Guitar Studies

Four guitarists perform on stage

About Guitar Studies at Guildhall

Guitarists are equipped with a wide range of skills in performance and collaboration, creating dynamic and flexible musicians ready for the 21st century musical landscape.

Undergraduate Study

During undergraduate study, the central part of the Guitar programme is the solo repertoire of the last four centuries. During the second year of the BMus – Bachelor of Music Honours degree, students take theorbo lessons which lead to continuo work. In Years 3 and 4, chamber music and concerto playing are essential parts of the syllabus.

Postgraduate Study

Students experience comprehensive training at the highest level with a focus on performance in solo, concerto and chamber music repertoire. There are many performing opportunities plus masterclasses and talks by pre-eminent guitarists and musicians. Students are encouraged to take part in cross-departmental performances, when the opportunity arises, including participation with Historical music projects, drama, opera and orchestral events.

Individual Lessons

The department is led by the eminent and highly experienced international soloists, Robert Brightmore, Toby Carr and David Miller (a specialist in Baroque & 19th Century guitar performance). In addition William Carter teaches plucked instruments as well as core subjects in the Department of Historical Performance.

Programmes

All Guitar Studies form part of the Guildhall School’s main programmes, outlined below. There are also individualised programmes of study.

Performance and Masterclasses

Recent visiting players and lecturers have included masterclass with David Russell and Sean Shibe, plus workshops with David Jaggs (recording for guitar) and Douglas Rogers (Melody Felony - A Question of Transcription) . Previous years’ masterclasses have included Ignacio Rodes, Berta Rojas, Eduardo Martín, Maximo Pujol, David Tanenbaum, Sven Lundestad, David Starobin, Douglas Rogers and Antigoni Goni.

A woman playing guitar on a stage

Guitar Open Days and Alumni Concerts

The guitar open day is an opportunity to meet the team, get to know the nature of the course and enjoy student performances. Alumni concerts often form part of the day, and all open day attendees are invited.

Recent Successes

George Tarlton

  • 1st prize, London International Guitar Competition 2019
  • Eurostrings Artist 2019-20
George Tarlton, student at Guildhall School of Music & Drama

My time at Guildhall School of Music & Drama has in no small part set me on the path I am today as a musician. I found skilled guidance and inspiration but most importantly I formed the musical collaborations that would shape my career as an ensemble player and soloist.

– George Tarlton, BMus Guitar

Agustín Castilla Avila (Guitarist/Composer)

  • Annual Music Prize of the Region of Salzburg for his work The Rest is Silence, the first existing silent opera about climate change and spirituality
  • President of the International Society for Ekmelic Music, Salzburg
  • Director of the biannual symposium Microtones: Small is Beautiful in Salzburg (2015-21)
  • Editor, Microtones: Small is Beautiful (Mackingerverlag in Austria)
Agustín Castilla Avila, student at Guildhall School of Music & Drama

My experience at Guildhall School of Music & Drama was crucial for my career. I was not just receiving the best guitar lessons by Professor Robert Brightmore but also huge encouragement as a composer from him. My time at the School represents a collection of beautiful memories.

– Agustín Castilla Avila, MMus Guitar