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Young Composers Summer Course

Introduction to basic elements of musical composition. (Live in person)


Live Course (in person) at the RIAM (on our new Campus).

Build an excellent foundation to begin a Summer of musical creativity.

Young composers (and would-be composers) aged 13-18 are invited to spend 3 intensive days working with Composer and RIAM Faculty member Kevin O'Connell, as they explore the basic elements of musical composition: melody & rhythm.

Participants will learn foundation aspects of musical notation through practice-based workshops as well as about writing for different instruments. 

The course will culminate in a presentation of the works composed during the three days.  

The course is not technology-based but composers who wish to use music software are welcome to do so.

All students should bring either manuscript paper and a pencil, or laptops with a musical notation app. And all are invited to bring their own instruments.


Kevin O'Connell, Head of Composition RIAM, PhD, MPhil, BMus

Kevin O’Connell studied music at Trinity College Dublin and obtained his PhD in Composition from Dublin City University.

He completed his first commission for BBC Radio 3, “Concertino for 12 players”, when he was 25. He has since completed commissions from many of the leading arts organisations for performers including the Ulster Orchestra, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Lotus Quartet of Stuttgart, the Hugo Wolf Quartet of Vienna, the Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Lontano Ensemble of London and Opera Theatre Company, for whom he has composed two operas. In 2005 he was Artistic Director of RTÉ’s Living Music Festival. For this event he put together a programme of mainly German music focused on Hans Werner Henze.

He was a driving force behind the foundation of the BA in Composition course at the RIAM, in 2007, the only course of its kind in Ireland.  He is founder of the Academy’s Ictus Ensemble with which he has conducted Irish premières of works by Boulez including “Dérive” and “ Mémorial”, Turnage’s “No Let Up”, in addition to Stravinsky’s “Cantata” and “Mass”.

He has won several awards in recognition of his contributions to music and is a member of Aosdana, Ireland’s academy of creative artists.


Age:  Young musicians (under 18) 

Recommended minimum age: 13 years

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