Fifteen essays explore the life of an unparalleled figure in the musical and cultural life of twentieth-century Ireland.
Brian Boydell (1917–2000) was one of twentieth-century Ireland’s leading composers and something of a Renaissance man to boot. He became a household name not only for his music and outspoken support of the expansion of Irish cultural identity, but for the many hats he wore as a broadcaster, professor, performer, and long-term member of Ireland’s Arts Council. The recent centenary of his birth stimulated fresh interest in Boydell’s many compositions and his role as a multidimensional figure in Ireland’s musical and cultural life. The fifteen essays collected here focus both on his music—from his earliest orchestral works to his pioneering compositions for Irish and concert harp—and on his more varied contributions, including his musicological research, his involvement as a founding member of the Music Association of Ireland, his professorship at Trinity College Dublin, and his radio career. Creative Impulses, Cultural Accents also draws on Boydell’s private papers to illuminate little-known corners of his life, like his interest in painting. This essay collection is a celebratory salutation to an entirely fascinating figure who contributed immensely to the cultural evolution of a modern nation.
About the Author
Barra Boydell, the son of Brian Boydell, is coeditor of The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, also published by University College Dublin Press.
Barbara Dignam is assistant professor of music in the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music at Dublin City University.