The death has been announced of the composer and former head of music at RTÉ, John Kinsella.

Born in Dublin in 1932, John Kinsella composed eleven symphonies, concertos and many solo and chamber works.

He was commissioned by, among others, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin International Piano Competition and The Arts Council of Wales.

He resigned his position as head of music in RTE in 1988 to devote his time fully to composition.

John Kinsella was a member of Aosdána and a recipient of the Marten Toonder award. In 2019, he received the National Concert Hall LIfetime Achievement Award.

His works were recorded by the Chandos, Naxos, RTÉ lyric fm and Irish Chamber Orchestra labels.

The RTE National Symphony Orchestra paid tribute to John Kinsella, saying the orchestra enjoyed a long and close association with John over many years, both as a composer and during his time in RTÉ, particularly in his role as Head of Music.

The RTÉ NSO had the great pleasure of working closely with John on many occasions on many of his works, most recently the world premiere of his 11th Symphony in November 2019, a joyous occasion which also saw John being honoured with the National Concert Hall Lifetime Achievement Award. Before that, many, many happy times including the first performances of six of his symphonies, of Cúchulainn and Ferdia – Duel and the Ford (written to mark the 60th anniversary of the orchestra in 2008), and the recording of John Kinsella: Orchestral Works, released on the RTÉ lyric fm label ahead of John's 80th birthday in 2012. John’s contribution to musical life in Ireland was immense. We will miss him greatly. Our deepest sympathies to his wife Thérèse and to all his family. May he rest in peace.