The Chair and Board of Red Note Ensemble are delighted to announce that Red Note Ensemble’s Chief Executive and Artistic co-Director John Harris has been appointed Festival Director of New Music Dublin, Ireland’s major festival of contemporary music. He will take up his new post immediately, and will continue in his role with Red Note Ensemble in tandem with that of Festival Director.

This strategic appointment is in the context of a major investment in New Music Dublin for the next 3 years, and is focused on realising the full potential of New Music Dublin as the major annual event in Ireland’s contemporary music calendar. Mr Harris’ responsibilities will include developing the artistic programme for the 2018 and 2019 festivals, in conjunction with the festivals founding partners, the Arts Council, the National Concert Hall and RTÉ.

With his Artistic co-Director Robert Irvine, John Harris has built Red Note Ensemble from a small start-up in 2009 to become an international ensemble undertaking high profile performances, recordings and broadcasts across Scotland, the UK, Europe and further afield. This appointment further develops Red Note’s considerable international reputation and profile, and the Board of Red Note are delighted to enable Mr Harris to undertake both positions simultaneously.

Mr Harris was previously artistic director of the Paragon Ensemble and General Manager of the Hebrides Ensemble. As a composer his work includes operas, chamber music, theatre music and music for film, including work for Scottish Opera, the Sound Festival Aberdeen, Tapestry Opera Toronto, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Channel 4, and he has a M. Mus degree in composition from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

New Music Dublin is a key strategic partnership initiative of the National Concert Hall, the Arts Council and RTÉ. The next New Music Dublin festival will take place in early March 2018.



John Harris is an award-winning composer and Chief Executive and Artistic co-Director of the Red Note Ensemble. His compositional work is now mainly in opera, having previously written primarily for theatre and film. His music includes over 35 productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Festival, West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Traverse Theatre, Dundee Rep Theatre, Tron Theatre and others. He scored the Scottish BAFTA-winning animation The Fingertrap, and animations for S4C and Channel 4.
He wrote Death of a Scientist for Scottish Opera’s short opera 5:15 series, and subsequently invited to create three short works for Tapestry Opera in Toronto. His opera The Garden with librettist Zinnie Harris was commissioned and performed at the Sound Festival in Aberdeen in 2012, and has since toured to London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Berlin, Potsdam and Shanghai. M’dea Undone, a new opera with librettist Marjorie Chan and directed by Tim Albery, co-commissioned by Scottish Opera and Tapestry Opera, premiered in Toronto in 2015 winning both a Dora Award for Outstanding New Opera and a MyTheatre award for Best New Opera.

Red Note Ensemble is Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble. We develop, perform, present and find new audiences for new music within Scotland, the UK and internationally. The ensemble was founded in 2008 by Scottish cellist Robert Irvine, and is directed by John Harris (Chief Executive and Artistic Co-Director) and Robert Irvine (Artistic Co-Director).
The Ensemble performs the established classics of contemporary music, commissions new music, develops the work of new and emerging composers from around the world, and finds new spaces and new ways of performing and presenting contemporary music to attract new audiences both within Scotland and elsewhere.
Red Note’s performing ensemble is drawn from the deep talent pool of Scottish new music expertise, and counts amongst its players some of the very finest performers working in the UK today. Red Note’s busy schedule comprises tours, site-specific work and cross-artform collaborations on large and small scales, locally and internationally, and a highly-developed access, engagement and participation programme.
Red Note is Associate Contemporary Ensemble at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, an Associate Company of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, and Associate Ensemble of the sound Festival Aberdeen.