12–14 APRIL 2018

See Programme


12 April, 8pm

Piano Hero

Stefan Prins, Piano Hero

Stefan Prins, Piano Hero #1#4
An immersive cycle for midi keyboard, grand piano, live cameras, video and live electronics (2011–2017)

Stephane Ginsburgh, piano
Florian Bogner
(ICST Zürich), computer music realisation

Stefan Prins makes his Irish debut at Music Current as festival guest composer. Prins is a fearless composer, eager to explore beyond convention and any perceived musical boundaries.

His mastery of both technique and technology are evident in this Piano Hero series of pieces. At times whimsical, or even throw-away, the Piano Hero pieces demonstrate Prins' dedication to revealing the relationship between materials and their context, and to imagining new musical forms through extra-musical materials and technologies.

Together with Stephane Ginsburgh (piano) and Florian Bogner (computer music realisation) this team produce a tour de force of technical and technological virtuosity.

Artist biographies

13 April, 8pm

Piano + Percussion

Yarn|Wire Ensemble (USA)

Catherine Lamb (USA), Curvo Totalitas
Ann Cleare (Ire), I should live in wires for leaving you behind
Rick Burkhardt (USA), Earth Opens

piano/percussion quartet:
Ian Antonio
, percussion
Laura Barger, piano
Ning Yu, piano
Russell Greenburg, percussion

"fearless" / "restlessly curious" / "spare, strange, and very, very new" - TimeOutNY

The virtuosic Yarn|Wire ensemble (USA) bring two new works by rising stars of the American new music scene – Catherine Lamb (hypnotic... vivid, evocative [The Guardian]) and award-winning playwright, performer, composer Rick Burkhardt – together with the Irish premier of Ann Cleare's spellbinding 'I should live in wires for leaving you behind'.

With these three works Yarn|Wire ensemble fill the space with a 'theatre of objects' that must be witnessed. Not to be missed!

This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Howard Gilman Foundation.

14 April, 6pm

Prepared Piano

Izumi Kimura, Prepared Piano

John Cage, Sonatas & Interludes (selections)
Elis Czerniak, historical memories, personal memories, present memories (for prepared piano and live electronics)*
Francis Heery, …the straight and narrow… (for prepared piano and live electronics)*

*Music Current Commission

Izumi Kimura, piano
Elis Czerniak, computer
Francis Heery, computer

One of Ireland's most inventive improvisers – Izumi Kimura – joins forces with two of the country's most imaginative composers (Francis Heery and Elis Czerniak) to reinvent the 'prepared piano' and extend its possibilities with live electronics through two new works specially commissioned for Music Current Festival. The new works are contextualised with John Cage's seminal Sonatas and Interludes, one of the best known works from the 'inventor' of the prepared piano. These new works follow Cage's original preparations to fix screws, bolts and rubbers inserted between the strings.

This programme is supported by Jeffers Pianos, in association with Galway Jazz Festival and Music Network.

Artist biographies

14 April, 8pm

Piano + Electronics

Xenia Pestova, New works for Piano + Electronics

Participant Composers, Selected Works

Julian Maple de Oliveira, 8
Joan Bages, L'homme Noyée
Ruaidhri Mannion, Unravel and Ruin
Kilian O'Kelly, The Memory Void
Patricia Martinez, El Alma Al Cuerpo
Silvia Rosani
, Frauenstimmen (for piano and computer)*
Fergal Dowling, Mixed Synthetic Fabrics (for piano and computer)

*Music Current Commission

Xenia Pestova
, piano
Silvia Rosani, live electronics
Francis Heery, computer
Fergal Dowling, computer

Powerful, refined, sensitive, imaginative, precise – Xenia Pestova brings her immense talents to the eight new works selected from the international 'call for participation'. This spectacular programme also premieres two new commissions, including Silva Rosani's award winning new work for piano, resonating metal plates and keyboard instruments. Together with the Irish premiere of Helga Arias Parra's tactile 'Astraglossa,' and Fergal Dowling new Arts Council commission – Mixed Synthetic Fabrics (for piano and live electronics) – Xenia has assembled a visual and aural feast.

