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 the 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, King’s 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 continues to build his international reputation with performances around the world, most recently including performances at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus and Mexico’s Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Morgan’s devotion to chamber music has led to collaborations with artists such as John Williams, Celso Machado and Carlos Bonell (guitar), Mark Padmore (tenor), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Priya Mitchell (violin), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), Adam Walker (flute), the Sacconi, Doric and Carducci Quartets, 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. Morgan’s second CD, ‘Songs in Time of War’ (Signum), is a stunning collaboration with Mark Padmore (tenor), Philip Honoré (violin), Alison Nicholls (harp), composer Alec Roth and the words of Vikram Seth. His recordings with his ensemble Machaca, ‘Mano a Mano’ and ‘Los Ambulantes’ on Sarabande Records, have been described as ‘a jewel’ by Gramophone Magazine.
Collaborations with composers have led to new works for guitar dedicated to Szymanski by Simone Iannarelli, Stephen McNeff, Julio César Oliva and Alec Roth whose Concerto for Guitar and Strings was premiered with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in 2010.
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 tours to Mexico, China, Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales and Spain as well as return visits to London´s Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Spitalfields Festival and his debut with Dublin´s RTÉ Orchestra. April 2013 also sees the release of ´Sometime I Sing´on the Signum Label, a new CD of the music for tenor and guitar by Alec Roth.
Morgan Szymanski plays on a guitar by the Chinese master guitar luthier Yulong Guo. He is a Live Music Now alumni, the scheme started by Lord Yehudi Menuhin to reach audiences that would otherwise have no access to live music. ´ www.livemusicnow.org.uk