Composition is an attempt to grasp and give expressive form to the fleeting inner images of the imagination. My compositions are concerned with movement and stillness; with explosive energy and reflective lyricism; with the play of sound and time.
John Buckley was born in Templeglantine, Co. Limerick. He studied flute with Doris Keogh and composition with James Wilson, Alun Hoddinott and John Cage. His output includes many commissions for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, choirs, bands and orchestra. His music has been widely performed and broadcast in Ireland and in over forty countries worldwide. He has represented Ireland at the International Rostrum of Composers on five occasions and at the 1990 Prix Italia. His music has also been performed at three ISCM festivals.
He has also been successful as a film composer, in particular with his score for ‘The Woman who Married Clark Gable’. His first opera ‘The Words upon the Window Pane’ was premiered at the 1991 Dublin Theatre Festival. Other large-scale works include an organ concerto (1992); the cantata ‘De Profundis’ (1993), ‘Rivers of Paradise’ (1993) for speakers and orchestra; the Maynooth Te Deum (1995); a saxophone concerto (1997); ‘A Mirror into the Light’ for Camerata Ireland (1999); and a bassoon concerto (2001) for Michael Jones and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.
Awards include the Varming Prize (1976), the Macaulay Fellowship (1978), the Arts Council’s Composers’ Bursary (1982) and the Marten Toonder Award (1991). A frequent broadcastor on RTÉ Lyric FM, he has presented a popular series of music education programmes, ABC Sharp. He also lecturers in composition and is on the staff of St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra. He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists. His music has been recorded on the Altarus, Marco Polo, Black Box and Anew labels.