See below for more details on how to participate in Music Current. Photo credit, Chris Webb.

Artist biographies



After graduating as an engineer, Stefan Prins (Kortrijk, Belgium, 20/5/1979) started to study fulltime piano and composition at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp, Belgium, where he obtained his Masters degree in Composition magna cum laude. Concurrently, he studied "Technology in Music" at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels,"Sonology" at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and "Philosophy of Culture" and "Philosophy of Technology" at the University of Antwerp. In 2017 he obtained a PhD in composition at Harvard University under the guidance of Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku.

As a composer he received several important awards in Belgium and abroad, such as the "Berliner Kunstpreis für Musik" (2016), "ISCM Young Composer Award" (2014), "Kranichsteiner Musikpreis für Komposition" (Darmstadt, 2010), a "Staubach Honorarium" (Darmstadt, 2009) and the "International Impuls Composition Award" (Graz, 2009). In 2012 the Union of Belgian Music Journalists elected him "Young Belgian Musician of the Year". In 2014 he became laureate of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for the Sciences and Arts in the Class of the Arts.

Stefan Prins is closely involved with the Nadar Ensemble, as a composer and co-director, and was one of the founders of the long-standing trio for improvised music "collectief reFLEXible" and the band "Ministry of Bad Decisions", together with percussionist Brian Archinal and e-guitarist Yaron Deutsch.

His music has been played by a.o. Klangforum Wien, Nadar Ensemble, Ictus Ensemble, Nikel Ensemble, Ensemble Mosaik, Trio Accanto, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble Recherche, Athelas Sinfonietta, Ensemble Proton Bern, Zwerm Electric Guitar Quartet, Champ d'Action on festivals such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Wittener Tage für Neue Musik, Eclat, Warsaw Autumn, Gaudeamus Festival, Musica Strasbourg, Ars Musica, Tzlil Meudcan, Impuls Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival & Ultima Festival.


Stephane Ginsburgh has been praised for his daring piano playing and appears regularly in recitals and chamber music worldwide and has performed at numerous festivals such as Ars Musica, Quincena Musical, ZKM Imatronic, Agora, Bach Academie Brugge, Ultima Oslo, Darmstadt Ferienkurse and Gaida (Vilnius).

A tireless surveyor of the repertoire but also exploring new combinations including voice, percussion, performance or electronics, he dedicates much of his energy to contemporary music. He regularly plays with the Ictus Ensemble under George-Elie Octors, has collaborated with many composers of whom he premiered works, as well as with choreographers and visual artists. Stephane has recorded CDs for Sub Rosa label (Feldman, Duchamp, Satie, Fafchamps). He recorded the world premiere of two pieces by David Toub for World Edition. His Prokofiev complete piano sonatas are released by Cypres Records.

After studying at the Conservatory, he worked with Paul Badura-Skoda, Claude Helffer, Jerome Lowenthal and Vitaly Margulis. He is a laureate of the Tenuto BRTN competition 1995 and has received the Pelemans Prize in 1999 from the Belgian composers union for his implication in performing Belgian contemporary music. In 1998, Stephane Ginsburgh co-founded SONAR (previously le Bureau des Arts), an active group of artists dedicated to different types of artistic expression and creation including music, dance and literature. He teaches piano at the Royal Music Conservatory and at the Dalcroze Institute, both in Brussels. He studied philosophy of science at the Free University of Brussels (U.L.B.) and is pursuing a PhD in music at V.U.B./K.C.B.


Florian Bogner was born in Klosterneuburg in 1978 and studied at the electroacoustic institute at the University of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna. From 2003 to 2005 and in 2012/13 he was a lecturer at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

Florian Bogner works freelance in sound direction, live electronics, sound design and computer music. Working alongside Peter Böhm, he is responsible for the electro-acoustic conception and realization, as well as sound direction, for Klangforum Wien. His projects have led him to the Wien Modern Festival, the Teatro Real, Madrid, the Paris Opéra, the Theater an der Wien and the National Theatre in Mannheim. He and Peter Böhm were responsible for the sound direction of Wolfgang Rihm's Die Eroberung von Mexico at the 2015 Salzburg Festival.

