History of The AIC
The AIC originated in the Association of Young Irish Composers in 1972, when it was initially associated with the then very active Music Association of Ireland. AYIC promoted concerts of its members in the 1970s. It later re-constituted itself as the AIC, launching as a company with a Memorandum and Articles of Association, registering its name at the Companies Office and so forth, and moving to an office in Liberty Hall, in 1981, where it existed as the Irish Composers’ Centre alongside The Playwright and Screenwriters’ Guild. A few years later the Contemporary Music Centre was set up, and the Irish Composers’ Centre lost its raison d’etre. The AIC was left aside as a separate and weakened entity. By the late 1980s it had recovered some strength, and in 1990 held the Accents Festival, at the Gallagher Gallery in Ely Place. This was a large-scale festival involving the RTE orchestras and some international elements, which took place again in 1991, but serious financial difficulties ensued, and the AIC went into another dark period. By 1997, in the hands of Executive Director Maura Eaton, it had returned to good standing with both IMRO and the Arts Council, and a period of reasonable support began in 1998, lasting until the current financial depression: in 2010 it lost its annual funding from the Arts Council. It continues to enjoy strong support from IMRO, however, and currently seeks to carry on its aims as set forth above.
In the period 1994-2009 it brought Irish composition to 15 editions of the ISCM festival, throughout the world (including Mexico, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia). Separately, in its International Concert Exchange Programme it has directly brought contemporary Irish music to Flanders, Finland, Britain, Portugal, Romania, Moldova, Switzerland, France and South Africa, and hosted music from Germany, Flanders, Portugal, Britain, Denmark, Romania and Switzerland. It also hosted the Autumn Series at the Hugh Lane Gallery and featured the music of many of its members alongside international names of note. It has invited high quality performers to Ireland on many occasions, working with Rolf Hind, Ian Pace, the Fidelio Trio, David Adams, Miso Music Ensemble, the Crash Ensemble, Antipodes, the Hibernia trio and many others from around the world.