Cross Currents : Composer John Kinsella

May 10, 2016, 04:55 PM

Born in Dublin in 1932, John Kinsella pursued two careers in artistic administration and in composition, until 1988 when he resigned from his position as Head of Music at RTÉ to fully devote his time to composition.

Since then he has composed ten symphonies, a second violin concerto, a ‘cello concerto and a fifth string quartet, all of which have been publicly performed, and many solo and chamber works.

He has been commissioned by, among others, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin International Piano Competition and The Arts Council of Wales.

Recent premieres include a fifth string quartet for 2013 West Cork Chamber Music Festival and a piano piece for the 2014 New Ross Piano Festival. He also composed an orchestral work to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. His Symphony No.10 was premiered in 2012 by The Irish Chamber Orchestra with conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy.

John Kinsella is a member of Aosdana and is a recipient of the Marten Toonder award. Some of his works are recorded on Chandos, Naxos, RTÉ lyric fm and Irish Chamber Orchestra labels. He is currently working on an eleventh symphony.

You can check out more of John's work at

This podcast feature's excerpts from Kinsella's Symphony number 1 and Strings Quartets 1 to 4.

The photograph is by Jonathan Grimes who is the recordist and project originator on Cross Currents. The producer is Helen Shaw.

Athena Media is the producer of Cross Currents in collaboration with the CMC Contemporary Music Centre and RTE lyric fm. Cross Currents is made with the funding support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Irish TV licence fee. All rights in this project rest with the producers and the composers involved. No reproductions can be made without the written consent of the producers .