Gerald Barry was born in Ireland in 1952 and studied with Stockhausen and Kagel. His time in Germany proved to be a liberating experience and he soon came to public attention in 1979 with the radical ensemble works “________” and Ø.
The BBC commissioned Chevaux-de-frise for the 1988 Proms, given its Russian première by the Mariinsky Orchestra in 2007; The Conquest of Ireland, receiving its German première by the Bavarian RSO in 1998; Day for the BBC Symphony Orchestra; The Eternal Recurrence, a setting of Nietzsche for voice and orchestra; and Hard D for the Orkest de Volharding.
Barry’s first opera The Intelligence Park (recorded on NMC) was commissioned by the London Institute of Contemporary Arts and first performed at the 1990 Almeida Festival. A second opera, The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit, written for Channel 4 Television, opened the 2002 Aldeburgh Festival, followed by performances in London, Los Angeles, Paris, New York, Amsterdam and the Berliner Festwochen conducted by Thomas Adés. A new staging took place in 2013 at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant was given in 2005 at English National Opera and in 2008 at the Basle Opera. La Plus Forte, a one-act opera on the Strindberg play, was commissioned by Radio France for the 2007 Festival Présences. Sung by Barbara Hannigan, it toured to Amsterdam, London, Dublin, Miami and Toronto.
Barry wrote Wiener Blut, Dead March and Beethoven for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. God Save The Queen for choir and ensemble was commissioned for the London Sinfonietta by London's South Bank Centre on the fiftieth birthday of the Royal Festival Hall in 2001.
Recent chamber works include Humiliated and Insulted, tonight’s premiere, commissioned by Daniel Cooper, Le Vieux Sourd for piano, commissioned by Betty Freeman, Feldman’s Six-Penny Editions for the London Sinfonietta and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and No people. for Ensemble 7Bridges.