Composer Flannery Cunningham is fascinated by illusion and auditory perception, the expressivity of voices, and the performative possibilities of interactive electronics. She aims to write music that surprises and delights. Among others, she has been commissioned by Sopraltus of the MacPhail Institute, the Minnesota Center Chorale, the Cornell University Chorus, and the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University. She has written dramatic works including an oratorio about the 6th-century Irish monk St. Brendan the Navigator and a (pre-Hamilton) opera about the Burr-Hamilton duel.
An active poet, Flannery often writes her own texts and libretti. She is attracted to both the very old and very new; she has presented on the 14th-century master and fellow poet-composer Guillaume de Machaut at the 48th International Medieval Congress and performed with Cork-based electronic ensemble CAVE at the 2014 International Computer Music Conference. In addition to acoustic ensembles she writes for live players with real-time electronics, always striving to create an environment that foregrounds the skills and musical voice of the performer. Flannery has also scored, performed, and sound designed for theatrical and dance productions in Oxford, UK and New York. She holds a BA from Princeton University, an MA from University College Cork as a Mitchell Scholar, an MA from Stony Brook University, and is currently a PhD candidate in composition at the University of Pennsylvania in fall 2017.