- Seán Ó Riada
Infobox Musical artist
Name = Seán Ó Riada
Background = non_performing_personnel
Birth_name = John Reidy
Born = birth date|1931|8|1|mf=y
County Limerick, Ireland
Died = death date and age|1971|10|3|1931|8|1|mf=y
Seán Ó Riada (
August 1, 1931- October 3, 1971), born "John Reidy", was a composer and bandleader, and perhaps the single most influential figure in the renaissance of traditional Irish music from the 1960s, through his participation in Ceoltóirí Chualann, his compositions, his writings and his broadcasts on the topic.
Born John Reidy in
Adare, County Limerick, he was educated at St Finbar's College, Farranferris. He played the violin, piano and organ and studied classics at University College Cork, graduating in 1952. While there Ó Riada was the auditor of the UCC Philosophical Society. In the same year he became assistant director for Radio Éireann. He married Ruth Coughlan in 1953. During the evening he played piano with dance bands. In 1955 Ó Riada abandoned his prestigious job, his wife and his newborn son Peadar, and moved to Italyand France, adopting a wild bohemian lifestyle. While studying composition under Aloys Fleischmanhe wrote avant-garde music. He drank heavily, and acquired a passion for expensive fast cars. Over the next ten years Ó Riada wrote several orchestral pieces called "Nomos". The third was left incomplete and some of the others took years to finish. None of them were publicly performed more than once. Ruth went in pursuit of her husband and found him living in poverty in Paris. She persuaded relatives to give them money and brought him back to Ireland, where he became musical director of the Abbey Theatrein Dublinfor five years. At about this time he changed his name from John Reidy to Seán Ó Riada, after giving the subject much thought. A much more accurate (indeed the above account includes many fallacies) and detailed account of the early years is given in Dr. Tomás Ó Canainn's biography of Ó Riada.
As a classical composer Ó Riada's real strength was for music of the theatre and film. In 1959 he scored a documentary film by George Morrison called "
Mise Éire" ("I am Ireland"). It is about the founding of the Republic of Ireland. It has repeatedly been used in other documentaries and is available on CD, together with other film music - "Saoirse?" (1960) and "An Tine Bheo" ("The Living Fire"). The recording is conducted by Ó Riada himself. These works combine traditional Irish tunes and " sean-nós" (old style) songs with an orchestral arrangement. Ralph Vaughan Williamshad already done this sort of thing with English folk music, but in 1950s Ireland traditional music was still held in low regard by some elements of Irish society. His first attempt to combine Irish song with the classical tradition was in 1958 when an Irish radio station in Cork commissioned a short work. "Mise Éire" brought him national acclaim and allowed him to start a series of programmes on Irish radio called "Our Musical Heritage". Ó Riada told people that one should listen to sean-nós either as a child would listen or as if they were songs from India.
Between 1961 and 1969 Ó Riada was leader of a group called
Ceoltóirí Chualann. Although they played in concert halls dressed in a black suits with white shirts and black bow ties, they played traditional songs and tunes. An ordinary céilidh band or show-band would have musicians who competed with each other to grab the attention of the audience. Ceoltóirí Chualann played sparse lucid arrangements. Ó Riada sat in the middle at front playing bodhrán, a hand-held frame-drum. This was an instrument that had almost died out, being played only by small boys in street parades. Ceilidh bands generally had jazz-band drum-kits. Ó Riada also wanted to use the clarsachor wire-strung harpin the band, but as these were as yet unavailable, he played the harpsichordinstead - the nearest sound to a clarsach. The harpsichord he used on a regular basis was made by Cathal Gannon. Unknown to Ó Riada, Irish folk music was being played ensemble-style in Londonpubs, but for most people of Ireland this was the first time they heard these tunes played by a band. The membership of Ceoltóirí Chualann overlapped with membership of The Chieftains, so it is surprising that the six albums they recorded are not better known. They recorded the soundtrack of the film " Playboy of the Western World" (original play by John Millington Synge) in 1963. Their last public performance was in 1969, and issued as the album "Ó Riada Sa Gaiety".
In 1964 Ó Riada moved to _ga. Cúil Aodha ( _en.
