Emma O'Halloran

Emma O'Halloran Winner of Beth Morrison Projects: Next Generation

Published By: 
Dasha Koltunyuk
Feb 22, 2019

Congratulations to composition graduate student Emma O'Halloran, who has been named the winner of the Beth Morrison Projects: Next Generation award! Emma will be commissioned to write an evening-length operatic work to be developed, premiered, and toured by Beth Morrison Projects over the coming seasons. 

BMP: Next Generation is a new initiative to discover the next generation of music-theatre and opera-theatre compositional voices. 72 emerging composers from coast-to-coast submitted vocal works, and ten extraordinary pieces were selected to be featured as a showcase at National Sawdust in March 2018. Two finalists, Michael Lanci and Emma O’Halloran, were chosen from the ten by an industry panel, and were commissioned to write 30-minute vocal works. Lanci’s satirical operetta tackles a congresswoman’s revelation about climate change and the effects of money in politics. O’Halloran’s monodrama about the inner life of a murderess explores how our secret personal history gets misrepresented in the public eye. After performances of both works at National Sawdust, Emma O'Halloran was declared the winner of this year's NextGen award.

Emma O’Halloran is an Irish composer and musician whose work moves freely between acoustic and electronic forces. Emma has written for folk musicians, chamber ensembles, turntables, laptop orchestra, and symphony orchestra, along with film and theatre. Her work has been performed at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, and MATA Festival, and she has collaborated with artists such as Crash Ensemble, Contemporaneous, the Refugee Orchestra Project, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. She is a winner of the inaugural National Sawdust Hildegard Competition. An advocate for inclusivity in classical music, Emma is one of the founding members of the #HearAllComposers campaign, a social media campaign designed to bring attention to issues of gender, race and socio-economic discrimination in the music world by positively promoting an inclusive array of composers and their work. She is also a member of Kinds of Kings composer collective. Emma is interested in exploring the human experience in her work, often trying to map real or imagined moments in time to capture complex and powerful emotions. Emma lives in New Jersey and is currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton University.