Eric passed away peacefully at home on 21st July 2020. News related to his work or upcoming performances will still be posted here.
18th January. Madrigallery Chamber Choir give the premiere of Magnificat and Nunc Dimmitis for choir and organ from Canticles (2019) at Christ Church Cathedral Waterford.
February. The choir of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford sing Eric’s setting of the Holy Communion (2001) on each Sunday in February.
15th March Pianist David Pepper plays Evening, the lighthouse at Hook Head (2015) and Three Things for cello and piano (2015) as part of his programme in Newport, Wales
29th March. Voci Choir sings Jubilate Deo (1982) for choir and organ as part of their concert at Christ Church Cathedral Waterford at 4pm. Jubilate Deo was commissioned by the Past Choristers Society of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Eric also accompanies the choir in two works by Faure (Messe Basse and Cantique de Jean Racine) and plays organ solos – Down the Ladder (2013) and Introit, Kyrie and Postlude from the Mass of St Patrick (2007). The programme also featuresThree Things for cello and piano from the opera The Invader (2015), played by Roger Brown, cello.
The MidWales Arts Centre, Fishgard has commissioned Eric to write a series of instrumental pieces reflecting the character of local sites in the area: Strumble Head, Carn Ingli, Nevern, Newport Mountain and Penther Ifan. The work, for piano, harp, flute and cello will be premiered at the Arts Centre in October.
April. Writer Mark Roper and Eric collaborate on a series of 10 pieces for narrator and piano based on Japanese Haikus.
25th October. Before he died, Eric was working on a project with Mark Roper. Mark selected 10 haikus and Eric composed music to perform between the reading of each haiku. The plan was for them to perform the work during the Imagine Festival and, subsequent to Eric’s death, the festival asked whether it would be possible to proceed with the event with another pianist. The concert will be live streamed this Sunday at 1.00pm here: https://imagineartsfestival.
27th January. Hospital Voices (2018) commissioned by Waterford Healing Arts Trust was performed again by Madrigallery Chamber Choir at St Patrick’s Gateway Centre in Waterford.
11th April. Composer Eric Sweeney and writer Edward Denniston gave a presentation and report on their six month residency at University Hospital, Waterford as part of the Waterford Healing Arts programme in 2018 which culminated in the premiere of Hospital Voices (2018). The presentation took place at Garter Lane Arts Centre.
17th April. Eric played organ accompaniment to a programme of music for Holy Week, including excerpts from Bach’s St John Passion, by the Notable Works Choir in St Joseph and Benildus church.
28th April. Eric accompanied the Bealtaine choir at St Paul’s church, Waterford in a programme of music by Bach, Franck and Pachelbel.
29th May. The orchestra of Waterford Institute of Technology performed Granard (2004)
2nd June St Carthage’s Church, Lismore. Simon Harden played Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999) in a concert as part of the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival
June Amhrán na Gaoithe /Song of the Wind (2008) and Amhairghin (1999) published by Callíno Music Publishers
18th August. Together with poet Mark Roper, Eric gave an organ recital as part of the annual summer series of organ concerts at St Michael’s Church in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin. Programme included The Widening Gyre (2003), Adventus (1998) and an organ improvisation as well as music by Arvo Part and Phillip Glass.
Callíno Music Publishers now publish the Mass of St Patrick (2006) commissioned by St Patrick’s Cathedral Past Choristers’ Association.in Dublin as well as A Babe is Born and When Christ was born of Mary free (1981).
20th October Three Pieces from the Mass of St Patrick (2007) and The Secret Rose (2002) were played by the composer at an organ recital in Christ Church, Tramore, Waterford.
9th November Abendlied (2006) for string quartet will be performed at Crescent, A Festival of Irish Contemporary Music on 2019. The concert takes place in Greenacres Art Gallery Wexford at 8pm
20th November Guillermo Horta directs a ballet at the Cuban National School of Ballet in Havana which will include The Blackberry Blossom (1990) and Song (2002).
20th November Pianist David Pepper plays Three things (2016) at Peppers, Fishguard
Pianist Finghin Collins plays Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head (2015) in a series of concerts in November. Portaferry (13/10) Clifden (15/10) Listowel (30/10)
CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL CHOIR AND ORGAN
The choir of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford held an ‘Open Day’ for prospective new members on Saturday 24th February in the cathedral at 10.30 am.
