Frank Corcoran

irish composer


Bhí poc ina chónaí i dTeamhair
A bhí cráite gan comhluadar gabhair:
Ní fhanfadh níos mó
Ar seisean: ‘Let’s go!’
Agus d’imigh sé – glan as a mheabhair!


Bhí bean rialta i gCathair Chinn Lis
(Is i luimneach atá sí anois!)
Chuaigh a cat i bpoll móna
Is ar feadh an tráthnóna
Ar sise go brónach: Pis! Pis!


Bhí striapach bheag dheas ann, dar Duach!
Nár dhuine í chuige ach muruach.
Deireadh custaiméirí, ‘Conas?’
Ach ba chuma sa donas
Ach an craiceann a fháil is a luach!


Bhí ollamh i gCathair Saidhbhín –
Ollamh le Ceol, le bheith cruinn:
Is leor orlach mar nod
Rug sé greim ar a bhod
Agus sheinn a dhá váls ar veidhlín!



is a short tribute composed with the 5 notes that I get from the 5 tone-names in the words,
” James Joyce” i.e. using the German, Italian and English versions ,
j A Mi Es j dO y Cis = or A, E, E flat, C, C sharp

to get the fun going ; which is almost over before a true rhapsody gets started.
Tender and reflective too. Just a little rhapsody.

SEVEN MINIATURES for violin solo

is composed of seven little ” Charakterstuecke” that echo the great literature for the virtuoso
Number 1 with its echo at the end , Nr. 7 , is a pale imitation of a Bach sarabande.
In the intervening 5 movements , each being faster than its predecessor,
the whole work , from shadow-sarabande to shadow-sarabande, is a kind of composed speed – up.

My tribute to this noble instrument.

Variations on A MHAIRIN DE BARRA is exactly that. I have always loved this great Munster love-song with its tale of the unrequited passion of the singer for his bitch – lover; she has got between him and God.
This is a lovely, myxolydian melody with its architecture of 4 phrases, its dizzying leap up to its highest note and then the resigned descent at the end…. Variation-technique has, of course, a long and honourable history in music . Here the dark colours of the solo viola’s open strings are predestined to highlight the passion of the song and the singer. It was commissioned by Lyric Fm in 2005 in order ” to bring the listener from the old to the new, from the Sean to the Nua. “



stimmen 4 (TU-Lichthof)
im Rahmen der DAGA’81:

»vergleichendes Konzert« mit je einem instrumentalen und einem elektroakustischen Werk, Solisten: Michael Ranta (perc), S. Toettcher (vc), N. Maejima (vc), M. Pedzialek (ob)


Takehito Shimazu: Zytoplasma (Band) & Monogonie (mit Cello),

Frank Corcoran: Balthasars Traum & Solosuite für Cello,

Boguslaw Schaeffer: Maa’ts & Proietto (für Oboe & Band),

Sukhi Kang: Mosaico & Bronzezeit (für Schlagzeug und Band).

The Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO)

is an Irish classical music ensemble, administratively based at the University of Limerick.

János Fürst founded the ICO in 1963.[1] The ICO consisted only of strings as its regular ensemble for many years, adding wind, brass and percussion players on a freelance basis when needed. The ICO was reformed in 1970 under the name of the New Irish Chamber Orchestra and the principal conductorship of André Prieur.[2] The orchestra first toured North America in 1978. In 1995, the orchestra was again reconstituted, reverting to its original name of the Irish Chamber Orchestra.[3] The ICO formally added horn players and oboes to its roster in 2008.

Following a succession of Artistic Directors including Fionnuala Hunt, Nicholas McGegan and Anthony Marwood, the orchestra has taken a new approach, appointing two artistic partners: Hungarian conductor Gábor Tákacs Nagy (Principal Artistic Partner) and the clarinettist and composer Jörg Widmann (Principal Guest Conductor/Artistic Partner).

Leading Irish composers who have worked with the orchestra include Frank Corcoran, John Kinsella, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Bill Whelan and Elaine Agnew.


Born 1944 in Borrisokane, Tipperary, near the mighty Shannon river.

Studied philosophy, music, ancient languages, theology, in Maynooth, Rome and Dublin and compositio in Berlin ( Boris Blacher ) .
Has written orchestral, choral, chamber and computer music .1980 – 81 Berliner Künstlerprogramm. Professor at Hamburg 1983 – 2008 .
1989 – 90 Fulbright Professor in the U.S.A. Guest lecturer at Harvard, Princeton, Indiana, NYU, CalArts, etc.
Member of the Irish Academy of the Arts Aosdana since 1982.
His works have been recorded and broadcast in Europe, U.S.A., Canada, Australia, etc.
First Symphony premiered in Vienna1981.

Represented several times at the International Composers´Rostrum.

For his seventieth birthday 2014 CMC Film:
” The Light Gleams ” .

Many commissions and distinctions. Awards include :

First Varming Prize for Irish Composers 1974, Dublin Symphony Orchestra Prize 1975,
Studio Akustische Kunst 1995 ( JOYCEPEAK MUSIK ),
Bourges Festival Premier Prix 1999 ( SWEENEY´S VISION ) ,
Swedish E.M.S. Prize 2002 ( QUASI UNA MISSA ) ,
International Foundation for Choral Music 2013 First Prize ( EIGHT HAIKUS ) ,
Cork International Choral Festival 2012 ( TWO UNHOLY HAIKUS ) etc.

New works include :

CELLO CONCERTO ( N.S.O. Dublin 2015 ) , ALL MY ALTO RHAPSODIES ( Italy 2014 ) QUASI UNA STORIA for String Orchestra ( New York 2015 ), VIOLIN CONCERTO ( Irish Radio / N.S.O. 2012 ) CLARINET QUINTET ( RTE commission 2011 ) , NINE ASPECTS OF AN IRISH POEM for Choir and Solo Violin ( NDR 2010 ) , FOUR ORCHESTRAL PRAYERS ( N.S.O. 2010 ) , MAD SWEENEY ( Boston Musica Viva 2006 ) etc.

For discography etc.





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Sat 12th May 2018

Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast


Duos, trios and quartets are unusually absent from this event, which instead focuses on pieces for the full ensemble

contrasted with solo works. However, the cello work Strum, Strum and be Hang’d from Belfast composer David Byers and

Save the whale from the late Dutch composer Ton Bruynel both have additional “tape” elements; the latter is all the

more unique using as it uses the rare contrabass clarinet. John Buckley’shighly virtuosic 2 Fantasias for Alto flute

and the Irish premiere of Piers Hellawell’s Let’s Dance, for solo percussion, complete the solo works.

For larger forces, two of the HRSE commissions for this season appear here. Greg Caffrey’s work, ..for peace comes
dropping slow, takes inspiration from one of Yeats’ most famous poems.

The other newly commissioned work, A Battuta, is the latest creation coaxed from the pen of Derry born Kevin O’Connell.

It is fitting that a “Pierrot format” ensemble such as HRSE should give the world premiere performance of Frank Corcoran’s own Nine looks at Pierrot

and we continue to celebrate our 2017/18 Featured Composer, Ian Wilson’s output with a performance of Involute, a

piece that sees the format expand to include percussion.

Music by: Greg Caffrey, John Buckley, Ian Wilson, David Byers, Kevin O’Connell, Ton Bruynel, Frank Corcoran,

Piers Hellawell and Hans Werner Henze.