Michael McGlynn

Michael McGlynn


• Born 1964

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Irish composer Michael McGlynn has written both vocal and instrumental music and is the founder of the popular Irish choral ensemble Anúna. It would be difficult to separate McGlynn's compositional career from his activities with his choral group: Anúna's repertory is mostly made up of McGlynn's original compositions and arrangements, and while McGlynn has written in various genres, he has devoted the larger part of his creative activity to producing music for Anúna. McGlynn has produced at least one mega-hit, the 1995 choral piece Dúlamán. The work is a setting of a traditional Irish poem and is rather typical of McGlynn's style in its infectious rhythms, folk-tinged thematic character, and mixture of traditional and modern elements. McGlynn sometimes employs jazz-like chords in his choral writing, too, but also often conveys an almost chant-like serenity, especially in his sacred music. His instrumental works are similar, with Irish folk-flavored melodies and catchy rhythms, qualities quite noticeable in the 1998 orchestral work May, for oboe, string orchestra and percussion. McGlynn's works are available on a variety of labels, including Danu, Elevation, Musica Viva, and Teldec.

McGlynn was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1964. Having developed an interest in choral music in his youth and throughout the period of his advanced music studies, McGlynn founded Anúna in 1987. It is a mixed chorus of about 30 members, though the number of singers ranges from around 12-14 during performance. In 1993 McGlynn, the ensemble's music director and manager, led his singers in their first recording, entitled Anúna. Further success followed, both in the recording studio and concert hall, not least because of the popularity of Dúlamán and the 1999 Deep Dead Blue. In 1999 McGlynn was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 and later that year led Anúna in a highly acclaimed BBC Proms concert from Royal Albert Hall that was broadcast live over BBC 3.

In the new century numerous other broadcast concerts and media appearances ensued. McGlynn's arrangement of Silent Night appeared on the popular 2001 Teldec CD Christmas with Chanticleer, featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw. McGlynn has attracted major commissions in the new century, among them a Radio & Television Network of Ireland commission for his cantata St. Francis for tenor, chorus, and orchestra, which was premiered in 2007. Among McGlynn's later recordings is the 2009 Danu CD Sanctus, featuring works by McGlynn and other composers, sung by Anúna.