He has also recorded, mixed and mastered numerous CDs for labels such as Kairos and col legno and has created various compositions for theatrical productions, as well as documentary and promotional films. Florian Bogner founded the electronic duo Kilo with Markus Urban in 2004. Since 2009 he has also been part of a duo with saxophonist Lars Mlekusch (Duo Saxophonic). In addition to his concert activities at home and abroad, he has produced several CDs. From 2013 to 2017 he was part of the master's programme in electroacoustic composition at the University of the Arts in Zurich.

Between 2014 and 2016 he has also been a researcher for the Performance Practice of Electroacoustic Music project supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) in Zurich. Since 2017 he is PhD student at Zürich and Graz.


Alexis Nealon is a sound engineer with years of experience with electronic and acoustic music, in both the studio and in concert. Recent projects include Lorcán MacMathuna's 'Preab Meadar' album project, QME's live performances and recordings, and Corn Exchange Theatre's 'A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing'. He runs his own project studio and provides location recording facilities. He has toured across Europe and further, and taught guitar and Information Technology. Alexis works with Qlab, Wavelab, Nuendo, MaxMSP, Reaper, Kontact software and RME, Eventide, DPA, Neumann hardware. With a background in music appreciation and guitar performance, he holds a Masters from TCD in Music and Media Technology.


Catherine Lamb (b. 1982, Olympia, WA. U.S.) is a composer exploring the interaction of elemental tonality and their shades. She began her musical life early, later abandoning the conservatory in 2003 to study Hindustani music in Pune, India. She received her BFA in 2006 under James Tenney and Michael Pisaro at CalArts in Los Angeles, where she continued to compose, teach, and collaborate with musicians (such as Laura Steenberge and Julia Holter on Singing by Numbers). In 2008 she received a W. A. Gerbode Foundation and W. & F. Hewlett Foundation Emerging Composers initiative for Dilations, premiered at the Other Minds festival in San Francisco. She mentored under the experimental filmmaker/Dhrupad musician Mani Kaul until his death in 2011. In 2012 she received her MFA in music/sound from the Milton Avery School of Fine Arts at Bard College in New York. She toured Shade/Gradient extensively and was awarded the Henry Cowell Research Fellowship to work with Eliane Radigue in Paris. In 2013 Lamb relocated to Berlin, Germany where she lives currently, and has written for ensembles such as Konzert Minimal, Dedalus, NeoN, and the London Contemporary Orchestra, while collaborating regularly with Marc Sabat, Johnny Chang, Bryan Eubanks, and Rebecca Lane. Her first orchestral work, Portions Transparent/Opaque, was premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the 2014 Tectonics Festival in Glasgow and was conducted by Ilan Volkov. She has been awarded a Staubach Fellow for the 2016 Darmstadt Summer course as well as a Schloss Solitude Fellow. Her writings/recordings are published in KunstMusik, Open Space Magazine, QO2, NEOS, Another Timbre, Winds Measure, and Sacred Realism.



Rick Burkhardt is an Obie-award winning playwright, composer, performer, and director whose original music, theater, and text pieces have been performed in over 40 US cities, as well as in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. Presenters and commissioners include the Lucerne, Donaueschingen, Wien Modern, and Darmstadt Festivals, American Repertory Theater, New York Theater Workshop, LaMama NYC, PS-122, and ensembles such as ICE, Wet Ink, sfSound, Ensemble SurPlus, the La Jolla Symphony, the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble XII, and Red Fish Blue Fish. 

Rick Burkhardt’s work has been supported by grants from Chamber Music America, ICElab, New Music USA, Meet the Composer, Jerome Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Millay Colony, Thomas Nee Commissioning Grant, Boswil Foundation, DAAD, and the US-Mexico Fund for Culture, as well as private and festival commissions. He has received “Best Play” awards at the San Francisco Fringe Festival and the New York Frigid Festival, and an Obie Special Citation Award for the music-theater work “Three Pianos.”

