Profile: Micheál Ó'Súilleabháin

Micheál Ó'Súilleabháin is an Irish pianist, composer, producer and ethnomusicologist. He has pioneered a new style of Irish piano music in his recordings and has become a major figure in the Irish musical world linking the worlds of academia and performance.


Ó'Súilleabháin worked in the University College Cork (UCC) music department from 1975, where he founded the highly regarded traditional music program there. In 1994 he moved to become head of the music department at the new University of Limerick.
In addition to his own playing, he has produced the recordings of the three UCC traditional music festivals to date and has also produced albums for Nóirín Ní Riain, Liam O' Flynn, Paddy Glackin and others.
He has recently started the Hiberno-Jazz ensemble which aims to blend Irish, classical, jazz and 'world' music; it's first recording is due in the summer of 1994. He has also written the TV series about Irish music, called 'A River of Sound' first broadcast in early 1995.
In 1990 he was a visiting professor at Boston College, where he produced the Boston College Fiddle Festival, with a subsequent album 'My love is in America', and founded an Archive for Traditional Music in America.


1975  Micheal O Suilleabhain  Gael Linn CEF 046
1977  Oro Damhnaigh           Gael Linn 056
      (with Noirin Ni Riain)
1982  Cry of the Mountain     Gael Linn 079 
1987  The Dolphin's Way       Virgin/Venture 90651
1989  Oilean/Island           Virgin/Venture CDVE40
1990  Casadh/Turning          Virgin/Venture CDVE904
1992  Gaiseadh/Flowing        Virgin/Venture
      (with Irish Chamber Orchestra)
He has also contributed two tracks to the BBC/RTE program and album "Bringing it all back home" (both re-recordings of Oilean) and one to the "Lament" CD from Peter Gabriel's Real World label.

As producer:

1991? My Love is in America   Green Linnet 1110
All of Noirin Ni Riain's recordings and several others.

UCC festival recordings:
1991	Fiddlesticks	Nimbus
1992	Dear Old Erin's Isle	Nimbus
1993	Cape Breton Island	Nimbus
Albums from the 1994 (Irish traditional music from England) and 1995 (The 
Irish music diaspora) are also planned, on the Nimbus label.
The Dolphin's Way
One of my favourite albums, featuring his tight, percussive piano style giving a new twist to many well known traditional tunes. Guests include Matt Molloy on Flute and Colm Murphy on bones.
Micheál Ó'Súilleabháin
His first album from way back in 1975, playing a mix of solo keyboards, including piano, harpsichord, pedal organ/harmonium, clavichord and Moog synthesizer.
Oro Damhnaigh
Traditional music ensemble from Co. Waterford - Micheál with his wife Nóirín Ní Riain on vocals, Matt Fahy on flute, John Dwyer on fiddle, Tommy Kearney on pipes and Tomás Ó Catháin (of UCC and late of Na Filí) on whistle.
This is a mix of traditional tunes played with his characteristic style on piano, accompanied by (Mel Mercier?) traditional percussion, and more baroque-like pieces on harpsichord with chamber ensemble and traditional flute.
With the Irish Chamber Orchestra and trditional soloists such as Tony McMahon and Matt Molloy.

Copyright (c) 1995, Ceolas.

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