Alec O’Leary is one of the Ireland’s leading exponents of the guitar and has performed to international critical acclaim, winning praise for his impressive technique, outstanding musicianship and inspired programming.
Alec is co-founder and director of one of Europe’s most prestigious guitar festivals, the Guitar Festival of Ireland. Along with a busy performing schedule, festival commitments, and teaching posts Alec is equally dedicated to making guitars with his father, world-renowned Irish luthier Michael J O’Leary.
He began playing guitar at an early age taught by both his father and grandfather. Subsequently Alec went on to study with Irish virtuoso John Feeley at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama where he attained his Masters Degree in performance. During this time he received tuition from some of the world’s most distinguished musicians including Manuel Barreuco, Scott Tennant, Sergio Assad and Roland Dyens. Alec has also studied in Naples with Maestro Aniello Desiderio aided by the Arts Council of Ireland.
An active performer and arranger, winner of numerous guitar competitions, and author of ‘Exploring the patterns, figures and flowing ideas of Leo Brouwer’, Alec has commissioned many new works for guitar from some of its most celebrated composers such as Roland Dyens and Sergio Assad. He has also facilitated several major music projects including ‘Guitar Traditions’ seminar series in the Royal Irish Academy of Music with John Williams, Paco Pena & Pavel Steidl and Sony recording ‘Places Between’ with John Williams and John Etheridge.
As an enthusiastic chamber music advocate, Alec has performed with the RTÉ Contempo Quartet, Aspiro Choir, RTÉ Cór na nÓg, the National Symphony Orchestra and on a more permanent bases with soprano Deirdre Moynihan.
“Alec O’Leary’s guitar playing is never less than superb” – Classical Guitar Magazine, USA
“Easily one of Ireland’s most talented and accomplished classical guitarists” – Hotpress
“Alec is a highly accomplished guitarist with a very natural touch on the instrument. He has a refined and developed musical sensibility” ‐ John Feeley