Rick Burkhardt has collaborated, as playwright, composer, and performer, with a wide variety of theatermakers and ensembles, including Dave Malloy, Lisa D’Amour, Erin Courtney, Kristen Kosmas, RachelChavkin, Sylvan Oswald, Anne Washburn, Hoi Polloi, Two-Headed Calf, and Banana Bag and Bodice. As asongwriter, he has shared stages with artists such as the Indigo Girls, Utah Phillips, Holly Near, and PeterYarrow, and his original songs have received national radio play, including on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”


Ann Cleare is an Irish composer working in the areas of concert music, opera, extended sonic environments, and hybrid instrumental design. Her work explores the static and sculptural nature of sound, probing the extremities of timbre, texture, colour, and form. She creates highly psychological and corporeal sonic spaces that encourage a listener to contemplate the complexity of the lives we exist within, exploring poetries of communication, transformation, and perception.

Her work has been commissioned and presented by major broadcasters such as the BBC, NPR, ORF, RTÉ, SWR, WDR for festivals such as Gaudeamus Week, The Wittenertage fur Neue Kammermusik, International Music Institute Darmstadt, Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, IMATRONIC Festival of Electronic Music, MATA Festival, and Taschenopernfestival. Through working with some of the most progressive musicians of our time, she has established a reputation for creating innovative forms of music, both in its presentation, and within the music itself. She has worked with groups such as Ensemble SurPlus, 175 East, The Crash Ensemble, The Callithumpian Consort, Quatuor Diotima, The International Contemporary Ensemble, The Chiara String Quartet, Collegium Novum Zürich, ELISION, The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Divertimento Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Apparat, Ensemble Nikel, The Curious Chamber Players, Yarn/Wire, ensemble mosaik, The Experimental Ensemble of the SWR Studios, Talea Ensemble, österreichisches ensemble für neue

music, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, ensemble recherche, TAK, Vertixe Sonore, Ensemble Garage, Argento Chamber Ensemble, The Fidelio Trio, and soloists such as Carol McGonnell, Richard Craig, Heather Roche, Bill Schimmel, Benjamin Marks, Patrick Stadler, Carlos Cordeiro, Ryan Muncy, Richard Haynes, William Lang, Laura Cocks, Lina Andonovska, and Samuel Stoll.



Ian is a percussionist. As a founding member of Yarn/Wire, he has performed to great acclaim across the US and collaborated with the most innovative composers alive. In addition to his work with the quartet, Ian performs with the Wet Ink Ensemble, Talujon, and the Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf. From 2003-2012 Ian was a member of the difficult-to-categorize band Zs. He also appears frequently with the International Contemporary Ensemble and S.E.M. Ensemble. Ian holds a B.M from the Manhattan School of Music and an M.M. and D.M.A. from SUNY Stony Brook. He has been a Tanglewood Music Center fellow, a Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival participant, and a member of the Mettawee River Company. Ian's playing can be head on the Carrier, Nonesuch, Kairos, Warp, Social Registry, and 31G record labels, among others.


Laura Barger is sought-after for her dedication to contemporary music and her energetic, committed performances. As a founding member of the chamber quartet, Yarn/Wire (called "fearless" by TimeOut NY), Laura has helped to commission numerous new works for the repertoire by leading composers of our time. In addition to her work with Yarn/Wire, Laura has performed with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Argento Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, and Lost Dog New Music. International appearances include the Lucerne Festival, The National Gallery of Ireland, Västerås Konserthus, Darmstadt Festival for New Music, and the Banff Centre for the Arts, among others. Laura holds degrees from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (BM) and SUNY Stony Brook (MM, DMA). She teaches at the 92nd Street Y School of Music in Manhattan.


