Julian Bream on his legendary career: “I never listen to my own recordings!”

The legendary guitarist is announced as the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award ahead of the star-studded ceremony at LSO St Luke’s, London, this evening.

Born in London in 1933, Julian was inspired to pick up the guitar by his jazz-loving father. He’s gone on to become an advocate for lute, bringing the instrument into public consciousness, as well as the classical guitar.

Read more at Classic FM

In conversation with Julian Bream: a Gramophone Milestones Podcast

During his long career Bream’s devoted commitment to championing the guitar enhanced its reputation as a concert hall instrument immeasurably, and his encouragement of composers has left the repertoire so much richer, something he continues to do today thorough his Trust. Gramophone editor Martin Cullingford met him at his home to talk about his musical life and career.

Continue reading

Julian Bream: ‘I’m a better musician now than when I was 70’

Two years ago Julian Bream was walking with his retriever, Django, in the fields around his Dorset home, when a neighbour’s dog knocked him to the ground, breaking both hips and injuring his left hand. For several years, Britain’s greatest virtuoso of guitar and lute had played through the pain of arthritis, but these new injuries compelled him to renounce making music seriously. He had retired in 2002 after 55 years of professional performing, but still liked to give the occasional recital at churches or halls near his home.

Thus ended his longest affair, one that started when nine-year-old Julian put on one of his dad’s Quintette du Hot Club de France LPs and was seduced by what he calls the “burning anguish” of Django Reinhardt’s playing.

Read more – interview in the Guardian with Stuart Jeffries

Hall of Fame honour for Naxos Chairman

Classical Music News: Hall of Fame honour for Naxos Chairman
klaus heymann photo
Klaus Heymann, the founding chairman of Naxos, has been included in the 2013 Gramophone Hall of Fame.
The other four citations were awarded posthumously!
Naxos has done a huge amount for the guitar in their Laureate series and their gradual complete coverage of the repertoire. Klaus Heymann has personally done a lot to promote the guitar (partly because it is advantageous economically!), and I am grateful to have been the first guitarist recorded by Naxos in the early days.  

Continue reading