Gary Ryan is one of the world’s leading exponents of the guitar and has pursued a highly varied international career as an acclaimed solo performer, composer and teacher. In 2011 he became the first guitarist since John Williams in 1983 to be awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Music in recognition of his contribution to the instrument (and only the fourth guitarist ever to receive this honour, other recipients being Andres Segovia and Julian Bream).Renowned for his compelling live performances, he regularly appears as a recitalist and concerto soloist at major international venues, winning universal praise for his formidable technique, outstanding musicianship and entertaining concert programmes. He is also in great demand as a chamber musician, orchestral player (including the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London) and recording artist for film.Ryan studied from the age of 8 at the Guildhall School of Music Junior Department, later winning a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in 1987. In 1991 he graduated with first class honours and a host of awards, including the Julian Bream Prize for guitar, the John Mundy String Prize and the Dorothy Grinstead Prize for an outstanding all-round student.  He then pursued his postgraduate studies at the RAM with an award from the Fleming Trust and was later made an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1997 in recognition of his achievements.

Ryan made his London recital debut for the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series at the Purcell Room in 1994 (declared one of the highlights of the series by the Telegraph, Independent, Observer, Times and Sunday Times) and was subsequently invited to perform a series of recitals for the Kirckman Concert Society at London’s South Bank Centre.

In 1996, at the age of 27, Ryan was appointed Professor of Guitar at the Royal College of Music, London, where he is an instrumental and academic teacher and became Assistant Head of Strings in 2009. He has worked extensively as an adjudicator (including for the BBC Young Musician of the Year and at music festivals and conservatoires throughout the UK). He appeared for BBC television in the 2011 Proms Spanish Night and also regularly performs on BBC Radio and has been the Director of Guitar France since 2006, an annual international summer school in Southern Normandy.

Ryan’s celebrated and innovative guitar compositions (regularly broadcast on Classic FM) have broadened the instrument’s appeal by combining traditional classical guitar technique with more contemporary guitar styles and a rich variety of musical influences from around the world. His recent solo work, Benga Beat, was premiered to great acclaim in 2011 and can be seen on YouTube in HD, alongside other performances of his own compositions and works by Dowland, Bach, and Piazzolla.

Gary Ryan’s publications by Camden Music – London include: Scenes from The Wild West, Scenes from Brazil, City Scenes, Songs from Erin, Easy and Intermediate Scenes for Guitar for solo guitar; Generator and Dreams Rest and Motion for guitar duo and Latin Cabaret for guitar trio. He has also composed three guitar ensemble works; Flower of the Field (National Youth Guitar Ensemble), Cariocas (Corinium Players) and The Tree on the Moor (City of Derry Guitar Festival 2012). Recent works include Bazaar (guitar duo), Hot-Club Francais (solo guitar) and Nairobi Rhythms (for guitar and percussion) which was premiered at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in January 2013. He has also written a set of Piazzolla arrangements for solo guitar, Easy Piazzolla (Boosey & Hawkes), popular student pieces for guitar and piano which are regularly included in Trinity College London’s graded exam syllabus and has composed several scores of electronic music for theatre. Ryan is also an accomplished pianist, having performed as a piano accompanist, jazz and rock keyboard player and church organist over the years.

Gary Ryan’s guitars are cedar-top lattice-braced instruments made by the English luthier Stephen Hill (based in La Herradura, Spain). In 2012 Ryan had a series of instruments made in his name by Hill to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Gary Ryan performing on Stephen Hill guitars.Voor meer informatie ga naar zijn website, klik hier.

Pēteris Vasks (Aizpute (Letland), 1946) is een Lets componist, geboren als zoon van een predikant (Baptist).

Zijn eerste compositie schreef hij toen hij 8 jaar oud was. Zijn muzikale opleiding begon aan de Riga Muziek school (E. Darzins) en de Litouwse Muziek Academie (Vilnius), waar hij voornamelijk contrabas studeerde bij Vitautas Sereika. Van 1963 tot 1978 was hij dan ook contrabassist bij het Litouwen Philharmonisch Orkest, het Lets Philharmonisch Orkest en het Orkest van de Letse Omroep.

