Jane O’Leary was born in Hartford, Connecticut (1946) and has lived in Ireland since 1972. She holds a Ph.D. in composition from Princeton University and completed a B.A. at Vassar College. She has been a leading figure in the promotion, performance and composition of new music in Ireland. As artistic director and pianist of Ireland’s new music ensemble Concorde since 1976, she has performed numerous premieres throughout Europe and presented new music in most European capitals, Eastern Europe, America, and throughout Ireland. A member of the Arts Council from 1998-2003, she has also served as Chairman of the Contemporary Music Centre and has been a member of the Board of the National Concert Hall. She was Composer-in-Residence at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin from 2000-2003 and is currently teaching composition at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. In June 2007 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music Degree by the National University of Ireland.
O’Leary’s music has been featured in programmes on RTE lyric fm and the Dutch radio station VARA, where she was Composer of the Week. Her music has been performed at festivals and venues throughout Europe and the USA, at the ISCM World Music Days, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Lincoln Center, N.Y. The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra selected her composition From Sea-Grey Shores for performance on their debut American tour in 2003.
While featured on numerous compilation CDs both as a performer and a composer, a CD of music by O’Leary was released on the Capstone label in 2007, ‘In the Stillness of Time.’
Her music has been performed by the RTÉ Vanbrugh String Quartet, the Paul Klee String Quartet (Venice), ConTempo String Quartet, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau, Romania, pianists John O’Conor, Rolf Hind and Robert Taub, instrumentalists Garth Knox, Harry Sparnaay, Paul Roe, John Feeley and many more. In 2007 she completed a commission for the group Accessible Contemporary Music in Chicago as part of their Composer Alive! project with a premiere at the Chicago Cultural Center.
As a director of Music for Galway and Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, she is also deeply commited to the development of music in the West of Ireland.
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