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Dave Flynn


Born: 1977 Website  


Praised in the New York Times for the “power and grittiness” of his music, Auckland-based composer Dave Flynn works across many styles, gaining particular acclaim for his work in merging contemporary classical music with the traditional music of his native Ireland.

His awards include the 2020 Galway Music Residency Commission, 2016 Eamonn Ceannt Commission, 2004 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Composers' Award, 2002 IMRO Composition Award and multiple grants from the Arts Council of Ireland.

He founded the Irish Memory Orchestra in 2012, with whom he developed a new approach to orchestral music through memorisation, improvisation and cross-genre performance practices.

His compositions have been performed by artists including the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, New Juilliard Ensemble, Concorde, Jade Quartet, Smith Quartet, Vanbrugh Quartet, ConTempo Quartet, Dublin Guitar Quartet, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Rolf Hind, Craig Ogden, Irina Muresanu and John Feeley.

Performances have occurred in prestigious venues including New York's Museum of Modern Art, The Kremlin's Armory Chamber and Ireland’s National Concert Hall. He performed his own music in Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and all over Europe including Germany, the UK, Russia, Estonia, Romania, France, Sweden and the Czech Republic. His work Calmly Awaiting the End was selected for the 2017 International Rostrum of Composers.

His music, published by Mel Bay, Reed Music and Frisbee Publications, is regularly featured by broadcasters around the world including WNYC's John Schaefer, who dedicated an edition of New Sounds to Flynn in 2009. Recordings of his music have been released on Sono Luminus, Crooked Water and Frisbee Records and produced by Grammy-winner Judith Sherman. Several of his works have featured in films, including Child of the Dead End, starring Oscar-nominee Stephen Rea.

He has held composer residencies in Galway, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Scotland's Classical Guitar Retreat. Recent work includes the guitar ensemble piece Dun Laoghaire Guitars (2020) and the ground-breaking Vision Symphony (2019) composed for the Irish Memory Orchestra and 26 blind/vision-impaired musicians, commissioned by Clare Arts Office with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland.

He earned a PhD from the TU Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama in 2011 and a Masters Degree in Composition from London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2004. A former composition lecturer at TU Dublin, his writings have been published by The Journal of Music, RTÉ, Irish Central and Na Piobairí Uilleann.

As a performer Flynn is “a masterful guitarist” (Sing Out! Magazine) who has toured internationally. He made his conducting debut with the Irish Memory Orchestra in 2017 and has produced several recordings on his own label, Frisbee Records.

Since first arriving in New Zealand in 2014 Flynn has toured the country as a composer/guitarist, performing at festivals including Canterbury Folk Festival and Hamilton Folk Festival. He collaborated with the Jade String Quartet in 2017, when they gave the world premiere of his String Quartet 'Fairground Attractions' in Auckland, alongside a performance of Boccherini's Guitar Quintet No.4.

Composed (19)

A Tune for Noel

for solo guitar

Calmly Awaiting the End

for uilleann pipes and string quartet, 10m

Dún Laoghaire Guitars

for guitar ensemble, 9m

Homage Sonatina

for solo guitar, 12m

Mná Brian Boru

an opera for 'sean nós' singers and orchestra, 50m

Music in the Time of Covid

for solo guitar, 22m


for solo guitar, 5m

Six Etudes for Five Fingers

for solo guitar, 15m

Stories from the Old World

for voice, uilleann pipes and string quartet, 20m

String Quartet No.2 'The Cranning'

for string quartet, 15m

String Quartet No.3 'The Keening'

for string quartet, 20m

Symphony No.3 'The Vision Symphony'

for orchestra and choir (including blind and vision-impaired musicians), 30m

The Clare Symphony (Symphony No.2)

for memory orchestra (i.e an orchestra that plays by memory), 30m

The Mahatma of the Glen

for solo guitar, 7m 40s

The Memory Symphony (Symphony No.1)

for large memory orchestra (performing from memory, without sheet music), 30m

Three Gymn O'Paddies

for solo guitar, 9m

Three Minimalist Pieces

for solo guitar, 13m

Toccata for Obama

for orchestra, 4m

Performances (1)

Dave Flynn – Solo Guitar Concert

“Dave Flynn is a masterful guitarist” - Sing Out! Magazine Award-winning composer/guitarist Da...