Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin - Biography

Since penning his first piece in 1974 for the Clare Champion - an eyewitness account of the funeral of Galway accordion legend Joe Cooley - Dr. Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin has dedicated his career to promoting the preservation of Irish traditional music, folklife and culture.

Author, ethnomusicologist, anthropologist and fourth generation traditional musician native of County Clare on the west coast of Ireland, Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin is Smurfit-Stone Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-St Louis. He is the author of the highly respected A Pocket History of Irish Traditional Music (O'Brien Press, Dublin: 1998), now in its 4th edition, as well as numerous monographs on Irish music and folk culture, his work has been featured on PBS, NBC, ABC News, CBC Québec, TFN France, RTE, BBC and NPR. A consultant for several documentaries on Irish traditional music in Europe and North America, he is also a US correspondent for Raidió na Gaeltachta, Ireland's Irish language radio network.

A recognized authority on the cultural impact of the Great Irish Famine and its resulting diaspora, Ó hAllmhuráin received his doctorate in Social Anthropology and Ethnomusicology from the Queen's University of Belfast, where he worked with the renowned European ethnomusicologist, Professor John Blacking. A graduate of University College Cork and Trinity College Dublin, he holds postgraduate degrees from Queens University Belfast and Université de Toulon, France. He has taught courses at University College Cork (Ireland), Concordia University (Montreal), St. Francis Xavier University (Nova Scotia, Canada), the University of San Francisco, and the University Missouri-St Louis (USA). He also presents guest lectures, performances and seminars at universities all over Europe and North America.

As a professional musician, Gearóid has presented over one thousand concert performances on four continents during the past thirty years. He also holds five All-Ireland Championship music titles: as a concertina player, uilleann piper, and as a member of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, the oldest traditional dance band in Ireland.

Select Discography:

  • Traditional Music from Clare and Beyond (1996, Celtic Crossings)
  • Celtic Quilt - Kobialka (San Francisco Symphony with David Grisman and others: Li-Sem Enterprises, 1996)
  • Kilfenora Céilí Band (Produced by John Lynch and the Kilfenora Céilí Band (Ennis, Ireland: KCB)
  • Tracin' - Traditional Music from the West of Ireland (1999, Celtic Crossings)
  • The Independence Suite - Traditional Music from Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton (2004)
  • Paddy Murphy: In Good Hands (2007, Celtic Crossings)
  • Pierre Schryer / Mélange (2008, New Canadian Records)


The People:

Paddy Murphy

Peadar O'Loughlin

Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin

Tom Eustace

The Place:

Maps of Clare

Map of the Parish

The Music:

The World of Paddy Murphy

The Irish Concertina

Music News of the Time

Other Sites of Interest:

Celtic Crossings

Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin

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