BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS WITH A WIDE RANGE OF PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO EXCEPTIONAL RESOURCES

The Academy is recognised worldwide as a leading centre for the study of the classical guitar at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels.

'Michael [Lewin] was incredible because he never stopped me from expressing myself the way I wanted to, but he always helped me express myself better'
Miloš Karadaglić, alumnus and President of Alumni

Our comprehensive curriculum and unique musicological resources help students to reach the highest standards as soloists, ensemble players and teachers. Professorial expertise covers every aspect 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 you will experience masterclasses, lectures and concerts by distinguished visiting artists, luthiers and composers, and have regular opportunities to perform. The promotion of new music for the guitar also forms an integral part of our department’s work, as does our collaboration with other departments on innovative projects.

The Academy is the custodian of the Spencer Collection, which includes important lutes, guitars, books and manuscripts. The Calleva Foundation’s loan scheme gives students access to instruments made by some of today’s finest luthiers.

Guitar

Stephen Goss

Graduated 1987
Guitar

Stephen Goss

Graduated 1987

Guitar

Stephen Goss’s music receives hundreds of performances worldwide each year. It has been recorded on over eighty CDs by record labels including EMI, Decca, Telarc, Virgin Classics, Naxos, and Deutsche Grammophon. His output embraces multiple genres including orchestral and choral works, chamber music and solo pieces.

Recent work includes several projects with the guitarist John Williams, who has recorded and toured his Guitar Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Goss’s music has been performed by many of the world’s leading orchestras: Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev, China National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Barcelona Symphony Orchestra. In his role as composer-in-residence for the Orpheus Sinfonia, he wrote a Piano Concerto which was released by Signum Classics in 2013 and Concerto for Five for the unique combination of violin, saxophone, cello, bass, piano and orchestra. His Albéniz Concerto for guitar and orchestra was released to great critical acclaim on EMI Classics in 2010. A Concerto of Colours for guitar and wind ensemble was commissioned by a consortium of 13 American wind orchestras in 2017. Most recently, he has written the Koblenz Concerto for two guitars and orchestra and a Theorbo Concerto for Matthew Wadsworth, the first concerto ever written for the theorbo.

As a guitarist, Steve has worked with many leading composers and toured and recorded extensively with the Tetra Guitar Quartet and other ensembles.

Born in Wales in 1964, Goss studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he won the Julian Bream Prize. His composition teachers included Edward Gregson, Robert Saxton, Peter Dickinson and Anthony Payne, and he studied guitar with Michael Lewin. He is Professor of Composition and Director of the International Guitar Research Centre at the University of Surrey and a guitar professor at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was made a Fellow in 2018.

Stephen Goss

Meet
our alunni

Miloš Karadaglić

Graduated 2006
Guitar

Miloš Karadaglić

Graduated 2006

Guitar

Firmly positioned as a leading exponent of his instrument, Miloš Karadaglić continues to top record charts and delight audiences worldwide. His first three releases on Deutsche Grammophon achieved major chart successes around the globe, prompting The Telegraph to declare that ‘classical music has a new guitar hero’. His 2014 recording of Joaquín Rodrigo’s concertos had the Sunday Times calling him ‘the king of Aranjuez’, while Blackbird: The Beatles Album was received with unanimous acclaim.

Karadaglić has appeared at almost all major concert halls and festivals around the globe. He is also the first-ever classical guitarist to have performed a solo recital at the Royal Albert Hall, returning in August 2018 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to give the world premiere of Ink Dark Moon, an exciting new guitar concerto written specially for him by Joby Talbot. In 2019, he premiered Howard Shore’s guitar concerto, The Forest, commissioned for him by the National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa and Alexander Shelley. More recently, Karadaglić has been on tour with The Voice of the Guitar, performing solo and with various ensembles throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and the United States.

Karadaglić is a passionate supporter of music education and acts as a Patron of Awards for Young Musicians as well as Ambassador for Live Music Now, the London Music Fund and Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme. He has also appeared as a mentor for the nationwide talent competition Guitar Star on Sky Arts, in addition to co-presenting the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition and returning as a judge in 2018.

Born in Montenegro in 1983, Karadaglić first started playing the guitar at the age of eight and at 16 successfully applied for a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. He was appointed a Fellow of the Academy in 2015. In 2016, BBC Music Magazine included him amongst six of the greatest classical guitarists of the last century.

