Gordon Crosskey Celebration: RNCM Guitars 1973-2014


I first met Gordon Crosskey through his student Stephen Gordon who was then studying at the Royal Northern. He was a quietly spoken man with definite ideas on technique and the importance of finding accurate and original source material. He was also not adverse to a bit of fun although I recall that he used to go to bed a bit earlier than the usual carousers at the Prussia Cove Summer School.
Other students at the time included Richard Wright, Pete Batchelar, Forbes Henderson and Joe Fung.
Later students of this unassuming pedagogue included Cheryl Grice, Nicola Hall, Paul Galbraith, Jonathan Leathwood, Graham Anthony Devine and many others.

It is typical of Gordon that there is very little biographical information on him. he was highly recommended as a teacher by John Williams in the 70s and rapidly became professor at the Royal Northern College of Music, but most references to him are from his past students.

Now celebrating 50 years as one of the world’s leading guitar teachers, seven of Gordon Crosskey’s most successful students come to perform at the RNCM in a spectacular evening.

A student of Gordon’s in the 1980?s, Greek guitarist Elena Papandreou is one of the world’s leading players and has had many works written for her by composers including Nikita Koshkin and Roland Dyens.

The Aquarelle Guitar Quartet are more recent graduates and have established a major role for themselves in the UK music world as Chandos recording artists with a busy series of engagements and regular appearances on BBC Radio 3.

Tom McKinney has a busy performance career in the world of contemporary and chamber music and as a broadcaster and presenter on BBC radio. He has commissioned many cutting-edge works and his extraordinary abilities have seen him rise to become the leading UK-based guitarist in the world of serious contemporary music.

Craig Ogden studied with Gordon in the early 1990?s and began teaching at the RNCM straight after he graduated. He has established a diverse career encompassing solo, chamber, concerto, session and recording and his work for Classic FM has seen him become one of the most recognized names in the UK.

Venue: Carole Nash Recital Room
Date: Wednesday 25 June 2014 7:30 pm

Gordon Crosskey is also a leading authority on old Sheffield plate!

Leeds Castle 1981- a piece of guitar history

Some very familiar faces, and some no longer with us.
A scary but great competition!
Thanks to Oren Myers for bringing this to my attention.

There were some notable events from this competition –  Tsuyoshi Horiuchi, the first prize winner had a tragic accident with the little finger of his left hand; Paul Galbraith, who won second prize was only 17 years old at the time, and there was an incident involving a prize sherry goblet and Eliot Fisk!

Here is a quote from Graham Wade’s second volume on Segovia:

“After the playing of three movements from the set repertoire and a movement from Fantasia para un Gentilhombre, the finalists were Eliot Fisk, Tsuyoshi Horiuchi, Cheryl Grice, Paul Galbraith, Stefano Grondona, and Yoshinobu Iwanaga. The competitors then went into the performance of a concerto and when this was completed the unanimous choice for winner was Tsuyoshi Horiuchi, with the youngest competitor, Paul Galbraith, second, and Stefano Grondona, third.

All finalists were given a silver sherry goblet, though it was at first reported that Eliot Fisk, disappointed with the result, threw his goblet into the moat at Leeds Castle. This story was eventually clarified in an editorial in Guitar where it was reported that the goblet had been thrown from a taxi and later retrieved by the driver, who was allowed to keep the article.”