The “magnificently energetic” (New York Times) composer DONNACHA DENNEHY writes music that is marked by a rhythmic and sonic intensity, and a kind of tonality that travels in and out of an overtone-based focus. His music has featured in festivals and venues throughout the world such as the Edinburgh International Festival; Carnegie Hall, New York; Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam; Barbican, London; and BAM, New York among many others. In addition to two operas with the writer Enda Walsh, The Last Hotel and The Second Violinist, recent large-scale pieces include The Hunger, a docu-opera for Alarm Will Sound, Broken Unison for So Percussion (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Tessellatum for Nadia Sirota, Liam Byrne and microtonal viol consort, and pieces for Dawn Upshaw Third Coast Percussion (co- commissioned by the Met Museum in New York and Notre Dame University), Kronos Quartet, and the Doric Quartet (co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall). In June of this year, the LA Phil will premiere his piece Overcasting in their Green Umbrella Series.
He continues to maintain a close artistic connection with the group he founded, Crash Ensemble, and they feature in his recent operas. He is now at work on the third of his trilogy of operas with Enda Walsh. The second in the trilogy, The Second Violinist won the 2017 Fedora Prize for Opera (Salzburg/Paris) and was premiered in July 2017 at the Galway International Arts Festival. It has enjoyed subsequent productions at the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Barbican Theatre in London, and at the Opera Forward Festival in Amsterdam.
Portrait albums of his music have been released by Nonesuch (Grá agus Bás), Cantaloupe, NMC and Bedroom Community. Three new recordings are forthcoming in 2019: The Last Hotel (Cantaloupe), Surface Tension (New Amsterdam) and The Hunger (Nonesuch). Dennehy joined the music faculty at Princeton University in 2014. His music is published by G. Schirmer, New York.