Photo by Lars Borges Mercury Classics

Miloš Karadaglić

David Russell

Graduated 1974
Guitar

David Russell

Graduated 1974

Guitar

Hailed by the New York Times as a ‘talent of extraordinary dimension’ and praised by Segovia for his ‘musicality and guitaristic technique’, David Russell is now firmly established in the elite group of classical guitarists regularly appearing in the most prestigious venues around the world.

Born in Glasgow, he spent his childhood on the Spanish island of Menorca. After learning the guitar initially with his father, he moved to London to continue his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Hector Quine. In 1974 he was awarded a grant to study with José Tomas in Santiago de Compostela. First prizes in numerous international competitions soon followed, including the Andrés Segovia Competition in Palma de Mallorca and the Francisco Tárrega Competition in Benicasim.

Since 1995 he has had an exclusive contract with Telarc International, with whom he has produced a series of acclaimed recordings, notably of Spanish and Baroque composers, culminating in Aire Latino, which in 2005 won a Grammy award in the category of best instrumental soloist in classical music. Composers, such as Carlo Domeniconi, Guido Santorsola and, more recently, Sergio Assad and Stephen Goss, have all dedicated pieces to him and several of his own transcriptions have been published.

In the town in Menorca where he grew up, a street has been named after him – as has a new auditorium in the music conservatory of Vigo in northwest Spain, where he now lives. Russell is greatly in demand at major international festivals not only as a performer, but also as a teacher in masterclasses, where his work with younger players has been highly influential. In 1997 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and in 2010 was appointed as Visiting Professor.

In 2009 David was named honorary member of "Amigos de la Guitarra", the oldest guitar society in Spain.

David Russell

Xuefei Yang

Graduated 2003
Guitar

Xuefei Yang

Graduated 2003

Guitar

Xuefei Yang is hailed as a musical pioneer – her fascinating journey began after the Cultural Revolution, a period when Western musical instruments and music were banned. She was the first-ever guitarist in China to enter a music school and became the first internationally recognised Chinese guitarist on the world stage.

Yang’s first public appearance was at the age of 10 and received such acclaim that the Spanish Ambassador in China presented her with a concert guitar. Her debut in Madrid at the age of 14 was attended by the composer Joaquín Rodrigo and, when John Williams heard her play, he gave two of his own instruments to Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music especially for her and other advanced students. Yang was the first guitar student to be awarded an ABRSM international scholarship to undertake her postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied under Professor Michael Lewin and won the Principal’s Prize on graduation.

Yang is one of the few guitarists whose artistry connects with audiences far beyond the guitar fraternity. Her international success has led her to be invited to play in more than 50 countries at numerous prestigious venues and she is frequently invited to play with the world’s leading orchestras and collaborate with artists such as Ian Bostridge, Rosalind Plowright and Sir James Galway.

Yang has made many a wide variety of acclaimed recordings for major labels, including solo, chamber and concerto albums. Her first on EMI Classics received a gold disc and her second was selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine. Her next recording will be Sketches of China to be released in 2020 by Universal. She has appeared on numerous media channels including BBC Radio 4’s Woman's Hour, the BBC Proms and documentaries for the BBC and China Central Television.

Gramophone magazine praised Yang as one of the leading innovators of her generation for continuing to build the guitar repertoire, while Classic FM named her one of the 100 top classical musicians of our time.

Photo by Neil Muir

Xuefei Yang

Fabio Zanon

Graduated 1993
Guitar

Fabio Zanon

Graduated 1993

Guitar

Fabio Zanon came to international prominence in 1996, when he was the first prize winner of two of the most prestigious international guitar competitions — the 30th Francisco Tarrega Prize in Spain and the 14th Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Guitar Competition in the USA — in a space of a few weeks. These were followed by a successful tour of 56 concerts in the USA and Canada and by the launching of his first three CDs, which established his reputation as one the most all-embracing talents in the international guitar scene. His debut with a major orchestra was in March 1998, when he stepped in at short notice for a performance of Piazzolla’s Guitar Concerto with the London Philharmonic.

He was born in Brazil where he had his formal music training, first with his father and later with Antonio Guedes and Henrique Pinto. He gave his first concert at the age of 16, and his debut as an orchestral soloist two years later in Sao Paulo. By the age of 20 Zanon had been a top prize winner at many international competitions but, dissatisfied with his playing, he decided to carry on with studies with Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He returned to the stage in 1995 with a successful concert at Wigmore Hall in London.

