National Concert Hall

Gavin Bryars at 75

Gavin Bryars and the Gavin Bryars Ensemble 

Featuring member of Crash Ensemble
John Potter, tenor

The Sinking of the Titanic
The North Shore
The Flower of Friendship
Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Britain’s most important and prolific post-minimalist composer, Gavin Bryars and his ensemble make their NCH debut.  This career-spanning concert sees Bryars performing his iconic works Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet and The Sinking of the Titanic alongside the new piece Winestead. One of the great composers at work today, Bryars’ music is marked by its emotional power. His is a deeply humanist modern music at once iconoclastic and emotionally charged.

Gavin Bryars started his musical career as a jazz bassist, working in the early sixties with improvisers Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley, forming the famous Joseph Holbrooke Trio. In 1966 Bryars abandoned improvisation, heading instead to the United States to work with the ground-breaking composer John Cage.

Bryars’ first major composition, The Sinking of the Titanic, appeared on Brian Eno's Obscure Records in 1975 and alongside his seminal work Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, which featured the looped vocals of a homeless man singing an unknown hymn, established his reputation worldwide as a prominent figure in minimalist and experimental music. Both pieces have evolved and expanded over time, being performed with artists from across the musical spectrum, from Aphex Twin and experimental turntablist Philip Jeck, to the London Philharmonic and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. The famous 1990 version of Jesus’ Blood, which featured singer Tom Waits, was also nominated for The Mercury Music Prize.

Bryar’s list of works is extensive, including numerous operas - Dr Ox’s Experiment for English National Opera, Medea for Opéra de Lyon, The Collected Works of Billy The Kid with Michael Ondaatje and Marilyn Forever with librettist Marilyn Bowering, a chamber opera on the life of Marilyn Monroe – as well as numerous vocal works, concertos and many ballets including the famous Merce Cunning piece Biped, which formed part of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s legacy tour and will be revived in 2018 and in 2019 to mark the centenary of Merce’s birth.

He regularly collaborates with visual and literary artists, being influenced by his time teaching in Fine Art colleges in the seventies, where collaboration was key. It was during his time at Portsmouth College of Art that he was instrumental in founding the legendary Portsmouth Sinfonia, an orchestra comprised of players using instruments they were completely unfamiliar with.

He has worked with visual artists such as Juan Muñoz (A Man In A Room, Gambling), Robert Wilson (Civil Wars, Medea), The Quay Brothers and many writers such as Blake Morrison, Etel Adnan, Marilyn Bowering, Michael Ondaatje and most recently the singer-songwriter Father John Misty on his latest album Pure Comedy.  

"The music of Gavin Bryars falls under no category. It is mongrel, full of sensuality and wit and is deeply moving. He is one of the few composers who can put slapstick and primal emotion alongside each other. He allows you to witness new wonders in the sounds around you by approaching them from a completely new angle.” Michael Ondaatje

Presented by NCH 

A Celebration of the Arts on International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day for 2017, the National Concert Hall are hosting a panel discussion, music and lots of debate with leading figures from the arts and media sectors.

•Welcome address by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

•Performances by Saint Sister, Crash Ensemble and Anú Productions.

•Panel discussion hosted by Sinéad Gleeson (Journalist), with Anne Clarke (Landmark Productions), Moya Doherty (RTÉ), Louise Lowe (Anú Productions), Mary McCarthy (Culture Ireland), Judith Ring (composer), Eithne Shortall (The Sunday Times).

Please note that there is limited availability on tickets. For further details please contact the NCH Box Office on 01-4170000.

New Music Dublin: Tiny Portraits in Tiny Rooms

Taking place in the various rooms and spaces inside the National Concert Hall 

Performances featuring pieces by composers: Ivan FedeleOndřej AdámekUnsuk Chin and Kaija Saariaho.

This is a free ticketed event.  Tickets available from the Box Office of the National Concert Hall one hour before the performance start time on the day of the performance

New Music Dublin 2017 is a partnership initiative of RTÉ, the National Concert Hall and The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon


New Music Dublin: Festival Club

Programme to include the world premiere of Streets become Liars by Christopher Mayo.


Location: The Studio at the National Concert Hall.

After the main auditorium concert.  Festival Club open to ticket holders for evening Main Auditorium events.

The Rehearsal

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 to Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Rehearsal by Jimmy Eadie 
 20-24th Sept, National Concert Hall Foyer
 ‘The Rehearsal’ takes recordings from Crash Ensemble rehearsals for Composing The Island -small elements, outtakes, snippets, tuning process, etc, which are processed extensively and then replayed through 10 small speakers [each speaker represents a Crash Ensemble performer] placed in the foyer of the National Concert Hall during the final week of Composing The Island.