Born in Dublin in 1933, he studied in Ireland and Germany before accepting a teaching appointment at University College Dublin, where he was awarded a doctorate in music and is currently professor emeritus. His work reflects a range of influences from the European avant-garde to Irish traditional music. His works include numerous orchestral, choral, vocal and chamber pieces. Of his five orchestral symphonies, the first was composed in 1958-1959; the second, I Have Loved the Lands of Ireland (1980), was commissioned by the Irish government to commemorate the centenary of Pádraic Pearse's birth; the third was commissioned for the opening of the National Concert Hall in Dublin; and the fourth was commissioned by the Arturo Toscanini Symphony Orchestra of Parma, Italy. Recent commissions include Chiaroscuro (1999) for the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition 2000, and Earlsfort Suite (2000) for Dúchas. An Exchange of Letters, for solo piano was premiered by Rolf Hind in 2002 at the National Concert Hall, which commissioned the piece. He received the Arts Council prize for composition (1956), the Macaulay Fellowship in Music Composition (1962), the Marten Toonder Award (1982), and he is a founding member of Aosdána. He lives in Co. Dublin.
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