CV Peadar Ó Riada

PeadarPeadar Ó Riada.ORIADA_Crest2012_COL1

   Born December 1954,

Resides at family home 'An Draighean', Cúil Aodha, Ireland.

B.mus. graduate from University College Cork(1976)

General Biography Composer, musician and choir director, his other interests include film directing and production, bee-keeping, painting, writing, Alternative medicine, culture and traditions of different peoples and history. Believes in the culture of the individual rather than the culture of the masses. Married to Geraldine Moloney of Gleandraoi, Co Clare – they have four children.

  • Director Cór Cúil Aodha since 1971.

  • Graduated UCC BMus in 1976. Spent a few years as teacher, Co-op manager, Festival director, Commercial beekeeper, broadcaster and educator.

  • He has lived his life in Cuil Aodha near the Cork-Kerry border where he raised his family.

  • He founded the traditional University Acadamh Fódhla in 2000,

  • The Irish Cultural trust Iontaoibheas Fódhla in 1999,

  • The international festival “Féile na Laoch” commemorating Seán Ó Riada (which runs on a seven year cycle) in 2011 & 2018.

His life’s work is his music.

  • Joined Cór Cúil Aodha 1964 and

  • Director since September 1971,

  • He founded the all female choir Cór Ban Cúil Aodha in 1986,

  • The traditional Irish group Triúr (with Martin Hayes and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh) in 2008,

  • The traditional group The Drôle (with John Kelly and Eamon McGivney) in 2013

  • Continuing Traditions in 2014. (with Wajahat Khan)

  • He has been taking his father, Seán Ó Riada’s, place at the keyboards and directing Ceoltóirí Chualann since 1971 on their rare public appearences.

  • He regularly performs with Seán Ó Sé as a duet.

  • He presents a 2 hour traditional Irish Music program Cuireadh Chun Ceoil on RnaG Radio every Friday incorporating the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition Bonn Óir Seán Ó Riada

His orchestral work includes:

  • Concerto for pipes,

  • song cycles and

  • choral work:

  • He has composed extensively for Cór Cúil Aodha and has accumulated a large body of liturgical and secular works in the idiom of Male Voiced Choir in the Irish traditional idiom.

  • His compositions for Female choir are polyphonic and include several large works as well as choral arrangements for traditional Irish songs.

  • His body of traditional Irish Dance music compositions has made its way into the main stream of Irish music and are recorded by many artists in this genre.

  • There is music for films, theatre plays, events, mini operas, solo piano, organ and harpsichord compositions and recordings and experimental works with found sound and electronics.

  • Poem Settings for voice and piano/organ for poets Terence Mac Swiney, Pádraig Mac Piarais, Seamus Heaney, Liam O Muirthile, Fr Donal A Ó Suilleabháin, Donal O Liatháin, Dubhglas de hÍde.

  • Continuing Traditions research and work came to fruition and public performance with Concerts in Baile Mhuirne and Galway and now available to tour.


  • (1979)       (Gael-Linn.."Aifreann 2" ) CEF 081  csstt CEFC 081

  • (1978)       (Gael-Linn .."Ceol is Cibeal Chúil Aodha) CEF 074

  • (1987)       ("Go mBeanaíotar duit" Gael Linn)  CEF 125  CefC 125. (Album of newly composed liturgical monodic Choral music)

  • (1988)       (Séamuisín is a tape of music and stories.  + childrens Book

  • (1994)       "Amidst these hills"     (Bar-None,USA)  (Newly composed material -Solo Album multi instrumental, vocal and choir)

  • (1996)       "Winds, gentle - whisper"    (Bar-None,USA) (Newly composed material -Solo Album multi instrumental, vocal and choir)

  • (1991 – 1998) - Films:

  • (Dir.)        "Fead a' tSeabhaic" and “Doire 'n Chuiling"

  • Dir.        "Gaoltacht go Gaeilge", "Omós don Sulán", (2 Half hour doc. films) “Cabhair”, "An Tuar Solais", "An Misiúnaí" and "Ridire Shráid a'Mhuilinn" (4 half hour tv docs.)

