The Cork International Choral Festival has announced Mayo's Peter Leavy as the winner of the 2020 Seán Ó'Riada Composition Competition.
As winner of the competition, along with receiving a cash prize kindly donated by the Ó'Riada family, Peter’s piece 'It will not depart’ will receive its world première in the spectacular surrounds of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral on Friday, May 1 at 7.30pm during the 2020 Cork International Choral Festival.
It will be performed by Chamber Choir Ireland in a concert conducted by Paul Hillier, which will feature their stunning programme, ‘Like As The Waves’, in what promises to be a wonderful evening of song.
Leavy is a Charlestown native and Dublin-based composer, pianist, teacher, and occasional jazz musician. He studied piano with Pádhraic Ó'Cuinneagáin at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama from 2001-10 and holds a first-class honours degree in Music (2006 ) and a Masters in Performance and Musicology (2008 ) from Maynooth University.
Peter completed an MPhil in Composition at Trinity College Dublin in 2013 and a Doctorate in Composition at the University of Birmingham, under the supervision of Prof Michael Zev Gordon, in 2018.
His works have been performed by New Dublin Voices, Maynooth University Chamber Choir, Ensemble Avalon, The Lír Quartet, and The Birmingham University Philharmonic Orchestra among others.
Compositionally, he is interested in the expressive possibilities of material and structures imported from the musical past, into the musical present. The give-and-take between whimsy and compositional forethought, and the possibility of larger-scale structures emerging organically from the tiniest of gestures are other areas of interest.
On receiving the news of his win, Peter said: "I’m delighted to have had my work, 'It Will Not Depart', chosen as the winning entry of the 2020 Seán Ó'Riada Composition Competition. I’d stumbled upon this wonderful fourth-Century Chinese poem many years ago and had always intended to set it musically. Now, having done so, it’s immensely satisfying to learn that Chamber Choir Ireland will première the work at the Cork International Choral Festival; who could ask for a finer maiden voyage?."