Ning Yu brings her multi-faceted virtuosity and adventurous spirit to a wide range of music, both as a soloist and in collaborations with some of today's most distinguished artists. A member of Yarn/Wire (proclaimed "fearless" by TimeOut NY), since 2011, Ning has worked to promote new and challenging music around the United States. In addition to working with Yarn/Wire, Ning has appeared with the Bang On a Can All-Stars, Signal Ensemble, and the Mabou Mines theater group. In 2010, she won the André Boucourechliev Prize at the 2010 Orléans International Piano Competition in France, which focuses on contemporary piano repertoire. Ning has worked numerous composers including Terry Riley, Michael Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Reich, and David Lang, among others. She has performed worldwide at the Muziekgebouw, Kölner Philharmonie, Kwai Tsing Theatre, and Alice Tully Hall in New York. 


Russell Greenberg is a proponent of new and experimental music spanning multiple genres. As a founder of the percussion and piano quartet, Yarn/Wire (hailed as "intrepid, engrossing" by the New York Times), he has performed at numerous venues around New York City and the United States and has worked closely with composers to creat new repertoire for the ensemble. In addition to his work with Yarn/Wire, Russell has performed with Wet Ink Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, Argento, Signal Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and Two-Headed Calf, among others. Russell received degrees from SUNY Stony Brook (MM, DMA) and the University of California, Berkeley (BA). He has appeared internationally at the Darmstadt, Acanthes, Klangspuren, and the Lucerne festivals. He is currently on faculty at Lucy Moses School (Manhattan), and SUNY Suffolk College.


Elis Czerniak seeks to create music that is both void of structure and procedure. His music is that of a world created by the exploration of sound itself. His compositional aesthetic focuses on the two fundamental aspects of sound in which we encounter on a daily basis; its formation and its perception. He believes nothing is more important than the instrument and the range of timbres that can be obtained from it. His scores employ graphic notation and controlled improvisation, which liberate form and give the performer freedom to make their own choices. The use of unusual instrumental, organic and electronic sounds make up the diverse palette from which he draws his material. Elis holds a degree in music from Trinity College Dublin, a masters degree in music from the Royal College of Music in London, and a PhD obtained under the Home Hewson Scholarship back at Trinity College. His works have been performed throughout Ireland and the UK by a variety of groups including RCM Symphony Orchestra, Kirkos Ensemble, Co-Orch Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, Tonnta Vocal Ensemble and RTÉ Con Tempo Quartet.


Francis Heery (b. 1980) is an Irish composer, researcher and sound artist. His research interests include the music of Morton Feldman and Horatiu Radulescu, spectral and post-spectral composition, alchemy and aesthetics, and the relationships between music, rhetoric and language. His instrumental works have been performed by international players such as: the JACK Quartet, Carin Levine, Pascal Gallois, the Talujon Percussion Ensemble, the Quiet Music Ensemble, and the Crash Ensemble. His electronic music is released on Lamour Records, farpoint Recordings and Fort Evil Fruit.


Izumi Kimura is a highly acclaimed practitioner of contemporary piano music, improviser, and educator. After graduating from Toho Gakuen Music University in Tokyo, she moved to Ireland and has performed extensively throughout the country and abroad as a solo, orchestral and chamber musician and broadcast including on RTE Lyric FM, RTE one, Dublin City FM, NearFM, Raidió na Life, and RTE 2 television. She has worked with some of the leading performers and ensembles from both disciplines of classical and jazz, including RTE Symphony Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, Michael D'arcy, Ioana Petcu-Colan, Ken Edge, Benjamin Dwyer, Susan Doyle, Cora Venus Lunny, and many more from the world of classical music, and with jazz and improvising musicians including Barry Guy, Gerry Hemingway, Tommy Halferty, Ronan Guilfoyle, Michael Buckley, Joe O'Callaghan, Oki Itaru, Makoto Sato, Benoít Delbecq, Stéphane Payen, Sarah Buechi, Fuzzy Logic Ensemble and many more.