  • Producer of series "Ceol na talamhan" ("Song of the earth" 13 half hour film docs.  and 4 x 1 hour 1996/98) “Fead an Iolair” (The eagles Whistle - Scottish Co-production 1998/99.)

  • 2003          Coineadh Airt Uí Laoighre  - Cór Ban Cuil Aodha

  • 2008           Ó Cúm Thóla go Cuil Aodha  - Duet with Seán Ó Sé (Voice & Piano)

  • 2010          Triúr sa Draighean POR010

  • 2010          Laoi na Laoithe  - Cór Ban Cúil Aodha POR 011  (Polyphonic Choral work based on complete text of Psalm of Psalms (60 minutes)

  • 2012           Triúr Arís

  • 2012           Naomh Gobnait – Cór Cuil Aodha (Album of newly composed liturgical monodic Choral music)

  • 2013           Triúr ‘Omós’

  • 2013           “A few Tunes for our friends”  - The Drôle

  • 2013           An Móinfhéar Garbh – Acadamh Fodhla

  • 2014           Through Banks of Mist – Duet with Seán Ó Sé (Voice & Piano)

  • 2016           Peadar on Piano -  Solo double piano album new matierial

  • 2016           Onóir-Commemorative 1916 album with new music for Téada/Cór Cúil Aodha/Cór Ban Cúil Aodha/Mick O Brien/Oisín Morrison/Peadar Ó Riada (Published Gael Linn)

  • 2016           Buail do Phoc is Liúigh - Danny Maidhcí Ó Suilleabháin double album of Múscraí songs Gaeilge/Béarla

  • 2017           An Cruiscín Lán - Double Album Johnny Ó Liatháin  of Múscraí songs Gaelge/Béarla

  • 2018          Ceantar Glas Mhúscraí - double Album songs Máire Ní Chéilleachair Gaeilge/Béarla (Múscraí & Cork mostly)

Various compilation, collaborative and celebratory recordings include:

  • (1991) Bringing it all back home Music from the BBC TV series

  • Palm d’Or radio entry sound poem on the Irish Famine for RTE telling the story of the Irish Famine.  Incorporating original music, music from Sean Ó Riada archives and original music in collaboration with Christy Moore.

  • Travelog West Cork Tourism – Sound track

  • Electronic

Music for plays:

  • Good Evening Mr Collins with Tom McIntyre

  • My Silver Bird with Patrick Galvin

  • Aoife (radio play) with Seán Lucy

Film Soundtracks for AnuPictures (Director Dónal O Ceilelachair)

  • Dreamtime on the work of Irish Philosopher John Moriarty

  • Aisling Gheal

  • Omós don Sulán

  • Requiem for a Civilization on the life of Irish philosopher, politician and writer Noel Brown (Directed Frank Stapleton) (1991)

  • Ballyseedy  (Orchestral score for RTE film on the Ballyseedy atrocity)

  • Dreamtime Revisited  (Film- the Work of John Moriarty by D. O Ceilleachair)

  • Ag Cuardach Crot  (A film on the group Triúr by D. O Ceilleachair)

  • Ó Chúil Aodha go hÓileán Í (2013) (Film on the trip to Oileán Ídhe by D. O Ceilleachair)

  • Áiliu Iath n-Érend (2016)  (2016 commemorative film by D. O Ceilleachair

His writings include:

  • “Amhránaíocht Dúchas na nGael” -a major work in Irish explaining the structure and composition of what is called ‘Sean Nós’ or the old indigenous Irish form of singing which he maintains is so developed as to be considered classical but now nearly extinct.

