Maclean's father Charles Maclean was Director of Music at Eton College. The younger Maclean was born there and later went to the school. He became interested in opera and wrote an 'English' verismo work called Petruccio. This was presented in a double-bill with Cavalleria rusticana at the Royal Opera in London, on 29 June 1895. As an opera composer he enjoyed more success in Germany than in England, and two of his later works were staged in Mainz. The librettist for all his works was Sheridan Ross.
From 1912 to 1935 he conducted the Spa Orchestra at Scarborough. He died in London in 1936.
- Crichton (unperformed, c. 1892)
- Quentin Durward (London, 1894)
- Petruccio (London, 1895)
- Die Liebegeige (Mainz, 1906)
- Maître Seiler (London, 1909)
- Die Waldidylle (Mainz, 1913)
- Banfield, Stephen (1992), 'Maclean, Alick' in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie (London) ISBN 0-333-73432-7