Ian Wilson was born in Belfast and began composing while at university. He has written nearly one hundred works, including chamber operas, concertos, string quartets, a range of orchestral and chamber music and multi-media pieces. His compositions have been performed and broadcast on six continents, and presented at festivals including the BBC Proms, Venice Biennale and Frankfurt Bookfair and at venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Albert and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. Wilson has in recent years also worked with jazz musicians, Asian tabla and Chinese pipa players and traditional Irish singers; he has also collaborated with choreographers, theatre directors and electroacoustic and computer music composers.
In 1991, Running, Thinking, Finding received the composition prize at the Ultima festival in Oslo, and in 1992 he received the Macaulay Fellowship administered by the Arts Council of Ireland. In 1998 he was elected to Aosdána, Ireland’s State-sponsored body of creative artists and in recent years he has been AHRB Research Fellow at the University of Ulster, Composer-in-Association with California’s Camerata Pacifica ensemble and An Foras Feasa post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Dundalk Institute of Technology in Ireland. He was director of the Sligo New Music Festival from 2003 to 2011 and from 2010 to 2013 is Associate Composer with the Ulster Orchestra.
There are commercially-available recordings of nearly fifty of Wilson’s works on labels including Diatribe, Riverrun, Black Box, Timbre, Guild, Meridian and Chandos. His music is published by Ricordi (London) and Universal Edition.
Works published by Ricordi London
The stars, the seas (25', 2011).
3(3=picc).2(2=ca).2(bcl).2(cbsn). / 220.127.116.11. / timp.2perc. / str.
Premiere 17.02.12; Ulster Orchestra, Cappella Caeciliana/P. Watkins; Ulster Hall, Belfast/UK.
Commissioned by the Ulster Orchestra Society.
Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel (12’, 2006) for symphonic wind ensemble.
3(3=picc).3(3=ca).5(5=bcl).2asax.tsax.bsax.3(3=cbsn). / 4.3.3.euph.2. / timp.3perc.
Premiere 14.07.07; International Youth Wind Orchestra/G. Markson; World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) annual conference, Killarney/IR.
Commissioned by WASBE.
Sullen earth (14’, 2005). Concerto no. 3 for violin and string orchestra.
Premiere 07.11.05; Gordana Matijević-Nedeljković, vn, Belgrade Strings/R. Zollman; Kolarac Hall, Belgrade/SR.
Commissioned by the Belgrade Strings with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland.
Seascape with high cliffs (13’, 2006) for brass band.
Premiere 28.04.06; Black Dyke Band and the 9 other contestants of the 2006 European Brass Band Contest, Waterfront Hall, Belfast/UK.
Commissioned by the North of Ireland Bands Association with funds from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Lottery Unit and Belfast City Council.
Winter finding (23’, 2004-5)
3(3=Picc(Alto)).3(3=ca).3(3=bcl).3(3=cbsn). / 18.104.22.168. / timp.3Perc.hp. / str.
Premiere 16.09.05; RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/G. Markson;
National Concert Hall Dublin/IR.
Commissioned by RTÉ.
Messenger (37’, 1998-9). Concerto no.1 for violin and orchestra.
2(picc).2(ca).2.2. / 22.214.171.124. / hp. / str.
Premiere 12.01.01; Catherine Leonard, vn, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/
G. Markson; National Concert Hall Dublin/IR.
Commissioned by RTÉ.
Little red fish (13’, 2006) for mixed choir and saxophone quartet. Text: O. Kokoschka.
SSAATTBB choir / ssax.asax.tsax.bsax.
Première 31.05.06; National Chamber Choir of Ireland, Rascher Saxophone Quartet/
C. Antunes; Great Hall, Queen’s University Belfast/UK.
Commissioned by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland with funds from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Lottery Unit.
Pieces of Elsewhere (22’, 2005) for soprano and percussion ensemble. Texts, 17 Japanese haiku (Basho, Buson, etc.) in English translation by Sam Hamill.
Commissioned by Sligo County Council.
Minsk (75’, 2005-6). Chamber opera in 7 scenes. Libretto by Lavinia Greenlaw.
Premiere: March 2013, Theater Heilbronn/D, dir. C. Marten-Molnár.
Opera commissioned by the Feldkirch Festival.
New version for string orchestra commissioned by Theater Heilbronn.
perc. / str.
Stille, nacht (12', 2011) for guitar and string quartet .
Premiere: 10.05.12; Michael O'Toole, Carducci Quartet; The MAC, Belfast/UK.
Dreamgarden (25', 2009) for mezzo-soprano and ensemble.
Premiere: 21.10.11; Psappha; Cosmo Rodewold Concert Hall, University of Manchester/UK.
Noct (12', 2011) for piano quartet.
Premiere: 14.10.11; Cappa Ensemble, Con Brio music series, Methodist Church, Sligo/IR.
Commissioned by Music Network.
Shoreless for piano four hands (11', 2009).
Premiere; 30.06.10, Duo Sargasso, The Warehouse, London/UK.
Sarée in Kassel for alto saxophone and large ensemble (13', 2009).
126.96.36.199. / 0.1.0.0. / 1perc.pf.hp. / classical guitar (amplified).mandolin (amplified). / str (188.8.131.52.1.)
