Dr Deirdre Gribbin

PhD, Fulbright Fellow, Churchill Fellow

Headshot for Deirdre Gribbin

Deirdre Gribbin is a Northern Irish composer. A graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast and Guildhall School of Music, London, she subsequently studied in Denmark with Per Norgard and Bent Sorensen. She received her doctorate from Royal Holloway, University of London and was a Visiting Arts Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Deirdre's orchestral work has been commissioned and performed by many top orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia, Northern Sinfonia and the Danish Radio Orchestra. In 2001 her orchestral work ‘Unity of Being’ commissioned by The Ulster Orchestra opened the ‘UK with NY’ Festival in New York City after the terrorist attack of 9/11.

Hearing Your Genes Evolve for string quartet featuring in a Filmtank Production, The Dark Gene was nominated for a Berlinale Film Festival Documentary Prize. Other awards include the Chester Schirmer Fulbright Fellowship, UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers Award for her orchestral work Empire States, a Leverhulme Fellowship, Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship and a PRS Composers’ Award in 2020.

Her recent music has been recorded by Crash Ensemble, and for a new film about genetics available on www.constellations.world. Her orchestral work was recorded for the lyric fm label Irish Composers Series and her chamber music CD, Island People was recorded for NMC.

A Contemporary Music Network Tour of Venus Blazing her violin concerto featured stage direction by Lou Stein and lighting by Bruce Springsteen’s designer Jeff Ravitz. The Guardian wrote that the composer is 'A charismatic voice in new music'.

Deirdre has always been interested in the juxtaposition of drama and concert music. Her second opera, Crossing the Sea, premiered at Wilton’s Music Hall in 2008. She has written extensively for radio, including music for BBC Drama productions of Embers starring Patrick Stewart and The Possessed starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Her piece for solo cello, Reflected Glory was a recipient of the PRS Woman in Music award and premiered at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. She has written the score for the feature film My Kingdom which starred Richard Harris and was nominated for a Screen International Award.

In 2020 Grieving Elephants was broadcast on Radio 3 by The BBC Singers as part of International Women’s Day. She was featured at Focus Festival New York, in New Zealand, Hong Kong, San Francisco and, with Patricia Rosario, in Mumbai. Dark Matter Hunting was premiered by The Pacifica Quartet and will be performed by The Doric quartet in 2022. Kindersang will be performed at New York’s Lincoln Center in 2022 and Centre Irlandais, Paris in 2023.

Deirdre was appointed as External Output Assessor for the Research Excellent Framework; REF 2020-22. She is Artistic Director of ‘Venus Blazing Music Theatre Trust’ advocating for young people with learning disabilities.

Find out more about Deirdre. Visit website

Faculties / departments: Composition


For enquiries please contact:

Dr Deirdre Gribbin

Composition professor



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