Louth Contemporary Music Society is one of the most adventurous music promoters in Ireland. Michael Dervan, The Irish Times
Formed in 2006, Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) has a strong track record for excellence and innovation in contemporary music programming in Ireland. It not only presents the leading international composers of our time in person, but fosters genuine engagement through new commissions and cleverly-curated collaborations with leading international and Irish performers.
The last five years have seen a stellar cast of composers and musicians visiting, writing new work for the LCMS, and contributing to two extraordinary albums. To say that it snowballed, though, implies that it sort of happened by itself; it vastly underestimates the work, force of will, and guts that it took to establish Louth as a world centre for contemporary music. Niall Crumlish, State Magazine
LCMS has garnered positive and emphatic audience response; the society has engaged existing audiences from throughout the country and continues to develop significant new audiences nationally and in County Louth in particular. Feedback demonstrates its overwhelming success in presenting contemporary music in a way that is accessible, interesting and inspiring, both to existing and new audiences.
LCMS delivers its exceptional programme of work with the highest possible standards of organisational and financial management. Operating with a minimum level of core costs and overheads allows almost all stakeholder investment to be channelled into artistic programming.
The organisation’s recent output has included five critically acclaimed recordings; A Place Between (2009), Path (2010), Night Music: Voice in the Leaves (2012), Metamorphoses (2012) and In Search of the Miraculous (2013). These projects have raised awareness of the great work of LCMS at an international level and given highly positive international exposure for a large number of Irish musicians. They have also given LCMS further opportunity to reach new audiences through coverage in popular music media such as BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, American Record Review, The Observer, The Independent, The Irish Times, Mojo and State. In Search of the Miraculous( 2013) was Cd of the Week on New York’s WNYC Q2 programme.
I would say the Louth CMS is particularly significant because of the dedication, love and devotion that drives Eamonn Quinn to seek out special musicians to bring to his corner of the world. These choices are made on musical worth regardless of their commercial potential. It is these kind of risks that keep music alive. Composer – Terry Riley
Louth Contemporary Music Society was formed by Eamonn Quinn and Gemma Murray in 2006. LCMS is a non profit organisation aiming to bring world renowned contemporary musicians, performers and composers to play and educate in Co Louth, Ireland.
- To date LCMS have invited Joanna MacGregor to play in Louth in June 2006. This was listed in the Dundalk Argus as the performance of the year for 2006.
- The American composer Terry Riley performed in Louth in May 2007 with the Arte Quartett and the Crash Ensemble. This event has been listed in the Irish Times as a cultural highlight of the year for 2007. Terry Riley wrote a new work for LCMS which was performed at the festival by the Crash Ensemble: Loops for Ancient Giant Nude Hairy Warriors Racing Down the Slopes of Battle.
- LCMS commissioned Arvo Pärt to compose a new choral composition based on St Patrick’s Breastplate. The composer entitled his new work the Deer’s Cry. Following a successful application to The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the world premiere took place in Louth in February 2008.
- LCMS invited US composer and pianist Philip Glass to perform with Irish musicians in St.Patrick’s Cathedral Dundalk on 17 July 2008.
- LCMS organised the first Temenos festival. Temenos 08 was a celebration of the music of Sir John Tavener. The three day festival featured the Ulster Orchestra with conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, Marta Sudraba, Ioana Petcu Colan and Doreen Curran, the Oriel Trio and Patricia Rozario, Polyphony, Anonymous 4 with Rothko 4. The festival included the world premiere of a Sir John Tavener commission O My People.
- In association with Drogheda Arts Office, LCMS invited the Russian composer Alexander Knaifel to Ireland for a portrait concert as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival. The performance took place on 1 May 2009. The performance featured Oleg Malov, Joachim Roewer, Elizabeth Cooney, Elizabeth Wilson, the Callino Quartet and Patricia Rozario. The performance included the world premiere of an Alexander Knaifel commission: EF and the three visiting cards for string trio.
- On 13 July 2009, The Kronos Quartet with special guest Wu Man performed Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera and Terry Riley’s Cusp of Magic in An Tain Theatre Dundalk. Both performances were Irish premieres and both were stunning.
- On 24 September 2009, the Ukranian composer Valentin Silvestrov travelled to Ireland for the first time for a portrait concert with two world premiere performances.
- The Hilliard Ensemble performed their Arkhangelos programme on 1 October 2009 in St.Patrick’s Dundalk.
- Uri Caine performed the music of John Zorn in March 2010 in St.Peter’s Church of Ireland Drogheda
- The Fire and the Rose: the Music of Sofia Gubaidulina was the title of a composer portrait concert of Sofia Gubaidulina held in Drogheda on 1 May 2010.
- Louth Contemporary Music Society celebrated Terry Riley’s 75th Birthday with Terry Riley, Talvin Singh, George Brooks in California Kirana – The West Coast Legacy of Pran Nath in An Tain Theatre Dundalk in Oct 2010.
- Sounds of the Silk Road featuring the Hilliard Ensemble, Ivan Monighetti, the EQ Ensemble and Lydia Kavina performed in a concert on 29 April 2011 in St.Peter’s Church of Ireland Drogheda. The performance included a new commission from Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky Morning that was performed by the Hilliard Ensemble, Ivan Monighetti and the newly formed EQ Ensemble.
- The Sirin Choir from Moscow performed Church Chants and Spiritual Verses in St.Nicholas’ Church ( The Green Church) Dundalk on 5 May 2011.
- The 8 cellos of Celli Monighetti performed a programme entitled Metamorphoses with Azerbaijan composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh in St.Peter’s Church of Ireland Drogheda in October 2011.
- The EQ Singers with Zoë Conway and Laoise Kelly conducted by Eamonn Dougan performed the world premiere of a new version of Sean Ó Riada’s mass in St.Nicholas’ Church of Ireland Dundalk in March 2012. Iarla Ó Lioniard also sang at this event.
- Rabih Abou Khalil wrote a new work that was performed by the EQ Ensemble with Rabih on oud at the Drogheda Arts Festival in May 2012.
- LCMS celebrated the great New York based composer and instrumentalist John Zorn with three performances in Dundalk in October 2012. The event was described as original, exhilarating, mould-breaking by Martin Adams in the Irish Times.
- Alexander Raskatov’s Monk’s Music. Originally a commission by the Borodin Quartet but never performed. The world premiere of Monk’s Music took place in St.Nicholas Church of Ireland Dundalk on 8 February 2013. The Carducci Quartet with Gordon Jones bass performed the premiere with the composer Alexander Raskatov in attendance.