John Kinsella '15th.Apr 1912'

Kinsella’s pacing and shaping of the music, quite apart from the technical demands he makes on the instrument, keep one riveted while listening” THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE—© 2018 Lynn René Bayley


"Generally speaking, my style is very bold, but it has not the slightest tendency to subvert any of the constituent elements of art. The prevailing characteristics of my music are passionate expression, intense ardour, rhythmical animation and unexpected turns." Quotation: Berlioz. Aspiration: mine.

John Kinsella immediately came to mind while thinking in 2012 of a composer to write a piece in commemoration of the sinking of the Titanic, having known him from my earliest professional days. Upon contacting him, I learned that quite independently he was reading about the Titanic and was very keen on the idea of composing a piece. And so ‘15th April 1912’ was born. Wonderfully original and inventive, using the fullest range of the double bass with a variety of novel techniques, the piece portrays the voyage of the great liner from her launch to the shocking and tragic climax.

Daly plays it [the Kinsella] with tremendous feeling as well as a superb technique. This is clearly one of the great highlights of this album!” THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE—© 2018 Lynn René Bayley

Born in Dublin in 1932, John Kinsella pursued two careers in artistic administration and in composition, until 1988 when he resigned from his position as Head of Music at RTÉ to fully devote his time to composition.

Since then he has composed ten symphonies, a second violin concerto, a ‘cello concerto and a fifth string quartet, all of which have been publicly performed, and many solo and chamber works.

He has been commissioned by, among others, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin International Piano Competition and The Arts Council of Wales.

Recent premieres include a fifth string quartet for 2013 West Cork Chamber Music Festival and a piano piece for the 2014 New Ross Piano Festival. He also composed an orchestral work to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. His Symphony No.10 was premiered in 2012 by The Irish Chamber Orchestra with conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy.

John Kinsella is a member of Aosdana and is a recipient of the Marten Toonder award. Some of his works are recorded on Chandos, Naxos, RTÉ lyric fm and Irish Chamber Orchestra labels. He is currently working on an eleventh symphony.