  • “Scéalta Shéamuis” A series of children's books in both Irish and English who’s purpose is to instill fundamentals and values of Irish culture to children as they grow up and as a counter balance to imported Western culture which is all-pervasive through modern day media.  Book one was published along with a recording of Peadar reading the stories, each interspersed with sound tracks suitable for three year olds at bedtime drifting of to sleep.  Book two is ready for press and the eventual series is to extend to thirteen and they would encompass all aspects of live as a child grows to adulthood.  The intention is to introduce indigenous values and attitudes based on such elements as charitable and noble interaction as well as value for emotions and aspirations rather then say the physical acquisitions or materialism of Western Culture. They are intended to mirror the years three to sixteen in a growing child.

  • Various lectures and talks for public gatherings or radio including:

  • The relationship between Irish and Indian Music (Radio Eireann and Goethe Institute ‘70s)

  • “Aspects of Irish Music” (Seán Ó Riada lecture published 2011)

  • The importance of understanding the fundamentals of a civilization before describing it”  UNESCO conference Baghdad 1991 (Babylonian Festival)

  • “The importance of culture in constructing a nation” UNESCO conference in Bratislava 19 (During break up of Check Republic)

  • Various grave side orations or commemorative talks and lectures and speeches opening festivals and events.

  • Various poems and agalaimh beirte and contributions to commemorative publications.

  • Autobiography to be published 2019

Awards include:

  • West Cork person of the year in 1979

  • “Skibbereen Eagle” – 1980 (Music and culture)

  • Italian Grand Prix radio 1998 (RTE won the award)

  • Gradam Ceoil TG4 Composer 2008

  • Gradam an Oireachtais 2011

  • Francie Mooney 2013

  • Increasingly in recent years, his work has become the subject of dissertations and theses, most notably Dr John O'Keeffe's  "The Masses of Sean and Peadar Ó Riada - Explorations in Vernacular Chant"

Recording producer for:

  • The Trooper  solo LP Johnny Leary Sliabh Luachra 198

  • Patrick Cassidy harp LP 198

  • Seán Ó Riada Retrospective recordings 1987

  • Peaití Thaidhg Pheig

  • Eamon McGivney solo cd 2014

  • Mary MacNamara solo cd 2014

  • Danny Maidhcí O Suilleabháin 2016

  • Johnny Ó Liatháin 2017

  • Máire Ni Chéilleachair 2018

Various Projects founded include:

  • The founding of Iontaoibheas Fódhla – a charitable trust to further all aspects of the Náisiún Gaelach or Gaelic Nation which he sees as a great nation scattered all over he world who’s homeland is Ireland and Scotland.  This is the Trust which has instigated or backed such as Oireachtas na Gaeilge in Cork in 2005 and 2008, Féile na Laoch, The Maoiri visit to Ireland in 2012, Weekends of Philosophy with such as John Moriarty or Desmond Fennel, The annual Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition etc.

  • Féile na Laoch  to commemorate the life and work of Seán Ó Riada.  Held every seven years and encompassing many aspects of Irish life and culture, past present and future. Next Festival to start at noon, Mayday, 2025.

  • Acadamh Fódhla which is an indigenous University or Academy of Learning which is constantly searching out knowledge and researching Irish indigenous culture.  It’s methods are quite different to Western methods and it has four schools – Indigenous Gaelic singing, Land Knowledge (including archeology, astronomy, herbology, agriculture, and other less regular subjects) School of History and School of Energy.

  • Droichead na nGael – an ongoing project to bridge the two wings of the Gaelic Nation – Ireland and Scotland.  The first official function was held in Iona in 2013 attended By President Higgins of Ireland and Government Ministers Fiona Hyslop and Michael Russell on behalf of the Scotland.  Each end of the Nation was represented by a poet, a singer, a historian and an indigenous choir and six representatives of the various churches and religious communities.

  • Building a Monastery in Cúil Aodha (ongoing)

  • Various ‘curamaí’ with indigenous peoples from America, Australia and New Zealand.

  He occasionally takes part in art exhibitions with amateur paintings in oils. He serves as chairman on various local voluntary committees and bodies.