Dublin born composer Andrew Hamilton studied in Ireland, England and The Netherlands. His composition teachers included Kevin Volans, Anthony Gilbert and Louis Andriessen. In 2004 he was awarded the Macaulay Fellowship by the Arts Council of Ireland and from 2005 to 2006 he was a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. Currently he is a visiting tutor in composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.


Andrew Hamilton's album music for people is available on NMC here.



What was your route into composing?

Very conventional: sang relentlessly, learned the recorder which I didn't stick with as I found it slightly upsetting (massed groups of six year old children playing Frére Jacques did not live up to my six year old concept of the transcendental ), started the violin at seven and started writing stuff down aged 10.


Where and when was your first composition performed? What was it?

At 13 I wrote a piece for myself and the three other students in my music class and we played it in school assembly.  It was about a mountain in Ireland called Slieve Gullion, it did not go down well.

You're stuck in a lift with three people of your choice (dead or alive)! Who are they and what would be the topic of discussion while you wait to get rescued?

I would choose my heroes Agnes Martin, Marcel Proust and Mozart. Proust and Mozart would keep our spirits up with hilarious stories but after a while we would need Martin to bring a bit of calm and silence to balance the situation.  I would like to ask them about the things that are not often discussed in social media and the PR side of the arts- how they dealt with the isolation and loneliness, the failures, passing fashions- i.e. the real stuff.  Hopefully, St. Francis of Assisi would be on the other end of the emergency line as he could cut through our ramblings and lack of organisation.


If you could collaborate with anyone across any genre or art form who would it be and why?

Lately I have been really inspired by the work of the choreographer/artist Yvonne Rainer. I would love to emulate the freedom, clarity and humour she brings to her work.


What do you listen to when you are not composing?

Mostly no music and then intense bouts of Mozart.


Debut Discs

We're finishing our Debut Discs Series 2 composer focus with David Fennessy.

Our Debut Discs Series 2 Appeal is still going and we still need your help to make Debut Discs 2 happen! Just click here if you'd like to donate.


David FennessyDavid Fennessy talks about his Debut Disc: ‘Although several works of mine have been recorded commercially in the past I have not yet had the opportunity to present a full disc of my music. This Debut Disc presents a valuable chance for me to display the broad range of my musical activities in recent years, from purely acoustic chamber works to pieces for large ensembles involving electronics. Although I approach each new work as a closed entity with its own arguments and set of rules, there is a thread which runs through these pieces to do with the hierarchies that exist within ensemble music making and also how that music relates to the outside world.

Music is for me all about relationships. An integral part of my process is the close collaboration with performers and the four works on this CD are the product of endless tryouts with the ensembles involved; their personalities are imprinted on the music. The result is, I believe, a level of commitment and passion in the delivery that speaks directly to the listener.'


About David Fennessy

David Fennessy first became interested in composition whilst studying for his undergraduate degree at the Dublin College of Music. He moved to Glasgow to study for his Masters Degree at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with James MacMillan and was subsequently invited to join the composition faculty where he has held a teaching post since 2005. He has developed a long-standing relationship with Ensemble Modern since 2006, including numerous commissions and premieres. Recent works have been performed by RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Rednote Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, and Psappha. In March 2017, he won the Scottish Award for New Music Small/Medium Scale work for Panopticon which will appear on his Debut Disc.


David Fennessy's Debut Disc is due for release in 2019.


Photo by Tanya Kiang.


Debut Discs

Next in our Debut Discs Series 2 composer focus is Linda Buckley.

Our Debut Discs Series 2 Appeal is still going and we still need your help to make Debut Discs 2 happen! Just click here if you'd like to donate.


Linda Buckley

Linda Buckley talks about her Debut Disc: ‘While being active as a composer for many years in live performance contexts, there has been little opportunity for presentation of this work in a tangible form through professional recording. I am delighted to have been selected for a Debut Disc - I feel it is the right time in my journey as a composer to make this album, which brings my music to a more wide-reaching pool of listeners, and as a milestone to showcase a body of diverse and cross genre work. Much of my work is rooted in landscape and atmosphere, exploring sonic connection between acoustic instruments and electronics, as well as being strongly connected to the voice and the Irish tradition of Sean-nós singing.'


About Linda Buckley

Linda Buckley is an Irish composer based in Glasgow who has written extensively for orchestra, and has a particular interest in merging her classical training with the worlds of post punk, folk and ambient electronica. Her work has been described as ‘fantastically brutal, reminiscent of the glitch music of acts such as Autechre’ (Liam Cagney, Composing the Island) and ‘engaging with an area of experience that new music is generally shy of, which, simplified and reduced to a single word, I’d call ecstasy’ (Bob Gilmore, Journal of Music). Awards include a Fulbright scholarship to New York University in 2016, and the Frankfurt Visual Music Award 2011 (Silk Chroma). She has worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Icebreaker, Fidelio Trio, Iarla O’Lionaird, Joby Burgess, Ensemble Mise-En and Crash Ensemble.


Find out more about Linda on her website. Linda Buckley's Debut Disc is due for release in 2020.

Photo by Shane Scollard.


Debut Discs


We continue with our Debut Discs Series 2 Composer focus with Edmund Finnis. Find out more about him and his forthcoming release below.

Our Debut Discs Series 2 Appeal is still going and we still need your help to make Debut Discs 2 happen! Just click here if you'd like to donate.


