Cross Currents: Composer Dave Flynn

Sep 19, 2016, 09:02 AM

Dave Flynn features in #CrossCurrents, our three-part series exploring contemporary Irish composers and their music - go to for more information for more background information and full podcasts.

Dublin-born Dave Flynn is a composer and guitarist equally at home in the worlds of classical, folk and rock music. His work, praised for its ‘’power and grittiness’’ by The New York Times, defies and challenges the concept of musical genre.

Currently Artistic Director of the Clare Memory Orchestra, Flynn has been commissioned by RTÉ, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Arts Council of Ireland, the Masters of Tradition Festival and the Contemporary Music Centre.

As a ceaseless cross-genre collaborator, Flynn has worked with an array of internationally renowned artists including the RTÉ Concert, Irish Chamber and Prague Chamber Orchestras; the New Juilliard, Crash and Concorde Ensembles; the ConTempo, Vanbrugh and Smith Quartets; Irish fiddle players Martin Hayes and Liz Carroll; singer-songwriters Declan O’Rourke and Vyvienne Long; Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu; Estonian bagpiper Juhan Suits; jazz guitarist Hugh Buckley and Norwegian choreographer Gerd-Kaisa Vorren.

His work has been performed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art; The Kremlin, Moscow; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Dvorak Hall, Prague; Brisbane Conservatory of Music and Ireland’s National Concert Hall and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, City of London Festival, Guitar Festival of Ireland, EBU Folk Festival and the Secret Festival, Sweden.

Flynn has featured on RTÉ TV, TG4, Lyric fm and BBC Ulster. In 2009 an edition of John Schaefer’s New Sounds radio show was dedicated to Flynn’s music and broadcast throughout the US on WNYC.

Flynn’s numerous awards and grants include the composers’ awards at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Dublin Feis Ceoil, multiple grants from the Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland and bursaries from the Bliss Trust, Guildhall Trust, Galway County Council and Michael Collins Memorial Foundation.

Flynn has founded several performing groups including The Tune Makers and The Clare Memory Orchestra. His 2009 solo album ‘Contemporary Traditional Irish Guitar’ was acclaimed in folk and classical music publications.

Flynn completed his PhD dissertation ‘Traditional Irish Music: A Path to New Music’ through the Dublin Institute of Technology, where he also obtained his BMus Degree in Composition. He holds a Master’s degree in Composition from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

2013 sees commissions for the Crash Ensemble and the Arts Council’s Cultural Programme for Ireland’s Presidency of the EU and an album of his string quartet music produced by Grammy winner Judith Sherman.

Pieces used in this short feature (in order of appearance): 1. Winter Snowflakes 2. Joy Part 4 - The Joy of Sebene 3. Bolero - Maurice Ravel 4. The Forrest of Ornaments 5. Slip from String Quartet No. 2_ The Cranning 6. Aontacht Mov 1 for more