Brian Boydell was born in Dublin and educated at Cambridge University, the University of Heidelberg, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. In 1959 he was awarded the MusD degree of Dublin University. He was Professor of Music at Trinity College from 1962 to 1982 and was later a Fellow Emeritus of the college.
Brian Boydell was a founder member of the Music Association of Ireland and founder and director of the Dowland Consort. For more than twenty years he was conductor of the Dublin Orchestral Players and was frequently guest conductor with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. For some years he was a member of the Arts Council. The many honours he has received include an Hon. DMus from the National University of Ireland, Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana, and Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He was also a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists. His compositions, written for a wide variety of media, include four string quartets, a violin concerto, orchestral, chamber and choral works.
In the 1940s and early 1950s I was considered (in the Irish context) a very "modern" composer. Now, about forty years later, my music could possibly be considered rather old-fashioned. This is largely due to a firm belief in artistic honesty: creating sounds that I like personally and refusing to follow fashions that might be more acceptable to the critics of the time.