She has premiered many works including pieces especially written for her. Composers she worked with include Ronan Guilfoyle, Benjamin Dwyer, John Buckley, Kevin O.Connell, Gerald Barry, Ian Wilson, Greg Caffrey, Fergus Johnston. Her debut solo album of Japanese and Irish contemporary works 'Asymmetry' was described as 'She has performed at many festivals in Ireland and abroad including RTE Living Music Festival, Boyle Arts Festival, Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, Bray Jazz Festival, Galway Jazz Festival, Engage Bandon Arts Festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival, SPECTRUM festival, Ghent Street Festival of New Music in Belgium, Music 21's 'Brazil Now', 'Artes Da Irlanda' in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Creative Connexions in Sitges, Spain.

As an improviser Izumi has performed with many leading musicians and groups, including trio with Bassist Ronan Guilfoyle and vocalist Sarah Buechi, duo with guitarist Tommy Halferty, and Joe O'Callaghan, respectively, saxophonist and flautist Michael Buckley, and a trio with guitarist Shane Latimer and drummer Matthew Jacobson, with the support of Music Network and Arts Council, Fuzzy Logic Ensemble, and many more. In June 2016, she has released two albums of improvised music - a duo album with Tommy Halferty, 'Maelstrom' (4 stars at Irish Times), and a solo album 'A one of the most original, creative and stimulating recordings of 2010 to be heard on an Irish label, an absolute revelation.' (Dublin City FM). Dream Within a Dream', both were featured on RTE Lyric FM. Izumi has received Project Award from Arts Council in 2016, for a duo projects with American percussionist and Composer Gerry Hemingway, and British bassist and composer Barry Guy. She also performs regularly with free improvising trio / quartet with Stéphane Payen, Itaru Oki, and Makoto Sato in Paris.


Fergal Dowling is a composer, computer musician and ensemble director. He studied composition at Trinity College Dublin (BMus, 2000), (MLitt, 2002) and, with the aid of the Elizabeth Maconchy Composition Fellowship (2002), the University of York (PhD, 2006), and continues research in interactive audio performance, sound spatialisation and algorithmic composition. His works often combine computer-based interaction and sound spatialisation to engage the listener with a sense of immediacy, and draw on a variety of simple sound materials to create complex inharmonic textures.

His compositions have been presented widely at festivals and conferences, including: ISSTC 2014, Composition in the 21st Century (Dublin, 2014), Noise in/and/as Music, Huddersfield (2013), Atelierfrankfurt (2011), Música Viva (2010), Japan Electroacoustic Festival (2009), ISCM World Music Days (2009), Future Sonic (2007), and by many ensembles and soloists, including: Ex-Machina (Brazil), Projektgruppe Neue Musik Bremen, Grup XXI (Spain), Hear This Space (England), Acousmain (Germany), and notes inégales.

An active performer of computer music, he co-founded Dublin Sound Lab (2008), and has collaborated with many Irish and international composers and performers, including: Karlheinz Essl, Garth Knox and Peter Ablinger.


Silvia Rosani studied Composition in Udine (Italy) and at Mozarteum University in Salzburg (Austria) and further specialised through masterclasses with Klaus Huber, Brice Pauset, Beat Furrer and Salvatore Sciarrino. Her pieces have been played by ensembles such as the ÖENM, Zahir Ensemble, Platypus Ensemble and Vocal Arts Stuttgart. In 2010, Silvia's composition La nube e Issione won the first prize at the "Vocal Arts" Composition Competition and was performed at the Biennale Salzburg, while in 2013 Silvia was awarded the Bernhard-Paumgartner Medal by the Mozarteum Foundation. Silvia Rosani has a five-year degree in Electronic Engineering and also works with software for live electronics and sound analysis such as Puredata, Spear and Audiosculpt, which she used to compose a chamber opera, Versteinerte Flüge, which was performed at the ARGEkultur Theatre in Salzburg in 2011.

