Frank Corcoran

irish composer


The results of Marco Polo’s survey of contemporary Irish music has been somewhat variable, to be honest, but this one is surely a highlight.

Frank Corcoran (b. 1944) studied with Boris Blacher and obviously learned a lot, especially with respect to scoring – indeed, one quality that is immediately striking with all three works here is the marvelously effective use of orchestral resources to create a wonderful range of textures and shimmering colors, with particularly effective use of percussion to drive the themes and developments (and wind instruments for color) but vying with growling, smoldering lower strings.

This is far from easy music, however – mostly uncompromisingly avant-garde, at times reminiscent, perhaps, of Elliott Carter or Henze, but for the most part exhibiting a rather distinctive mode of expression.
Striking themes are introduced to be ripped apart by aggressive strings before the remains are scattered across an ingeniously woven, contrastive tapestry.
It is actually quite fabulous stuff, strongly recommended and given far more than adequate performances here; indeed the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland must have been genuinely inspired by the music,

for they drive it on with relentless vigor and fire in a manner that has frankly been missing to a certain degree on other releases in the series.
Sound quality is pretty excellent as well. Recommended with enthusiasm.

Thursday 19 November



INVITATION: Frank Corcoran Book Launch, 8pm, 24 Nov, Royal Irish Academy of Music

Please find below an invitation to the launch next week of a newly published book on

Irish composer Frank Corcoran.

Please note this book launch will follow on from a CMC salon event, 7pm – 8pm in the

Royal Irish Academy of Music which features music by Frank Corcoran and other composers

performed by the Royal Irish Academy of Music Percussion Ensemble.


——– The Contemporary Music Centre ——
Nurturing the composition and performance of new Irish music.



Festschrift Frank Corcoran

Cello Concerto . March 13. NSO

Quasi Una Storia 15 February NYC

Hessischer Rundfunk Portrait 1.4.2015

Concertzender ” ”

Trauerfelder for 4 Percussion 24.11.2015 RIAM

Launch Festschrift FRANK CORCORAN ”

James Joyce and Frank Corcoran 26.11. James Joyce Centre Dublin

Dortmund Chormesse 1 – 4. 10. 8 Haikus

Schott Mainz publishes ”

3 Pixels for Oboe and 3 Strings concluded

NDR 4. Symphony 4.4.2015

NDR Cello Concerto 4.12.205

Concertzender Frank Corcoran Portrait 1.5.

Piccolo Quartetto Filarmonico composed for 2016

Czech Radio Frank Corcoran’s Electronic Music 1.5.2015


Reply Reply All Forward

3. 12. 2016 FRANK CORCORAN ON N.D.R.




3. Dezember

Prisma Musik

Thema: Kleine Schule des musikalischen Hörens:

Frank Corcoran hört das Streichquintett C-Dur von Franz Schubert

Das Werk gehört zu seinen letzten und gilt Kennern als Gipfel dessen, was in dieser Kunst überhaupt möglich ist. Generationen haben sich den Kopf darüber zerbrochen, wie Schubert zum Beispiel die magische Stimmung des Adagio-Satzes erzeugt hat.

Der irische Komponist Frank Corcoran versucht in der Kleinen Schule des musikalischen Hörens den Geheimnissen dieser Musik auf die Spur zu kommen, die einem unbegreiflichen Schaffensrausch auf dem Kranken- und schließlich Sterbebett entsprang.

Danach Frank Corcorans 4. Sinfonie aus dem Jahre 1996

( National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Cond, Colman Pearce )


At Kelvin zero / My music slows un poco / Icy minims burst.

Once it was a jar / All Etruscan arrogance / See this cracked piss-pot

Herald angels sing : Glory to our King´s nappies May they melt this cold

This jar of water As if poor Keats´s urn Will not split across

Happy the camel Under Arabian sky No frost underfoot

From cracked clay that jug Sub-zero temperature Cracks its beauty now

Our unmild Buddha: ” Look ! That crack on the jug´s lip ! ” Cold terra cotta

Frozen electrons Challenge their Cold Creator: ” Heat us up! Kiss us! ”

John Keats , shivering, Turned, touched, stroked his Grecian Urn Ice-drops his poor tears

My tones are cold grapes Frosty in this Polar air I embrace myself

Van Gogh´s cold fingers Daubed in his cold water-jug ” Will Spring come, O Herr ? ”

dúisithe ag oighear an próca uisce scoilte aige ( Gabriel Rosenstock )


Lieder aus Irland
Silbensang & Poesie
Der irische Komponist Frank Corcoran

Samuel Beckett
Warten auf Godot


( Als Podcast und in der Bayern 2 App verfügbar )

