The Vida Guitar Quartet brings together four guitarists of exceptional ability and virtuosity sharing a passion for chamber music. After their spectacular debut at the first World Youth Guitar Festival in 2007, the quartet are rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the most exciting guitar ensembles in the UK. Vida plan to release their first CD in 2008 on the BGS label.
Mark Ashford began his musical training at Chetham's School of Music with Gordon Crosskey, continuing his studies as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music with Michael Lewin. After graduating as winner of the Julian Bream prize, Mark studied with eminent guitarist David Russell. He has been a laureate of several competitions, including BBC Radio Two's Young Musician and the Guitar Foundation of America and has performed with orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he has recently released a CD of Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez'.
Helen Sanderson studied guitar at the Royal College of Music with Charles Ramirez, graduating with both the Madeline Walton prize for guitar and the prestigious Anthony Saltmarsh Bursary. Her active concert career has included concerts at major international guitar festivals and recitals at the Purcell Room, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Academy of Arts (Berlin), the British Embassy (Vienna), and the Barbican Centre. In addition to her solo performing, Helen is also much in demand as an accompanish for voice and guitar repertoire, and works in partnerships with the tenor Mark Wilde, Susan Legg (mezzo-soprano), and the eminent countertenor James Bowman.
Mark Eden and Christopher Stell, better known as the Eden Stell Guitar Duo, are acknowledged to be one of the finest and most innovative guitar duos in the world. Their dynamic performances have won great acclaim and delighted audiences whether they are performing a baroque transcription or a new contemporary commission. The duo have recorded six CD's and are the only guitarists since Julian Bream to receiving an 'Editors Choice' in Gramophone Magazine. Mark and Chris graduated from the Royal Academy as recipients of the Principal's Prize for Achievement and the Julian Bream Prize, and then continued their studies in Brussels with the Brazilian Guitar Duo, Sérgio and Odair Assad with the aid of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Selected for the Park Lane Group's Young Artists' Concert Series and winners of the South East Musicians' Platform, they have given many recitals at the Purcell Room and the Wigmore Hall, and have subsequently been invited to perform there by music organisations such as 'Live Music Now!', the Kirckman Concert Society, and Classical Guitar Magazine. Mark and Chris were elected Associates of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of their performing achievements and both hold teaching positions at the Birmingham Conservatoire and Royal College of Music.
Vida Guitar Quartet play Christopher Dean guitars and use D'Addario strings.