The Academy has established itself as a foremost international centre for the study of the classical guitar.  

Our comprehensive curriculum and unique musicological resources encourage students to reach the highest standards as soloists, ensemble players and teachers. The expertise of the department embraces all aspects of guitar performance, from the concert platform to the theatre, ballet, opera house and recording studio, as well as specialisms in the main historical periods.

Each year there is a prestigious series of masterclasses, lectures and concerts. Among the distinguished visiting artists have been the Assad Duo, Manuel Barrueco, Edoardo Catemario, Marcin Dylla, Eduardo Fernández, Eliot Fisk, Tilman Hoppstock, Sharon Isbin, David Leisner, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, David Russell, David Starobin, David Tanenbaum, John Williams and Julian Bream (who for almost half a century adjudicated his prize each year). Eminent luthiers, such as David Rubio, Paul Fischer and José Romanillos, have also been invited to discuss developments in guitar construction.

Other special events have featured the composers Leo Brouwer, Stephen Dodgson, Hans Werner Henze, Nicholas Maw, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and an International Guitar Duo Festival. The promotion of student compositions for the guitar also forms an integral part of the department’s work.

In competitions around the world, from the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Prince’s Prize and Mairants Award in the UK to the Tárrega Competition in Spain and the GFA, Parkening and Concert Artists’ Guild competitions in the USA, Academy guitarists have regularly won top prizes. Many successfully pursue international careers.

Julian Bream Trust Scholarships are available to exceptionally gifted classical guitarists and lutenists.

'I had these ideas about music and how I wanted to sound, but I needed somebody to steer it. Michael was incredible because he never stopped me from expressing myself the way I wanted to, but he always helped me express myself better' Miloš Karadaglic, The Daily Telegraph 

See also

Performance, the central driving force behind all Academy studies
Fees and Financial Support
The Spencer Collection’s rare and interesting material dates from the mid-16th century.
Open Days


Alice Kelley, Department Administrator
Telephone 020 7873 7320 / Email

Michael Lewin

Head of Guitar: Michael Lewin

Internationally respected pedagogue who gives masterclasses all over the world, with an exceptional roster of former students throughout the profession

Adjudicator for major competitions

Studied at the Royal Academy of Music; Head of Guitar since 1987

Staff Finder

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