Guitar alumni

Miloš Karadaglic (graduated 2006)
International artist with IMG/Deutsche Grammophon; Rodrigo Concerto disc tops classical charts; performances with LPO, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; guest on Michael Parkinson’s Sky Arts ‘Masterclass’ with Merlin Miller, who was an Academy undergraduate at the time.

Xuefei Yang (graduated 2003)
International concert artist. Exclusive recording contract with EMI Classics, with a series of best selling albums  to her credit. Managed by Askonas Holt.

Armin Egger (graduated 1999)
Professor of Guitar (University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz). Prize-winner in numerous European competitions. Performances with the Vienna Radio Symphony and Vienna Chamber Orchestras. Several recordings of solo and chamber repertoire.

Peter and Zoltan Katona (graduated 1997)
Established internationally in the top echelon of guitar duos. Winners of  major competitions in Europe and the Concert Artists Guild Award in New York. The first guitarists to be managed by YCAT in the UK. Performances at many of the most prestigious venues in the world, including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw, Konzerthaus (Vienna) and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). Outstanding recordings for Channel Classics. 
'The brilliant Katona Twins … Formidable virtuoso technique,  their performances could hardly be bettered for charm, zest, wit and colouristic flair.'
Daily Telegraph

Eden Stell Duo (graduated 1994)
Recognised at home and abroad as one of the world’s top guitar duos, with a number of acclaimed recordings to their credit, especially of music by British composers. Both have teaching posts at UK conservatoires: Mark at the Birmingham Conservatoire and Junior Guildhall, Chris at the Royal College of Music.
'In every respect the performances and recording are of the highest quality. The Eden Stell Duo are one of the best duos around.  This is a land mark recording on the guitar’s map'

Mark Ashford (graduated 1994)
Head of Guitar (Birmingham Conservatoire), Course Director (Bath International Guitar Festival), recording of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Winner of many international prizes, including BBC Radio 2’s ‘Young Musician of the Year’ and Guitar Foundation of America.

Antigoni Goni (graduated 1992)
Professor of Guitar (Royal Brussels Conservatoire). Formerly Head of the Guitar Programme at Juilliard Pre-College Division and Columbia University. Winner of many international prizes, including Havana and Guitar Foundation of America. Worldwide concert career and recordings for Naxos and Koch.

Gary Ryan (graduated 1991)
Assistant Head of Strings and Co-ordinator of Guitar (Royal College of Music). International guitarist/composer.

Darko Petrinjak (graduated 1980)
Professor at the Zagreb Conservatoire. Internationally renowned as a performer and teacher on the guitar and lute. He has commissioned, published and recorded many new works, principally from Croatian composers.

David Russell (graduated 1974)
Visiting Professor of Guitar at the Academy. Grammy Award winner and acknowledged world-wide as a major figure in the history of the guitar. Many acclaimed solo and concerto recordings for Telarc, including compositions specially dedicated to him.

Fabio Zanon (graduated 1993)
Visiting Professor of Guitar at the Academy. International concert artist, conductor and radio presenter. Artistic Director of Brazil’s major classical music festival at Campos do Jordao.  Acclaimed recordings on Music Masters, Signum and Musical Heritage Society labels.


In addition to the duos mentioned above, the top guitar ensembles Vida Quartet and Tetra both feature Academy alumni.

Other recent alumni whose professional achievements deserve note


Lutenists who began their Academy studies on the guitar

Elizabeth Kenny (1990)
Professor of Lute at the Academy. Soloist and ensemble player with  leading early music ensembles in the UK and abroad. Many acclaimed recordings, including for Chandos and Hyperion.

Matthew Wadsworth (1996)
A widely admired performer with many outstanding recordings to his credit on the Avie, Deux-Elles, Linn and EMI labels and a solo artist for Channel Classics.

Composers who began their Academy studies on the guitar

Benjamin Dwyer (1992)
Professor, Royal Irish Academy of Music and lecturer at Middlesex University. International career as performer and composer.

Stephen Goss (1987)
Head of Composition and MMus/MRes Programmes (University of Surrey). Formerly Head of Academic Studies (Menuhin School). Visiting Professor at the Academy. Noted performer on and leading composer for the classical guitar; some of his works for the instrument have been performed by John Williams, notably his Guitar Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall with the English Chamber Orchestra. Commissions include a solo for David Russell and a concerto for Xuefei Yang and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, as well as other pieces for William Bennett, Thomas Carroll and the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral. His compositions have been recorded on such labels as EMI, Decca, Telarc, Cadenza and Conifer Classics.

Some current students

Michael Butten (current postgraduate)
Concerts at major British venues on International Guitar Foundation’s ‘Young Artist Platform’ scheme and with the Berkeley Ensemble.

Mircea Gogoncea (current postgraduate)
First Prize, ‘Julian Arcas’ and Second Prize, ‘Gredos San Diego’ International Guitar Competitions.

Andrey Lebedev (current postgraduate)
Julian Bream Trust scholarship; Tillett Trust award; First Prize, Gisborne International Music Competition in New Zealand.

João Lima (current undergraduate)
First Prize, Fundão International Guitar Competition