Irish composer celebrated at New Music Festival

The work of composer Gerald Barry is the focus of this year’s Victoria Symphony’s New Music Festival.

The work of composer Gerald Barry is the focus of this year’s Victoria Symphony’s New Music Festival.

Barry grew up in rural Ireland, where he had little exposure to music – only BBC classical when he went on car trips.

The sudden outbursts of singing in Handel operas set him on the path to becoming a composer.

Under the tutelage of Karlheinz Stockhausen after college, Barry developed a style with blend of hard edges and humour that entertains listeners: the only thing one can expect from Barry’s music with any certainty is the unexpected.

Former Victoria Symphony composer-in-residence Michael Oesterle chose Barry as the subject of this New Music Festival because he is relatively unknown to North American audiences.

Barry’s chamber, choral and orchestral works will be played in the first festival in North America in his honour.

This New Music Festival will include concerts by the Victoria Symphony, Vox Humana, the Emily Carr String Quartet, and Sonic Lab, as well as special lectures both at the University of Victoria and preceding the Victoria Symphony’s concert.

Featured Barry works include his string piece La Jalousie taciturne, his orchestral work Wiener Blut, Lisbon for piano and chamber ensemble, and choral works The Coming of Winter and Long Time.

In addition to Barry’s pieces, each concert will feature the music of Canadian composers including Paul Frehner, Linda Catlin Smith, Jocelyn Morlock and both former and current VS composers in residence Michael Oesterle and Jared Miller.

A festival pass for all events is available for purchase at the Victoria Symphony office for $25, or tickets to individual concerts are available for $20.

The music festival runs from March 5 to 9.

For more information, please go online to victoriasymphony.ca.

 

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