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Composer: Barry, Gerald (b. 1952)

Fact file
Year of birth1952
NationalityUnknown
Period20th century
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LondonBeethoven Symphony Cycle: Nos 7 & 8

Beethoven Symphony Cycle: Nos 7 & 8
Beethoven, Barry
Britten Sinfonia; Thomas Adès

LondonBeethoven Symphony Cycle: No. 9

Beethoven Symphony Cycle: No. 9
Barry, Beethoven
Britten Sinfonia; Thomas Adès; Claudia Boyle; Britten Sinfonia Voices

LenoxFestival of Contempory Music BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès, director Thomas Adès conducts the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra featuring pianist Kirill Gerstein

Ruders, Adès, Barry, Lutosławski
Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra; Thomas Adès; Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Fellows; Kirill Gerstein
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Conquests and countryside: Barry and Beethoven at the Barbican

Thomas Adès © Brian Voce
Thomas Adès continued his Beethoven cycle with the Britten Sinfonia in a superb performance of Beethoven's Sixth paired with Barry’s marmite piece The Conquest of Ireland.
****1
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Battles won and drawn: Beethoven and Barry from the Britten Sinfonia

Nicolas Hodges © Eric Richmond
The latest concert in the Britten Sinfonia’s ongoing Beethoven symphony cycle also featured the London première of Gerald Barry’s combative Piano Concerto.
****1
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Sounds of silence: Gerald Barry's Organ Concerto

Thomas Trotter © Patrick Garvey
Barry took the honours for OTT, while Asbury and the NSO's “Pathétique” went straight to the soul.
***11
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Stravinsky’s Perséphone brought to life by Adès and Barry

Thomas Adès © Brian Voce
Glistening performances by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and combined forces under Thomas Adès bring to life Stravinsky’s Perséphone, with fiery premières of works by Adès himself and Gerald Barry.
****1
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Riveting Beethoven 5 from Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla © BBC | Chris Christodoulou
Mirga's approach to Beethoven's Fifth showed a flair for innovation, the highlight of a strong programme that also featured a virtuosic performance from Leila Josefowciz of Stravinsky's Violin Concerto.
****1
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Biography

You can read our October 2013 interview with Gerald Barry here.

Gerald Barry was born in Ireland in 1952 and studied composition with Stockhausen and Kagel.

Barry’s first opera, The Intelligence Park (recorded on NMC), commissioned by the ICA, was first performed at the 1990 Almeida Festival, and a second opera, The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit, written for Channel 4 Television, opened the 2002 Aldeburgh Festival, followed by performances in London and the Berliner Festwochen conducted by Thomas Adès. A new staging took place in 2013 at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. In 2005 The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (recorded on RTÉ) was given at English National Opera and in 2007 at the Basle Opera. La Plus Forte (“The Stronger”), a one-act opera on the Strindberg play, was commissioned by Radio France for the 2007 Festival Présences. Sung by Barbara Hannigan, it toured to Amsterdam, London, Dublin, Miami and Toronto. The first staging took place in London in 2013 at the London Contemporary Music Festival, sung by Allison Bell, and there will be a concert performance at the Helsinki Avanti Festival in 2014 with Barbara Hannigan.

His fifth opera, The Importance of Being Earnest, was written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Barbican, London. After concert performances in Los Angeles and the UK, the première staging took place in Nancy, followed by new productions in London and Ireland. It was awarded the 2013 Royal Philharmonic Prize for Large Scale Composition.

His orchestral work No other people, was performed at the BBC Proms in 2013. Music Viva, Munich has commissioned a piano concerto for November 2013, to be followed by performances in Aldeburgh, Birmingham and Helsinki in 2014.

His latest work is Humiliated and Insulted, commissioned for the Canadian pianist Stephen Clarke.

A new opera, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, will appear in 2016.

List of works