Micheál Ó Súilleabháin was born and grew up in Clonmel where his parents were in business. He began to take piano lessons at the age of 10 and by age 13 he was a member of a local rock band. His interest in classical music was stirred at around the age of 16 by his music teacher and by his parents’ interest. He would listen to composer Brian Boydell on radio regularly, as he discussed his work in contemporary classical music. He studied music at UCC where he had a great introduction to traditional music, and following his graduation with a B.Mus. degree, he studied for a master’s degree in 1973. While he was a student at UCC, Professor Fleischmann was very impressed with his work on composition. Micheál Ó Súilleabháin taught music in Clonmel VEC, where he formed a strong orchestra and a chamber choir, before teaching in Dungarvan for one year and then returning to teach at UCC. Professor Fleischmann asked him to assist him in his major work on Irish traditional music sources and on the Professor’s death, he continued this work, publishing it in 1998. In 1994 he took up the position of head of the World Academy of Music and Dance in the University of Limerick, and he discusses his reasons for taking up this post.