Born in Dublin, he was educated at Belvedere College, Dublin, UCD and Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded a Doctorate in Music from TCD (1973); He was Director of Music at RTÉ from 1967-82. He held numerous public appointments, among them membership of the RTÉ Authority, and presidency of the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers. He composed over 150 titles from 1944 until his death. His major operas include The Silent Wife (1953); Iomrall Aithne (1956) (both performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin); Chatterton (Radio France, 1971); Shesiska (1974); The Music hath Mischief (DGOS, 1968); An Evening for Three (Dublin, 1980); and The Rendezvous (Dublin, 1990). His symphonic works are String Quartet (1963, recorded NIRC); Kriegslieder: choral cantata (1966, Schwetzingen festival 1968); Jonathan Swift (1971, recorded NIRC); Circe 1991: radio cantata (1973-75), Belgian, Hungarian radio); Symphony No 2 (1977); Piano Concerto No 2 (1977, BBC); Nine Variations on the Cravate (1980, RTÉ); Olympic Festival Overture (1980, Royal Festival hall, London); Dialogues d'Amour: alto, tenor, piano (1980, Bernadette Greevy, George Shirley); Processus: cantata (1981, BBC); Six Ephiphonies of the Author (1982); Symphony No 3 (1982); Requiem Cantata - Ultima Rerum (Dublin, 1984); Cantata - King Sweeney: (William Byrd Singers, Manchester, 1984); Symphony No 4 (1991); Eblana Symphonic Portrait of Dublin (1991); Ave Scientia, commissioned in honour of the Sesqui Centenary (Galway, Cork & Belfast Universities) performed in 1995. He received the Oireachtas Prize (1961), Ordre des arts et de lettres, France (1975); Order of Merit of the German Federal Republic (1975); and the Hamilton Harty Bursary (1981).
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