About

Ailís Ní Ríain

[pronounced: a-leesh-knee-ree-ann]

An Irish composer and published writer who aims to produce work that challenges, provokes and engages. In 2016 she was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers. Her work has been performed across Europe, in Israel, Brazil, USA and on BBC and RTÉ radio.

She was elected to the Ivors Academy Classical Committee in 2020 and is represented by The Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland. 

Ailís has broad artistic interests. She composes concert music, site­-specific music installations, opera, music­-theatre and has collaborated with writers, dancers, visual artists, filmmakers, poets and theatre artists.

Site-specific projects include music installations for a lighthouse, a K6 telephone box, a dis-used former cotton mill, the Brontë’s family home, a castle keep, a railway station accumulator tower and a high-street shop unit.

Ailís originally trained as a pianist and in recent years has dedicated considerable time to developing her work for ‘altered piano’.  A Debut Disc of her music is scheduled to be released by NMC Recordings in 2023.

Ailís is hearing impaired and has been making work referencing disability since 2007. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the arts via her work with Arts & Disability Ireland, Unlimited, DaDafest, Sound and Music and as an Ivors Academy Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee Member.

She has been awarded several international fellowships, associate artist positions and residences at Yaddo, USA, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, The Irish Cultural Centre in Paris, the Ragdale Foundation, ArtOMI in New York and Bogliasco in Italy.

Ailis is/has been an artistic assessor for the PRS Foundation, the Irish Arts Council, Sound and Music, Arts & Disability Ireland, Arts Council England and Culture Ireland.

Awards & Prizes

2021
The PRS for Music Foundation Open Fund

2020
The Arts Council of Ireland Commissions Award
Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust
Hinrichsen Foundation Award

2019
National Endowment for the Arts [USA] Yaddo Residency Fellowship
PRS for Music Foundation Women Make Music Award
The Arts Council of Ireland Music Bursary Award
Unlimited/Shape Arts/ArtsAdmin Commission

2018
Shortlisted ISCM World New Music Days Tallin
Culture Ireland Grant
Arts Council England Project Grant
Finalist Annelie de Man Prix

2017
Shortlisted ISCM World New Music Days Beijing
Travel & Training award Arts Council Ireland

2016
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers
Spitalfields Music Festival Project Award
Travel & Training Award from The Irish Arts Council
Irish Arts Council Commissions Award

2015
Britten Pears Foundation Bursary
Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Award
PRS Foundation for Music Award

2014
Culture Ireland Travel Award
Travel & Training Award, Irish Arts Council
Sound & Music Composer­ Curator Award
Unlimited R & D Bursary
ACE/British Council International Artist Development Award
PRS Foundation for New Music Award

2013
Finzi Trust Travel & Research Scholarship

2012
Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Award

2011
Abandon Normal Devices/DaDaFest Research Award

2010
Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Award

2009
Music Bursary from The Irish Arts Council
RVW Trust Grant Award

2006
Vienna Modern Masters Nancy Van De Vate Prize for Opera
First Prize ISCM World Music Days Short Cuts competition

2002
First prize SPNM/Brass in Association competition

2000
First prize, RTÉ Composer of the Future competition

Residencies

2019

Yaddo Artist Colony, Saratoga Springs, USA
Ragdale Foundation Residency, Illinois, USA

2018

MAKE Residency, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Virginia, USA

2017

Fellowship – Omi International Arts Center, New York
Residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, France

2016

Associate Artist Residency ACA, Florida

2015

Residency at METALCulture, Southend on Sea, UK
Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, Italy

2011

Aldeburgh Artist Residency, Aldeburgh Productions, UK

2006

Interact Roskilde, Denmark

2004

THREAD Residency, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland