Anselm McDonnell

Anselm McDonnell (1994) is an Irish/Welsh composer based in Belfast who has composed over 80 pieces for orchestra, chamber groups, choirs, soloists and electronics. He has recently been appointed to the LSO Jerwood Composer+ scheme and will participate in a 15-month placement, developing and delivering two artistic projects while gaining entrepreneurial skills through mentoring by LSO staff.

Anselm will have access to composition workshops and mentoring from other composers, industry professionals and musicians to develop its artistic practice and programme a showcase work of its own, as well as works by other composers. Both composers will present their first concerts in January and March 2024 at LSO St Luke’s.

His music has been performed in 13 countries and he has been commissioned by some of the top new music ensembles in the UK/Ireland, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and the Crash Ensemble. His music features on nine CDs, including two self-released albums: Light of Shore (2021) and Kraina (late 2023). In June 2023 he had portrait concerts dedicated to his music in Bangkok, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, by the TACETi Ensemble.

His compositions have been described as ‘abrasive and compelling’ (Irish Times) and ‘bristling with energy’ (GoldenPlec), and as having ‘an overall sense of anarchic freedom’ (Journal of Music). Of McDonnell’s music, Robert Hugill wrote, ‘perhaps the contrasts and complexities that it contains are a musical reflection of the multi-layered nature of what it means to be a composer in a community as complex as Northern Ireland’.

When asked how he felt about being appointed to the LSO Jerwood Composer+ scheme he said,

It’s both challenging and extremely rewarding to work with such excellent musicians. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity for thinking outside the box.

Anselm McDonnell, image by Laura Sheeran