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Seán Ó Riada

Séan Ó Riada book coverSEÁN O RIADA, who was born in Cork in 1931, spent his early years in Adare, Co. Limerick, where his father was a sergeant in the Gárda Síochána. He received his secondary education at Farranferris College and studied music in University College Cork, obtaining the B. Mus. in 1952.  He was Assistant Director of Music in Radio Eireann from 1953 until 1955 and Music Director at the Abbey Theatre from 1956 until 1962. He then lived in Cúil Aodha in the West Cork Gaeltacht where he composed a number of masses in Irish for the local Cúil Aodha choir and lectured in the Music Department of University College Cork until his death in  1971.

He was a talented composer in the European tradition and his film scores for Gael Linn earned him great popularity in the sixties.  In the same period his work in the analysis and presentation of traditional music, illustrated by the group which he formed, Ceoltóirí Cualann, was outstanding. His early death at the age of 40 cut short a life that seemed to promise so much.

Bailiúchán Sheáin Ui Riada