Reviews & Articles

‘Natus Est’ Premiere in December

A new solo organ work, Natus Est, composed for Christ Church Cathedral sub-organist Richard Moore, will receive its first performances in December, in concerts at St John’s Smiths Square London, and carol services at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. The work, partly based on the musical theme of ‘Come All Ye Faithful’, is a challenging and exciting work for the instrument, and will be featured in live stream concerts from the venue. Richard has commissioned two previous works from Solfa, Edwyllm and Silver Tree Fanfare. More information about Richard Moore and his work is available here.

Richard Moore, organist

Rose of Jericho

‘Rose of Jericho’ was awarded as a semi-finalist in the open category of the UK Songwriting Contest 2021.

The song was inspired by its namesake flower, which blooms in harsh weathers, and is a symbol of resilience.

It is dedicated to sufferers of baby loss, a tragedy experienced by 1 in 4 pregnant women in the UK.

The song was recorded by Adele Clarkson (voice) and Solfa Carlile (piano).

ICC Concert, Quiet Music Ensemble at the Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall.

“The most defined, and the most strikingly-crafted piece of the evening was Solfa Carlile’s Standing Chill, a duo for ‘Cello (Ilse de Ziah) and Saxophone (Seán MacErlaine) in which a seemingly traditional, quasi-modal harmonic language brims with tension between the materials allocated to the two instruments”.

– Martin Adams,  The Irish Times. (April 2011)


“A rare treat, sandwiched between Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate and Seán Ó. Riada’s Mise Eire: the brief but effective Aisling by Solfa Carlile, a student of Joseph Horovitz at the Royal College of Music […] unashamedly romantic, adept at conjuring up an instant atmosphere” Martin Anderson, Tempo

“It is refreshing to find such a rare, delicate gift as Carlile’s; her youth belies a determined, contemplative spirit” Vicki Love, The Examiner 2007

“Solfa Carlile’s Sounds is a witty response to the playful ideas of Brendan Kennelly’s poem” Michael Dervan, The Irish Times 2010

Cork Independent – Solfa shows how to stay perfectly composed

Written by Brian Hayes Curtin, Thursday 11th February, 2010

Cork born composer Solfa Carlile, is the winner of this year’s Jerome Hynes Composers Competition, awarded by The National Concert Hall. With an entry for voice and piano entitled ‘Sounds’ set to the poem of the same name by Irish poet Brendan Kennelly, Solfa won top place in the competition.

As well as securing a substantial cash prize of €1,500 Solfa will have her piece performed in recital by The National Concert Hall ‘Rising Star 2010′ mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught on Monday 1 March at 8pm. Judith Woodworth, Director of the National Concert Hall, commented:

“The Jerome Hynes’ Competition offers an important platform for aspiring composers throughout Ireland. Endorsing and encouraging young musicians is an important part of what we do here at the Hall so we are delighted to announce that Solfa Carlile is this year’s winner. “Young musicians and composers are our future and it is of the utmost importance that they are supported to ensure the progress of new music in Ireland,” she added. Solfa said, “I was delighted to be chosen as the winner. As a young composer, it is very important for me to have my work recognised in Ireland and it doesn’t get any better than The National Concert Hall. Although based in London I am very much an Irish composer and it shows in my music. I am also particularly pleased that my piece ‘Sounds’ is based on a poem by one of my favourite poets – Brendan Kennelly”.

The Ossian Ensemble, Okeanos, London Irish Symphony Orchestra and Composers Ensemble, UK have performed Solfa’s music, among others. In 2007 she was commissioned to write a flute-concerto for international soloist James Strauss. The work, ‘The Silkie Wife’ was performed in Brazil, in June 2008.

Commissions also include an epic-work, ‘Deirdre and Naoise’, which was performed by the London Irish Symphony Orchestra in 2007. Her piece ‘Abeo’, for Brass Sextet, was awarded the Concerto Prize at RCM in 2009. She is now studying for a Masters in Advanced Composition at the RCM, supported by the Sir Richard Stapley Trust. She first began composing at the age of 11.

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