Lieder aus Irland – Silbensang & Poesie

Autorin: Ulrike Zöller / Regie: Petra Herrmann

“Lilting” nennt sich der Silbengesang, mit dem man in Irland mangels Geige oder Dudelsack Instrumente nachahmt. Zum Kauf von Instrumenten fehlte oft das Geld – außerdem ersetzten die Silben die durch die Engländer verbotene Landessprache. Nur in abgelegenen Teilen der Insel konnte sich der Gesang in irischer Sprache noch erhalten. Die Lieder Irlands spiegeln die Geschichte des Landes wieder: Die Geschichte der alten Könige, der Geistermythen, den Kampf um die Unabhängigkeit, aber auch die Tradition der ausgeprägten Erzählkunst zwischen Bauernkate und Dichtersalon, zwischen Theater und städtischem Club.

Heute werden neben englischen Balladen, poetischen Liedern, Rebellenliedern und Folksongs auch irische Totenklagen und Geisterlieder gesungen: Ob klassisch orchestriert, elektronisch umgesetzt oder im Pub bierselig intoniert.

Redaktion: Petra Herrmann

Unter dieser Adresse finden Sie die Manuskripte von radioWissen:



“Remember me ! ”

– that age/old cry, piteous, imperious, born out of terror , oblivion being our threat.

Remember me in tones, in bronze, in the name of a lousy street, or a tomb as a clarinet concerto, what else ?

Motor of art, as with death a motor of religion,of that which binds us.
I chisel it in , I write it on water or in the sky, all our

orchestral trumpets blazing.
Change the nib. Begin a new composition.
Oblivion will lap. Of course it will.
Stoics and Epicureans and our Buddha and all the Celtic saints of the Burren and great , even bad, indifferent workers in,
well, all the arts yell quietly those four syllables. So ” R ” and ” M ” and ” B ” enclose just two vowels…. Not bad.


The North/South Chamber Orchestra, NEW YORK / MAX LIFCHITZ

Tuesday, March 12 at 8 PM

Christ & St Stephen’s Church
120 West 69th St (bet Bway & Columbus), NYC

Free Admission. No tickets necessary

North/South Consonance, Inc. continues its 33rd consecutive season of free-admission concerts on Tuesday evening March 12. The GRAMMY nominated North/South Chamber Orchestra under the direction of its founder Max Lifchitz will premiere five works especially written for the occasion by composers representing a wide variety of styles and hailing from Ireland and throughout the US. The composers are: Harry Bulow, Frank Corcoran, Binnette Lipper, Joyce Solomon Moorman and William Pfaff.

The concert will start at 8 PM and will take place at the auditorium of Christ & St. Stephen’s Church (120 West 69th St – between Broadway and Columbus) on Manhattan’s West Side.
Admission is free — no tickets necessary.

The event will feature the first performance of ” Variations on Myself ” by the noted Irish composer,

Frank Corcoran.

A founding member of Aosdána – Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists – Corcoran was born in Tipperary in 1944 and completed his musical education in Berlin under the supervision of Boris Blacher. His Two Unholy Haikus won the Sean Ó Riada Award at the 2012 Cork International Choral Festival and the First Prize in the 2013 International Federation of Choral Music.
Several of his orchestral and choral works are available on recordings issued by, among others, the NAXOS, Col-Legno, and Caprice labels.

For almost thirty years he taught composition and theory in the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, Germany.
Corcoran first visited the US in 1989 as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Subsequently, he has been invited to lecture at Indiana University, CalArts, Harvard

University, Boston College, New York University and Princeton.

As basis for his recently completed work, VARIATIONS ON MYSELF,
Frank Corcoran employs a melodic theme derived from the pitches suggested by the composer’s name: F-D-C#-Eb-C-A.

Melodic and harmonic materials are generated by mutating these pitches while strict
metrical writing of the strings contrasts with undulating lines in the wind
instruments often moving at their own speed.




: Frank Corcoran

Veröffentlicht am 30.04.2004 | Lesedauer: 2 Minuten
Von Katja Engler
Kultur kompakt

Das Studio 21 für aktuelle Musik gibt heute um 18 Uhr, im Mendelssohn-Saal der Hochschule für Musik und Theater

ein Geburtstagskonzert für den irischen Hochschulkomponisten

Frank Corcoran (60).

Zur Aufführung kommen u.a. seine Werke Ice-Etchings für Cello,
Bachs 3. Suite für Solo-Cello.

Nach dem Konzert findet ein Gespräch mit dem Komponisten statt.

Der Eintritt ist frei.