Dr Simon Mawhinney
Tel: +44 28 9097 5324
Office: Music Building
Address: School of Creative Arts, Music Building, Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN
Former PhD students
Dr. John Moeller – Assistant Lecturer in Music, Texas A&M University
Dr. Abdullah Ashraf – Head of School, Music Department, Sulaymaniyah University, Iraq
Dr. Ryan Molloy – Lecturer in Music, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Achievements and Distinctions
Simon Mawhinney’s work as a composer has a notably international focus, with high profile musicians in Germany, France, Iceland, UK and elsewhere regularly collaborating with him on new projects. His music ranges from quietude to frenetic exhilaration and draws on a wide range of contemporary influences: from complexist music to the colouristic harmonies of post-spectralism to the cantillation of numerous cultures. He has a particular interest in the music of Boulez and Messiaen, regarding the former’s Derive 2 as a pinnacle of contemporary music. He has performed Messiaen’s piano work Vingt Regards and will begin teaching a new module about Messiaen’s music in 2013. Indeed, his fondness for including performance in his work both as composer and lecturer was recognized by in 2012 by a Queen’s University Teaching Award.
Recent composition projects have included Hunshigo for violin and piano (recorded for Altarus Records by Darragh Morgan and Mary Dullea), Perseid (commissioned by Ensemble Recherche, Germany), Starbog for chamber orchestra (commissioned by Ensemble Caput, Iceland). Mary Dullea has recently recorded his 55-minute piano work, Marlacoo, scheduled for CD release in late 2013 and Kolbeinn Bjarnason will record his sequence of piecesfor bass flute and computer in 2014.
In early 2013, Simon Mawhinney was awarded a period of study leave to focus on the completion of a nine-movement work for viola d’amore and string quartet – believed to be the first work written for this particular grouping of instruments. This work was commissioned by Garth Knox and Quatuor Béla, and will be premiered in Paris in November 2013.
Composition (instrumental and electronic media).
New Music Performance
New Musical Technology
New work for marimba and harp for Duo Harpverk, Iceland
Cycle of string quartets
In All the Worlds. Viola d’amore and string quartet. Commissioned by Garth Knox and Quatuor Bela. Premiere performance to take place 14 November 2013, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.Haykal. Piano solo. Premiere by Simon Mawhinney, Schotts London, May 2013.Merula. Solo Bass Flute and Electronics. Commissioned by Kolbeinn Bjarnason. Premiere: Belfast Festival at Queen’s, November 2012. Further performances in 2014 in Iceland, Norway and Poland. Marlacoo. Piano solo. To be premiered by Mary Dullea at University of Sheffield, October 2013. Release by Altarus Records Inc. in October 2013
Xewkjia. Solo bass flute with optional electronics. Commissioned by Kolbeinn Bjarnason and premiered at Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music, Belfast, May 2010.
Perseid. Eight Instruments. Commissioned by Ensemble Recherche. Premiere: Freiburg, September 2009.
Hunshigo. Violin and Piano. Premiere of by Darragh Morgan and Mary Dullea in the Harty Room, Queen’s University, 5March 2009. Recording by Darragh Morgan and Mary Dulea released by Altarus Records, 2009
Starbog. Chamber Ensemble. Commissioned by Psappha and premiered in Manchester University, November 2006. Recorded by BBC at the Warehouse, London, December 2006 and broadcast in March 2007. Version for chamber orchestra commissioned by Ensemble Caput, Iceland, and premiered in Reykjavik, June 2011.