Born in Co. Clare in 1952, Gerald Barry studied composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel, and organ with Piet Kee. In the 1980s he lectured at University College Cork.
Many of his works have been commissioned by the BBC, including Chevaux-de-frise (1988), Hard D (1992), The Conquest of Ireland (1995) for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and The Eternal Recurrence (1999) for the Ulster Orchestra. His opera, The Intelligence Park (1981-1988), commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, was first performed at the 1990 Almeida Festival and a second opera, The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit (1991-1992), was written for Channel 4 television.
His music has been performed at festivals across Europe, and he has worked with ensembles on both sides of the Atlantic. Recent commissions were from the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group for Wiener Blut (2000); and from London’s South Bank Centre for God Save the Queen (2000), a work for choir and ensemble written for the 50th birthday of the Royal Festival Hall in 2001.
His music is published by Oxford University Press. He lives in Dublin.