McCartney virtually shreds his accompaniments with fervent plucking and percussive strumming.The New Yorker
[…] McCartney’s playing was delicate and impeccably sensitive, as well as being impressively varied.The Times
Lutenist Alex McCartney has a busy performing schedule which takes him to concert halls across the world.
In 2015 he released his debut solo album Mèsangeau’s Experiments to critical acclaim: ‘McCartney’s interpretation of this reflective music is stylish and sublime.’ LSA. His second album Elizabeth’s Lutes was similarly well received: ‘Alex McCartney’s playing is sensitive and musical, and the recording picks up the sound of the lute very well.’ Early Music Review. Toccata:Touched; theorbo music by Kapsberger was released January 2017: ‘With the rich, deep tones of the theorbo, and some rippling and cascading runs, deftly articulated here by McCartney, this is a delightful programme.’ Classical Notes. Weiss in Nostalgia was released in October 2018: ‘He plays it as if he’d never done anything else or had never considered any other music.’ Guitarre & Laute.
Alex’s latest recording Paladin was released in 2019 and has already received 5* reviews. It comprises a selection of meditative fantasias by the lesser known Italian/French composer Jean Paul Paladin alongside a selection of anonymous preludes.
Alex is also a BBC Introducing artist and performs on BBC Radio 3.
Alex has recently performed the Vivaldi Lute Concerto with both Brecon Baroque (Rachel Podger) and the Irish Baroque Orchestra. He is due to perform a multi-instrument concerto (as principal mandolin) with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2020.
Alex specialises in chamber music, performing recitals and accompanying artists such as Iestyn Davies, Ensemble Libro Primo (Sabine Stoffer), Ensemble Marsyas (Peter Whelan), Monica Huggett, Bojan Cicic, Tabea Debus and Poeticall Musicke.
Libro Primo have recently released their debut album, Fantasia Incantata, of works in the ‘Stylus Phantasticus’; which received rave reviews from The New Yorker and Early Music Reviews+.
As a continuo player Alex’s playing has been described as ‘sinewy and sensuous, ornaments rarely exaggerated’ Observer: he holds principal positions in La Nuova Musica and Poeticall Musicke and performs regularly with most of the UK-based Baroque orchestras and a few further afield.
Alex is a life member of The Royal Society of Musicians.
In his spare time he enjoys making lutes and managing the Veterum Musica micro record label.