Premiere: 31.01.10; Ties Mellema and Ensemble Insomnio, cond. Ulrich Pohl, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam/NL.
Commissioned by Ensemble Insomnio.
1927 (18', 2009) for violin trio.
Premiere; 26.08.09; 'Stankovic' Music School, Belgrade/SRB.
Eyeless upon a dark river (14’, 2008) for oboe/oboe d’amore and string septet.
Premiere: 22.10.08; Aisling Casey, Ensemble Caméléon, Clarion Canis major, Sligo/IR.
Commissioned by Aisling Casey with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland.
sKiPpY (5’, 2008) for alto saxophone and piano. Premiere: 23rd August 2008; Ties Mellema and Hans Eijsacker, Grachtenfestival, Amsterdam/NL.
Heft (21’, 2007) for flute/alto flute and piano.
Premiere 11.01.08; Adrian Spence, flutes, Warren Green, piano; University of the West, Santa Barbara, California/USA.
Commissioned by Jordan and Sandra Laby.
Cassini Void (19’, 2007) for clarinet and 10 instruments.
184.108.40.206. / 0.1.1.0. / vib.hp.hpsd. / str. (220.127.116.11.1.)
Premiere 14.10.07; Carol McGonnell, clarinet, Argento Ensemble cond. Michel Galante; Carnegie Hall, New York/USA.
Commissioned by Carol McGonnell with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland.
re:play (20’, 2007) for improvising saxophonist, string quartet, piano and double bass.
Premiere 03.07.07; Cathal Roche, tenor saxophone, Vanbrugh Quartet, Hugh Tinney, pno, Malachy Robinson, d bs; West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Bantry/IR.
Messenger (30’, 1998-9/2006) for violin and 13 instruments.
18.104.22.168. / 22.214.171.124. / pf. / str. (126.96.36.199.1)
Premiere 18.05.07; Catherine Leonard, vn, Camerata Pacifica;
Abravanel Hall, Santa Barbara/USA.
Commissioned by Richard and Luci Janssen.
unbroken white line ,string quartet no. 8 (9', 2006).
Premiere; 14.09.07, Carducci Quartet, Cork School of Music/IR.
Ghosts (25’, 2006) for saxophone quartet.
Premiere 12.11.06; Amstel Saxophone Quartet, Iš Arti Festival, Kaunas/LI.
Apparitions (22’, 2005) for viola (or alto flute) and percussion ensemble.
Premiere 11.04.06; Nathan Sherman, va, RIAM Percussion Ensemble/R. O’Donnell;
Brooklyn College, New York/USA.
Commissioned by Sligo County Council.
red over black (13’, 2004-5) Unterwelt part 3: for clarinet, viola and piano.
Premiere 14.08.06; Martin Fröst, cl, Pierre Lénert, va, Cédric Tiberghien, pno;
BBC Proms, Cadogan Hall, London/UK.
Jointly commissioned by the BBC and the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Tern/Icarus (6’, 2004) for flute (or alto saxophone) and guitar.
Premiere: 11.11.2005; Bill Dowdall and John Feeley, The Printing House, Trinity College Dublin/IR.
Una Santa Oscura (47', 2009) a work of Acoustic Theatre for violin and tape
Premiere: 04.03.10; Ioana Petcu-Colan, violin, Tom Creed, director; Project Arts Centre, Dublin/IR.
Sonnenwende (5', 2009) for piano.
Premiere: 21.04.10; Michael McHale; Harty Room, Queen's University, Belfast/UK.
Mürrische Erde (12', 2009) for solo viola.
Premiere: 02.12.09; Eniko Magyar; Regent Hall, London/UK.
Lios na Gaoithe (7', 2008) for solo flute with glissando head joint and B foot.
Premiere: 24.07.09; Bill Dowdall; WEL Chamber Hall, Waikato University, Hamilton/NZ.
Written with funds from Leitrim County Council.
Sternlos (12', 2007) for solo guitar.
Premiere: 22.08.08; Graham Anthony Devine; City of Derry Guitar Festival/UK.
Commissioned by CDGF.
Stations (70', 2006-07) a work in 14 movements, divided into four Books, for solo piano.
Premiere: 09.04.09 (1st complete performance); Matthew Schellhorn; Harty Room, Queen's University, Belfast/UK.
Written with the help of an Arts Council of Ireland Artist's Bursary award.
Ondes ombragées (18’, 2005) for alto saxophone and live DAT recording.
Premiere 13.07.07; Gerard McChrystal, alto saxophone; Dartington International Summer School/UK.
Schattentiefe (23’, 2004) for double bass and live DAT recording.
Premiere September ‘06; Malachy Robinson, d bs;
Dublin Fringe Festival, Project Arts Centre, Dublin/IR.
Pianura (7’, 2004) for double bass.
Premiere November ‘04; Malachy Robinson, d bs; RTÉ Lyric fm radio.
Commissioned by RTÉ Lyric fm.
Spielschatten (37’, 2004) for cello and live DAT recording.
Premiere 18.05.05; Robin Thompson-Clarke, vc (rec), SKIN multi-media
dance project with choreographer Jenny Roche and visual artist Ian Joyce;
Project Arts Centre, Dublin/IR.