Meet The Composer: Donnacha Dennehy

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Donnacha Dennehy is an Irish composer who thought he was going to study with spectral icon Gérard Grisey in Paris. When he showed up, however, it was apparent that Grisey had accepted him into his study under the mistaken notion that he was not, in fact, a gentleman but a lady.

A bit put off by Grisey's visible disappointment with his gender, as well as the strikingly uninteresting uniformity in the style of his students' work, Donnacha headed to Amsterdam, where he met a composer named Louis Andriessen changed his life. Donnacha's music fuses the old (sean-nós and other Irish styles) and the new (just intonation, pulse-based textures) to create something all his own. It's a music that is at once satisfying and supremely strange.

Each night from Monday, November 17 to Friday, November 21 on WNYC, hear Meet The Composer at 9pm on 93.9FM.

  • Episode 1: John Luther Adams - Monday, November 17 at 9pm on 93.9FM
  • Episode 2: Andrew Norman - Tuesday, November 18 at 9pm on 93.9FM
  • Episode 3: Donnacha Dennehy - Wednesday, November 19 at 9pm on 93.9FM
  • Episode 4: Caroline Shaw - Thursday, November 20 at 9pm on 93.9FM
  • Episode 5: Marcos Balter - Friday, November 21 at 9pm on 93.9FM

Meet the Composer is a new podcast from Q2 Music that takes listeners into the minds and creative processes of the composers making some of the most innovative, compelling and breathtakingly beautiful music today. The show is hosted by critically-acclaimed violist Nadia Sirota.