“Some of the most exhilarating and imaginative music you'll ever hope to hear…exuberant, spontaneous and irresistibly alive.” (Washington Post 2007)
Born in Belfast Brian Irvine’s huge body of work includes orchestral works, chamber music, operas, film scores as well as solo and ensemble pieces. His work has involved commissions and collaborations with many international artists ranging from opera companies and orchestras to DJs and Japanese rock guitar virtuosos. These have included: Ulster Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Opera Theatre Company, Wexford Festival Opera, RTE Concert Orchestra, The British Council, BBC television, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, animator Joel Simon, filmmakers: John Mcilduff, Jari Neiminen, Phil Crothers, Brian Drysdale, as well as musicians: Billy Jenkins, Joanna Macgregor, Alexander Sitovesky, Keiji Haino, Paul Dunmall, Keith Tippet, Matt Bourne, Paul Rogers and David Holmes to name but a few.
His music is a wild untamed concoction of all things
He has won a number of awards for his music including the 2006 British Composer Award for The Tailors Daughter which was commissioned and premiered by Welsh National Opera Max Dept and the BBC Radio 3 Jazz Award for his Ivor Cutler inspired piece Interrupting Cutler. Last year his orchestral work: Secret Cinema was short listed for the BBC Radio 3 Listeners Award. Other awards have included the Bass Ireland Award, and the Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He is currently the Associate Composer with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast and was previously the New Music Fellow based at the Tolbooth in Scotland.
Together with his own14 –piece, genre busting ensemble he has conducted and performed all over the world and appeared at many international festivals throughout Europe, Russia and America to widespread critical acclaim.
While others bang on about the besieging of time-honoured genre boundaries by contemporary music, the Brian Irvine Ensemble simply operates as if those boundaries had never even existed. Irish Times 2008
He is currently completing several large scale orchestral commissions including a re-inerpretation of the Pied Piper story for orchestra and children chorus and piece for the Ulster Orchestra to mark the reopening of the Ulster Hall in Belfast. Feb 2009.
His recently completled solo piano piece: Junk Genius: The Klippell Collection will be premiered by Isabelle O’connell in Belfast oct 2008 as part of the Belfast Festival at Queens.
Together with writer filmmaker and director John Mcilduff he is also completing a major new Wexford Festival Opera commission entitled DUMBWORLD. This new work will be performed by the Brian Irvine Ensemble together with a cast of 12 internationally acclaimed opera singers and will be premiered in October as part of Wexford Festival Opera 2009.
He is generally rubbish at DIY but is a deadly Monopoly player and someday when he grows up he is going to become horse racing course bookie.
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