Gerald Garcia – Biography

Gerald Garcia – studied Chemistry at Oxford  University  and  now lives in Oxford.

When not performing as a guitarist in Borneo or the Arctic Circle, he writes music and conducts and trains ensembles.

His ’25 Etudes Esquisses’ for guitar solo  have been recorded for NAXOS by John  Holmquist and Alison Bendy and his music has been played and  recorded by David Russell, Craig Ogden, the Amadeus Duo, the Eden-Stell Duo, Xue Fei Yang,the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and John  Williams. His compositions have also been performed or recorded by the Oxford Concert Party and the early music ensemble Charivari Agreable.
His concerto for 2 guitars based on  themes collected by Garcia Lorca (the Lorca Concerto) has been  performed throughout Europe and is a staple of the guitar duo repertoire – it has recently been recorded on the  Hanssler label by the Amadeus Duo and with the National Youth Guitar Ensemble by the Eden Stell Duo.
His concerto for violin, guitar and strings (Concerto Romantico) was  performed in February 2013 to a capacity audience in Vilnius Congress Hall by the Lithuanian State Symphony with Vilhelmas Cepinskis and Sergej Krinicin
His  orchestral and choral music has been performed at  the Festival for Youth and Music two years  running and he has written many guitar and orchestral works.
His music and arrangements have been published  worldwide by Mel Bay, Holley Music, ABG  publications, Guitarissimo and Cramer.
His teaching experience has included educational  workshops with Kent Opera, English National  Opera and the Academy of St.Martin-in-the- Fields.

He is a regular tutor at the International Guitar Festivals in Iserlohn, Germany and West Dean, UK.

He is at present musical director of the National Youth Guitar  Ensemble which brings together young guitarists  from all over the UK to play guitar orchestral  pieces, some of which have been commissioned for the group.
He has taken part in and created music workshops for both school children and teachers in Britain and Scotland and is a popular adjudicator at music festivals around the world.
As a session guitarist he has been heard in many films scored by Gabriel Yared, Michel Legrand, Stanley Meyers and Philippe Sarde, amongst others.
He has recorded more than 14 CDs with Naxos, Meridian, Acoustics and Saga which have sold more than 50,000 copies world-wide.
He has performed with many other musicians  and actors, notably guitarists Paco Peña, John  Renbourn and John Williams, and performs in a  duo with Alison Bendy and with Simon Mayor’s  Mandolinquents as well as in an occasional  Irish”ensemble” with Mick Henry, Bernard  O’Donoghue, John Pethica and Tom Paulin.
In October 1995 he toured China in a duo with  guitarist John Williams playing to audiences of  tens of thousands of Chinese guitarists and teaching at Beijing and Shanghai conservatoires.
He has been invited back to China more recently with teaching posts at Guangzhou, Beijing and Chengdu.

Recent Posts

Ho’s Hong Kong History – interview with Kenneth Kwan, Bunny Leung and Ho Chung-Sze

 

HMCGS group 1982

The HK Classical Guitar Society ca.1981 – Mr.Ho is second from the left in the front row. Also present are Pepe Yeung, Simon Cheong Hing Liu, Edgar Chu, Stephen Kai Leung Chau, Ricky, Wilson, Summer Chan,Ng Ho Yi, Mr.Wong, Ngai Kai Tai Thanks to Bunny Leung for the photo

Hong Kong 1979-85– a group of enthusiastic amateur guitarists which met in a small shop in the Jordan area of Kowloon showed up at my first recital in my home town. They seemed well organised, and were hungry for any information and music that was out there.  It appeared that the shop belonged to a Mr.Ho, who allowed local teachers to use it and have their regular meetings. This was the Hong Kong Classical Guitar Society.

They were very kind and also friendly towards each other and towards visitors, so I made a point of keeping in contact on my regular visits and annual concerts. I discovered that there was also a connection with China – the society’s newsletter was sent regularly to contacts and teachers in disparate provinces.

The big name in China was Professor Chen Zhi, who had a reputation for producing wonderful players, but the growing number of classical guitarists in China wanted information – sheet music, recordings, videos…

The HK Classical Guitar Society grew into the HKGIA (Hong Kong Guitar Information Alliance) which involved the burgeoning number of  guitar teachers in Hong Kong, expanding the reach of the society to include all types of guitar interest – flamenco, baroque, nail players and no-nail players.

It was in this group that I first became aware of Kenneth Kwan, a student of the erudite Richard Szeto. It was also this group which made the links with Professor Chen Zhi that enabled John Williams and me to visit Hong Kong and China in 1995.

Prior to this visit Professor Chen Zhi organised The First China Artistic Guitar Festival at Zhuhai, China in 1987.
It was a very important event and has had a big influence on the development of the classical guitar in China.
Before this event Professor Chen Zhi had visited the HK Classical Guitar Society (and Mr. Ho) to invite local players to perform in the Festival. 
Some HK players performed in the China Artistic Guitar Festival 1987.

HK players in China 1987

None of us realised then what an explosion of classical guitar activity in China would result from John Williams’ and my visit in 1995 which was promoted by the British Council.

Most of today’s guitar professors in Chinese conservatoires were present at the concerts and masterclasses which John Williams and I gave.
Professor Chen Zhi has been instrumental in bringing his students to the west, and some of his ex students (and their students in turn) are now bright stars in the universe of the guitar.

I like to think that it all started in that small shop in Jordan, with a group of likeminded enthusiasts back in the early 80s. It should come as no surprise that we have kept in touch even though we have gone our separate ways.
In a world where thinly disguised self promotion seems to be the norm, it is refreshing to come across true enthusiasts who modestly make things happen which have far reaching implications.
Here is a meeting in a Hong Kong in a coffee shop – a meeting of old friends who hadn’t met up for almost forty years and still don’t know how to stop being enthusiastic!

GG and HK friends

GG and Leung Shui Pun

Teaching Bunny (Leung Shui Pun)

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My first recital in Hong KongGGHK programme

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