Irish born Peadar Townsend is a highly successful Composer, Arranger and Percussionist with over 25 years experience across a broad spectrum of Music genres. His works have been performed in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Mexico, the United States of America and China.
Peadar began his musical journey on the Violin aged 4 in his native Cork, Ireland moving to Percussion at 15. He continued his studies on Percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, U.K. obtaining both a BMus (hons) and Professional Performance Diploma. He holds a Masters degree in Contemporary Composition from the National University of Ireland in Maynooth as well as several diplomas in Music for Film and T.V. from Pulse College/UCLA (affiliated) in Dublin, where he studies with Hollywood composers such as Conrad Pope, Garry Schyman, Christopher Young, Robert Drasnin and Don Ray.
Peadar's compositional style comes from his immersion in so many genres of Music from Classical to Jazz, Rock music to T.V. and everything in between. His true passion, however, is Film music, where as he says himself 'the music assists what is on the screen, helping the viewer to better enjoy the whole experience'. Indeed it is this exact 'philosophy' that he employs in his own music, no matter what the style or ensemble is. Peadar creates music that engages the listener from the first note, encouraging them to use their own imagination to form their own 'story' in their mind.
Peadar has just finished writing, arranging and orchestrating a brand new Irish music show 'Celtic Spells', featuring Grammy award nominated Irish traditional music star Mairead Nesbitt (founder of 'Celtic Woman'), The show will tour the USA in 2023 and features new music as well as a host of favourites which Peadar has arranged in his unique style.
His most recent work for Solo Trumpet(s) and Orchestra was recorded for CD by the RTE Concert Orchestra in June of 2019 in Dublin. 'Postcards from Home' is a thrilling 20 minute work utilising several members of the Trumpet 'family'. Commissioned by Trumpeter William Palmer the work is a story of childhood memories, love and the passage of time......
In 2018 the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Torbay Music hub performed the world premiere of his 'Symphony for All' specially commissioned by the BSO for musicians of all ages and abilities. The unique work contained musical 'ideas' from school children which Peadar composed and arranged into a 'Symphony' played by over 400 musicians ranging from beginner to professional.
Peadar holds the unique honour of being the first living composer to have had a world premiere at the Menin Gate World War 1 memorial in Ypres, Belgium. 'Fanfares in Remembrance' for wind orchestra was commissioned by the Band of the Royal British Legion, Christchurch, U.K. for their invitational performance at the hallowed monument and the work has since been performed in several countries to mark the end of the Great War.
Internationally acclaimed virtuoso violinist and Sony recording artist Charlie Siem asked Peadar to arrange the main theme from the James Bond movie 'Moonraker' for his tour of China with the Czech National Orchestra in 2018. A theme very close to the soloists heart, Peadar's arrangement was warmly received by the audiences on the tour.
His Brass Ensemble work 'Celebration Fanfare' was commissioned by Bournemouth University to celebrate the opening of their new International College building in 2015.
Peadar's arrangements of some of Ireland's most loved traditional Airs 'She moved thro' the fair', 'My Lagan Love' and 'The Lark in the clear air' were performed to critical acclaim by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra with internationally acclaimed Irish soprano Celine Byrne.
He is the composer in residence for the 'Irish Chamber Ensemble' and as well as several arrangements and short works, his work 'Stargazing' dedicated to his late brother Finbarr received it's world premier in Germany in 2012. His Brass ensemble work 'Conversations' was commissioned and recorded by Dublin Brass for their inaugural CD in 2009.
Peadar has close ties with Youth Orchestras in Ireland and has written works for both the Cork Youth Orchestra and the Dublin Youth Orchestra.
As a Percussionist Peadar has an enviable C.V. in an equally wide ranging variety of musical ensembles. He has performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra (with whom he also performed the Richard Rodney Bennett Percussion Concerto in 1996), RTENSO, Ulster Orchestra and the Irish Chamber Orchestra as well as appearances as soloist and ensemble musician at the world renowned West Cork Chamber Music Festival. In the U.K. he has performed with the Bournemouth Symphony, Halle, BBC Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras. Further afield he has guest performed with the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretaagne in Rennes and the Varna Symphony in Bulgaria.
Away from the Orchestra Peadar has played on numerous West End shows including 'Jesus Christ Superstar', 'Miss Saigon' and 'Les Miserables' as well as on the world famous Irish hit show 'Riverdance'. Recently Peadar was percussionist on the World premiere performance of 'The Terminator' Live! in Lucerne, Switzerland. He will be part of a similar event in the Royal Albert Hall next October when the music for the blockbuster sci-fi movie 'Blade Runner' Live! will be premiered. He is the Percussionist for Irish Rock legends 'Aslan'.
Peadar is also a passionate music educator and has lectured and examined in some of the finest music schools in Ireland and the U.K. such as the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, the CIT Cork School of Music and Wells cathedral school. He continues his work with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's award winning Participate programme bringing the joy of music to communities and schools around the South West of the U.K.