Cillian was born in Sligo and is a past student of the Sligo Academy of Music. His teachers were Niamh Crowley and Claire Horlar. From age 13 he studied viola with Austin MacManus. He was also a part of the orchestra and a string quartet while there.
Cillian continued his musical studies at Maynooth University, where he graduated with a double honours degree in Music and German. Here he studied viola with Sebastien Petiet, as well as learning about performance, music history, theory & harmony and composition. He was a member of the Maynooth University Orchestra during his studies, and preformed in their yearly concerts.
Cillian is also a member of the Sligo Baroque Orchestra and has preformed at several Informal Music Afternoons. He has taken part in the Sligo Jazz Project masterclasses with Oleg Ponomarev and Matthew Halpin, where he learned about improvisation and performing in a band setting. Since graduating from Maynooth in 2016, he has spent two years in Germany, primarily as an English teaching assistant, but where he also had the opportunity to help out in the schools’ music classes and orchestras.