Daarnaast studeerde hij van 1973 tot 1978 ook compositie aan de Letse Muziek Academie (Riga) bij Valentin Utkin. Hij verwerkt oude Letse muziek in zijn composities en zijn muziek gaat meestal over de strijd van mens en natuur; de schoonheid, maar tegelijk ook de dreiging van de natuur. Zoals wel vaker componisten uit de wat noordelijker gelegen gebieden, wijst hij met zijn muziek ook bij de bedreigingen naar de natuur toe, zoals toenemende ontbossing etc.

Sinds 1994 is Vasks erelid van de Letse Academie voor Wetenschap en sinds 2001 is hij lid van de Zweedse koninklijke muziekacademie.

Hans Haug (July 27, 1900 in Basel – September 15, 1967 in Lausanne) was a Swiss composer in the primitivist style.

The eminent Swiss composer, Hans Haug studied at the Basle Conservatory and the Munich Music Academy, also attending master classes with Busoni in Zurich. Haug’s catalogue of works includes orchestral music, concertos, operas, film scores, string quartets, and oratorios. In December 1950 he submitted a Concertino for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra for the music competition in Siena, receiving first prize in the large ensemble category. Haug went on to write a number of pieces for guitar including Alba (Dawn), his first attempt at composing for solo guitar.

Hans Haug studied piano and ‘cello at the Basel Conservatory and participated in master classes given by Ferruccio Busoni in Zurich, later studying composition and conducting at the Music Academy in Munich. Haug conducted several different Swiss radio symphony orchestras. From 1947 to 1960, he taught harmony and counterpoint at the Lausanne Conservatory.

Haug’s catalogue of works is immense and includes string quartets, various chamber works, vocal music, concertos, symphonic works, operas, oratorios, and film music in addition to his compositions for, or including, the guitar.

In December, 1950, the “Accademia Musicale Chigiana” in Siena, Italy held a composition competition for guitar in the following combinations:

1. Concertino for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra;

2. Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet;

3. Guitar Solo (Sonata, Suite or Fantasy).

Twenty-five works were submitted. President of the jury was George Enescu; among the other members were Ricardo Brengola, Gaspar Cassadó, and Andrés Segovia. The prizes awarded in August, 1951 did not recognize any of the guitar quintets; Alexandre Tansman’s Cavatina for guitar solo and Hans Haug’s Concertino for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra both received prizes. It was Haug’s first guitar composition.

The prizewinners were promised that Segovia would premiere their pieces in the summer of 1952 and that they would be published afterwards by Schott of London. Whereas this promise was kept in the case of Tansman’s Cavatina (Schott published it in 1952), Segovia never played Haug’s Concertino,2, which had to await publication until three years after Haug’s death in 1970. It appeared in a facsimile edition under the auspices of Edizioni musicali Bèrben. Alexandre Lagoya and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra played its world premiere.

Encouraged by his prize in the Siena competition, Haug continued to explore the guitar. He took guitar lessons on a regular basis with José de Azpiazu from October 28, 1953 to January 27, 1954 in order to learn more about the instrument. His first composition for solo guitar, Alba, and possibly his Preludio as well (which Segovia later called “Postlude”), were written around this time. Apparently, Alba was in Segovia’s possession shortly thereafter; in a letter from Assisi dated September 19, 1954, he apologizes to Gagnebin for having studied only one work of his: “Please be aware that I am also behind in my work on the other pieces by Villa-Lobos, Tansman, Haug, Rodrigo, Torroba, Castelnuovo, etc. You will not see any premieres at all on the programs of my next concerts (…).” Later, Segovia did record Alba and Postlude on the record: Andrés Segovia with the Strings of the Quintetto Chigiana (Decca DL 9832). This was Segovia’s only recording of any of Haug’s works.

In 1961, Segovia asked Haug to teach some composition courses at the summer music academy in Santiago de Compostella,18) and it was here that Haug completed his Prélude, Tiento et Toccata on September 28, 1961. No correspondence between Haug and Segovia is known to exist since they communicated mostly by telephone.

Haug’s Work With Other Guitarists

Hans Haug became acquainted with Luise Walker at the Geneva Competition in 1956.As a result of this meeting, he wrote his Fantasia for Guitar and Piano in 1957 which he dedicated to her. In 1963, his Capriccio pour flûte et guitare was written for the duo Werner Tripp and Konrad Ragossnig (released on RCA Victor 440.182: “L’Anthologie de la guitare”). Also, Haug composed a Concerto pour flûte, guitare et orchestre in 1966, and he used the guitar in the following works as well: Variations on a Theme of Jacques Offenbach (for orchestra), Don Juan à l’étranger (comic opera), Les Fous (comic opera), Justice du roi (tragicomedy) and Tag ohne Ende (“Day Without End”, film music).