The choir performed seasonal music from Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday at 7.30 pm and Easter music from Messiah on Easter Sunday together with music from Mozart’s Coronation Mass.
The choir combined with the choirs of St Canice’s Cathedral Kilkenny and St Mary’s Cathedral Limerick for their annual Three Choir’s Concert on May 19th, this year in Limerick. Programme includes music by Charles Wood, John Goss, Mendelssohn, Handel and Brahms.
The choir gave a concert on May 24th in the cathedral to raise funds for the cathedral roof.
As part of a conference organised by the Eighteenth Century Ireland Society on 8-9 June the cathedral choir and organist gave a recital of music by Richard Woodword, Thomas Roseingrave and Ralph Roseingrave including an organ improvisation by Eric on a fugue by Thomas Roseingrave and Eric’s new edition of Richard Woodword’s anthem ‘Sing O Ye Heavens’.
Eric retired as organist and choirmaster of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford at the end of August after 27 years. However he will remain active as a recitalist and has recorded another CD of his organ music The Bright Seraphim on the Waterford organ in September which was launched at the Imagine Festival on October 27th. Eric gave a short recital of some of the recorded works as part of the CD launch.
Eric was awarded a commission, together with poet Edward Denniston, to create a new work titled Hospital Voices for Waterford Healing Arts Trust. The work was created as part of a six month residency at University Hospital, Waterford. The collaboration of composer and poet focused on the theme of the embedded memory of patients and the resulting work was premiered at University Hospital Waterford by Madrigallery chamber choir on 6th December.
Pianist Finghin Collins played Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head, which was commissioned for the New Ross Piano Festival in 2015, in Waterford on March 15th.
Eric adjudicated the composers’ competition in the Feis Ceol (Music Festival) in March.
Combining with poet Mark Roper, Eric gave a series of concerts of his keyboard music this year. Venues to date included Wexford Arts Centre, Tullamore Church of the Assumption, Limerick Organ Festival and Gateway Centre, Waterford.
A new recording of the Duo for Clarinet and Piano (1991) features on a CD by clarinetist John Finucane and Elisaveta Blumina, piano on the Genuin label. It was recorded in the Mendelssohnsaal, Gewandhous in Leipzig.
Two concert performances of scenes from the opera Ulysses (2015) were given in the Unitarian Church, St Stephen’s Green on June 15th and 16th (Bloomsday).
Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999) was played by the composer as part of his programme at the Limerick Pipe Organ Festival on June 20th and the Church of the Assumption Tullamore on July 17th while Gerard Gillen included it in his recital for the Dun Laoghaire summer concerts on June 24th and Simon Harden played it in St Florentin, Troyes, France on July 6th.
Three Irish Folksongs (2009) was played by the Black Angels Ensemble (Ann-Marie O’Farrell- harp, Adrian Mantu- cello and Timo Kinnunen- accordion) in Oolu, Finland on 30th August and 2nd September.
Callíno Music Publishers will publish a number of Eric’s works this year including –
- Amhairghin (1999)
- Amhrán na Gaoithe (2008)
- Cradle Song (2017)
- Psalm 23 (2017)
- There is no rose (1981)
Song (2002) performed by the Dublin Guitar Quartet was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 6th October.
There is no Rose (1981) was performed by the Chatanooga Choral Society on October 8th.
Eric was external examiner for the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama organ exams in November.
Eric played continuo in a performance of Handel’s Messiah on 2nd December in St John’s Church, Waterford by the Dublin Chamber Orchestra and the Notable Voices Chorus.
A new CD ‘Contemporary Irish’ by the Dublin Guitar Quartet features Prism (2003) and Song (2002).
The Duo for Clarinet and Piano (1991) features on a new CD by clarinetist John Finucane and Elisaveta Blumina, piano.
22 RTE television feature a live broadcast of Morning Prayer with the choir of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford, directed by Eric Sweeney, with music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Elgar, Mozart and Stanford.
3 John Finucane, clarinet and Elisaveta Blumina, piano, play Duo for Clarinet and Piano (1991) in the Kevin Barry Room at the National Concert Hall, Dublin
4 Duo for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (1991) played by Gerard McChrystal sax and Katherine Page piano broadcast RTE Lyric FM.
5 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Engelbrekt’s church, Stockholm.