His vast repertoire includes all the major pieces written for the guitar and more than 20 concertos. He is also an inspirational teacher and gives masterclasses at many prestigious universities, conservatories and festivals in North America, Europe and Brazil.

Over recent years a busy schedule has involved him in solo and ensemble recordings, tours of the USA and Canada, a return to the Wigmore Hall, and performances in South America, the Middle East and throughout Europe, particularly in 2009–10 to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of his compatriot Villa-Lobos, as well as the release of a CD of Sonatas by Scarlatti.

Fabio Zanon

Eden Stell Guitar Duo

Graduated 1994
Guitar

Eden Stell Guitar Duo

Graduated 1994

Guitar

Likened to a ‘miraculous single guitarist blessed with an impossibly wonderful technique and an exceptionally delicate touch’ by The Observer, the Eden Stell Guitar Duo have performed at venues and music festivals around the world, including Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Turkey, USA, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America and Australia, as well as numerous radio and TV appearances on ITV, BBC, and European and North American networks.

Mark Eden and Chris Stell have performed concertos with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, International Philharmonic and Philharmonic Baden-Baden. In 2019 they were invited to give a special performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto Madrigal in the Stadttheater Aschaffenburg in the presence of Cecilia Rodrigo.

Their international recitals include an appearance at the Guitar Foundation of America Omni Foundation Concert Series in San Francisco and the Alla Grande Festival in Canada. They have also performed at prestigious venues such as the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Stuttgart Liederhalle, The Sage in Gateshead, Uppsala Kongress Hall in Sweden, 92nd Street Y in New York and, in London's Purcell Rooms, Wigmore Hall and Kings Place.

The duo were the first guitarists since Julian Bream to be Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine with their ‘landmark recording’ of works by Stephen Dodgson. They have recorded 7 CDs to date, the most recent was released in 2017 featuring the first complete recording on two guitars of Cançons i Danses by Federico Mompou arranged by Mark Eden.

The duo have always championed new commissions and are dedicatees of new works by internationally acclaimed composers including Adam Gorb, Dusan Bogdanovic, Gary Ryan and Johannes Moller. A Concerto for two guitars was written by Stephen Dodgson in the duo’s honour.

They are founder members of the VIDA Guitar Quartet who have rapidly become one of the world’s most celebrated classical guitar ensembles with 4 CDs to date and concerts throughout Europe USA and China.

The duo are D’Addario strings endorsed artists.

Eden Stell Guitar Duo

Find out more about the career paths of some of our former students

Stephen Goss

Graduated 1987
Guitar

Stephen Goss

Graduated 1987

Guitar

Stephen Goss’s music receives hundreds of performances worldwide each year. It has been recorded on over eighty CDs by record labels including EMI, Decca, Telarc, Virgin Classics, Naxos, and Deutsche Grammophon. His output embraces multiple genres including orchestral and choral works, chamber music and solo pieces.

Recent work includes several projects with the guitarist John Williams, who has recorded and toured his Guitar Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Goss’s music has been performed by many of the world’s leading orchestras: Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev, China National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Barcelona Symphony Orchestra. In his role as composer-in-residence for the Orpheus Sinfonia, he wrote a Piano Concerto which was released by Signum Classics in 2013 and Concerto for Five for the unique combination of violin, saxophone, cello, bass, piano and orchestra. His Albéniz Concerto for guitar and orchestra was released to great critical acclaim on EMI Classics in 2010. A Concerto of Colours for guitar and wind ensemble was commissioned by a consortium of 13 American wind orchestras in 2017. Most recently, he has written the Koblenz Concerto for two guitars and orchestra and a Theorbo Concerto for Matthew Wadsworth, the first concerto ever written for the theorbo.

As a guitarist, Steve has worked with many leading composers and toured and recorded extensively with the Tetra Guitar Quartet and other ensembles.

Born in Wales in 1964, Goss studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he won the Julian Bream Prize. His composition teachers included Edward Gregson, Robert Saxton, Peter Dickinson and Anthony Payne, and he studied guitar with Michael Lewin. He is Professor of Composition and Director of the International Guitar Research Centre at the University of Surrey and a guitar professor at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was made a Fellow in 2018.

Stephen Goss

Miloš Karadaglić

Graduated 2006
Guitar

Miloš Karadaglić

Graduated 2006

Guitar

Firmly positioned as a leading exponent of his instrument, Miloš Karadaglić continues to top record charts and delight audiences worldwide. His first three releases on Deutsche Grammophon achieved major chart successes around the globe, prompting The Telegraph to declare that ‘classical music has a new guitar hero’. His 2014 recording of Joaquín Rodrigo’s concertos had the Sunday Times calling him ‘the king of Aranjuez’, while Blackbird: The Beatles Album was received with unanimous acclaim.

Karadaglić has appeared at almost all major concert halls and festivals around the globe. He is also the first-ever classical guitarist to have performed a solo recital at the Royal Albert Hall, returning in August 2018 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to give the world premiere of Ink Dark Moon, an exciting new guitar concerto written specially for him by Joby Talbot. In 2019, he premiered Howard Shore’s guitar concerto, The Forest, commissioned for him by the National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa and Alexander Shelley. More recently, Karadaglić has been on tour with The Voice of the Guitar, performing solo and with various ensembles throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and the United States.

Karadaglić is a passionate supporter of music education and acts as a Patron of Awards for Young Musicians as well as Ambassador for Live Music Now, the London Music Fund and Wigmore Hall’s Learning programme. He has also appeared as a mentor for the nationwide talent competition Guitar Star on Sky Arts, in addition to co-presenting the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition and returning as a judge in 2018.

Born in Montenegro in 1983, Karadaglić first started playing the guitar at the age of eight and at 16 successfully applied for a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. He was appointed a Fellow of the Academy in 2015. In 2016, BBC Music Magazine included him amongst six of the greatest classical guitarists of the last century.

Photo by Lars Borges Mercury Classics

Miloš Karadaglić

David Russell

Graduated 1974
Guitar

David Russell

Graduated 1974

Guitar

Hailed by the New York Times as a ‘talent of extraordinary dimension’ and praised by Segovia for his ‘musicality and guitaristic technique’, David Russell is now firmly established in the elite group of classical guitarists regularly appearing in the most prestigious venues around the world.

Born in Glasgow, he spent his childhood on the Spanish island of Menorca. After learning the guitar initially with his father, he moved to London to continue his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Hector Quine. In 1974 he was awarded a grant to study with José Tomas in Santiago de Compostela. First prizes in numerous international competitions soon followed, including the Andrés Segovia Competition in Palma de Mallorca and the Francisco Tárrega Competition in Benicasim.

Since 1995 he has had an exclusive contract with Telarc International, with whom he has produced a series of acclaimed recordings, notably of Spanish and Baroque composers, culminating in Aire Latino, which in 2005 won a Grammy award in the category of best instrumental soloist in classical music. Composers, such as Carlo Domeniconi, Guido Santorsola and, more recently, Sergio Assad and Stephen Goss, have all dedicated pieces to him and several of his own transcriptions have been published.

In the town in Menorca where he grew up, a street has been named after him – as has a new auditorium in the music conservatory of Vigo in northwest Spain, where he now lives. Russell is greatly in demand at major international festivals not only as a performer, but also as a teacher in masterclasses, where his work with younger players has been highly influential. In 1997 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and in 2010 was appointed as Visiting Professor.

In 2009 David was named honorary member of "Amigos de la Guitarra", the oldest guitar society in Spain.

David Russell

Xuefei Yang

Graduated 2003
Guitar

Xuefei Yang

Graduated 2003

Guitar

Xuefei Yang is hailed as a musical pioneer – her fascinating journey began after the Cultural Revolution, a period when Western musical instruments and music were banned. She was the first-ever guitarist in China to enter a music school and became the first internationally recognised Chinese guitarist on the world stage.

Yang’s first public appearance was at the age of 10 and received such acclaim that the Spanish Ambassador in China presented her with a concert guitar. Her debut in Madrid at the age of 14 was attended by the composer Joaquín Rodrigo and, when John Williams heard her play, he gave two of his own instruments to Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music especially for her and other advanced students. Yang was the first guitar student to be awarded an ABRSM international scholarship to undertake her postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she studied under Professor Michael Lewin and won the Principal’s Prize on graduation.