William Lovelady composes work for some of the world’s leading guitarists including Slava and Leonard Grigoryan, Craig Ogden and Amanda Cook. His guitar and choral music have been performed world-wide, as well as being frequently played on Radio 3 and Classic FM. He has written and worked with musicians as diverse as Julian Lloyd Webber, Art Garfunkel, Shankar, and Hugh Masekela. He had two top-ten hits in the commercial industry and has co-written with Stanley Myers on various projects, including the Nick Roeg film,“Castaway”. Bill also writes for television. He has done several David Attenborough programmes and was nominated for an Emmy for the National Geographic Film, “Flying Devils”. His film music includes the Disney film, “African Lovestory.”
Among other commissions, he has written a piece for solo guitar for the memorial of the Omagh bomb and a Cantata for the Duke of Edinburgh’s 75th birthday which is now regularly performed at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. He has also written a Mass performed at Westminster Cathedral and a 30-minute orchestral piece called “Kylestrome”, as well as many chamber pieces.

Claude Antoine Jean Georges Napoléon Coste (June 27, 1805 – January 14, 1883) was a French guitarist and composer.

Born in 1805 in Amondans, in the east of France, as the son of an officer in the Napoleonic army, Coste went to Holland with his father and lived in Delfzijl as a child of 8. In 1813 the French army withdrew from this fortress, passing the Zuiderzee and the Rijn. Later, in 1852, he would dedicate three programmatic compositions from his Souvenirs op. 18, 19 and 20 to these places. He grew up in Valenciennes, in the north of France, and this is the Flanders to which he dedicated his op. 5 in 1835. While studying to become an engineer officer, he fell seriously ill for 15 months, losing his memory for mathematics, leading him to change course and become a musician so late in life.

In December 1828 he settled in Paris as a composer/guitarist and made his career, giving concerts, lessons and composing an oeuvre of 53 opus numbers. He studied harmony and counterpoint probably with his friend Sor. As a member of the Société académique des Enfants d’Apollon he played in many of its monthly concerts, up to 1879, most notably in the annual concert of 1843, where he performed his Le Tournoi op. 15 in the Salle du Conservatoire. He also became a member of the Freemasons lodge and participated in a concert in 1852.

He entered his most important works, op. 28-31, in the Makaroff guitar competition in Brussels in 1856, where he took second prize with Grande Sérénade, a distinction which he did not use to make an international career. He returned to Paris and continued his activities but had to take an administrative job alongside his teaching activities in order to support himself. He married his pupil Louise Olive Pauilhé in 1871, after the German invasion of Paris, and he played many duets with her at home, including his arrangement of Sor’s L’Encouragement, with a delightful result, as he himself writes. He injured his left shoulder in 1874, just as he had earlier in 1863. Nevertheless he continued to give concerts in Paris both times, up to 1880, when he could no longer play due to the extreme cold that winter. In this period he composed his op. 39-53, most of which are self-published. A year later he was struck by a ‘cerebral congestion’. He died on 14 January 1883 and was buried at the Cimetière de Montmartre. His remains were removed in 1986.

Coste=s music displays many characteristics of the Romantic style. Both narrative elements and folklore contribute to its character, and certain biographical events are also expressed in his compositions. Romanticism in Coste=s music is reflected mainly in his complex and intensive harmony. Regarding the music itself, one can use specific musical characteristics to sketch the ways in which Coste=s music resembles that of his three great Romantic contemporaries. His use of altered chords and dissonance can be related to that of Liszt, his harmonic progressions to those of Berlioz, and his harmonic freedom to that of Chopin. His modulations are comparable to those of Schubert. With respect to musical content, the quality of Coste=s guitar music is on par with their piano repertoire. The difference is only one of sociocultural significance.

Until the millennium only the Études op. 38 remained in the guitarists repertoire. Currently however, all of his masterpieces are regularly performed in concert and have been recorded on compact disc, making his works accessible to everyone.

Excerpt from:

Ari van Vliet: Napoléon Coste: Composer and Guitarist in the Musical Life of 19th-century Paris, Biography, Thematic Catalogue, Compact Disc

Zwolle, Cumuli Foundation, 2015.

