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Born: 1952, Clarecastle, Ireland

“I often use found material of some kind, but never because I want to write pastiche. In fact, pastiche is exactly what I want to avoid. I want to make these familiar things seem absolutely unfamiliar.”

After earning degrees from University College in Dublin, Barry studied composition in Cologne with Stockhausen and Kagel. He first came to public attention in 1979 with his radical ensemble works ‘__________’ and “Ø,” and is particularly noted for his operas: The Intelligence Park (1990); The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit (1995, given its U.S. premiere in 2006 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, conducted by Thomas Adès), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (2005), and La Plus Forte (2007). Quotation and parody are favorite devices of Barry, particularly of material derived from Baroque sources. Handel, for example, provides the influence and model for both The Intelligence Park and The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit.

Further listening:

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (2005)RTÉ National Symphony and soloists,Gerhard Markson (RTÉ)