Michael O'Toole is one of the leading figures in the Irish guitar scene today. He has given many memorable solo recitals and also contributed significantly to the development of the instrument as Artistic Director of both The Waltons International Guitar Festival and The Chord Ennis International Music Festival. Michael also currently has the honour of being a director of the prestigious 'Kilkenny Arts Festival'. He has performed extensively at home and abroad and on national radio and television, including a live broadcast on 'WFMU America' and a live broadcast of Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez on Lyric FM with the RTE Concert Orchestra.
His commitment to contemporary music and to the expansion of the guitar repertoire has led him to work with prominent Irish composers such as Eric Sweeney, Jerome de Bromhead, David Fennessy and Ian Wilson as well as international composer's such as Clark Ross and Philip Glass. He has also performed with 'Opera Theatre Company Ireland', the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Callino Quartet, the Dublin Guitar Quartet and The National Symphony Orchestra.
Michael studied for many years with John Feeley and also spent two years studying with the renowned Cuban virtuoso Ricardo Iznaola in Denver, Colorado. He has performed the music of Anna Rice for the film Revelations and was involved in writing the theme music for the French film On the Trail of Eagles. Despite his busy performance schedule, Michael also shows a deep commitment to education. He is on the faculty of the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and the Music Department at Waterford Institute of technology.
"...I was knocked out by his performances... he revealed a talent for telling stories with his hands and weaving meticulous trains of musical thought, delivered with a fair punch."
Tim Panting, Classical Guitar Magazine.
"...a thoughtful player, sensitively attuned to the direction of the music..."
Douglas Sealey, Irish Times.
"In Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez the playing of soloist Michael O'Toole was fluent, shapely and always apt."
Martin Adams, Irish Times.
"O'Toole is a powerful player who gave great accounts of Giuliani's Grand Overture and Rodrigo's Invocacion y danza"
Classical Guitar Magazine.