Profile: Micheál Ó'Súilleabháin
Micheál Ó'Súilleabháin is an Irish pianist, composer,
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.
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
- Oro Damhnaigh
Traditional music ensemble from Co. Waterford - Micheál with his wife
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
With the Irish Chamber Orchestra and trditional soloists such as Tony McMahon
and Matt Molloy.
Copyright (c) 1995, Ceolas.
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