Compositions

& Arrangements

Compositions (selected)

Lullaby for the City (in a Time of Pandemic)
Lullaby for the City (in a Time of Pandemic)

Commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival 


(chamber orchestra 1.1.0.0-0.0.0.0-perc.harp-stgs)


Premiered 13 June 2021, outdoor locations in Cork City 

- orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

The Cordelia Dream
The Cordelia Dream

- incidental music to the play by Marina Carr

 

(piano)


Premiered 21 November 2020, The Everyman Live Stream

- John O'Brien (piano)



The Four Faced Liar
The Four Faced Liar

 - incidental music to the play by Ger Fizgibbon

 

(piano)


Premiered 29 October 2020, The Everyman Live Stream

- John O'Brien (piano)


Coiscéim
Coiscéim

- Chamber Opera after the poem by Colmcille

 

(sop, SSA, 2.2.1.1 - 2.1.0.0 - perc - stgs)


Premiered 30 April 2020, The Everyman

- Majella Cullagh (sop), Justine Cooper (dancer), with chorus and orchestra, directed by Éadaoin O'Donoghue, and conducted by John O'Brien POSTPONED

Deirdre and the Sons of Usna
Deirdre and the Sons of Usna

- Opera (Concert Version) to a libretto by Éadaoin O'Donoghue

 

(sop, sop, child, counterten, ten, bar, bar, bass, actor, SATB, piano, perc)


Premiered 28 January 2020, The Everyman

- Kim Sheehan (sop), Majella Cullagh (sop), Ronald Samm (ten), Julian Tovey (bass), Joe Corbett (bar), Simon Morgan (bar), Viktor Priebe (cten), Owen Gilhooly (actor), Liv Gregorio (child), Chorus of Warriors, Ciara Moroney (piano), Alex Petcu (percussion), conducted by John O'Brien

Lilith
Lilith

- Song Cycle - to a libretto by Éadaoin O'Donoghue

 

(voice, piano, bass, drums)


Premiered 15 June 2019, Dali, Cork Midsummer Festival

- Karen Underwood (singer), John O'Brien (piano), Dave Whitla (bass), Fionn Ó Ceallacháin (drums)

The Nightingale and the Rose
The Nightingale and the Rose

Opera to a libretto by Éadaoin O'Donoghue and John O'Brien from the short story by Oscar Wilde

 

(sop, sop, ten, TTBarBarB, clar, fg, perc, vln, vc, cb)


Premiered 13 October 2018, The Everyman and National Tour (full production)

- Kim Sheehan (sop), Majella Cullagh (sop), Owen Gilhhooly (ten), Jacek Wislocki (ten), Jean Pascal Heynemand (ten), Jamie Rock (bar), Joe Corbett (bar), David Howes (bass), Christine Kenny (violin), Catriona Scott (clar), Ilse De Ziah (cello), Íde Ní Chonaill (fg), Clare Larkman (bass), Emma King (perc), musical director Anna Tilbrook

Levin & Levin
Levin & Levin

- incidental music and songs for Aideen Wylde's play

with lyrics by Ger Fitzgibbon

 

(2 singers, piano, percussion)

 

Premiered 10 April 2017, Everyman Theatre

- Aideen Wylde, George Hanover, John O'Brien, Alex Petcu

The Nightingale and the Rose
The Nightingale and the Rose

- Opera with a libretto by Éadaoin O'Donoghue and John O'Brien adapted from Oscar Wilde

 

(S.S.T, t.t.bar.bar.b., violin, cello, clar/sop sax/bcl, bassoon, bass, perc, 2 actors)

 

Premiered 11 September 2016, Everyman Theatre (concert performance)

- Majella Cullagh (soprano), Cara O'Sullivan (soprano), Owen Gilhooly (tenor), Simon MacHale, Mark Milford, Keith Greene, Gordon Garde and Dan Beuster (chorus), Karina Gallagher (violin), Ilse De Ziah (cello), Carolyn Goodwin (clarinet), Sinéad Frost (bassoon), Deirdre Frost (bass), Caitríona Frost (percussion), James De Burca and Mary-Lou McCarthy (actors) conducted by John O'Brien

Sisters of the Rising
Sisters of the Rising

- incidental music to Christiane O'Mahony's play

 

(Irish harp)

 

Premiered 14 March 2016, Everyman Theatre

- Christiane O'Mahony, Roseanne Lynch

The Nightingale & the Rose
The Nightingale & the Rose

- extracts from the opera

 

(singers and chamber ensemble)

