John McLachlan was born in Dublin and studied music at the DIT Conservatory of Music, the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Trinity College Dublin, where he majored in composition and gained a PhD in Musicology. He pursued further composition studies with Robert Hanson and Kevin Volans.
He has received commissions from RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, RTÉ lyric fm, Music Network, the National Concert Hall, and The Música Viva Festival (Portugal) among others. His works have been performed by many leading contemporary music groups and soloists, including ConTempo Quartet, Antipodes, Archaeus, Crash Ensemble, Chamber Choir Ireland, Vox21, Concorde, Trio Arbos, Sequenza, Pro Arte, David Adams, Darragh Morgan, John Feeley, Ian Pace, Satoko Inoue and Susanna Artzt.
His works have been performed in the USA, South Africa, Peru, Japan, Finland, Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Slovenia and around Ireland and have been broadcast on national radio stations in several European countries. He has represented Ireland in major festivals in Slovenia, Croatia, South Africa, Portugal and Peru and has featured in Irish concert series such as Horizons, Composers’ Choice and Mostly Modern. His music has been included on the following recordings: AIC CD 1, CMC’s Contemporary Music from Ireland Volumes 4 and 9, Irish Contemporary Organ Music (David Adams), Islands (John Feeley, guitar), Gothic (Mary Dullea, piano) and RIAM piano syllabus CDs.
He is also known as a broadcaster and writer on contemporary music, with publications in Ireland, Denmark, Britain, Austria and Germany.
John McLachlan is currently an administrator of the Irish Composition Summer School and former Executive Director of the Association of Irish Composers (1999-2012). He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists. He lives in Inishowen, Donegal, with his wife Helen and two sons.
Music has not changed all that much. It is still concerned with the balance between intelligence and imagination: the anchor of technique and the flight of expression. Getting that balance right while renewing both is the challenge we set ourselves.