Nikita Koshkin (born February 28, 1956) is a classical guitarist and composer born in Moscow.

His early influences included Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev, as well as rock music. Koshkin first came to prominence with his suite “The Prince’s Toys,” completed in 1980 and first performed by the Czech-born guitarist Vladimir Mikulka. It depicts the fairytale world of a child in which his toys come to life and, eventually, abduct him to some other dimension. The suite incorporates numerous sound-effects on the guitar to paint images: the so-called ‘snare drum’ effect, for example, created by holding down crossed B and E (or low-E and A) strings with the left hand, to imitate the drums of toy soldiers. Other extended techniques include scraping the strings with the fingernails; a large variety of percussive effects; ‘playing’ the strings between the tuning heads and nut, or the knotted sections of the strings on the bridge; ‘hammer-ons‘, where the left hand fingers suddenly depress the string against the fingerboard without the intervention of the right hand; and so on.

Koshkin’s most celebrated guitar work is “Usher-Waltz.” a piece inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe story The Fall of the House of Usher, in which Poe wrote, “I listened, as if in a dream, to the wild improvisations of his speaking guitar.” Koshkin’s piece was written for the famed guitarist Vladislav Blaha. Cast in a single movement, it is a motoric waltz whose careering harmonic progression around A minor threatens, and ultimately succeeds, in tearing the music apart. Its climax is an extraordinarily effective sequence of pounded right-hand chords, ‘Bartók pizzicato‘ (where the strings are deliberately snapped back against the fingerboard), and then ghostly harmonics. Like much of Koshkin’s work it has an immediate appeal to a wide audience who are both astonished at the visceral impact of the piece, and at the range of sounds coaxed from the guitar, which sounds “bigger than it really is”. It was made famous by John Williams‘ performance, in the ‘Seville Concert’ CD, in 1993.Other famous performers of Koshkin’s work include The Assad Duo and The Zagreb and Amsterdam Trios.

His set of variations “The Porcelain Tower” is another substantial and rewarding work for listeners, and for players of good intermediate or advanced standard, as is the “Andante quasi Passacaglia e Toccata: The Fall of Birds” (composed in 1978).

Besides writing works for solo guitar, Koshkin has composed guitar-ensemble music as well; in addition to numerous pieces for guitar duo, he has written two works for guitar quartet: Changing the Guard (1994), and Suite for Four Guitars (composed for the Georgia Guitar Quartet, 2007).

Roland Dyens (born October 19, 1955 in Tunisia) is a French classical guitarist, composer, and arranger.

Dyens studied guitar with the Spanish classical guitarist Alberto Ponce and analysis with Désiré Dondeyne. He has won several prizes in competitions for classical guitar performance as well as for composition.

As a performer, Dyens is known for his extraordinary capacity for improvisation. Essentially unique among classical guitarists, Dyens frequently opens his concerts with an improvised piece, in order to help him get a feel for the hall and the audience. His guitar music draws on many elements of folk music and jazz, and has become popular with players. Tango en Skaï (1985), is one of his best-known pieces, but also widely played is the more extended Libra Sonatine (1986) written in three movements: “India”, “Largo”, “Fuoco”, composed after Dyens had suffered a heart attack. Skaï is a French slang term for imitation leather, and here references the Gauchos of Argentina and Southern Brazil who are known for their distinctive leather outfits. Hence “Tango en Skaï” is a humorous, gaudy take on the tango. In addition to being the most prolific guitar composer of his generation, Dyens has also released several volumes of arrangements. Ranging from Jazz standards to Brazilian folk music, these arrangements have made their way into the repertoire of both professional and amateur guitarists. Dyens tours extensively and has performed at many music festivals and held master classes at many locations across Europe, the United States and Asia.

He currently teaches at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he is Professor of Guitar.

Dušan Bogdanović (Serbian: Душан Богдановић) (born 1955) is a Serbian-born American composer and classical guitarist. He has explored musical languages which are reflected in his style today: a unique synthesis of classical, jazz and ethnic music. As a soloist and in collaboration with other artists, Bogdanović has toured extensively throughout Europe, Japan and the United States.

Bogdanović was born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1955. He completed his studies in composition and orchestration at the Geneva Conservatory with Pierre Wissmer and Alberto Ginastera, and in guitar performance with Maria Livia São Marcos. Early in his career, he received the only First Prize at the Geneva Competition, and gave a highly acclaimed debut recital in Carnegie Hall in 1977. He has taught at the University of Southern California, San Francisco Conservatory and is currently at the Geneva Conservatory.

