The November 2008 issue of Classical Guitar Magazine features Morgan Szymanski on its cover and includes a three page interview with photos. Interviewed by Oliver McGhee, the interview includes discussions on technique, life as a musician, influences and future plans.

This year saw the fruition of collaborations with distinguished artists, instrumentalists and orchestras, leading to a varied output of repertoire and performances. Collaborations in 2008 included performances with John Williams (guitar), the Sacconi Quartet, Odeion Quartet (South Aftrica), Gemma Rosefield (‘cello), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Clara Andrada (flute), Ruth Rogers (violin), Mark Padmore (tenor), Machaca, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Cadogan Hall and Fairfield Halls), Southbank Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony and the CBSO Youth Orchestra.

Recordings included the release of ‘Songs in Time of War’ – the music of Alec Roth on the Signum Label ( with Mark Padmore, Phillipe Honore and Alison Nicholls. Morgan also recorded Heitor Villa-Lobos’s ‘Prelude No.1’ for Ginkgo Music (, project Tropical Forest Ecuador. Profits from this CD will go towards the preservation of the Ecuatorian rain forest.

Premieres included the world premiere of Morgan Szymanski’s ‘Zambezi Sarabande’, for children’s choir, massed marimbas and guitars and string quartet – performed at the closure of the Bulawayo Music Festival in Zimbabwe. The collaboration between Morgan Szymanski and ODuo, which already includes a wealth of repertoire by Piazzolla, Machado, Brouwer, Ponce and Lauro led to the creation of a new piece for guitar and percussion: ‘Los Ambulantes’ by Stephen McNeff. ‘Los Ambulantes’ are the street vendors, jugglers, clowns, musicians, acrobats and dancers that live on the streets of Mexico City. The work was premiered at the Wigmore Hall, and was performed at the Mexico tour of Machaca, to critical acclaim. The arrangements of ‘Five English Folk Songs’ by Alec Roth for tenor and guitar were premiered at a concert for the Rochdale Music Society with Mark Padmore.

CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy at Birmingham Town Hall
Aug 12 2008 By Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post

‘As soloist in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, Morgan Szymanski brought rhapsodic freedom of nuance and crispness of articulation to enliven this regrettably hackneyed piece, Seal’s orchestra accompanying with alert attentiveness.’

Birmingham Town Hall has been the venue for countless performances of Beethoven’s Symphony no.7 over the best part of two centuries, but not many of them will have been given with the vitality, energy and sheer rhythmic drive which we heard from the superlative CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy.

These young players are hand-picked from an already remarkable CBSOYO, and, like all the members of that amazing ensemble, play with dedication, skill and a willingness to learn.

The responsibility upon those who coach them is immense. In Michael Seal they have a conductor who, himself vastly experienced as a violinist in the CBSO, has learned his trade from the inside and is therefore able to direct his charges with insight and understanding.

The result in this most kinetic of symphonies was exhilarating, lively, vibrant and seamlessly flowing. If any complaint can be made, it is that the textures were string-dominated, from the top downwards, and important wind contributions were submerged. But to criticise at that level is to pay tribute to the immaculate expertise of all concerned.

Earlier in this attractive programme we admired brave gossamer string cascades in Arvo Part’s Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, and found a link with the Suffolk composer (“naturally?-tuned horns a la Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings) in Ligeti’s Concerto Romanesc, a work which owes more to Bartok and Enescu rather than prefiguring any of the highly individual works later to flow from the Hungarian composer’s pen.

As soloist in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, Morgan Szymanski brought rhapsodic freedom of nuance and crispness of articulation to enliven this regrettably hackneyed piece, Seal’s orchestra accompanying with alert attentiveness.

Orchestra of the Swan with Morgan Szymanski
Stratford Music Festival
Preston Witts, Stratford Herald, 25/10/07

“…After this came the work most of the audience had been waiting for – the massively popular Concierto de Aranjuez by the blind Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999). The guitar soloist, Morgan Szymanski, entranced the packed auditorium with a rendering of this music – especially the yearning, deeply romantic, slow movement – of which it’s most famous practitioners would have been proud….Mr Szymanski gave a solo encore of that haunting guitar piece by Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909), Recuerdos de la Alhambra, which was a calming but fitting finale to an evening of great musical brio.?

Morgan Szymanski
St. John’s, Sharow
Ripon International Festival
Darlington and Stockton Times
Dave Robson

DESPITE what his name suggests, guitarist Morgan Szymanski is neither Polish nor Russian, but a Mexican, whose studies brought him to the City of Edinburgh Music School and then the Royal College of Music in London.

