Anselm McDonnell is an Irish/Welsh composer based in Belfast. He has written over seventy works for a variety of ensembles and regularly works with artists from other disciplines. His music has been performed in Thailand, North America, Canada, Finland, Japan, Russia, and across Europe. He also performs on the classical and electric guitar.

McDonnell has written for ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, RSNO, Crash Ensemble, Chamber Choir Ireland, BBC Singers, Ulster Orchestra, 1st Old Boy’s Brass Band, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. His debut album Light of Shore was released on 8th October 2021, supported by Moving On Music and ACNI.

In April 2022 Anselm received one of Sound and Music’s Covid-19 Composer Awards:

I’m so excited to have received funding from Sound and Music to support a recording of my new song cycle Kraina, created in collaboration with soprano Rebecca Murphy and author Aleksandra Łojeck, which highlights experiences of the Polish community in Belfast. Kraina (which means land) is a cycle of four songs in both Polish and English, using poems and prose from historical and contemporary Polish poets. This funding will equip me to explore music-making with local communities, an avenue of my work that I’ve been pursuing since pandemic restrictions lifted, as I realised how important the social aspect of music-making is to me.”

Watch

Cross Purposes (Extract)