Clarecastle (Ireland), 1952

Gerald Barry was born in Ireland in 1952 and first came to public attention in 1979 with his radical ensemble works ‘__________’ and Ø (recorded on NMC). Many of his works were commissioned by the BBC, including Chevaux-de-frise for the 1988 Proms, Hard D for Orkest of Volharding, The Conquest of Ireland and Day for the BBCSO, and The Eternal Recurrence, a setting of a text by Nietzsche for voice and orchestra.

His first opera, The Intelligence Park (recorded on NMC) was first performed at the 1990 London Almeida Festival, and a second opera, The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit (recorded on LARGO) opened the 2002 Aldeburgh Festival and was later performed elsewhere in Europe and in North America. In 2005 the stage premiere of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (recorded on RTE) was given at English National Opera and the German language premiere will be given at the Basle Opera in 2008.

Gerald’s most recent work was Lisbon, a work for ensemble that was written for the 25th anniversary of the Nieuw Ensemble of Amsterdam. He is currently working on La Plus Forte (The Strongest), a one-act opera on the Strindberg play commissioned by Radio France for the 2007 Présences Festival. (biography © Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland)