Composer Laura Heneghan. Photo from Cork International Choral Festival website

Mayo composer wins prestigious Seán Ó Riada composition competition

MAYO-BORN composer and pianist Laura Heneghan has been named as this year’s winner of the prestigious Seán Ó Riada composition competition.

Initiated in 1972 in recognition of the creative life and work of Seán Ó Riada (1931-1971), the competition invites the submission of new works annually from Irish composers, and is held in collaboration with the Cork International Choral Festival and Chamber Choir Ireland.

As the winner, Laura's composition, Draíocht na Farraige, will receive its world première in St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, on April 28 as part of Cork International Choral Festival’s annual collaborative concert with choir-in-residence Chamber Choir Ireland. It promises to be a wonderful evening of song, and Chamber Choir Ireland is delighted to welcome back Sofi Jeannin as guest director for the gala concert.

Laura is a native of Kiltimagh and messages of congratulations have been flooding in from the local community following news of her success.

In an article on the Cork International Choral Festival website, she expressed her delight at being chosen as winner: “It is a privilege to have my name next to such prestigious composers who have won the competition in the past.

“I am thrilled to have my piece Draíocht na Farraige premiered at the Cork International Choral Festival at the end of April by the renowned Chamber Choir Ireland and distinguished conductor Sofi Jeannin. It is an incredible opportunity, and I am looking forward to working with them closely as the festival draws closer.

“Draíocht na Farraige (The Magic of the Sea) is a poem derived from the book ‘Trócaire Dé agus Dánta Eile’ by the late Maria Goretti Ní Fhéinne. The poet discusses the Spiddal seaside in County Galway in a beautifully descriptive way, and I thought this imagery could be greatly enhanced by a choir.”

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