West Sussex Guitar Club

Charity No. 1124762

Patrons: Gary Ryan & Fabio Zanon

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Mark Ashford

Mark Ashford is an internationally renowned performer and teacher. He began his formal musical education as a scholarship student at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester at the age of 12. He then won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London from where he graduated with first class honours. Mark then completed his studies with the eminent guitarist David Russell in Vigo, Spain.

He is a prize winner at many national and international competitions including the Guitar Foundation of America, Alessandria International Guitar Competition (Italy),Scandinavian International Guitar Competition, Julian Bream Prize, and BBC Radio 2 Young Musician. He has performed as a soloist at major venues including, Buckingham Palace, the Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, Queens Hall (Edinburgh) and St George’s (Bristol). In 2004 Mark was honoured to record Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Nicholas Cleobury. This led to a successful concerto tour of many venues throughout the UK including Fairfied Halls (Croydon) and Bridgewater Hall,(Manchester). He was course director at the Bath International Guitar Festival for six years and is now head of guitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music. He regularly gives masterclasses at the leading Conservatoires of Music and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for his achievements in the music profession.

"Ashford shows in turns a songlike cantabile and a riveting light touch." The Observer

"A most impressive performer" The Strad

"A truly remarkable guitarist." Classical Guitar

"Ashford projects a full rich sound on his spruce guitar; he is polished, musical, and intense." Soundboard, U.S.A.

"Ashford's playing balanced a wonderfully light, supple touch with understated technical rigour and richly hued, delicately nuanced lyricism....... His interpretation of Mozart's Piano Sonata highlighted his skill at playing to the distinct strengths of his instrument to remake the music in its own image." The Scotsman

"Mark Ashford has a wonderful musicianship and an impeccable technique." David Russell

"The Bach Sonata sounded inspirational, and with both the Fugue and Allegro, Ashford, on several occasions transcended the mere excellent to something on a far higher plain." Classical Guitar Website