Jane O’Leary

(b. 1946)
W.J. Barry Photography

I would like to think my music invites the listener into a special sound world that stirs the imagination and is full of colour and movement. It’s about shapes, sounds and textures, intermingling and creating their own resonant space..

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Jane O’Leary has been resident in Ireland since 1972. A founding member of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists, she is a graduate of Vassar College and holds a PhD in composition from Princeton University, where she studied with Milton Babbitt among others. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree by the National University of Ireland in 2007.

As artistic director and pianist of Concorde ensemble, Jane O’Leary has been nurturing the development of new music in Ireland and promoting its performance worldwide since 1976. She was a founding member of Music for Galway and also The Galway Music Residency.

O’Leary’s music has been selected on several occasions for performance at the ISCM World New Music Days and has been performed at prestigious international festivals and venues, including the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, NY; the Chicago Cultural Center; Kings Place, London; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; West Cork Chamber Music Festival. The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra featured her music on their debut tour of the USA in 2003.

Following international competition, her music has been selected for performance in New York at the MISE-EN Music Festival, Risuonanze in Udine (Italy), Encontro Internacional de Cordas, Limeira (S.P.) Brazil. Recent performances worldwide have also included Madrid, Hong Kong, Paris, New York, Denmark, Japan, Rome, Switzerland, California. She was the featured composer in the 2018-19 season of Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble, Belfast.

Ireland’s National Symphony Orchestra premiered Triptych, for string quartet and orchestra, in 2020 with Ligeti Quartet and Ryan McAdams, and unfolding soundscapes for piano and orchestra in 2022 with Finghin Collins and Kenneth Montgomery. Their recording of from sea-grey shores was released on the Navona label in 2021.

Recent recordings also include No. 19 with Wendy Case, violin (Blue Griffin Recording); Murmurs and Echoes with Carlos Cordeiro, clarinet and Dorothy Chan, piano (Petrichor); Silenzio della Terra with Anna Lisa Pisanu, flute and Filippo Lattanzi, percussion (DAD Records); beneath the dark blue waves with Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble (Diatribe); Sunshowers with Palomar Ensemble (ACM Chicago); and echoing voices with Iwona Glinka, alto flute (Phasma Music).