Fresh out of college, Declan is a busy concert guitarist. He graduated with distinction from London’s Royal College of Music in 2012 after completing a Master’s degree in Performance. It was there he studied with the eminent guitarists Gary Ryan, Craig Ogden, Chris Stell, and Carlos Bonell. Before he could even get his foot out of the door Declan was already in demand around the world to give his unforgettable and highly original concerts. Not only is Declan highly experienced and proficient at the standard classical guitar repertoire, he is also well-known for his selection of percussive guitar repertoire (of which many pieces he has composed himself) and this is something that only a small handful of other classical guitarists are currently pursuing at present.
Declan was born into a musical family in Watford, England, in 1985. Throughout his childhood Declan dedicated himself to a diverse array of musical pursuits, including mastering the drums, saxophone, keyboard, and steel drums, and later exploring the art of classical sound recording. Throughout all these pursuits he always maintained a close relationship with the classical guitar. He was taught for over 10 years at Watford School of Music by the classical guitarist Lee Sollory and, at the end of his time there, was awarded the Senior Guitar Prize in 2004.
As previously mentioned Declan studied at the Royal College of Music, but prior to this he pursued a long-held interest in classical sound engineering alongside his studies of the classical guitar at the University of Surrey, and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors in Music & Sound Recording from the internationally acclaimed TonmeisterTM course. During his time there he worked and received credits on albums with Pink, Lang Lang, Katherine Jenkins, Elin Manohan Thomas, the Swingle Singers, Shlomo Minz, and every major UK orchestra. As a guitarist, during his time at the University he studied the classical guitar with Richard Wright and guitarist/composer Professor Stephen Goss, and gained recognition for his compositions and recordings centred around the classical guitar. He got through to the final of UniS’s Joyce Dixey Competition in 2006 where he received Special Commendation for a concerto he composed for guitar trio and string ensemble, and was awarded the prestigious AMS/Neve Prize for Most Natural Sounding Recording by the University when he graduated in 2008. Declan has since gone on to win a number of other prizes including First Prize in BacklineTM’s ‘The Big One 2010’ in Guildford, First Prize in the 2012 UK Fingerstyle Championships in Cardiff, and Third Prize in Rhythm of London 2011