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In 1987 Dublin composer Michael McGlynn founded ANÚNA.
Much of the group's repertoire explores the relationship between traditional choral ideas and McGlynn's particular choral voice as a composer. The choir's name, originally An Uaithne, derives from the collective term for the three ancient types of Irish music, Suantraí (lullaby), Geantraí (happy song) and Goltraí (lament). They have, over the last quarter century, created a unique sonic ambience and receiving widespread recognition for the originality of their performances, recordings and the natural, unmannered quality of their vocal production.
The choir is based in Dublin, Ireland. Concerts feature a compelling combination of candle-lit movement, costume and atmospheric music. All of their material is written or arranged for the group by McGlynn, and includes reconstructions of early and medieval music from Ireland and beyond. Anúna sing unaccompanied and without conductor, with between twelve and fourteen singers in any performance.
Their flexibility as an ensemble has allowed them to slip easily between musical genres. As a highly acclaimed classical choral ensemble they have appeared twice at the World Sacred Music Festival in Morocco, given the first-ever Irish Prom at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, sang at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and this June they performed to great acclaim at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, where they will return in 2015.
In complete contrast, in 1994 Anúna created the vocal ambience of Riverdance departing the Show in 1996. Their single Riverdance gained a top-ten placing on the U.K. Singles Charts and remaining at number one on the Irish Chart for eighteen weeks. While curating the prestigious Meltdown Festival at London's South Bank, Elvis Costello invited Anúna to perform as a featured guest. In 2011, hugely successful and pioneering Australian children's entertainers The Wiggles, invited them to appear on their CD and DVD It's Always Christmas With You. In 2012 they appeared as the "Voices of Hell" on the massively successful video game Diablo 3 [Blizzard] gaining a Game Audio Network Guild nomination for the Best Original Choral performance in February 2013.
Anúna have been featured artists on three Grammy Award-winning albums with the Chieftains, Sting and Elvis Costello. In 2009 and 2010 they collaborated with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for two major concerts of McGlynn's compositions at Dublin's National Concert Hall. The end of this 2014 Season will feature an extensive Japanese tour and visits to The Netherlands and Belgium.
2009 saw the inauguration of Anúna's Education & Outreach programme. Since then, workshops have taken place across Japan, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, the UK, The Netherlands and in 2012 they presented at the Shanghai Conservatory. 2013 featured the second Anúna International Choral Summer School in Dublin. 2014 also includes workshops in Japan, Spain and Belgium, Northern Ireland and The Netherlands.
Anúna have released sixteen albums since 1991. Invocation won an Irish National Entertainment Award for Classical music, while Deep Dead Blue was nominated for a Classical Brit Award. Their albums have featured in various charts all over the world. Celtic Origins, also an award-winning PBS show and DVD, became the number one selling CD on the US World Music Charts in August 2007 (according to Nielsen Soundscan) while September 2011 saw their album Christmas Memories reaching number 95 in the Billboard 200 Album Chart. In 2008 the choir released Invocations of Ireland, McGlynn's self-made film - an evocative depiction of the Irish landscape and its relationship to his music. This has been broadcast extensively in Australia/New Zealand, with the DVD being released on Australia's DV1 and Columbia Music Entertainment in Japan.
They have been signed to some of the world's major record labels including Decca, Universal Classics, Polygram, E1 and Philips. Michael McGlynn is published by Warner Chappell Music.