 

Premiered 2 December 2015, Kaleidoscope Dublin

- Camilla Griehsel (mezzo), Mark Chambers (alto), Carolyn Goodwyn (soprano sax), Marja Gaynor (viola), Lisa Dowdall (viola), Krishna Nagaraja (viola), Aoife Burke (cello)

Love Song
Love Song

- for Marcus and Julia's wedding

 

(organ)

 

Premiered 19 September 2015, Pforzheim, Germany

- John O'Brien (organ)

Lovers
Lovers

 - incidental music to Brian Friel's play

 

(piano)

 

Premiered 7 July 2015, Everyman Theatre

- John O'Brien

Shem the Penman Sings Again
Shem the Penman Sings Again

 - feature film soundtrack

 

(piano, electronics and cello)

 

Premiered 9 July 2015, Town Hall Theatre as part of the Galway Film Fleadh

- John O'Brien (piano), Hugh McCarthy (cello)

Easter 1916
Easter 1916

 - to the text of W.B. Yeats' poem

 

(speaker and orchestra)

 

Premiered 13 June 2015, Cork Opera House

- Fiona Shaw, RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

The Banks
The Banks

 - to the text of Billa O'Connell's poem 'The Burning of the Opera House"

 

(speaker and orchestra)

 

Premiered 13 June 2015, Cork Opera House

- Billa O'Connell, RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Lux Aeterna; Litany: In Memoria Aeterna; Ubi Caritas
Lux Aeterna; Litany: In Memoria Aeterna; Ubi Caritas

(SSATTB, cello); (SSATTB, cello); (soprano, SSA, cello)

 

Premiered 27 November 2014, St. Fin Barre's Cathedral

- Emma Nash (soprano), Voice Effect, Ilse de Ziah (cello), conducted by John O'Brien

Workspace
Workspace

- short film soundtrack

 

(percussion)

 

Premiered 4 September 2014, Alliance Francaise Cork

- Alex Petcu

Love Song
Love Song

- for Patrick and Ellen's wedding

 

(piano)

 

Premiered 7 August 2014, St Bridget's Church, Union Hall

- John O'Brien

Voices From Shandon
Voices From Shandon

- to poems by the children of Cork, collated by Gavin Ryan

 

(children's choir)

 

Premiered 15 June 2013, open air, Cork City

- massed children's choirs conducted by Sonya Keogh

Chorcaí Faoi Shuan
Chorcaí Faoi Shuan

- from the songs of Fiona Kelleher

 

(clar/sop sax, horn, perc, harp, alto, audience, unison children's choir, SSAA, string quintet)
 

Premiered 17 November 2012, Cork City Hall

- Voice Effect, Gaelscoil Mhachan and ensemble conducted by John O'Brien

Don't Panic - This Won't Take Long
Don't Panic - This Won't Take Long

- a very short opera to a libretto by Helen Eastman

 

(bar, unison chorus)

 

Premiered 20 November 2011, open air

- Oxford University

Treekeeper
Treekeeper

- feature film soundtrack

 

(sop sax, string orchestra)

 

Premiered 11 November 2011, Gate Cinema as part of Cork Film Festival

- Carolyn Goodwin, scratch string orchestra, conducted by John O'Brien

Symphony 1 "The Gateway"
Symphony 1 "The Gateway"

(symphony orchestra)

 

Premiered 15 May 2011, Wexford Opera House

- Wexford Gateway Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Go bhféacha mé
Go bhféacha mé

(SSA)

 

Premiered 30 April 2011, Cork City Hall as part of Cork International Choral Festival

- Cantabile Female Vocal Ensemble conducted by Mary O'Brien

towards a new enlightenment...
towards a new enlightenment...

(string quartet)

 

Premiered 17 March 2008, Honan Chapel, University College Cork

- Marja Gaynor & Claire-Anne Lynch violins, Richeal Ní Ríordáin viola, Hugh McCarthy cello

Recorded 26 October 2008, Honan Chapel, University College Cork

- Marja Gaynor & Claire-Anne Lynch violins, Una Palliser viola, Hugh McCarthy cello

Honan Mass
Honan Mass

(mezzo sop, bar, choir, string quartet)

 

Premiered 13 April 2006, Honan Chapel, University College Cork

- Sonya Keogh, Dave McAuliffe, the Works Chorus, Áine Ní Shé & Holly McConnell violins, Una McGinty viola, Ilse de Ziah cello, conducted by John O'Brien

Orpheus new recitatives
Orpheus new recitatives

- to words by Declan Hassett

 

