Elaine Agnew and Cavan Sinfonia Orchestra

Elaine Agnew is the composer commissioned to work with Cavan Sinfonia Orchestra on a new piece of music for performance at Ramor Theatre on Saturday 5 December 2015.



Cavan Sinfonia Orchestra was formed in November 2010 by Sue King.   It is a vibrant group who have a diverse range of musical ability including young and mature, amateur and professional musicians ranging in age from seven to seventy.   Cavan County Council in conjunction with the Sinfonia are delighted to announce Elaine Agnew as the successful composer for this commission.   The new music will be performed by the Sinfonia and conducted by Sue King along with other orchestra favourites.  Sue says of the commission ' myself and the entire orchestra are very pleased to be working with Elaine Agnew.   A composer with her breath of knowledge, expertise and excellence will develop us as musicians and no doubt push us beyond our comfort zone.   We are looking forward to the challenge.   We are delighed to be performing this work at Ramor and then we will play in my home county of Wexford in February 2016.   It is an exciting time for Cavan Sinfonia Orchestra'

About Elaine Agnew

Elaine Agnew has been comissioned and her work performed worldwide by artists such as the Škampa and Vogler Quartets, RTÉ National Symphony and Concert Orchestras, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish and Irish Chamber Orchestras and pianist Angela Hewitt. They have featured at major festivals including the BBC London Proms, London BMIC Cutting Edge and Spitalfields and the Slovenian Unicum Festival, and in many worldclass venues: the Carnegie, Wigmore and Royal Albert Halls and the Konzerthaus Berlin.  In 2012 Elaine Agnew’s BBC Proms Commission ‘Dark Hedges’ was premiered by the Ulster Youth Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra and flautist Sir James Galway in London’s Royal Albert Hall’.

Current commissions include a new work for the Boston Children’s Chorus, a solo piano piece for the New Ross Piano Festival and an RTÉ commission ‘Everyone Sang’ to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir premiered in January 2015 by the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. Working on the Aftermath project recently, Elaine met with victims, survivors and displaced families effected by conflict and recorded their voices in a piece ‘I want to tell you’ with violin and cello accompanying a pre-recorded voice track.


Many works have been commercially released: ‘Twilight’ and ‘The Moon’ by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and ‘Seagull’ by pianist Isabelle O’Connell. Elaine was appointed as the first RTÉ lyric fm Composer-in-Residence in 2008 and her two commissioned Christmas carols have been released on Lyric fm’s Choirs for Christmas CD.

Elaine is a renowned facilitator, she is highly experienced in enthusing participation of all ages in collective music-making and is much in demand for her innovative work. She has directed  education and community projects throughout Ireland and the UK including as the Artistic Advisor of Music Network's CPD Programme providing training for musicians to work in outreach settings and is currently their Learning and Participation Adviser.  She studied composition at Queen’s University Belfast with Kevin Volans and at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with James MacMillan. Awards include a Major Individual Arts Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and residencies at the Banff Centre of Creative Arts, the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.


The new music written by Elaine Agnew for Cavan Sinfonia Orchestra will be performed at Ramor Theatre on Saturday 5 December and tickets can be purchased at Ramor Theatre for this event.


This project is organised by Cavan County Council arts office and supported by the Arts Council.

(biography © Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland)

(Photograph by John Byrne)

Cavan Sinfonia Orchestra held their first workshop with Elaine Agnew last Monday Evening.  Elaine Agew will compose music for the Sinfonia over the summer,  and rehersals will resume in September.  There will be two more workshops with the composer and the Orchestra in the Autumn. 



Date and time:

26 May 2015 - 09 Feb 2016


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