Described as ‘a player destined for future glories’ (Classical Guitar Magazine) Morgan Szymanski has been highlighted as ‘One to Watch’ by both Gramophone Magazine and BBC Music Magazine. A featured artist on the cover of Classical Guitar Magazine, Morgan Szymanski was recently selected as a finalist for the ‘Outstanding Young Artist Award’ by MIDEM Classique/IAMA.
Born in Mexico City in 1979, Morgan Szymanski started playing the guitar at the age of six. Early studies at the National Music School (Mexico) and the Edinburgh Music School led to a scholarship to study under Carlos Bonell and Gary Ryan at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, graduating in 2004 with first class honours. During his studies he won all guitar prizes from the RCM as well as scholarships from the Tillett Trust, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Leverhulme Trust, Wall Trust, FONCA and a scholarship to study at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He immediately went on to become the first solo guitarist to be selected by Young Classical Artist Trust and was the first guitarist to be awarded a Junior Fellowship at the RCM, where he completed his Masters with distinction.
A top prize-winner at international competitions, in 2002 Morgan won first prize at the National Guitar Competition in Mexico. Performances as a soloist and with orchestras have taken him to concert halls and festivals in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, China, Chile, France, Germany, Guatemala, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Scotland, UK, USA and Zimbabwe. In recent years Morgan has given recitals at major UK venues and festivals including at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Kings Place, The Sage Gateshead, Royal Opera House, Lichfield Festival, Salisbury Festival and London International Guitar Festival. He has appeared as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Swan, Southbank Sinfonia, the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Sinfonia, the Cervantes Choir and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Morgan’s devotion to chamber music has led to collaborations with artists such as John Williams and Carlos Bonell (guitar), Mark Padmore (tenor), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Priya Mitchell (violin), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), the Sacconi Quartet, Phuong Nguyen (accordion), Adam Walker (flute) and Clara Mouriz (mezzo-soprano) amongst others.
Regularly broadcast live on TV and radio worldwide, Morgan can often be heard on BBC Radio 3. Described as ‘top class in every respect’ (Classical Guitar Magazine, 2005), Morgan’s first CD ‘The Unicorn in the Garden’, was released in 2005 including works by Iannarelli, Ritter, Ponce and Barrios as well as works especially written for him by Alec Roth. His recordings with his ensemble Machaca, ‘Mano a Mano’ and ‘Los Ambulantes’ on Sarabande Records, have been described as ‘a jewel’ by Gramophone Magazine. Morgan’s latest project is a visual and auditory journey entitled ‘Sketches of Mexico’. Released on Sarabande, this is a unique collaboration combining Mexican music from Julio César Oliva and Manuel M. Ponce and the work of twenty visual artists from the UK, Mexico, Portugal and China. Gramophone Magazine has called it ‘a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music’ with Morgan’s playing ‘of the highest order.’
The season 2012/13 sees Morgan return to Morelia Festival and the Wigmore Hall amongst other performances and tours across the UK, Mexico, Chile, China and Spain.
Morgan Szymanski plays on a Yulong Guo Guitar, supplied by the London Guitar Studio.