Saturday, 23 April 2011
Britain is a country which says "Happy Birthday" to an old Australian classical guitarist called John Williams
John Williams, the 'Grammy Award' winning Australian classical guitarist, and long-term resident of Britain, is 70 today. I remember him for his hauntingly beautiful 'Cavatina' which was used for the music in the 1978 film,'The Deerhunter':
Things you possibly didn't know about John, that he :
* was born in Melbourne, to an English father and later founder of the 'London Guitar School' and an Australian-Chinese mother who was the daughter of well known barrister.
* came to England in 1952, went to Grammar School in London and from the age of 11 attended summer courses with Andrés Segovia at the 'Academia Musicale Chigiana' in Siena, Italy.
* attended the 'Royal College of Music' in London from 1956 to '59, studying piano because the school did not have a guitar department at the time.
* had his first professional performance a classical guitarist in 1958 and since then has performed around the world, made regular appearances on radio and TV and recorded almost the entire repertoire for the guitar.
* was instrumental in bringing the works of Augustin Barrios back to popularity :
* created a classical-rock fusion duet with Pete Townshend of 'The Who' for the 1979 Amnesty International benefit show 'The Secret Policeman's Ball' :
* is knowledgeable on the origin of the guitar :
* has played the 'Enfield Dances' with Richard Harvey :
* attended the 'Guitar Fair' at Paracho in Mexico for the documentary : 'The Guitar is Their Song' :
* is a 'Visiting Professor and Honorary Member' of the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Cleo Laine and John and 'He Was So Beautiful' set to 'Cavatina' :