(bar, ballet dancer, SSAB, cello, harp, electronics)

 

Premiered 6 November 2007, Cork Opera House

- Opera Works

Deirdre
Deirdre

- incidental music and songs

 

(mixed ensemble and children's choir)

 

Premiered July 1996, Granary Theatre University College Cork

- Pegasus Theatre Group

Arrangements (selected)
Arrangements (selected)
Silent Night, Ding Dong Merrily, Away in a Manger, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Joy to the World
Silent Night, Ding Dong Merrily, Away in a Manger, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Joy to the World

(sop, mezzo, ten, SATB, 1.1.1.1 - 1.2.1.0 - timp.perc.org.hp - stgs)


Premiered 16 December 2019, Cork Opera House

- Owen Gilhooly (ten), Ruth Berkley (sop), Michael Grennell (bar), Niamh O'Sullivan (mezzo), Choral ConFusion, Bunscoil na Toirbhite Mitchelstown, Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Nothing Compares to You, Wild as the Wind, Bohemian Rhapsody
Nothing Compares to You, Wild as the Wind, Bohemian Rhapsody

- Prince, Nina Simone, Queen

 

(voice, tubular bells, strings) (voice, 1.1.2.1 - 2.2.2.0 - timp.perc.kit.hp - stgs) (voices, 1.1.2.1 - 2.2.2.0  timp.kit.hp.guit.bass.pno - stgs)


Premiered 23rd June 2019, Cork Opera House

- Majella Cullagh (sop), Karen Underwood (voice), Camilla Griehsel (voice), Laoise Leahy (voice), Kim Sheehan (sop), Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Little Green, A Case of You
Little Green, A Case of You

- Joni Mitchell

 

(2 voices 2.0.1.0 - 3.0.0.0 - perc.hp - stgs)
(2 voices 2.2.2.2 - 3.3.3.0 - timp.perc.bass.hp - stgs)


Premiered 3 June 2019 on Strings Attached RTÉ Radio 1

- Saint Sister, RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by Gavin Murphy

Dawning on Me
Dawning on Me

- Villagers

 

(voice, 2.2.2.2 - 3.3.3.0 - timp.perc-hp - stgs)


Premiered 6 May 2019 on Strings Attached RTÉ Radio 1

- Conor O'Brien, RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by Gavin Murphy

Both Sides Now
Both Sides Now

- Joni Mitchell

 

(alto, 2.2.2.2 - 4.2.3.1 - timp.perc.hp - stgs)


Premiered 14 April 2019, Cork Opera House

- Karen Underwood (voice), Cara O'Sullivan Tribute Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Don Oíche Úd
Don Oíche Úd

- Trad.

 

(SSAATTBB 2.2.2.2-4.0.0.0-timp.perc.-hp-stgs)
 

Premiered 24 December 2018 on Carols from the Castle RTÉ 1 Television

- Habemus Choir, RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell

Christmas Mem'ries, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Carol of the Bells, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Silent Night, In the Bleak Midwinter, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Go Tell It On The Mountain, O Holy Night
Christmas Mem'ries, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Carol of the Bells, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Silent Night, In the Bleak Midwinter, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Go Tell It On The Mountain, O Holy Night

(voices, SATB, 1.1.1.1 - 1.2.1.0 - timp.tub.perc.kit.hp.org.guit - stgs)


Premiered 17 December 2018, Cork Opera House

- Rockboro Primary School Choir, Regina Mundi Choir, Liv Gregorio (voice), Emma Nash (soprano), Laoise
Leahy (voice), Gemma Sugrue (voice), Karen Underwood (voice), Rory Dunne (baritone), Cork Chamber Choir, Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Someone to Watch Over Me
Someone to Watch Over Me

- Gershwin

 

(SSAA)


Premiered 6 August 2018, Dee & Killian's wedding ,The Haven Hotel, Waterford

- Gisela Schmidt -Martin, Gillian Casey, Sarah Burke & Emma Tierney

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz

- Arlen & Harburg

 

(fl, reed, reed, tbn, perc/kit, hp, vln, vla, bass)


Premiered 21 July 2018, Cork Opera House

- Cork Opera House Company conducted by John O'Brien

Winter Song, When Christmas Comes to Town, Do You Hear What I Hear, The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth, Sisters, Ding Dong Merrily
Winter Song, When Christmas Comes to Town, Do You Hear What I Hear, The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth, Sisters, Ding Dong Merrily