His concert before a large audience in St. John’s, Sharow, comprised works by 20th and 21st century composers, including Alec Roth, a Durham University graduate who now directs the Royal Festival Hall Gamelan programme. His Unicorn in the Garden and Cancion de la Luna paid lip service to both gamelan music and the elegance of the 18th century in Szymanski’s playing.

Mexican composer Manuel Maria Ponce’s 3rd Sonata, in an agreeable unique style –“Mexican impressionism?, the programme note told us – was matched by his Theme, Variations and Finale, written for Segovia, who would play only six of its nine variations in his many performances. Szymanski performed all nine – the missing three being probably a world premiere performance.

The colourful and percussive nature of Brazil was beautifully caught in the exciting virtuoso style and use of the woodwork of the instrument in Paulo Bellinati’s Jongo, while La Catedral, by Agustin Barrios, from neighbouring Paraguay, evoked the nature of a cathedral, with gentle sounds evoking the calmness of a church interior in Preludio, a central allegro solemn with the steady tramp of a procession, and the final allegro, with it’s evocations of bells heard from the outside.

The almost mandatory Spanish influence was provided by four highly evocative pieces from Isaac Albeniz’s Suite Espanola. Though the work is better known in its original piano version, this guitar arrangement did not lose anything of its balmy excitements.

Tour of Mexico- September 2006

Concerts in Mexico City, Taxco, Zacatecas, Colima, Acapulco, Valle de Bravo and others.


9th-Concert with Oliver Cox (percussion), Canterbury.

14th – Solo recital for the Little Missenden Festival.

16th – Solo recital, Stratford Festival.

21-23- Concerts with ODuo in Switzerland.

November 1-14

Tour of Ireland with soprano Laura Mitchell.

November 18 – Concerto, Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra.

November 25th – Concerto, Ealing Symphony Orchestra.

December 3rd – Recital, Little Gaddeston.

December 16th – Recital, Stamford Arts Centre.


‘Guitarist is back with subtle touch’
Ashford Music Society
SKJ, Kentish Express, 17/11/05

THE young classical guitarist Morgan Szymanski appeared in Ashford earlier this year to considerable acclaim.

For his return visit, to Ashford Music Society at Norton Knatchbull School, he attracted a capacity audience to an enthralling recital of mostly Spanish and Latin-American music for the guitar.

Works by the Mexican composer Manuel Ponce, such as theme and variations and three pieces, were originally featured by the great guitar virtuoso Segovia and were given exemplary performances by Szymanski, also born in Mexico City.

His technical dexterity and wide range or expression were particularly demonstrated to maximum effect, with items by the Paraguayan composer Barrios Mangore and in Tarrega’s colourful arrangement of the evocative suite Espanola for piano by the Spanish composer Albeniz – an arrangement which seemed to suit the guitar more than the piano original, especially when performed with such subtlety as on this occasion.

“Morgan’s mastery enthrals audience?
Ludlow Advertiser, MB

MORGAN Szymanski’s guitar recital on Saturday for Ludlow Music Society was an eye-opener in many ways.

Much of the music would have been unfamiliar. However, Morgan’s sensitive playing must have left his audience wanting to learn more about such composers as Agustin Barrios – known as the Paganini of the jungles of Paraguay – and Alec Roth, who has written four works for him.

The recital at Moor Park was the society’s annual Young Artists Platform Concert, under the auspices of the Countess of Munster’s Trust.

Morgan is a born communicator. He has the rare gift of being able to make his instrument sing. This came over particularly in music by Simone Iannarelli and the arresting evocation by Barrios of the calm and beauty of the Cathedral in Asuncion, Paraguay.

There was also fire in his playing, notably in the Suite Espanola by Albeniz. His dancing finger work in the final Asturias still haunts my waking hours afterwards. Any arts festival organiser should grab Morgan now, before his diary is too full.

Morgan Szymanski
Bath Festival
Angela Goodman
Bath Chronicle, 23/5/05

THIS young Mexican guitarist uses personal anectdote and fascinating detail to educate his audience and breathe life into each piece before he plays.

His playing is clearly inspired by admirations for the composers and by friendship and collaboration with, for example, Alec Roth, whose Unicorn in the Garden was a sweet, wistful evocation of movement and silence, with textured droplets of notes like dripping leaves and flowers opening. Roth’s Cancion de la Luna, a lyrical spiral ending in a moonbeam of white notes, was written after Szymanski had played him some Aztec music, including a dance to the moon.

Simone Iannarelli’s sunlight lullaby, Cancion para Beatriz, evokes a clock gently ticking and the soft sleep of a child; this music also has strong personal associations, due to the composer’s friendship with Morgan Szymanski.