2020/21 sees the release of three albums of O’Regan’s compositions: Pentatone brings out Houston Grand Opera’s production of The Phoenix, in which Thomas Hampson and Luca Pisaroni both interpret the role of Lorenzo Da Ponte; on Naxos, Chamber Choir Ireland and the Irish Chamber Orchestra perform A Letter of Rights, a large-scale collaboration with Alice Goodman which meditates on the civil rights enshrined in Magna Carta; and All Things Common is a portrait album by Pacific Chorale on the Yarlung label.
He is currently working on a saxophone concerto, which has been commissioned for soloist Amy Dickson by the Presteigne Festival to be premiered in 2022.
Born in 1978, Tarik O’Regan has worked with a wide variety of ensembles and organizations; these include the Dutch National Ballet, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Sydney Dance Company, BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Royal Opera House in London.
His output, recognized with two GRAMMY® nominations and two British Composer Awards, has been recorded on over 40 albums and is published exclusively by Novello. O’Regan also holds the positions of Visiting Artist at Stanford University and Artistic Partner with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale.
Critical AcclaimO'Regan can now stake a claim as one of the leading British composers of his generation. - Gramophone
O’Regan is [making] an impact with music that is striking and approachable without being obvious or second-hand... this was one contemporary piece that you didn’t want to finish. - Richard Morrison, The Times
Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, O'Regan began serving as the classical recordings reviewer for The Observer newspaper, a position he held for four years. During part of this time he also worked for JPMorgan Chase, the investment bank. He completed his postgraduate studies under the direction of Robin Holloway at Cambridge, where he was appointed Composer in Residence at Corpus Christi College and formally began his career as a composer, with his first published works appearing in 2001 on the Finnish Sulasol imprint. This period marked the start of his relationship with the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge (who would later release O’Regan’s first album, VOICES, under the direction of Timothy Brown) and the premiere of two important orchestral works: Clichés with the London Sinfonietta and The Pure Good of Theory with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
In 2004 O'Regan moved to New York City to take up the Chester Schirmer Fulbright Fellowship at Columbia University and subsequently a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard. During this period, his composition Sainte won the Vocal category of the 2005 British Composer Awards and his debut disc, VOICES was released on the Collegium label. O'Regan began dividing his time between the UK and the US when he was appointed Fellow Commoner in the Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge. During his two-year tenure at Cambridge, his composition Threshold of Night won the Liturgical category of the 2007 British Composer Awards and Scattered Rhymes, his first CD on the Harmonia Mundi label, performed by the Orlando Consort and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Paul Hillier, was released. O'Regan's second disc on the Harmonia Mundi label, Threshold of Night, appeared in late 2008 and awakened a wider interest in his work, demonstrated by the CD garnering two GRAMMY® Award nominations in 2009: Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance.
After this, he increased his output as a music commentator in print and on air, especially on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4. This aspect of his career broadened with the broadcasting in 2010 on BBC Radio 4 of the award-winning Composing New York, a documentary written and presented by O'Regan. In the same year, he was appointed to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton as a Director's Visitor and made his BBC Proms debut with Latent Manifest performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. O'Regan's third album on the Harmonia Mundi label, Acallam na Senórach: an Irish Colloquy (based on the 12th Century Middle Irish narrative of the same name) was released in October, 2011. This was followed, one month later, by the premiere of Heart of Darkness, a chamber opera in one act with an English-language libretto by artist Tom Phillips based on the novella of the same name by Joseph Conrad, at the Linbury Theatre of the Royal Opera House, London. It received wide critical attention and marked O'Regan's first foray into operatic writing.
2012-17 saw the completion of Suite from Heart of Darkness for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and two North African-influenced projects; Raï, for the Dutch National Ballet, and Chaâbi, commissioned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He was the featured composer for both the Vale of Glamorgan Festival (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Chamber Choir Ireland) and New Music for a New Age (Washington Chorus). A Celestial Map of the Sky, a new album on the NMC label of orchestral music performed by the Hallé Orchestra, was released, and O’Regan’s first opera, Heart of Darkness, received its North American premiere. Mata Hari, an evening-length ballet commissioned by the Dutch National Ballet, was premiered, issued on DVD/Blu-ray by EuroArts, and subsequently revived for a second month-long run. His work also received performances by the Orchestra of the Opéra de Rouen, Lausanne Symphony Orchestra, and the Alexander String Quartet.
Much of 2018-2019 was spent completing The Phoenix, a large-scale opera about the life of Lorenzo Da Ponte commissioned and premiered by Houston Grand Opera (HGO).
2020/21 sees the release of three albums of O’Regan’s compositions: on Naxos, Chamber Choir Ireland and the Irish Chamber Orchestra perform A Letter of Rights, a large-scale collaboration with Alice Goodman which meditates on the civil rights enshrined in Magna Carta; All Things Common is a portrait album by Pacific Chorale on the Yarlung label; and Pentatone brings out HGO’s recording of The Phoenix, in which Thomas Hampson and Luca Pisaroni both interpret the role of Lorenzo Da Ponte. He is currently working on a saxophone concerto, which has been commissioned for soloist Amy Dickson by the Presteigne Festival to be premiered in 2022.
O’Regan has been appointed to the Fulbright Chester Schirmer Fellowship at Columbia University; a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard; and positions at Trinity and Corpus Christi Colleges in Cambridge, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Yale. He has served on the composition faculty of Rutgers University, and as Senior Advisor to the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. A frequent television and radio broadcaster, O’Regan has written and presented two documentaries for BBC Radio 4: Composing LA and Composing New York. In 2017, he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of Pembroke College, Oxford and to the board of Yaddo, one of the oldest artist communities in the USA. O’Regan currently holds the positions of Visiting Artist at Stanford University and Artistic Partner with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale.
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