(voices SATB, children's choir, 1.1.1.1 - 1.2.1.0 - timp.perc.hp.pno - stgs)

Premiered 18 December 2017, Cork Opera House

- St Columba's School Choir, St. Francis School Choir, The Herlihy Sisters, Cara O'Sullivan (soprano), Jack
O'Rourke (voice), Molly Lynch (voice), Cork Chamber Choir, Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Nella Fantasia, Time to Say Goodbye, My Fair Lady Medley, The Sound of Music Medley, Over The Rainbow, Hallelujah
Nella Fantasia, Time to Say Goodbye, My Fair Lady Medley, The Sound of Music Medley, Over The Rainbow, Hallelujah

(sop, SATB, 2.2.2.2 - 4.3.3.1 - timp.perc.hp - stgs)

Premiered 17 December 2017, Carrigaline Church - Linda Kenny (soprano), City of Cork Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Brian Murphy

Annie
Annie

- Strouse & Charnin

 

(fl/picc, reed, reed, tpt, tbn, hp, vln, bass, perc/kit)


Premiered 22 July 2017, Cork Opera House

- Cork Opera House Company conducted by John O'Brien

Dreamcatcher (Album)
Dreamcatcher (Album)

- Jack O'Rourke


(singer and orchestra 1.1.2.1 - 2.2.2.0 - hp - perc.drums - piano.guit.bass - stgs)

 

Premiered 29 April 2017, Cork Opera House

- Jack O'Rourke, Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Joy to the World, One World, Little Drummer Boy, Can You Hear What I Hear, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, All I Want For Christmas, Silent Night, Nessun Dorma, Mistletoe, Galileo (Someone Like You), The Angel Gabriel, Ave Maria, Away in a Manger, What Are You Doing New Year's Eve, Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bells, O Holy Night
Joy to the World, One World, Little Drummer Boy, Can You Hear What I Hear, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, All I Want For Christmas, Silent Night, Nessun Dorma, Mistletoe, Galileo (Someone Like You), The Angel Gabriel, Ave Maria, Away in a Manger, What Are You Doing New Year's Eve, Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bells, O Holy Night

(Singers, Chorus & Chamber Orchestra 1.1.1.1 - 1.2.1.0 - hp - perc - stgs)


Premiered 19 December 2016, Cork Opera House 


- Mary Hegarty, Gemma Sugrue, Owen Gilhooly, Allie Sherlock, Cork Operatic Society Chorus and The Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Oft in the Stilly Night; The Meeting of the Waters; The Last Rose of Summer; Star of the County Down
Oft in the Stilly Night; The Meeting of the Waters; The Last Rose of Summer; Star of the County Down

- Thomas Moore

 

(chamber orchestra: 1.0.1.1 - 1.0.1.0 - hp - perc - stgs)

 

Premiered 23 April 2016, Camden Fort Meagher

- Cara O'Sullivan, Camden Chamber Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Gortnamona; The Mountains of Mourne; McBreene's Heifer
Gortnamona; The Mountains of Mourne; McBreene's Heifer

- Percy French

 

(chamber orchestra: 1.0.1.1 - 1.0.1.0 - hp - perc - stgs)

 

Premiered 23 April 2016, Camden Fort Meagher

- Cara O'Sullivan, Camden Chamber Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

La Valse des Jouets
La Valse des Jouets

- Traditional

 

(box, harp, orchestra)

 

Premiered 25 December 2015, RTÉ Radio 1

- Dermot Byrne, Florian Blancke, RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by Gearóid Grant

No Frontiers; Ride On
No Frontiers; Ride On

- Jimmy McCarthy

 

(singer, guitar, orchestra)

 

Premiered 13 June 2015, Cork Opera House

- Jimmy McCarthy, RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by John O'Brien

Der Vampyr
Der Vampyr

- Marschner

 

(flute, oboe, clar, bsn, horn, trombone, perc, string quintet)

 

Premiered 21 June 2014, Everyman Theatre Cork

- Everyman, Cork Operatic Society

Orpheus
Orpheus

- Gluck

 

(violin, viola, saxes, bsn, hn, organ, harp, timp)

 

Premiered 21 September 2013, Everyman Theatre Cork

- Everyman, Cork Operatic Society

Maria de Buenos Aires
Maria de Buenos Aires

- Piazzolla

 

(fl, clar/bcl/sop sax, violin, cello, bandoneon, marimba/perc, piano, guitar)

 

Premiered 20 June 2013, Cork Opera House

- Cork Opera House

God Only Knows; Like a Prayer; One Day Like This; Take On Me
God Only Knows; Like a Prayer; One Day Like This; Take On Me

