Ann Cleare
Associate Lecturer in Composition



Ann Cleare is an Irish composer working in the areas of concert music, theatre, extended sonic environments, and hybrid instrumental design. Her work explores the static and sculptural nature of sound, probing the extremities of timbre, texture, colour, and form. She creates highly psychological and corporeal sonic spaces that encourage a listener to contemplate the complexity of the lives we exist within, exploring poetries of communication, transformation, and perception.

Her work has been commissioned and presented by major broadcasters such as the BBC, NPR, ORF, RTÉ, SWR, WDR for festivals such as Gaudeamus Week, The Wittenertage fur Neue Kammermusik, International Music Institute Darmstadt, Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, IMATRONIC Festival of Electronic Music, MATA Festival, and Taschenopernfestival. Through working with some of the most progressive musicians of our time, she has established a reputation for creating innovative forms of music, both in its presentation, and within the music itself. She has worked with groups such as Ensemble SurPlus, 175 East, The Crash Ensemble, The Callithumpian Consort, Quatuor Diotima, The International Contemporary Ensemble, The Chiara String Quartet, Collegium Novum Zürich, ELISION, The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Divertimento Ensemble, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Apparat, Ensemble Nikel, The Curious Chamber Players, Yarn/Wire, ensemble mosaik, The Experimental Ensemble of the SWR Studios, Talea Ensemble, österreichisches ensemble für neue music, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, ensemble recherche, TAK, Vertixe Sonore, Ensemble Garage, Argento Chamber Ensemble, The Fidelio Trio, and soloists such as Carol McGonnell, Richard Craig, Heather Roche, Bill Schimmel, Benjamin Marks, Patrick Stadler, Carlos Cordeiro, Ryan Muncy, Richard Haynes, William Lang, Laura Cocks, Lina Andonovska, and Samuel Stoll.

Current and future projects include new works for The Crash Ensemble, The International Contemporary Ensemble, Ekmeles and solo trombonist William Lang, ELISION, a video opera version of her opera rinn, and the creation of an outdoor musical playground for children with sculptor Brian Byrne.

Ann studied at University College Cork, IRCAM, and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her scores are published by Project Schott New York. She is an Associate Lecturer in Composition in the Department of Music at the University of York in the UK, and an artistic collaborator with Dublin Sound Lab, developing their programming and production of electronic music over the coming years.

More info can be found at:


Full publications list

Recent Works/Research

2017 eyam v (woven) for contrabass flute, contrabass clarinet and orchestra (c.15’)
Commissioned by RTÉ Performing Groups. Premiered by Richard Craig, Carol McGonnell, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, conducted by Gavin Maloney at The National Concert Hall, Ireland, February 2017

2017 surface station #1: in the upper atmosphere / multi-belled, electronic French horn solo with video (c. 12’)
Commissioned by Samuel Stoll and Dialog Series, Switzerland. Premiered at Gard du Nord, Basel, Switzerland, January 2017

2016 93 million miles away / violin, cello, and piano (c.13’)
Commissioned by The Winter Chamber Festival at DCU for The Fidelio Trio with funds from The Arts Council of Ireland. Premiered at Belvedere House, Dublin, December 2016

2009-16 eyam ii (taking apart your universe) / Solo Contrabass Clarinet and Large Ensemble (c. 26’)
Commissioned by Argento Chamber Ensemble, The Arts Council of Ireland and New Music USA funding. Premiered at The Library of Congress, Washington D.C., October 2016

2015/16 ore / single reed wind instrument (cl/ob/sax) and string trio (c.11’)
Written for and premiered by ensemble recherche, Harvard University, 2016

2014/15 rinn / Chamber Opera with Electronic Staging and Props (c.35’)
Commissioned by Taschenopernfestival Salzburg with funding from the Austrian Federal Chancellery and The Arts Council of Ireland. Based on excerpts from Ulysses by James Joyce. Directed by Thierry Bruehl, dramaturgy by Hans-Peter Jahn, cast from Taschenopernfestival, öenm conducted by Juan Garcia Rodriques

2014/15 eöl /Sonic Sculpture and Chamber Ensemble (c.15’)
Commissioned by Music At The Anthology, Inc. for the 2015 MATA Festival of New Music. Premiered by Alex Lipowski and Talea Ensemble. Sonic sculpture designed and built by Ann Cleare in collaboration with visual artist Brian Byrne

