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Patrick Cassidy
Patrick Cassidy BSc ‘84
2007 Recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Culture/Arts Alumni Award
 
 
Born in Claremorris in Co. Mayo and raised in Shannon, Co. Clare, Patrick Cassidy BSc ‘85 was brought up speaking the Irish language in a family of ten children.
 
He studied Applied Maths at UL and following his graduation, worked as a statistician for leading market research firm ‘Irish Marketing Surveys' best known for their political opinion polls. Although he left IMS in 1989 to concentrate on music composition, Patrick continued as a consultant before leaving Ireland in 1999 to pursue his music career in Los Angeles.
 
Today, Patrick (46) is perhaps best known for his Narrative Cantatas - works he has written for Orchestra and Choir based on Irish Mythology. He is a self-taught composer whose first album ‘Cruit' (arrangements of 17th and 18th century Irish harp music with Patrick as the soloist) was released in 1989 on the Gael-Linn Label.
 
The Cassidy Family at the Awards evening supporting Patrick (centre) are(L-R) brother Frank, sister Edel, mother Kathleen and nephew Ronan.A year later, ‘The Children of Lir', a Cantata with libretto Irish, was premiered at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. It remained at number one in the Irish Classical Charts for a full year. It was the first Cantata ever written in the Irish language and the BBC produced an hour long documentary on the piece. It was recorded by the Tallis Choir and London Symphony Orchestra and released in 1993.
‘Famine Remembrance', a commissioned piece to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine was premiered in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York in 1996. A recording of the piece was released the following year as was ‘Deirdre of the Sorrows', another Cantata in the Irish language.
 
Patrick Cassidy is congratulated by ULAA Chairperson Dr Matthew Cannon and Gerry Reeves, Bank of Ireland (right) on the presentation of his Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts/Culture.Since moving to the U.S., Patrick has scored and collaborated on films and documentaries in addition to his concert work. Notable credits include ‘Hannibal', ‘Veronica Guerin', ‘Confessions of a Burning Man', ‘Salem's Lot', ‘King Arthur', ‘Layer Cake', ‘Che Guevara', ‘Ashes and Snow', ‘Kingdom of Heaven' and ‘The Front Line'. In 2004, ‘Immortal Memory' was released, a collaboration between Cassidy and Lisa Gerrard (who won a Golden Globe for ‘Gladiator').
 
The aria Cassidy wrote for the film ‘Hannibal' titled ‘Vide Cor Meum', was the only piece by a "living" composer on Warner Classics 2006 compilation ‘40 Most Beautiful Arias'.
 
In June 2007, ‘Famine Remembrance' was performed at the opening of Toronto's Ireland Park with the President of Ireland as special guest.  This year, Patrick also completed his new work, a large scale setting of the Mass in Latin.
 
Patrick Cassidy's contribution to music, arts and culture has been immense.
 
The above text is an extract from the 2007 UL Alumni Awards Souvenir Booklet.
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