During a five-month residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, she has been working at T-O, a composition for five voices, which was premiered at the ECLAT Festival 2014 by the Neue Vocalsolisten and further performed by the ensemble at the MATA Festival 2014, Venice Biennale, Teatro de la Zarzuela (Madrid), Centro Kursaal (San Sebastian) and in Athens at Onassis Cultural Centre in 2016. White Masks, a cycle for cello, live electronics and resonating masks developed in collaboration with cellist Esther Saladin, has been awarded the Francis Chagrin Award in 2015, a Public Engagement grant from the Institute of Musical Research (IMR) and the support of the Goldsmiths Annual Fund (2017). Silvia Rosani has just completed a PhD in Music (composition) at Goldsmiths, University of London, on how to strengthen the relationship between text and music via the sound analysis of the voices of human and non-human animals. She works as Associate Lecturer at Cardiff University and at Goldsmiths, University of London.


Helga Arias Parra (born in Bilbao, Spain) studied composition with Mario Garuti (Conservatorio G.Verdi Milan) and Beat Furrer (Kuntsuniversität Graz) and computer music with Javier Torres Maldonado (Conservatorio A. Boito Parma) and Karlheinz Essl (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien).

Her music tries to establish relations between acoustic and electronic resonance as well as to explore the microscopical variations of the sound phenomena.

Her music has been performed in several festivals and music halls such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage (Next Generation), Manifeste Paris, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, EMUFEST Rome, Klangwerkstatt Berlin, Festival Mixtur in Barcelona, Echoraum Vienna, Experimentalstudio Academy of the SWR Freiburg, ZKM Karlsruhe (Germany), Tongyeong World Music Days (South Corea) by ensembles such as Ensemble Inercontemporain, Ensemble SurPlus, International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA), The Riot Ensemble, Vertixe Sonora, Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne, ECCE ensemble, Taller Sonoro, Sond'arte electric ensemble, Ensemble Cepromusic, Ensemble Progress Berlin and others.

Currently she lives and teaches in Switzerland.


Described as "outstanding" (Tempo), "stunning" (Wales Arts Review), "ravishing" (Pizzicato) and "remarkably sensuous" (New Zealand Herald), pianist Xenia Pestova's performances and recordings have earned her a reputation as a leading interpreter of uncompromising repertoire of her generation. Lauded for "dynamic energy and crystalline precision" (RTE Nova Ireland), Pestova is featured at major festivals and venues around the world, including appearances at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Glasgow Royal Concert Halls, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Festival Archipel (Geneva), Christchurch Arts Festival (New Zealand), Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival (Canada), Frontiers+ (Birmingham), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Lanaudière (Canada), Festival Musica (Strasbourg), Sonorities (Belfast), Spark (USA) and Voix Nouvelles Royaumont (France). She is equally at home in experimental concert settings, and has performed in an underground World War II fortress, tropical gardens and a natural cave system inhabited by hibernating bats.

Pestova's commitment and dedication to promoting music by living composers led her to commission dozens of new works and collaborate with major innovators in contemporary music. Her widely acclaimed recordings of core piano duo works of the Twentieth Century by John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen with pianist Pascal Meyer are available on four CDs for Naxos Records. Her recording of Stockhausen's "Mantra" was praised as "a highly accomplished presentation of one of the landmark pieces in the second half of the 20th century" in the Guardian. Her evocative solo debut of premiere recordings for the Innova label titled "Shadow Piano" was described as a "terrific album of dark, probing music" by the Chicago Reader. Currently, she is the Director of Performance at the University of Nottingham, and continues to mentor emerging musicians in workshops at conservatories and universities around the UK, Europe, Canada, New Zealand, USA and Brazil.

Photocredit: Carla Rees


Smock Alley Theatre

6–7 Exchange Street Lower,
Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Smock Alley Theatre

Smock Alley Theatre is situated on Exchange Street Lower with its façade facing on to Wood Quay.

Contemporary Music Centre

19 Fishamble Street,
Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Contmporary Music Centre Fishamble Street

The Contemporary Music Centre is at 19 Fishamble Street in the west end of Dublin's cultural quarter, Temple Bar, adjacent to Smock Alley Theatre, Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle, and is a short walk from Trinity College.

How to get there

Map of west end of Dublin's cultural quarter, Temple Bar

Music Current Venues





Nearest car parks are Fleet Street Car Park and Christchurch Car Park at the rear of Jury's Hotel.


