Guitar in London

2021
5
 December | 3pm
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Eleanor Kelly

Catharina Josepha Pratten (1824–1895)
Sadness and Forgotten

Teresa de Rogatis (1893–1979)
Largo from Sonatina

Phyllis Tate (1911–1987)
Seascape

Florence Anna Maunders (b. 1982)
Finding the Way (2021) [IGF La Leona Commission]

‘I have been trying to find my way, in life, and as a composer, and this piece is something which came out of that process and experience. The music is really a series of gestures, which repeat with small alterations, gradually exploring in one direction or another, turning back on themselves, or developing along new pathways. Gradually new ideas are formed from the fragments of previous motifs. One recurring feature throughout the piece is the tight and obsessive repetition of single pitches, and lines which closely circle around and return to those pitches. As the piece develops from the somewhat fragmented opening section, a sense of groove or rhythmic drive emerges, pushing forwards and upwards, and leading eventually to a transfigured, ecstatic and energetic final series of flowing, flourishing gestures, like a flower bud finally opening to the sun.’
© Florence Anna Maunders

Eleanor Kelly was awarded a scholarship to study with the Hungarian guitarist Zoltán Katona. In 2021, Eleanor graduated from the Máster en Interpretación de Guitarra Clásica course at University of Alicante, Spain. Eleanor Kelly has extensive experience as a performer and, as an IGF Young Artist Platform artist in 2021, made her London debut, premièring works commissioned for her by IGF at Kings Place.

As an advocate of women in music, Eleanor specialises in lesser-known repertoire by both historical and contemporary women composers. In 2019, Eleanor gave the UK première of Claudia Montero’s Latin Grammy award-winning Luces y Sombras with the Woodside String Quartet. As an Illuminate Digital Artist, Eleanor has premièred solo works for guitar for Illuminate Women’s Music digital concert series. Eleanor is part of the IGF La Leona: Women and the Guitar. Eleanor plays duo with the Russian seven-string guitarist Yvonne Gründer; D2e Duo specialise in music by women and contemporary composers.

Bradley Johnson

Francisco Tárrega (1852–1909)
Capricho Árabe

Bethan Morgan-Williams (b. 1992)
Strumble Head [IGF La Leona commission: world première]

Joaquín Rodrigo (1901–1999)
Invocación y Danza

Strumble Head by Bethan Morgan-Williams: ‘This suite was commissioned by Tom Kerstens for the International Guitar Foundation’s Young Artist Platform, and composed in September 2021. It arose from a trip Bethan made on a late summer’s day to Strumble Head, a lighthouse on the Pembrokeshire coast. From the cliffs, she watched passing boats and a seal playing in the surf. The second, fourth and last of the six short movements evoke the seal’s antics, popping up, splashing, diving and dipping; while the first, third and fifth – “Go With the Tide”, “Still Waters Run Deep” and the moto perpetuo “In a Twinkling” – conjure up the mesmeric effect of sunlight on water.’
© Wendy Thompson

Described by Grammy award-winning classical guitarist, David Russell, as a guitarist of ‘outstanding talent’, Bradley Johnson is a classical guitarist based in London. Bradley is drawn to modern music and has recently worked on new solo repertoire with Gary Carpenter, David Gorton and Philip Cashian, following on from working closely on chamber pieces with Georg Friedrich Haas and Edward Cowie as well as performing Reginald Smith-Brindle’s duos with Steven Thachuk at the International Guitar Research Centre.

Bradley graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2017, where he studied with Michael Lewin. He was awarded a full scholarship for the Advanced Diploma course, and was selected to première and record new works for the Royal Academy’s Bicentenary ‘200 Pieces’ project; he was awarded the Bache Fund Prize upon graduating in 2021. Since 2018, he has been a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and has represented the company in recitals throughout the country. He is an IGF Young Artist Platform awardee for 2021–22.

Renata Arlotti

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895–1968)
Capriccio XX (Obsequio a el maestro) and Capriccio XII (No hubo remedio), from 24 Caprichos de Goya, Op. 195

Ida Presti (1924–1967)
Étude No. 2

Francesco Morittu (b. 1972)
S’acabbadora (2008)
I. Presagio, II. Sa mazzòcca, III. Sonus’e memoria (suoni dalla memoria), IV. Danza de is animas bias (danza dei vivi).

Renata Arlotti’s musical journey started in Sassari, her hometown, but soon took an international and absolutely prestigious path. Followed by great masters, Renata’s classical guitar playing was shaped between Italian and Britain as she studied in Milan, Aosta, Lugano, London and Siena. This formation was soon matched by an intense concert activity, with solo and chamber ensemble performances in Tehran, Nagoya, Tokyo, London, Grenoble and the rest of the world. In 2016, she completed here Master of Arts in music Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, London and was selected as an IGF Young Artist Platform performer.

Her debut album, Suites and Homages, was released in 2018 and she is currently involved in a project dedicated to the 24 Caprichos de Goya by the Florentine composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.