Alec O’Leary was born with a guitar in his hands into a family of musicians and artists. Naturally his love for music grew with him from an early age. He was guided by his father and grand-father who played guitar in the style of Segovia and Bream. Subsequently he went on to study guitar at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama with Irish guitarist John Feeley. During this period Alec regularly travelled abroad for masterclasses with some of the world’s most distinguished musicians including Manuel Barreuco, Scott Tennant, Sergio Assad, Roberto Aussel and Roland Dyens. Alec has also studied in Naples with Maestro Aniello Desiderio aided by the Arts Council of Ireland.
As an active performer, arranger, educator and a committed concert promoter, 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 bespoke high-end guitars with his father, world-renowned luthier Michael J. O’Leary.
Alec has also commissioned many new works for guitar from some of the instrument’s most celebrated composers such as Leo Brouwer, Roland Dyens and Sergio Assad. He teaches guitar at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin, where he was appointed Guitar Lecturer in 2018.