Both venues are close to the Dublin City Council Offices on Wood Quay; a 10-minute walk from Tara Street DART station and 5-minute walk from the Jervis Street stop on the red LUAS line, and a 10-minute walk from O'Connell Street.


All buses to Wood Quay, Ormond Quay, Wellington Quay, Parliament Street, and Lord Edward Street.


Dublin Sound Lab invites composers of any age or nationality, with experience or interest in electronic composition and performance, to participate in Music Current Festival, 12–14 April 2018.

Participation & Commission Opportunity

Composers are invited to submit new or existing works for piano in combination with fixed-media, computer or live electronics. As many as eight composers will be selected to participate in workshops and masterclasses with the renowned Belgian composer Stefan Prins (

Selected works will be workshopped and performed in concert by Xenia Pestova ( on the final day of the festival, when one of the participating composers will be awarded the Music Current Commission of €2,500 for a new work to be premiered at Music Current 2019.

Participating composers will attend all festival concerts, and will take part in a programme of masterclasses and workshops at the Contemporary Music Centre and Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Composers will receive an audio recording of the concert performance of their own work. Irish composers can apply for a Contemporary Music Centre Travel Bursary to cover travel costs within the island of Ireland.

Masterclasses and Workshops

Thursday 12 April, 4–5pm: Welcome and Presentation by Stefan Prins (CMC Library)
Guest composer, Stefan Prins, presents on his recent work, with special reference to the festival theme, 'piano + electronics'.

Thursday 12 April, 6pm: Music Current Festival Launch (CMC Library)
Festival launch with invited guests, festival composer Stefan Prins, participant composers, festival performers, and composers and technicians from Dublin Sound Lab.

Friday 13 April, 10am–12.30pm: Masterclass workshop with Stefan Prins (CMC Library)

Participating composers present on their work in round-table discussions moderated by Stefan Prins. Composers will discuss technical and performance-related issues relevant to the selected works in a friendly discursive session involving all participant composers.

Friday 13 April, 1pm–2pm: Presentation with Silvia Rosani (CMC Library)

Silvia Rosani, recipient of the 2017 IMRO/Music Current Commission, presents on her recently completed work.

Friday 13 April, 3pm–4pm: Masterclass with pianist Xenia Pestova (CMC Library)

Pianist Xenia Pestova offers observations on participant composers' compositions, focusing on technique, presentation, style and performance-related issues.

Friday 13 April, 4pm–5pm: Technical Review with Alexis Nealon (CMC Library)

Senior sound engineer, Alexis Nealon, discusses practical sound engineering issues concerning computer-based mixed music, focusing on participant composers' works. Topics will include: scalable performance, studio audition versus concert reproduction, distribution and portability of electronic music, understanding sound levels and engineering terminology.

Friday 13 April, 6pm: Public Panel Discussion, 'Are we there yet?' (CMC Library)
Public discussion on current composition trends, performance practice, critical perspectives, and new directions, featuring festival composer Stefan Prins, pianist Xenia Pestova (University of Nottingham), musicologist Adrian Smith (Dublin Institute of Technology - Conservatory of Music & Drama), Russel Greenburg (Yarn/Wire Ensemble) and Irish composer Ann Cleare. Moderated by Evonne Ferguson, Director of the Contemporary Music Centre.

Saturday 14 April, 10am–2pm: Technical workshop (Smock Alley Theatre)
Rehearsal of works by participant composers for this afternoon's concert. Open to all participating composers.



Dublin Sound Lab

Music Current is an annual festival produced by Dublin Sound Lab. The festival offers Dublin audiences a showcase of contemporary Irish electronic music and new international repertoire. In partnership with the Contemporary Music Centre, the festival offers composers the chance to participate in professional development programmes, collaborations, performances and the opportunity of a significant commission. Subscribe to our mailing list and learn about upcoming projects, or follow us on social media.

Supported by the Arts Council

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Vibrating string photo by kind permission of Andrew Davidhazy (
Piano Hero photocredit: Jan Schacher