Guitar Department highlights

This section shows just some of the Guitar Department highlights from the past two years, giving you an example of the breadth of opportunities available to our students

Expand the boxes below to browse these highlights and read about the recent successes of Academy alumni and students.

Blyth Watson Guitar Concerto Prize (deferred from 2019/20), adjudicated by Miloš Karadaglić.

Open Academy Fellowship awarded to Saki Kato for outreach projects.

Performances by Academy students in the International Guitar Foundation’s Autumn Festival at Kings Place (livestreamed).

Online interviews: Michael Lewin in conversation with Tilman Hoppstock, David Russell and Edoardo Catemario.

Music from Spain and Latin America: a postgraduate recital of solo works by Federico Moreno Torroba, Manuel Ponce and Leo Brouwer (livestreamed).

Performance classes with Fabio Zanon.

World premiere of Gary Carpenter’s The Benefit of Hindsight, commissioned for the Academy’s Bicentenary and performed by Bradley Johnson (livestreamed).

Fantasies and Farewells: a postgraduate recital of solo guitar works by Malcolm Arnold, Napoléon Coste, John Dowland and Roberto Gerhard (livestreamed).

Guitaria: A programme of British song cycles by Timothy Bowers (Sea Changes), David Braid (Songs of Contrasting Subjects), John Rutter (Shadows) and Raymond Warren (The Pity of Love).

Three chamber concerts involving keyboard, strings, woodwind, harp, percussion and vocal students.

Guitar students participate in Royal Academy Opera and Musical Theatre productions.

Collaborative project and concert with the Composition Department.

Blyth Watson Guitar Concerto Prize (2021), adjudicated by Benjamin Dwyer.

World premieres of two new concertos for guitar and orchestra: Giacomo Susani’s Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra, with the composer as soloist and Konstantin Riccardi conducting; and Rafael Marino Arcaro’s Concerto Apinayé, with Vitor Noah Sandes as soloist and Ryan Bair conducting the Audentia Ensemble Orchestra.

A lecture recital by Andrea Dieci on the first sonata from Henze’s Royal Winter Music.

For the Guitar Open Day, the department held an ensemble masterclass given by Stephen Goss and a student concert featuring the concerti by Manuel Ponce, performed by Dimitrios Soukaras, and Malcolm Arnold, performed by Bradley Johnson.

Performances by undergraduate, postgraduate and Advanced Diploma students at the International Guitar Foundation’s Autumn Festival at Kings Place.

Masterclasses with Fabio Zanon.

Lecture by David Leisner entitled Playing With Ease: a Healthy Approach to Guitar Technique, followed by a masterclass.

The world premiere of David Gorton’s Lord Herbert’s Pavan by Bradley Johnson, as part of the Academy's Sound and Vision Festival.

A showcase of music for accordion and guitar.

Guitaria concert featuring song cycles by Schubert, Britten, Burgon, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Romancero Gitano.

Chamber concerts involving keyboard, strings, woodwind, harp, accordion and vocal students.

A masterclass by Nigel North.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students performed in the Academy Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Stravinsky’s Agon and the Royal Academy Opera production of Massenet’s Chérubin.

Emanuele Addis (postgraduate)
Selected by the Craxton Memorial Trust and the Philip and Dorothy Green Trust for their Young Artist concert series.

Diogo Carlos (undergraduate)
Selected by the Julian Bream Trust to perform at Wigmore Hall in November 2021.

Alexandra Whittingham (postgraduate)
Debut album My European Journey is released on Delphian Records and reaches no 1 in UK specialist Classical livestream charts.

Jianhao Zhou (postgraduate)
First Prize in the 21st Ivor Mairants Guitar Award, administered by the Worshipful Company of Musicians; also his recording is selected for the Telemann Fantasias Recording Competition CD.

Michael Butten (alumnus)
As holder of the New Elizabethan Award, administered by the Worshipful Company of Musicians, gives debut recital livestreamed from Wigmore Hall.

Plinio Fernandes, Alexander Hart, Pavel Ralev and Vitor Moraes Sandes (alumni)
All selected by the International Guitar Foundation for its Young Artist Platform.

Pavel Ralev (alumnus)
1st Prize in both the Zagreb and Adelaide International Guitar Competitions.

Dimitrios Soukaras (recent alumnus)
Recording contract with Naxos; new album Roots to be released in October 2021 as part of Naxos’s ‘Greek Classics’ series and entirely comprising world premiere recordings.