun Laoghaire until 2007 and is a contributing editor to the journal Metre. He is also a member of the Irish and Scottish Studies Research Group and co-ordinates and chairs the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, the only award of its kind which awards 5000 Euros to the best collection of poems published by an Irish poet each year.

The Thursday lunchtime concerts are part of the Walter Carroll Lunchtime Concert Series, which is supported by the Ida Carroll Trust. They provide a wide-ranging programme to suit all tastes and are an ideal opportunity to enjoy great music performed by outstanding musicians. There’s no need to book – the concerts are free, and you can just turn up on the day!

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