Linda Buckley is an Irish composer (born in Cork, 1979) who has written extensively for orchestra (BBC Symphony Orchestra, Dresdner Sinfoniker Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra), and has a particular interest in merging her classical training with the worlds of post punk, folk and electronica. She is “one of the leading figures in the thriving Irish new music scene” (Christopher Fox, Tempo) with her work being described as “sublime and brilliant” (Tom Service, BBC Radio 3) “strange and beautiful” (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe), and “engaging with an area of experience that new music is generally shy of, which, simplified and reduced to a single word, I’d call ecstasy” (Bob Gilmore, Journal of Music). She was elected to Aosdána in November 2021.

She has worked in many collaborative contexts including scoring film by Pat Collins (Living in a Coded Land, Henry Glassie: Field Work at Toronto Film Festival) and Tadhg O’Sullivan (Solas Céad Bliain, To The Moon), dance by Liz Roche Company (I/Thou) and installation with Clare Langan (The Human Flock). Awards include a Fulbright scholarship to New York University, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, the Frankfurt Visual Music Award (for Silk Chroma) and Gold at the New York Festivals Radio Awards (for Mother’s Blood, Sister Songs documentary with Athena Media).

Recent collaborations include work with experimental folk duo Anna & Elizabeth, writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa as well as premieres by Irish National Opera, Hebrides Ensemble, Contempo Quartet, Iarla O’Lionaird, Joby Burgess (Barbican commission), Nordic Viola and Crash Ensemble. She was invited by John Schaefer’s New Sounds Live (WNYC) to present the New York premiere of a new live score to the silent horror film Nosferatu (co-composed with Irene Buckley) at Brookfield Place. Linda holds a Music Degree from University College Cork, a Masters in Music and Media Technologies and a PhD in Composition from Trinity College Dublin. She has lectured in Composition at Trinity College Dublin, Pulse College at Windmill Lane and at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In September 2020 her NMC record, From Ocean’s Floor was released: “The Irish composer combines traditional séan-nos singing with an electronic soundscape, connecting past and future … It’s clear how much Buckley deeply connects her past to her present, opening up possibilities for our mutual musical futures.” Guardian – Album of the Month, ‘a masterpiece in connecting the past and future.’ Evening Standard

Past events

November 2021
Live score to film Metropolis (co-composed with Irene Buckley) – percussion ensemble, electronics

Commissioned by Cork International Film Festival 2021

September 2021
Aud live performance in Shetland by Nordic Viola

Nordic Viola shares traditional and contemporary music inspired by the sagas and seascapes of the Norse world from Orkney to Iceland. Aud, inspired by one of the first Icelandic settlers and her journey from Ireland via the Northern Isles will receive its first live performance in Shetland

New album, From Ocean’s Floor, out now on NMC. Featuring Iarla Ó’Lionáird, Crash Ensemble, Isabelle O’Connell, Joby Burgess, Contempo Quartet and Darragh Morgan. Guardian folk album of the month, and Folk Radio editor’s pick.

  • ‘An excellent portrait of one of Ireland’s most interesting composers’ Journal of Music
  • ‘The intensity of her work is irresistible – a generous portrait that is full of surprises and unsettling questions.’  Tim Rutherford-Johnson, The Rambler
  • ‘It’s clear how much Buckley deeply connects her past to her present, opening up possibilities for our mutual musical futures.’ Guardian
  • ‘Music of mythic magic … sublime as well as brilliant –  richly and strangely powerful.’ BBC Radio 3 New Music Show
  • ‘Linda Buckley is unquestionably one of the most exciting, prolific and ‘ecstatic’ composers to come from Ireland in recent times.’ RTÉ
  • ‘Diverse and ultra imaginative work, intense and shimmering…’ BBC Radio Scotland
  • ‘Intelligent, atmospheric and strangely beautiful.’ ★★★★ Songlines
  • The works on this album are captivating; I couldn’t tear myself away.’ ★★★★ BBC Music Magazine
September 2021
Glaoch showcased for Culture Night Dublin, part of 20 Shots of Opera

Irish National Opera will be showcasing a selection of 20 Shots of Opera at Barnardo Square on Dame Street for Culture Night. The screening will take place from 8-9pm. The operas on show will be Dichotomies of Lockdown, Glaoch, The Patient Woman, Her Name, A Message for Marty, The Wait, Rupture and Close

September 2021
Score for new film M.R. by artist Jyll Bradley for Creative Folkestone Triennial

In 1960’s Britain, over 160,000 children were ‘given up’ for adoption at birth through a closed system which denied them any legal right to their identity until adulthood. Jyll Bradley was one of those children. Bradley’s new film M.R. is the story of an artist in search of her creative origins and a language to express the trauma, displacement and invisibility of the adoptee. A creation story for our times, M.R. asks universal questions about why we make art and how art, in turn, makes us. This film, supported by Arts Council England, is a tender coming of age story exploring the subject of childhood adoption, creativity and identity.

PRS Award for Aud – Ensemble & electronics, Nordic Viola

Commissioned by Nordic Viola for performance in Orkney Islands and tour of Scotland, awarded PRS Women Make Music Award

Premiere at Orkney Science Festival.

August 2021
Sean nós song orchestration, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh & Irish Chamber Orchestra

Commissioned by Kilkenny Arts Festival for the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

June 2021
Electronic score for show – A Ghost in the Throat

Commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival, in collaboration with Doireann Ní Ghríofa (text) and Tadhg O’Sullivan (film)

June 2021
The Finite Air – Song Cycle for Rachel Kelly & Fiachra Garvey

Commissioned by West Wicklow Chamber Music Festival with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland, setting text by D.A. Powell

March 2021
To the Moon – Irish Premiere at Dublin Film Festival

To the Moon (co-scored) will have its Irish premiere in March at the Dublin International Film Festival: ‘Tadhg O’Sullivan’s joyful documentary is a cinematic love letter to the moon, celebrating the night sky over the course of a lunar month. There’s a mesmerizing quality to the film, which along with extraordinary footage from around the globe, looks at the moon’s place in literature, culture and storytelling. Aided and abetted by a remarkable score, To The Moon is contemplative, poetic and sincere.’