Coolea) in West Cork, an Irish-speaking area. Ó Riada demanded that his wife learn to speak the language within three months. He established Cor Chúil Aodha, a male voice choir. He turned toward church choral music, including "Aifrean 2" (premiered posthumously in 1979). Other works include "Five Greek Epigrams" and "Holdlerin Songs". In 1996 Kate Bushrecorded the Peadar Ó Doirnín song "Mná na h-Éireann", made famous by Sean Ó Riada and Ceoltóirí Chualann, for the compilation album "Common Ground". "Mná na h-Éireann", performed by the Chieftains, is used as a romantic overture throughout the Stanley Kubrickmovie " Barry Lyndon". He did a setting of the poetry of Thomas Kinsella, who returned the favour by praising Ó Riada in verse. He became involved in Irish politicsand was a friend of several influential leaders. Ó Riada and Ruth both drank regularly at a local pub which still advertises itself as his being his local. He suffered cirrhosis of the liver. He was flown to King's College Hospital, Londonfor treatment and died there. He is buried in St Gobnait's church, Ballyvourney, County Cork. Willie Clancyplayed at his funeral.
Gaelscoilin Cill Coca ( Kilcock) - Scoil Uí Riada is also named after him and another, in Bishopstown, Cork Cityas well.
* Kinsella, Thomas & Ó Cannain, Tomas. "Our Musical Heritage", Dolmen Press, 1982 ISBN 0-85105-389-0
*Ó Canainn, Tomás. "Seán Ó Riada: His Life and Work", Collins Press, 2003.
Gannon, Charles: Cathal Gannon - The Life and Times of a Dublin Craftsman (Lilliput Press) [http://homepage.eircom.net/~cathalgannon]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Seán Ó Riada — Séan Ó Riada, sculpture en cuivre Nom John Reidy Naissance … Wikipédia en Français
Sean O'Riada — Seán Ó Riada (bürgerlich John Reidy; * 1. August 1931 in Adare, County Limerick; † 3. Oktober 1971 in London) war als Komponist und Bandleader die einflussreichste Persönlichkeit der Renaissance der traditionellen Irische Musik in den 1950er und… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Seán Ó Riada — (bürgerlich John Reidy; * 1. August 1931 in Adare, County Limerick; † 3. Oktober 1971 in London) war als Komponist und Bandleader eine einflussreiche Persönlichkeit der Renaissance der traditionellen irischen Musik in den 1950er und 60er Jahren,… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Seán Potts — Naissance 1930 Drimnagh (banlieue sud de Dublin) Pays d’origine Irlande Genre musical Musique traditionnelle … Wikipédia en Français
Sean Keane — Seán Keane (* 12. Juli 1946 in Dublin, Irland) ist ein irischer Geigenspieler. Keane wuchs in einer typischen Dubliner Musikerfamilie auf. Beide Eltern spielten die Geige und er lernte das Instrument schon seit seiner frühen Kindheit; an der… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Seán Keane (Geigenspieler) — Seán Keane (* 12. Juli 1946 in Dublin, Irland) ist ein irischer Geigenspieler. Keane wuchs in einer typischen Dubliner Musikerfamilie auf. Beide Eltern spielten die Geige und er lernte das Instrument schon seit seiner frühen Kindheit; an der… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sean Potts — is an Irish musician. He was a native of Drimnagh (suburb in South Dublin) and was born there in 1930. He is best known for his outstanding tin whistle playing and his duty with The Chieftains from 1962 to 1979. With The Chieftains Sean Potts was … Wikipedia
Sean Potts — Seán Potts (* 1930 in Dublin, Irland) ist ein irischer Flötenspieler. Seán Potts wurde in einer Musikerfamilie groß: sein Onkel war der berühmte Geiger Tommy Potts. Die Versuche der Familie, ihn für die Geige oder die Uillean Pipes zu begeistern … Deutsch Wikipedia
Seán Keane — (* 12. Juli 1946 in Dublin, Irland) ist ein irischer Geigenspieler. Keane wuchs in einer typischen Dubliner Musikerfamilie auf. Beide Eltern spielten Geige und er lernte das Instrument schon seit seiner frühen Kindheit; an der Dublin School of… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Seán Keane — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Keane. Seán Keane Naissance 12 janvier 1946 Dublin Pays d’origine … Wikipédia en Français