He is a composer, pianist, teacher and author born in Cork, Ireland to ad Irish mother and Polish father who began learning the piano while very young and went on to take studies in composition with the Irish composer Aloys Fleischmann.
He has gone on to compose many different musical works that include the compositions Divertimentos I, II and II, Ritual Dance which was commissioned from the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Concerto for trumpet and concert band, Scherzo, Requiem which was commissioned by the Irish Youth Choir, Sonata for flute and piano which was commissioned by William Dowdall who is Principal Flute of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and I Sing of a Maiden along with several others.
Recordings his music has been performed on include From the Mountains Rising by the University of Calgary Wind Ensemble and Christmas From Saint Louis by Philip Barnes and the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus.
As an author he has written books and articles for journals and magazines such as Nikolai Myaskovsky: A Composer and His Times, Raymond Deane, Our Songs Are Our Laws – Music and the Republic, Parts 1 and 2, Music and Nationalism, Music and the Gaelic Revival and Alexander Dubuque and John Field: A Russian Memoir of the Irish Composer by One of His Students among others.
In the field of musical education he is a specialist in Russian and Soviet music and has held the post of Professor of Russian Cultural Studies and Music on the faculty of Durham University in England, which he first joined in 2006. In 2021 he became Director of Arts and Humanities at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University.