This website is dedicated to providing resources and information relating to the Irish composer Arthur Duff.

Arthur Duff was a convivial Dubliner and a most distinguished Irish composer, conductor and musician. He composed small-scale instrumental pieces, songs and arranged many Irish tunes. He had the friendship of musicians like E.J. Moeran, Sir Hamilton Harty and Arnold Bax. At the age of twenty-four he became the first Irish-born bandmaster to hold commissioned rank in the Irish Free State Army. Later he was to attain the position of Assistant Music Director in Radio Éireann where he gained the respect and affection of every distinguished artist who visited Ireland during that time.

He also had a deep love for the theatre. He was a writer of ballets, an author and a playwright. His own play 'Cadenza in Black' written for stage, was later adapted for radio. He wrote incidental music to plays by W.B. Yeats, Austin Clarke and Denis Johnston as well as his own complete ballet, 'The Drinking Horn'. Irish writers such as F.R. Higgins, Seamus O'Sullivan, Patrick MacDonagh and other members of the Arts Club had close connections with Duff. His literary approach to music and his interest in ballets and plays were to help in some way the development of the Irish literary revival.

Included on the site are a biography, a chronology, some related broadcasts, a selection of obituaries, a list of his music, some photographs and other relevant information. You will also find some interesting links to other related websites. These are designed to provide a small-scale authoritative introduction to his life and music. A mailing list has been set up where you can give and receive information and news about Arthur Duff.

I hope you find this website interesting. If you have any comments please email Evin O'Meara



"He was content to leave unexplored the impressive intricacies of the symphony, refusing the flamboyance of modern chromaticism, and he composed usually in a vein of gentle, poetic melancholy, which was unerringly shaped to give every note its right and unalterable value."

Rhoda Coghill

Updated October 2009

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