Robert Coleman on being awarded the Jerome Hynes Composers Award 2017 / by Robert Coleman

Irish composer Robert Coleman was recently announced as the 2017 winner of the Jerome Hynes Young Composers’ Competition, awarded by the National Concert Hall.

Selected by a panel of two composers, Siobhán Cleary and Linda Buckley, Coleman will receive a prize of €2,500 and the opportunity to work collaboratively with the NCH development orchestra, SinfoNua on the performance of a new commission set be premiered next summer, 2018 at the NCH.

Previous winners of the Jerome Hynes Competition include David Coonan (2016) and Eoghan Desmond (2015).


CMC: How important is an award like this to progress your career as a young composer?

Coleman: It’s a pleasure to be awarded the Jerome Hynes Young Composers Award and I think a cornerstone in my career. As a young composer it is a privilege to be recognised and supported by the National Concert Hall, which for most is seen as the home for classical music in Ireland.

For years I have gone there to see concerts and am excited that my new work will be performed there. Writing for orchestra is perhaps the biggest opportunity a composer can be given so I am delighted to be working with SinfoNua on this.

CMC: Have you written for an orchestra previously?

Coleman: I have written for orchestra once before as part of my final portfolio submission when studying at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

At the time, there was no plan for a performance of that work; however I was lucky enough to subsequently see a performance of it with the Esker Festival Orchestra in 2015. I have not written for orchestra since then, and so am looking forward to the experience once again.

CMC: Can you tell us about what your plans are for the work at this stage?

Coleman: At the moment I am focusing on a body of work influenced by architectural ideas. I previously studied architecture at UCD and am currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague where I am researching the topic of architecture and music.

I have no doubt that these ideas will be a focal point for the work I write for SinfoNua!

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