Patrick McCormack was born in Limerick in 1934. After his retirement from music teaching at the Limerick School of Music, during which time he mainly composed choral music, he received a PhD from the Waterford Institute of Technology, under the supervision of Dr. Eric Sweeney.
His main interest lies in the compositional styles of composers who were active from the early 1900s to the present time, especially Schoenberg, Messiaen and Lutoslawski. Although styles and structures of music from this era are heterogeneous, and as a result difficult to identify, elements of a more traditional style are to be found in many of his compositions. His works also explore tempo variations, containing slow and fast exchange between sections. He writes for live acoustic performance, rather than electronic sound.
To date, his compositions comprise a wide variety of works, including pieces for instrumental solo performance and music for instrumental combinations of varied ensembles and full orchestral scores.