Gráinne Mulvey was born in Dublin. She studied under Professor Nicola LeFanu and gained a D.Phil. in Composition at the University of York in 1999. She also holds an M.A. in Composition from Queens University, Belfast and a B.A. (Hons) Degree from Waterford Institute of Technology, under Dr. Eric Sweeney. She was appointed Head of Composition at Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music and Drama in 2001. She has been external examiner for the B.Mus. Composition Course, at Trinity College Dublin the B.Mus. Ed. Composition Course, at the Royal Academy of Music. Since 2009 and at present, she is W.I.T. Composition External Examiner. She has also been involved with composition outreach educational workshops. In 2001 and in 2010-2011, she was on the adjudicator’s panel for the Guido d’Arezzo Composers’ Composition Competition in Italy. Her cello and tape piece Syzygy has been reviewed in Musicology Review Vol. 6 and her Trinity Fanfare for two trumpets and organ is published by Prairie Dawg Press, New York. Her two choral works Dead Earth and Sanctus are due to be published by Sulasol Press. Her trio bassoon piece Rí Rá is also due to be published by Prairie Dawg Press, New York.
Her music has been widely performed both in Ireland and abroad and she has received many broadcasts of her work by radio stations across the globe. One of her earliest works, Etude for piano (1994) was selected for that year’s International Rostrum of Composers in Paris, an honor that was to be repeated with 2004’s orchestral piece, Scorched Earth. She was a featured composer in the 2007 Horizons concert series, with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Houlihan, performing three of her orchestral works. She has the distinction of being selected for the ISCM World Music Days in two consecutive years with Akanos, for orchestra (Lithuania, 2008)and Stabat Mater, for 17 voices a cappella (Växjü, Sweden, 2009).
She has won various prestigious competitions, and received many awards, commissions and performances, notably from Concorde and Jane O’Leary, (who have championed her music both in Ireland and abroad), the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia (UK), the Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, the Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), pianists Cheryl Pauls (Canada) and Slawomir Zubrzycki (Poland), the Bruce Gbur Bassoon Ensemble (USA), the Tampere Raw Ensemble (Finland), trombonist Barrie Webb, BlackHair (UK), flautist Joe O’Farrell, cellist Martin Johnson (principal, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra), ACME Ensemble (USA), Matthew Schellhorn (pianist), and others.
She has attended many composition courses over the years, studying with Peter Maxwell Davies, Jonathan Harvey, Louis Andriessen, Kaija Saariaho and Boguslaw Schaeffer to name but a few. Two of her pieces, Sextet Uno and Rational Option Insanity, were recorded by the Concorde Ensemble for the Black Box label in 1999. Her Soundscape for violin, cello, percussion and tape was issued on CD by the Avantgarde Akademie in Schwaz, Austria in 1996. Both Scorched Earth and Akanos have been broadcast widely throughout the world, and Akanos was included on the album Contemporary Music from Ireland, Vol. 7 (CMC). She was recently the subject of an in-depth profile on Swiss Radio and a program of her major orchestral pieces was aired by Slovenian Radio in 2009. Performances of her works will take place in Chicago, Brazil and Portugal in 2013. She is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s organization of creative artists.