His performing and recording activities include work with chamber ensembles of diverse stylistic orientations: the De Falla Guitar Trio; a harpsichord and guitar duo with Elaine Comparone; and jazz collaborations with Anthony Cox, Charlie Haden, Milcho Leviev, James Newton, Arto Tuncbayaci, and others.

Dušan Bogdanović’s recording credits include close to twenty albums (on Intuition, Doberman, Ess.a.y, M.A. Recordings, GSP and other labels), ranging from Bach Trio Sonatas to contemporary works. Over seventy of his compositions are published by Bèrben Editions  (Italy), Doberman-Yppan (Canada) and Guitar Solo publications [2] (San Francisco).

His theoretical work includes polyrhythmic and polymetric studies, as well as a bilingual publication covering three-voice counterpoint and Renaissance improvisation for guitar (Bèrben) and Ex Ovo: a guide for perplexed composers and improvisers (Doberman-Yppan). He has also collaborated on multi-disciplinary projects involving music, psychology, philosophy and fine arts.

Sérgio Assad is a Brazilian guitaristcomposer, and arranger who often performs with his brother in the guitar duo Sérgio and Odair Assad, commonly referred to as Assad Brothers or Duo Assad.Born into a musical family in Mococa, São Paulo, Brazil, Sergio Assad began creating music for the guitar not long after he began playing the instrument. He learned Brazilian folk melodies from his father. By age 14, he was arranging and writing original compositions for the guitar duo he had formed with his brother, Odair. At the age of 17, he and Odair began their studies under the best known classical guitar teacher in Brazil at the time, Monina Tavora, a former disciple of Andrés Segovia. Sergio later went on to study conducting and composition at the Escola Nacional de Música in Rio de Janeiro, and worked privately with Brazilian composition teacher, Esther Scliar.Over the last twenty years Assad has concentrated most of his efforts on building a repertoire for the guitar duo. He has extended the possibilities of the two-guitar combination through his arrangements of Latin American music by composers such as PiazzollaVilla Lobos, and Ginastera as well as Baroque to Modern music by ScarlattiRameauSoler,BachMompouRavelDebussy, and Gershwin among others. He has completed over 300 arrangements for different chamber music settings arrangements for Gidon Kremer,Dawn UpshawYo Yo MaNadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, TrioConBrio, Iwao Furusawa, Paquito D’RiveraTurtle Island String Quartet, L.A. Quartet, Luciana Souza, and Vancouver Cantata Singers.

Jorge Cardoso (Posadas, 1949) is an Argentine composer, primarily for guitar. He is also a medical doctor.

He completed his music studies at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid and, in 1973, his medicine studies at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba.

He has made numerous recordings and published works such as Science and Method on Guitar Technique (preview published by Acordes Concert, Didactic Series). In 2007 he published a didactic DVD with booklet, Técnica de la guitarra clásica (published by RGB Arte Visual)

Jorge Cardoso has given concerts in Argentine, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine United Kingdom and U.S.A., and frequently participates in international festivals and programs for radio and television. He has performed with the soprano Liliana Rodriguez.

Jorge Cardoso has composed over 350 works: suites and pieces for solo guitar; duets (two guitars, guitar and violin, guitar and harpsichord, guitar and flute); trio and quartets; string quartet; quintets (guitar and strings, guitar and wind instruments); concerts (for two guitars and strings, for guitar and orchestra); an orchestra for strings and songs for voice and guitar. Other related works include his transcriptions and arrangements of works of South American folkloric character, of de Spanish Renaissance and Baroque, and of other countries and periods. Many are performed regularly by guitarists throughout the world and several are included on recording by 100 performers.

He has lectured on classical guitar technique, interpretation, Latin American Music, Baroque Music, and Music Composition at conferences, seminars and classes throughout France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Chile, Cuba, Costa Rica, Argentina, Morocco and Turkey. He is the author of the book “The Science and Method of Guitar Technique”, edited in French (Les Editions Australia), Japanese (Guitar Music) and Spanish (Universidad de Costa Rica), and translated into English, German and Polish: and “Rhythms and Musical Forms of South America (volume 1: Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) and RASGUEOS (Musical History from the 16th century to the present.