Aloys Fleischmann (1910-1992), Irish composer, conductor, scholar, organiser, professor of music and Freeman of the city of
Cork , was of German stock and became more Irish than many of the Irish themselves. His grandfather, a church musician, settled in
Cork in 1879; his mother was born there, studied the piano in
Munich , married another German church musician, who came to
Cork with her to work in
Cork ’s North Cathedral for fifty-five years. The Fleischmanns were friends with people active in the Gaelic cultural movement such as Terence MacSwiney, Daniel Corkery and Carl Hardebeck; their son grew up imbued with their veneration for the Irish heritage. He became a fluent Irish speaker; he spent thirty years researching Irish traditional music; as a composer he sought to develop a form of art music building on the folk legacy in combination with European music. He worked all his life to have children given access to the arts in all schools; he founded an orchestra and an international Choral Festival to provide incentives for active music-making in university and city.
The contribution of this immigrant musician family to the cultural life of their adopted country was acknowledged by city and state during 2010 with a year of celebration organised under the auspices of Cork City Council, which was opened by the President of Ireland.
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