“Without a doubt, hers is the most original compositional voice to emerge in Ireland in the last 20 years.”
— Michael Dervan, The Irish Times
Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1974. She studied composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Kevin Volans in Dublin and graduated from Northwestern University, Chicago, with a doctoral degree in composition in June 2002. Her chief teachers at Northwestern were Amnon Wolman and Michael Pisaro. In 2003-2004 Jennifer was a fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart; during 2004-2005 she lived in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. From 2006 to 2008 she is the composer-in-residence in South Dublin County for In Context 3. In 2007 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York.
Jennifer’s work has been performed throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada by ensembles such as Alter Ego, ensemble récherche, Ensemble Resonanz, Apartment House, ensemble Intégrales, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Schlagquartett Köln, CrashEnsemble, ensemble ascolta, Champ d’Action, ensemble surplus, the Rilke Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble, the Bozzini Quartet, Ensemble 2000, Concorde, Ensemble Musica Nova, ensemble chronophonie, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Quintet, the Hebrides Ensemble, Psappha, and Q-02 among others. She has received commissions from organizations including Radio Telefís Éireann, (RTÉ), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Sudwest Rundfunk (SWR), the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, Maerzmusik, Musik der Jahrhundert, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Dresdener Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik, Wien Modern, the Dresden Semper Oper, ZKM (Karslruhe), the Irish Chamber Orchestra, CrashEnsemble, the Project Arts Centre and the National Concert Hall, Ireland, as well as commission awards from the New Music Scheme of the Arts Council of Ireland and the Scottish Arts Council. In 2003-04 Jennifer was composer-in-residence at the National Sculpture Factory, Cork. In 2000 Jennifer won the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, and received first prize in the SCI/ASCAP 2002 Commission Competition. In July 2002 she returned to Darmstadt to lecture in composition at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik. Her work been in a room and a room and a room and a room was shortlisted for the 2003 Gaudeamus Foundation composition prize; moving in/love songs/city front garden with old men was shortlisted for the 2002 Gaudeamus Foundation composition prize.
In addition to her activities as a composer, Jennifer frequently performs as a vocalist, specialising in extended techniques. Many of her recent compositions were commissioned for her voice in conjunction with other instruments, and her works have been performed by her and others at festivals such as RTÉ Living Music (Dublin), Båstad Kammarmusik Festival (Sweden), Ultraschall (Berlin), Ars Musica (Brussels), Wien Modern, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Donaueschinger Musiktagen, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Composer’s Choice (Dublin), SoundField (Chicago) the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, Stockholm New Music, BELEF (Belgrade), Traiettorie (Parma), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), SPOR (Denmark) and Music at the Anthology (New York). Jennifer is also active as an improviser, performing regularly with musicians in Europe and the U.S.
Recent projects of note include Physics for the Girl in the Street, a music theatre work commissioned by the Maerzmusik Festival, Berlin, performed by Jennifer Walshe and the Schlagquartett Köln in Berlin, Wiesbaden and Cologne; My Extensive Relationship with Mr. Stephen Patrick M., a piece for ensemble commissioned by Wien Modern, performed by Jennifer Walshe and Apartment House in the Sammlung Essl, Austria; and Grove of Drift, a sound installation commissioned by the Project Arts Centre, Dublin, exhibited in the Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, and the Project Arts Centre. Upcoming performances include solo performances at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Ultrasound Festival, Tel Aviv, and a performance of the chamber opera for Barbie dolls XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!! in the Auditorium Parco Della Musica, Rome.