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Stephen Watts - Classical Guitarist
Considered to be one of the leading lights on the Irish guitar scene, and described by the Venezuelan virtuoso Gabriel Guillén as ..."one of the most important guitarist in Ireland"... he unusually took up the classical guitar at the later age of twenty-one.
What makes his rise to success even more remarkable, is that he continued to work in the building industry right up until he decided to pursue a career as a performer. In 1997 and at the age of 32 he subsequently studied at Leeds College of Music and at Bretton Hall, University of Leeds, where he received a BA (Hons) degree specialising in the classical guitar and under the direction of the renowned guitarist Luigi Palumbo. he also holds a Master of Music degree in performance studies (MMus) from the University of Ulster studying with Carlos Bonell.
He has given many performances in the UK, Austria and Italy as both a soloist and an ensemble musician, to which he has performed in duets and trios with Carlos Bonell, Margarita Escarpa and along side the internationally acclaimed flautist Sarah Murphy. Many of these include broadcasts on BBC Radio for the BBC Music Live Series and live broadcasts on Austrian TV. He established the first guitar orchestra in Ireland and is founder and artistic director of the City of Derry Guitar Festival.
He has attended master classes with Carlos Bonell, Simon Dinnigan, Gabriel Guillén, John Mills, Allan Neave and John Feeley. He currently resides in Derry where he teaches at the University of Ulster and for the Co. Donegal Local Music Education Service, VEC.
"He possesses an extraordinary control of his instrument, a musical expression of the highest quality and a personality that meets all the gifts required for an excellent career" Gabriel Guillén - International Guitar Festival, Rust
"a guitarist of great skill and boundless enthusiasm" Classical Guitar Magazine
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