Australian guitarist impresses at Markyate school

AUSTRALIAN-born classical guitarist Craig Ogden performed a recital to a sell-out audience in Beechwood Park School’s Great Hall recently.

Headmaster of the Markyate school, Patrick Atkinson, welcomed everyone before the acclaimed guitarist took to the stage to perform a programme which mixed famous pieces of guitar repertoire with some less familiar compositions.

Between each item Craig entertained with details about the music and some guitar trivia including his demanding nail care regime which rules out gardening and washing-up.

Mauro Giuliani’s Grande Ouverture got the evening underway and another favourite, Francisco T�rrega’s Recuerdos de Alhambra, also featured in the first half. There was also a jazz-inflected rendition of Jolly Swagman by William Lovelady and the first half ended with Vals Op.8 No. 4, a lighthearted take on the waltz by Agustin Barrios Mangor�.

After the interval came a rendition of Asturias by Isaac Alb�niz followed by Nuages, an arrangement by guitarist and composer Roland Dyens of Django Reinhardt’s classic. Next Craig performed two pieces by Gary Ryan, an English virtuoso guitarist and prolific composer.

Craig is one of the UK’s most recorded guitarists and his Classic FM albums, The Guitarist and Summertime, both shot straight to number one in the UK in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

He was recently invited to compose a piece reflecting a visit to his native Australia which had its debut on Classic FM last month and it was played to the Beechwood Park audience by the composer as an encore.