Influential voice - Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

If a culture is to grow, if a musical tradition is to be as robust and as enduring as it might be, it needs active champions in the greater community and in academia. Pianist, composer and teacher Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, who died after a long illness yesterday aged 67, was both.

Too young to be in the vanguard of the 1960s revival, he made a significant contribution to consolidating the new-found acceptance of — and worldwide enthusiasm for — Irish music. 

A lecturer at UCC in the 1970s he went on to help establish the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. 

Through that work, he established formal structures for the study of our music, and other countries, that may not have been available to earlier generations. That facility makes a valuable contribution to building Ireland’s cultural image and presence, as students from more than 50 countries have passed through its doors.

Ó Súilleabháin was also a greatly admired interpreter of traditional tunes. His 1987 recording, The Dolphin’s Way, was hugely influential and remains so to this day.


More in this Section

‘Telling it like it is’ appeals to the middle-aged man of few words

Readers' Blog: Government must act on global crisis for wildlife

Challenging journey to an essential end - Move ring-fences jobs for women

Control access to save nature - Visitor numbers now a threat


Breaking Stories

Four home remedies that can soothe a seasonal sore throat

I’m A Celebrity: As contestants land in Oz – these are the 10 emotional stages of a long haul flight

Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora: All the best looks from the E! People’s Choice Awards

Alcohol Awareness Week: How to talk to your children about alcohol

More From The Irish Examiner