Edmund Finnis

Edmund Finnis talks about his Debut Disc: ‘The NMC Debut Disc of my music that is currently being planned comes at a very important stage in my development as a composer. Having built up a body of work ranging from solo instrumental pieces to works for full orchestra over the last decade, at this point I am eager to share my music with as wide an audience as possible, beyond the confines of the concert hall. Together with NMC we have chosen a selection of these pieces to record and release which will both demonstrate the breadth of my music to date and work well alongside one another as a coherent album. 
I am thrilled and honoured that the album will feature world-class ensembles and soloists including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, BCMG, LCO, Vikingur Olafsson and Mark Simpson, along with conductors who have demonstrated a deep understanding of my music: Ilan Volkov, Richard Baker, Robert Ames and Andrew Gourlay.
In recent years, my music has had an increasing number of international performances. I have found that many of the people who programme these pieces first come across them online, via my Soundcloud or personal website. With a first commercial release on NMC, a far greater number of people will become aware of my music and I'm hopeful that this will lead to many more live performances of these and other works of mine around the world.’


About Edmund Finnis

Edmund Finnis is a London-based composer. His music is performed internationally. He has enjoyed particularly close associations with both the London Sinfonietta – who have variously performed, toured and recorded six of his works, including three that they commissioned (Veneer, Unfolds and Seeing is Flux) – and the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO), with whom he was Composer-in-Association from 2013 to 2016. Recent works include The Air, Turning for orchestra and Shades Lengthen, a violin concerto that was shortlisted for an RPS Music Award. 


Find out more about Edmund on his website. Edmund Finnis's Debut Disc is due for release in 2019.


Photo by Marie Kaus.


Debut Discs

Get to know our new Debut Discs composers with our series of blogs. Over the next four weeks, find out more about each of them and their forthcoming Debut Disc. 

Our Debut Discs Series 2 Appeal is still going and we still need your help to make Debut Discs 2 happen! Just click here if you'd like to donate.


Joanna BailieJoanna Bailie talks about her Debut Disc: ‘The opportunity to have my own Debut Disc is quite significant for me. Although my music has been widely commissioned and performed throughout Europe, only a few of my works are available on CD, and I possess unsatisfactory concert recordings of others. The pieces on my first album will showcase a particular period of my output as a composer when I began mixing field recordings and other found audio material alongside partial transcriptions for instruments derived from these recordings. Symphony-street-souvenir, Trains, Artificial Environments Nos.1-5 and No.8 represent a cohesive body of chamber work exploring the location of musicality in the auditory world we live in, and the possible job of the composer to squeeze this sound out of its original context and shape it into a new one. The release will be doubly important for me since it will be recorded by a group of musicians I am very happy to be associated with: Ensemble Plus-Minus, the group I have been running with Matthew Shlomowitz since 2003.’


About Joanna Bailie

Joanna Bailie was born in London in 1973 and now lives in Berlin. She studied composition with Richard Barrett, electronic music at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Holland  and has recently completed her PhD at City, University of London. Her work includes pieces for chamber ensemble, orchestra and installation, and is characterized by its interest in recorded media and the interplay between the audio and visual. Her music has been performed by groups such as Ensemble Musikfabrik, L'instant Donné, EXAUDI, Ensemble Mosaik, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Asamisimasa, The London Sinfonietta, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Vokalensemble and the Ives Ensemble. She has been programmed at events such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Venice Biennale, Huddersfield, SPOR Festival, MaerzMusik, Eclat Festival, Darmstadt, the Borealis and Ultima festivals in Norway and the Transit festival in Belgium. She has taught composition at City, University London, The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and at the 2014 edition of the Darmstadt Summer Courses. Joanna is also active as a curator, running Ensemble Plus-Minus together with composer Matthew Shlomowitz, and acting as the guest programmer at the 2010 SPOR Festival in Denmark, as well as at the 2015 edition of the BBC Radio 3 Cut and Splice Festival. In 2016 she was a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin-program.


Find out more about Joanna on her website. Joanna Bailie's Debut Disc is due for release in 2019.



Debut DiscsDebut Discs is coming back for a second series and we need your help to make it happen!


Debut Discs is NMC’s acclaimed showcase for younger composers, enabling the release of their first full-length portrait album and helping them to secure exciting new professional opportunities.We launched the first series of Debut Discs in 2012 with great success, releasing 13 albums over 5 years which led to residencies, performances, commissions and academic opportunities for the composers involved.

We’re now thrilled to be extending the series, and plan to release at least a further 8 albums between 2018 and 2021.The first will be Philip Venables’ Below the Belt later this month, and future albums are planned from Joanna Bailie, Edmund Finnis, Linda Buckley, and David Fennessy - with more names to be announced.

A project on this scale requires a great deal of resources, and we need your help to make this happen. A donation of any size to our Debut Discs appeal will make a huge difference to our work with these composers, and allows us to nurture their future careers at a critical stage in their professional development. We’ve already raised 70% of our fundraising target, and with your help we will be able to inspire audiences worldwide with the work of these exciting composers.

If you felt able to make a donation, we would be very grateful. You can donate online here:


Donate Now


For a short time only, for every £1 you donate to NMC, Arts Council England will donate another £1. This means your donation will be doubled, and enable NMC to do even more for new generations of composers and listeners. Don’t forget, you can also boost your donation by completing the Gift Aid declaration.


Thank you for your support! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Alex at or 020 3022 5888.



All entries in chronological order
18 April 2018
12 April 2018
28 March 2018
22 March 2018
12 March 2018
1 March 2018
29 January 2018
25 January 2018
24 January 2018
23 January 2018