West Sussex Guitar Club

Charity No. 1124762

Patrons: Gary Ryan & Fabio Zanon

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Simon Dinnigan

From the early age of nine, the outstanding young English Guitarist, Simon Dinnigan, was being hailed as a child prodigy by leading musicians and teachers throughout the UK. He gave his first public performance at 11 years old in front of an audience of 2500, and at the age of 12 performed his first full solo recital for the Sheffield Music Society.

In 1982 Simon won a scholarship to study at the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester under the tuition of Gordon Crosskey. He went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he won the Principal’s Guitar Prize.

While still at the Guildhall, Simon was spotted by José Tomás, Spain’s most respected Professor of Guitar, and was subsequently invited to study with the Maestro in Alicante (Spain). After Simon’s first year of studies in Spain, Señor Tomás concluded, "Simon is the finest pupil I have ever had the good fortune to encounter".

Simon has also studied in Masterclasses with leading Guitarists: John Williams, David Russell, Roberto Aussel and the legendary Andrés Segovia.

In 1981 & 1982, Simon won the Junior Young Musician of the Year competition in Sheffield, and in 1982 he was the overall winner at the Harrogate Music Festival. The following year he won the second prize at the Domecq International Guitar Competition, an amazing achievement at only fourteen years old, half the age of the other contestants.

In 1984, whilst still only 15 years old, Simon reached the National String Finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, performing with the finest string players from the UK in front of a television audience of millions.

Although still in his twenties, Simon has a string of competition successes and over a decade of experience, having played at prestigious venues all over Europe, USA, Central and South America and South East Asia, and currently holds the position of Principal Guitar Tutor at the Conservatoire of Music in Birmingham which is rapidly becoming the place to study the Guitar, both Classical and Jazz styles.

1995 saw the appearance of Simon on the cover of the January issue of Classical Guitar Magazine and the release of his debut CD, as well as giving the World Premiere performance of the Bath Double Concerto by Barrington Phealoung. He also gave Premiere Performances and recordings of three Jazz Sonatas by Ivor Mairants in 1996, and has performed many new works by leading British and European composers in 1997 and 1998, including an exciting new Double Concerto for Guitar, Electric Bass and String Orchestra by the esteemed British composer Andrew Downes, and new works by Nikita Koshkin, Gordon McPherson and Salvador Brotons, to name but a few.

In October of 1996 Simon gave his New York debut to great critical acclaim, acknowledging him as "a major guitarist of the 21st Century", and in 1997 he appeared at both the South Bank Centre and the Wigmore Hall.

Together with his guitar duo partner, Simon made history by becoming the first classical guitarist to perform live on the internet, broadcast from a concert in Dundee, Scotland on May 31st 1997.

His reputation as one of the finest Guitarists of his generation has been reaffirmed with his latest solo recording for the Classic FM label, which is rapidly becoming one of the most frequently played and publicised classical guitar recordings of all time.

"..mastery of technique combined with musically perfect tone colouring…played with such flair the audience hooted for more!" Classical Guitar Magazine

1998 Website