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New Music Dublin Festival Director

Employer New Music Dublin
Job Type Creative or Artistic Director Music & Performance Event Management
Location All Ireland
Closing Date 26/05/2017


Do you have what it takes to bring contemporary music to life in one of Ireland’s most exciting music festivals?


New Music Dublin (NMD) is Ireland’s major festival of Contemporary Music and is a key strategic collaboration between the Arts Council, the National Concert Hall and RTÉ.

NMD is embarking on the next stage in its development. Building on the festival’s achievements to date, the partner organisations wish to fully realise the potential of NMD to become the major annual event in the contemporary music landscape of Ireland. To this end, the partner organisations now wish to recruit an exceptional person for the new position of Festival Director.

Reporting to the NMD Steering Group (comprising representatives from each of the participating organisations), the successful applicant will be responsible for both the artistic and business management of New Music Dublin. He/she will lead the organisation to deliver a dynamic annual festival of international quality and standing, bringing the best of international new music and music-making and reflecting the best of Irish new music and new music-making to Irish and International audiences.

New Music Dublin’s ambition is to be the flagship new music event in Ireland for audiences, performers and composers. With a core focus on contemporary art music, NMD will present an annual festival offering access to the best of international new music and music-making and a showcase of the best of Irish new music and music-making in its international context. As the major Irish new music event it has a core mission to act as an ‘engine’ to develop and grow audiences for new music in Ireland - both live audiences and those reached through broadcast and other media.

Key responsibilities

Compile festival programme

  • Reach agreement on the overall approach for each festival with RTÉ and NCH, including featured composers and key ‘anchor’ works in concert programmes and the associated outline financial requirements
  • Negotiate with artists’ agents as required, including representatives of the key overseas artists (composers, conductors and soloists).
  • Liaise with relevant managerial and administrative personnel in RTÉ performing groups
  • Liaise and negotiate with locally based composers and performers (ensembles and individuals) on their role in festival
  • Finalise festival programme in advance, according to agreed timeline, so as to facilitate public announcement and other key deadlines

Responsibility for Festival budget

  • Prepare a festival budget, based upon delivery of draft programme and prudent estimation of income and expenditure.
  • Secure agreement on fees to artists and other ensembles
  • Draft marketing expenditure in conjunction with NCH and RTÉ
  • Draft expenditure for operational and administrative functions
  • Allocate income from Arts Council funding
  • Project income from box office sales, together with income from other sources

Manage delivery of festival

  • Recruit and manage temporary NMD staff, to ensure festival has requisite mix of skills, experience and expertise in presenting high quality live music performances
  • Liaise with NCH staff, and any other venues being used, regarding operational issues
  • Liaise with RTÉ orchestral staff on operational issues
  • Liaise with other performers/ensembles on operational issues
  • Hire or obtain additional resources as required


  • Ensure NMD has the administrative support required to carry out all functions of the role, including management accounting/book-keeping


  • Report to the Steering Group of NMD according to an agreed annual schedule of meetings.
  • Liaise regularly with key personnel in each partner organisation, to ensure smooth reporting relationships
  • Act as key ‘point of contact’ for visiting artists/lead personnel
  • Fulfil reporting requirements to the Arts Council, and other funders.
  • Represent NMD in the public arena

Key skills and expertise

The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes.

  • Expertise and keen personal and professional interest in contemporary music, evidenced by familiarity with Irish and international developments and trends.
  • Music sector artistic and industry contacts, with specific reference to contemporary music
  • Ability to enthuse and inspire others with confidence in the artistic value and potential impact of contemporary music
  • Ability to successfully build attractive programmes, with the capacity to skilfully contribute own ideas and to mix and balance these with the suggestions of the key stakeholders. This will require skill in negotiating with and managing the expectations and demands of RTÉ, NCH and other partners.
  • Ability to successfully engage composers, performers and their agents, and to establish credibility for NMD on the basis of possessing the requisite expertise and knowledge of specialist areas (repertoire, composers, performers etc).
  • Ability to operate effectively within the industry, on the basis of a good understanding of norms regarding negotiation of fees and expenses.
  • Understanding of the audience for contemporary music and an ability to engage with the relevant professional staff  on the marketing potential of disparate programming ideas
  • Knowledge and understanding of the operational side of presenting contemporary music, including layouts of bespoke instrumental combinations, the modus operandi of performers and issues arising from the integration of digital technology into performance practice.
  • Ability to manage the various demands and requirements of high profile artists


  • An initial contract for services will be offered to cover the planning and delivery of the 2018 & 2019 festivals.
  • Remuneration and terms and conditions will be appropriate to the role and to industry norms.

Applications should be submitted by email to [email protected] 
Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday May 26 at 5p.m.
Interviews for the role will be held in Dublin the week commencing June 5.

New Music Dublin is an equal opportunities employer

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