President Michael D. Higgins has led tributes to the Irish musician and composer Micheál O’Suilleabháin who has died at the age of 67.
President Higgins the lifetime work of Micheál O’Suilleabháin “will forever be enjoyed by countless people celebrating his humour, his fearless sense of exploration and his talent for harmony, joy and mobilising the peerless power of music”.
Professor O’Suilleabháin’s passion for music was a lifetime thing and when he started piano lessons in his native Clonmel at the age of six his talent was exposed and form there it flourished. He studied music in University College Cork under the Irish composer Seán O’Riada and later received his PhD at Queens University in Belfast. Through all of his endeavours his aim was to bring traditional Irish music into the world of academia. His ability to fuse classical music with Irish traditional music ensured his music was enjoyed by many generations at once.
Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Limerick, O’Suilleabháin founded and chaired the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the university. Following the announcement of his death, President of University of Limerick Dr. Des Fitzgerald tweeted about Micheál O’Suilleabháin expressing “enormous sadness”
It is with enormous sadness that the family of Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Emeritus Professor and founder/Director of the @UL Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, has announced his death.
Ar Dheis Dé go Raibh Sé pic.twitter.com/zC2PvVtVui
— Dr Des Fitzgerald (@ULPresident) November 8, 2018
O’Suilleabháin “has realised further generations of artistic talent in Ireland” according to Josepha Madigan T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. She went on to praise the “significant role” he played as the first chair of Culture Ireland.
This is Micheál O’Suilleabháin and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra performing at IFTA in 2011 – Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam