Commission Opportunity

In 2017, the Galway Music Residency, in association with the Contemporary Music Centre, launched a new concert series entitled Music & Musings. This series aims to present Galway audiences with new music of the highest quality (from Ireland and from the contemporary canon internationally) in an informal yet intimate setting, promoting discussion with musicians, composers and audience members. Three iterations of the series so far have featured the Galway ConTempo Quartet performing music by composers Kevin Volans, Amanda Feery, Jane O’Leary, Deirdre McKay, Ian Wilson, Rhona Clarke and Greg Caffrey. Of particular importance in November 2017 was the world premiere of Amanda Feery’s new work for string quartet and uilleann pipes, Something Like Light But Not, performed with guest artist Pádraic Keane, and in November 2018 the world premiere of Greg Caffrey’s Borne back ceaselessly into the past… both of which were co-commissioned by the Galway City Council Arts Office and the Galway Music Residency. The series so far has been incredibly well received, demonstrating an appetite for new and adventurous music in Galway.

Music & Musings is now in long-term development to provide an important musical resource to the people of Galway. A vital part of this development will be the commissioning of new works to be featured in the series. Galway City Council Arts Office, in partnership with the Galway Music Residency, commissioned a new work for the upcoming Autumn 2019 series, which was awarded to Ed Bennett earlier this year.

Galway City Council Arts Office and the Galway Music Residency now wish to commission an additional new work for string quartet and optional additional instrument, to be performed by the Galway ConTempo Quartet during the Autumn 2020 series.

Commission Details:

Galway City Council Arts Office and the Galway Music Residency invite expressions of interest that outline creative ideas for the following:

  • a new work for string quartet and optional additional instrument/voice of 8-12 minutes duration, for performance by the Galway ConTempo Quartet (and guest artist if applicable) during the Autumn 2020 Music & Musings concert series

To apply:

Composers must submit the following by email to by 5pm on Friday 13 September 2019. (Please put ConTempo in the subject heading):

  • two recent scores (including one for small ensemble including strings, if possible) (pdf only)
  • two recordings, if possible (wav, mp3) (preferably of the submitted scores)
  • a C.V. to include details of performances of past works
  • a short paragraph outlining your interest in the commission and approach to this new work (max 300 words)

Notes for applicants:

  • This work seeks to celebrate the Galway Music Residency and ConTempo Quartet, and will be presented in the unique atmosphere of the Music & Musings concert series, which aims to engage audiences with new music from Ireland and abroad.
  • The finished work (full score and parts) should be submitted to the Galway Music Residency by 1 October 2020.
  • The first performance will be given by the Galway ConTempo Quartet and presented by the Galway Music Residency in autumn 2020.
  • The composer will be asked to assist in curating the programme for the premiere event, suggesting paired works (preferably not contemporary) to compliment the new work in an interesting way.
  • The composer will be expected to attend the premiere event and participate in a public discussion with performers and audience.
  • This premiere performance will be recorded for archive purposes by CMC and will be made available to the composer.
  • The commission fee will be appropriate to the CMC/AIC commissioning guidelines.
  • The cost of an optional additional performer will be covered by the Galway Music Residency/Galway City Council Arts Office. The composer must suggest the guest artist.
  • The composer retains copyright in relation to the work.
  • A copy of the score must be lodged with the Contemporary Music Centre.
  • Expressions of interest are open to composers who were born in, or are now a resident of, the island of Ireland.
  • Expressions of interest will not be accepted after the deadline and the decision of the selection panel is final.
  • Previously commissioned composers for this project are not eligible to apply again.
  • The Composer selected for the 2019 commission will be informed by Friday 4 October 2019.

Commissioning Partners:

Galway City Council Arts Office is the Local Authority Arts Service for the City of Galway. Through policy and programming, the Arts Office develops contemporary creative arts practice in the city for the benefit of the artists, citizens and communities of Galway.

The Galway Music Residency creates a diverse range of experiences for the people of Galway, presenting opportunities for all to discover the joy of music through meaningful interaction with inspiring musicians. At the heart of the programme is the inspirational Galway Ensemble in Residence, ConTempo Quartet.

The commissioning process will be managed by the Contemporary Music Centre, the all-island resource for the documentation, development and promotion of new music from Ireland, on behalf of Galway City Council Arts Office and the Galway Music Residency.

For further information on this commission, contact Susan Brodigan ( at the Contemporary Music Centre: or 00 353 (0)1 6731922.

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