- Choir parts

 

(SSAATB)

 

Premiered December 2012, Cork Opera House

- West Cork Ukulele Orchestra, Voice Effect, conducted by John O'Brien

I Won't Last A Day Without You
I Won't Last A Day Without You

- (SSAA)

 

Premiered 6 September 2012, Sarah's wedding, Silversprings Hotel, Cork

- Deirdre Long, Gillian Casey, Jennifer O'Sullivan & Emma Tierney

Pagliacci
Pagliacci

- Leoncavallo

 

(string quintet, hn, fl, picc, cl, b. cl, sop sax, perc, piano)

 

Premiered June 2012, Everyman Theatre, Cork

- Everyman, Cork Operatic Society, Cork Circus, Barrabas

Milonga à 3
Milonga à 3

- Piazzolla

 

(2fl, 2cl, ten sax, bsn, 3 hn, tpt, perc, strings)

 

Premiered 9 June 2012, Slaney Manor

- Wexford Gateway Orchestra, conducted by John O'Brien

Both Sides Now; Nature Boy
Both Sides Now; Nature Boy

(alto, SSAA, sop sax, cello); (SSAA, bass clarinet)

 

Premiered 14 February 2012, Cork Opera House

- Karen Underwood, The Voice Effect, Carolyn Goodwin, Kate Ellis, conducted by John O'Brien

Cabaret
Cabaret

(SSAA)

 

Premiered 19 January 2012, Cork Opera House

- The Voice Effect conducted by John O'Brien

Silent Night
Silent Night

(alto solo, SATB, harp)

 

Premiered 24 December 2011, Cork Opera House

- Karen Underwood, The Voice Effect, Jean Kelly, conducted by John O'Brien

Wexford Carol
Wexford Carol

(SATB, trad group)

 

Premiered December 1998, Concert Hall, Bilbao

- UCC Choral Society conducted by John O'Brien

 

Revised (bar solo, SATB, harp, violin)

Premiered December 2011, Cork Opera House

- Muiris Crowley, The Voice Effect, Jean Kelly, Keith Pascoe, conducted by John O'Brien

My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady

(3 violins, viola, cello, bass, fl, cl, bsn, hn, tbn, perc)

 

Premiered March 2011, Irish National Events Centre, Killarney

- KMS

Banjo and Fiddle
Banjo and Fiddle

(solo violin, picc, fl, 2cl, bsn, hn, 2 tpts, tbn, b. tbn, timp, perc, harp, piano, strings)

 

Premiered December 2010 City Hall Cork

- Mairéad Hickey, Cork School of Music Concert Orchestra, conducted by John O'Connor

Honk!
Honk!

(piano, perc, bass, ob, 2 alto sax, cello, tuba, melodica, baritone)

 

Premiered December 2010, Globe Theatre, Saskatchewan, Canada

Cabaret
Cabaret

(piano, perc, 2 violins, tpt, tbn, accordian, cl)

 

Premiered 8 December 2009, National Theatre School, Montreal, Canada

Carousel
Carousel

(3 violins, viola, cello, bass, fl, fl/cl, cl, bsn, hn, tbn, perc)

 

Premiered March 2008, INEC, Killarney

- KMS

Stabat Mater
Stabat Mater

- Pergolesi

 

(2 sop sax, alto sax, bass, piano, SA)

 

Premiered 14 April 2006, Honan Chapel, UCC

- Seraphim, conducted by John O'Brien

The Way You Look Tonight
The Way You Look Tonight

(SSAA)

 

Premiered 21 July 2006 at Gill's brother's wedding

- Sarah Burke, Deirdre Long, Gillian Casey, Emma Tierney & Gisela Schmidt-Martin

Gile Mear
Gile Mear

(mezzo solo, SSAB, piano)

 

Premiered City Hall, Cork

- Sonya Keogh, Cork Children's Chorus, Ciara Moroney, conducted by John O'Brien

Hark, The Herald Angels Sing!
Hark, The Herald Angels Sing!

(SSAA, harp)

 

Premiered December 2005, North Cathedral, Cork

Broadcast on RTÉ television

- Seraphim, Jean Kelly, conducted by John O'Brien

Silent Night
Silent Night

(solo flute, orchestra, children's chorus)

 

Premiered December 2005 North Cathedral, Cork

Broadcast on RTÉ television

- James Galway, Opera Works Orchestra, Cork Children's Chorus, conducted by John O'Brien