A renowned Irish composer, Patrick Cassidy came into prominence with the release of the ‘Children of Lir’ (the setting of the great legend), the first major symphonic work written in the Irish language.
Recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Tallis Choir, it remained at number one in the Irish Classical Charts for over a year.
Notable scoring credits for Patrick include ‘Hannibal’, ‘Layer Cake’, ‘Veronica Guerin’, ‘King Arthur’, ‘Ashes and Snow’, ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, ‘The Front Line’, ‘L’Avatoire’, ‘Kill the Irishman’ and the award-winning feature film ‘Calvary’, starring Brendan Gleeson. ‘Calvary’ won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the Berlin International Film Festival 2014 and was nominated for a total of six awards at the Irish Film and Television Awards, including Best Original Score.
Patrick’s score was also nominated for Best Film Score at the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards 2015, Discovery of the Year at the World Soundtrack Awards 2014 and Public Choice Award, also at the World Soundtrack Awards.
In 2016 Patrick composed the score to ‘1916’, a three-part documentary series for the BBC, PBS and RTE, which has also been released as a feature film. It has brought the events of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland to a global audience, with narration by Liam Neeson.
Born in Claremorris, County Mayo, Patrick studied piano and harp from an early age. He developed a singular style of composition, involving lush melodies and layered orchestration. Distinguished by his emergence as Ireland’s most prominent composer, the BBC subsequently produced a documentary reflecting this seminal work.
After graduating from The University of Limerick with a Master’s in Applied Mathematics, Patrick released his debut album, ‘Cruit’ in 1988, which featured music by seventeenth and eighteenth century Irish Harpers arranged for Irish harp with a baroque ensemble. From this foundation, his epochal work ‘The Children of Lir’ emerged and as a result, Patrick was honoured with the Person of the Year award from the City of Limerick for his contribution to culture. Subsequently he was bestowed the Medal of Honour and Distinguished Alumni Award from his University.
‘Famine Remembrance’ was commissioned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Great Hunger in Ireland. It received its premiere on March 10, 1996 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, to a distinguished audience of politicians, dignitaries and celebrities. The accompanying narration was read by actress Angelica Huston. The work has been performed throughout the US, including several occasions where funds were raised for charity. In June 2007, ‘Famine Remembrance’ was performed at the opening of Toronto’s Ireland Park, location of the Irish Famine Memorial, with the President of Ireland Mary McAleese in attendance as a guest of honour.
Patrick composed the original music for the installation ‘Ashes and Snow’, which was created by photographer Gregory Colbert. To date, ‘Ashes and Snow’ has attracted more than 10 million visitors, making it the most attended exhibition by a living artist in history.
Patrick’s aria ‘Vide Cor Meum’ was originally intended as a mini opera for Ridley Scott’s film ‘Hannibal’. This aria has been presented at both the Oscar and Emmy Award ceremonies and ‘Vide Cor Meum’ has appeared in multiple top-ten lists and Essential Collections throughout the world, including Warner Classics’ CD of the ’40 Most Beautiful Arias’. Patrick Cassidy is the only living composer featured in this distinctive collection.
Patrick currently resides in Los Angeles, where in addition to his concert work and compositions, he scores and collaborates on film and documentary projects.