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Composer: Williams, John Christopher (b. 1941)

Fact file
Year of birth1941
NationalityAustralia
Period20th century
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Guitarist John Williams gets a standing ovation at St George's Bristol

John Williams  ©  Kathy Panama
On entering St George’s Bristol, we were given a sheet of paper with a biography and the names of a handful of composers – the programme hadn’t been announced beforehand, and was only revealed during the concert by John Williams himself. He introduced each piece with a little context, varying from a piece’s personal relevance, to its historical background.
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John Williams at St George's Bristol

It is quite a daunting task to assess the performance of someone like John Williams. Certainly one of the finest and most famous living classical guitarists in the world, he seems something of a colossus of the instrument. Yet the manner he exuded as he entered the stage of St. George’s was of understated familiarity.
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Review Wigmore Hall: John Williams

Kathy Panama

In a recent interview, BBC Radio 3 Controller Roger Wright was asked "What music would you want played at your funeral?" His reply: "Spanish guitar music, because I wouldn’t be there to hear it. If you ask my colleagues they’d say Spanish guitar music is one of my blind spots."

Full marks to Wright for laying his cards on the table, perhaps. But how common, how deep-seated are such sentiments in the British classical music community?