The prolific Irish composer Thomas Joseph Gerard Victory is born in Dublin on December 24, 1921. He writes over two hundred works across many genres and styles, including tonal, serial, aleatoric and electroacoustic music.
Victory is the son of shop keeper Thomas Victory and his wife, Delia (née Irwin). After schooling, he reads Celtic Studies at University College Dublin and Music at Trinity College Dublin, earning a doctorate in 1972.
In April 1948 Victory marries Geraldine Herity and they have five children: Alma, Fiona, Isolde, Raymond, and Alan.
In terms of composition, Victory is mostly self-taught, although he receives some formal training from John Francis Larchet, Alan Rawsthorne and Walter Beckett. He also attends the “International Summer Courses for New Music” in Darmstadt, Germany.
In 1948 he is joint composer of music for a song in a play by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy called Light Falling. This is performed by the Abbey Experimental Theatre Company in the Peacock Theatre, Dublin.
Victory’s career is primarily in music administration, serving as Director of Music for Ireland’s national broadcasting station RTÉ from 1967 to 1982. He is a president of UNESCO‘s International Rostrum of Composers, a Fellow of the Royal Irish Academy of Music and a recipient of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Gerard Victory Commission is a prize named in his honour that is awarded to the most promising individual composer.
Gerard Victory dies in Dublin on March 14, 1995. His papers are held in Trinity College and a number of his scores are held at the Contemporary Music Centre.