2013/14 eyam iv (Pluto’s farthest moons) / Solo Contrabass Flute with a Spatialised Electronic Ensemble (c.32’)
Commissioned by the EXPERIMENTALSTUDIOS of the SWR, Germany. Premiered by Richard Craig and The Experimental Ensemble at The IMATRONIC Festival of Electronic Music, ZKM Centre for Arts and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

2013/14 luna (the eye that opens the other eye) / Solo Alto Saxophone, (c.8’)
Commissioned by saxophonist Patrick Stadler for its premiere at Popakademie Mannheim. Published by Schott Music, New York

2014 luna/lithe/lair / Spatialised Large Ensemble (c.15’)
Commissioned by Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, ORF (Austrian) Radio, with additional funding from The Arts Council of Ireland. Premiered by ensemble mosaik, conducted by Enno Poppe

2014 I should live in wires for leaving you behind / Theatrically Choreographed Piano/Percussion Quartet (c.14’)
Commissioned and premiered by Yarn/Wire with funding from Issue Project Room New York and EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre), Troy. Published by Schott Music, New York

2014 anchor me to the land / Large Ensemble (c.19’)
Commissioned for The Curious Chamber Players by The International Music Institute Darmstadt with additional funding from The Harry and Alice Eiler Foundation

2013/14 the square of yellow light that is your window / Mixed Quartet (c.14’)
Commissioned and premiered by Ensemble Nikel, Israel/Austria

2013 eyam iii (if it’s living somewhere outside of you) / Solo Bass Flute (c.16’)
Commissioned and premiered by flutist Richard Craig with funding from Creative Scotland. Published by Schott Music, New York

2013 mire |…| veins / Brass Quintet (c.8’)
Commissioned and premiered by Ensemble Apparat with funding from Hauptstadt Kulturfonds, Berlin. Published by Schott Music, New York

2009/13 to another of that other / Triple Concerto (c.15’)
Commissioned and premiered by ELISION with funding from Australia Council for the Arts

2012 phôsphors (...of ether) / Orchestra (c.13’)
Supported by and premiered at The Horizons Series of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Ireland

2009-13 eyam i (it takes an ocean not to) / Solo Bb Clarinet (c.13’)
Commissioned for Carol McGonnell by The Arts Council of Ireland. Premiered at SARC and Moving on Music in Belfast. November 2009 & March 2013

2011/12 on magnetic fields / Large Ensemble divided into Three Chamber Groups (c.15’)
Commissioned by WDR, Cologne for its premiere by Collegium Novum Zürich at Wittenertage fur Neue Kammermusik. Published by Schott Music, New York

2011 of violet ether / Large Ensemble (c.12’)
Written for The International Contemporary Ensemble, Harvard 2011

2010 moil / String Quartet (c.16’)
Written for Quatuor Diotima, Harvard 2011. Published by Schott Music, New York

2009/10 unable to create an offscreen world (a), (b), (c) / Mixed Quintet (c.14’)
Written for The Callithumpian Consort, Harvard 2010

2009 Inner / Cello and Piano (c. 9’)
Performed by The Curious Chamber Players, Sweden. Published by Schott Music, New York

2009 I am not a clockmaker either / Accordion and 8-Channel Electronics (c.8’)
Developed and premiered at IRCAM, Paris. Published by Schott Music, New York

2008 To Exist, Press the Green Button / Chamber Ensemble (c.11’)
Commissioned and premiered by 175 East with funding from Creative New Zealand

2008 Dysmorphia / Viola and Cello Duo (c.11’)
Written for Garth Knox and Rohan de Saram at The Intrasonus Festival, Venice

2008 The Apophenia Transmissions / Wind Quintet (c. 9’)
Written for The Kelly Quintet at the West Cork Chamber Festival

2007 Dorchadas / Large Ensemble (c.12’)
Commissioned by Akademie Schloss Solitude Summer Residency for Ensemble SurPlus. Published by Schott Music, New York

Ann Cleare photo for staff profile page

Contact details

Dr Ann Cleare
Associate Lecturer in Composition
Department of Music
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 3224433

External links