Yang is one of the few guitarists whose artistry connects with audiences far beyond the guitar fraternity. Her international success has led her to be invited to play in more than 50 countries at numerous prestigious venues and she is frequently invited to play with the world’s leading orchestras and collaborate with artists such as Ian Bostridge, Rosalind Plowright and Sir James Galway.

Yang has made many a wide variety of acclaimed recordings for major labels, including solo, chamber and concerto albums. Her first on EMI Classics received a gold disc and her second was selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine. Her next recording will be Sketches of China to be released in 2020 by Universal. She has appeared on numerous media channels including BBC Radio 4’s Woman's Hour, the BBC Proms and documentaries for the BBC and China Central Television.

Gramophone magazine praised Yang as one of the leading innovators of her generation for continuing to build the guitar repertoire, while Classic FM named her one of the 100 top classical musicians of our time.

Photo by Neil Muir

Xuefei Yang

Fabio Zanon

Graduated 1993
Guitar

Fabio Zanon

Graduated 1993

Guitar

Fabio Zanon came to international prominence in 1996, when he was the first prize winner of two of the most prestigious international guitar competitions — the 30th Francisco Tarrega Prize in Spain and the 14th Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Guitar Competition in the USA — in a space of a few weeks. These were followed by a successful tour of 56 concerts in the USA and Canada and by the launching of his first three CDs, which established his reputation as one the most all-embracing talents in the international guitar scene. His debut with a major orchestra was in March 1998, when he stepped in at short notice for a performance of Piazzolla’s Guitar Concerto with the London Philharmonic.

He was born in Brazil where he had his formal music training, first with his father and later with Antonio Guedes and Henrique Pinto. He gave his first concert at the age of 16, and his debut as an orchestral soloist two years later in Sao Paulo. By the age of 20 Zanon had been a top prize winner at many international competitions but, dissatisfied with his playing, he decided to carry on with studies with Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He returned to the stage in 1995 with a successful concert at Wigmore Hall in London.

His vast repertoire includes all the major pieces written for the guitar and more than 20 concertos. He is also an inspirational teacher and gives masterclasses at many prestigious universities, conservatories and festivals in North America, Europe and Brazil.

Over recent years a busy schedule has involved him in solo and ensemble recordings, tours of the USA and Canada, a return to the Wigmore Hall, and performances in South America, the Middle East and throughout Europe, particularly in 2009–10 to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of his compatriot Villa-Lobos, as well as the release of a CD of Sonatas by Scarlatti.

Fabio Zanon

Eden Stell Guitar Duo

Graduated 1994
Guitar

Eden Stell Guitar Duo

Graduated 1994

Guitar

Likened to a ‘miraculous single guitarist blessed with an impossibly wonderful technique and an exceptionally delicate touch’ by The Observer, the Eden Stell Guitar Duo have performed at venues and music festivals around the world, including Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Turkey, USA, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America and Australia, as well as numerous radio and TV appearances on ITV, BBC, and European and North American networks.

Mark Eden and Chris Stell have performed concertos with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, International Philharmonic and Philharmonic Baden-Baden. In 2019 they were invited to give a special performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto Madrigal in the Stadttheater Aschaffenburg in the presence of Cecilia Rodrigo.

Their international recitals include an appearance at the Guitar Foundation of America Omni Foundation Concert Series in San Francisco and the Alla Grande Festival in Canada. They have also performed at prestigious venues such as the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Stuttgart Liederhalle, The Sage in Gateshead, Uppsala Kongress Hall in Sweden, 92nd Street Y in New York and, in London's Purcell Rooms, Wigmore Hall and Kings Place.

The duo were the first guitarists since Julian Bream to be Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine with their ‘landmark recording’ of works by Stephen Dodgson. They have recorded 7 CDs to date, the most recent was released in 2017 featuring the first complete recording on two guitars of Cançons i Danses by Federico Mompou arranged by Mark Eden.

The duo have always championed new commissions and are dedicatees of new works by internationally acclaimed composers including Adam Gorb, Dusan Bogdanovic, Gary Ryan and Johannes Moller. A Concerto for two guitars was written by Stephen Dodgson in the duo’s honour.

They are founder members of the VIDA Guitar Quartet who have rapidly become one of the world’s most celebrated classical guitar ensembles with 4 CDs to date and concerts throughout Europe USA and China.

The duo are D’Addario strings endorsed artists.

Eden Stell Guitar Duo