Bodley, SeÓirse, Irish composer, teacher, conductor, and pianist; b. Dublin, April 4, 1933. He studied in Dublin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and at Univ. Coll. (B.M., 1955). Following training in Stuttgart (1957–59) with J.N. David (composition), Alfred Kreutz (piano), and Hans Müller–Kray (conducting), he returned to Dublin and took his D.Mus. at Univ. Coll. (1960). In 1959 he joined its faculty, where he also conducted its chorus and orch., and founded its electro–acoustic studio. He appeared as a conductor with other Dublin ensembles, introducing many works to the city. His 2nd Sym., Ceol, inaugurated the National Concert Hall in Dublin on Sept. 9, 1981. Bodley was founding chairman of the Folk Music Soc. of Ireland and of the Assn. of Irish Composers. In 1982 he was made a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s official body of distinguished artists. While Bodley has composed a number of works in which traditional Irish music is discernable, he has also written scores in an avant–garde mode, including serial techniques and novel instrumental combinations.
orch.:Music for Strings (Dublin, Dec. 10, 1952); 5 syms.: No. 1 (1958–59; Dublin, Oct. 23, 1960), No. 2, I Have Loved the Lands of Ireland (1980; Dublin, Jan. 9, 1981), No. 3, Ceol, for Soprano, Mezzo–soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Semi–chorus, Children’s Chorus, Orch., Speaker, and Audience (1980; Dublin, Sept. 9, 1981), No. 4 (1990–91; Parma, June 21, 1991), and No. 5, The Limerick (Limerick, Oct. 4, 1991); Divertimento for Strings (1961; Dublin, June 15, 1992); 2 chamber syms.: No. 1 (Paris, 1964, composer conducting) and No. 2 (Dublin, June 17, 1982, composer conducting); Configurations (1967; Dublin, Jan. 29, 1969); A Small White Cloud Drifts Over Ireland (1975; Dublin, Jan. 5, 1976); Sinfonietta (1999). chamber: 2 string quartets: No. 1 (1968; Dublin, Jan. 6, 1969) and No. 2 (1992; Dublin, May 21, 1993); September Preludes for Flute and Piano (1973; Dublin, Jan. 7, 1974); Celebration Music for 3 Trumpets and String Quartet (Dublin, Nov. 11, 1983; also for 3 Trumpets and String Orch.); Trio for Flute, Violin, and Piano (Dublin, July 6, 1986); Phantasms for Flute, Clarinet, Harp, and Cello (Dublin, Oct. 27, 1989); Brass Quintet (1995). pi ano :The Narrow Road to the Deep North for 2 Pianos (Belfast, Feb. 17, 1972); Aislingi (Kilkenny, Aug. 29, 1977); News from Donábate (1999). vocal:An Bás is an Bheatha (Life and Death), song cycle for Chorus (1960; Dublin, Jan. 21, 1961); Never to have lived is best, song cycle for Soprano and Orch. (Dublin, June 11, 1965); Ariel’s Songs for Soprano and Piano (1969; Dublin, Jan. 7, 1970); Meditations on Lines from Patrick Kavanagh for Alto and Orch. (1971; Dublin, June 30, 1972); A Chill Wind for Chorus (1977; Dublin, Jan. 12, 1978); A Girl, song cycle for Mezzo–soprano and Piano (Dublin, Oct. 17, 1978); The Radiant Moment for Chorus (Cork, April 26, 1979); A Concert Mass for Soprano, Mezzo–soprano, Tenor, Bass, Chorus, and String Orch. (1984; Dublin, May 4, 1990, composer conducting); The Naked Flame for Mezzo–soprano or Baritone and Piano (1987; Dublin, April 7, 1988); Carta Irlandesa (New from Ireland) for Mezzo–soprano or Baritone and Piano (Sligo, Sept. 4, 1988, composer pianist); Fraw Musica for Mezzo–soprano, Chorus, Flute, Bassoon, Organ, and Orch. (Torgau, Germany, Oct. 5, 1996); Pax Bellumque for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (1997). electroacoustic:The Banshee for Soprano, Mezzo–soprano, Tenor, Bass, and Electronics (Belfast, April 25, 1983).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire