Vincent Kennedy, Composer and Conductor

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Irish composer conductor Vincent Kennedy

My approach to classical music:

Music has been a faithful friend: always there to uplift, distract, colour and comfort. I write music to enrich life and take my inspiration from many sources and possibilities, like a bee using the nectar of different flowers to produce a unique honey.

Profile

Vincent Kennedy started music on the recorder when he was seven at CBS Westland Row, Dublin. By age fifteen he had won the junior and senior Feis Ceoil and went on to perform with many ensembles including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. As a composer Vincent came to prominence when he won the RTÉ Music Prize for Soliloquy and March, music to celebrate the life of the broadcaster Michael O’Hehir which was later performed in Croke Park on All-Ireland Final day. Vincent’s music compositions include Tommy Donnybrook (2004) commissioned by RTÉ Lyric FM; The Hook - A Place and A People (2005) commissioned by Wexford County Council; What’sa Heaven For? (2006) commissioned by the Rathfarnham Concert Band Society, performed at WASBE and set as a test piece in the National Band Championships; Dreams (2008) for solo violin and orchestra which was performed in 2009 on 48 City tour of USA by the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra with Cora Venus Lunny as Soloist; Dublin – Overture to My City (2009) commissioned by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; The Kilcormac Cantata (2011) commissioned by Offaly County Council; Where the North Wind Blows (2012) which toured France with Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne in 2014; The Happy Prince (2012) a setting of Oscar Wilde’s children’s story with Little John Nee for Orchestra, narrator and chorus, commissioned by Donegal County Council; The Chronicles of Meath (2013) commissioned by Meath County Council. Vincent conducted a brilliant performance of this music with the Meath Harp Ensemble at the World Harp Congress in Sydney in 2014, a performance described by many as one of the highlights of the Congress. A recording of that work with the Meath Harp Ensemble will be released shortly; The Torch Still Burns Brightly (2014) based on words and episodes in the life of John F. Kennedy. Vincent has also written music for a new stage musical about the journey and plight of Irish women who journeyed to Australia pre and post famine which is due to premiere in Canberra in 2015.