Biography

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 also 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 the 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, 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, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In 2016 he appeared live on BBC Radio 3 from the Hay Festival with the Cremona Quartet and Wigmore Hall with Mark Padmore. Highlights included a tour of China with the Carlos Chávez Quartet, and a tour of Mexico with Orchestra of the Swan giving the premiere of two concerti written for him by Alec Roth and Alejandro Basulto. In 2017 he has given a recital in Casa Luthier in Barcelona, the world premiere of Viva la Vida con Frida a show about Frida Kahlo at Chatsworth House with Lizzie Ball and St. George’s Bristol. Other highlights include a concert at Queens Hall in Edinburgh for the Mexican Day of the Dead Celebrations, and recitals at the North Norfolk, Jersey, Isle of Wight, Buxton, St. Endellion Festivals. 2017 sees also his debut at the Cervantino International Festival in Mexico.

Projects in 2018 include the release of a recording of nine world premieres written especially for him entitled El Árbol de la Vida (The Tree of Life) sponsored by the Mexican Arts Council, a tour of South Africa and concerts in Spain, Mexico, Italy and the UK.

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), Harriet Mackenzie (violin), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), Adam Walker and Alejandro Escuer (flute), the Sacconi, Doric, Amici, Carducci, Cremona, Carlos Chávez and Odeion Quartets.

Morgan is a resident artist at Beaminster Festival in Dorset, of which Sir Neville Marriner was Patron.

Numerous composers have dedicated works for Morgan including, Alec Roth, Stephen McNeff, Simon Rowland-Jones, Simone Iannarelli, Paul Coles and Julio César Oliva.

His many recordings on Sarabande Records have been described as ‘top class in every respect’ (Classical Guitar Magazine, 2005), and as ‘a jewel’ by Gramophone Magazine. On Szymanski´s ‘Sketches of Mexico’, Gramophone Magazine called it ‘a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music’ with Morgan’s playing ‘of the highest order.’ He has also recorded the works of Alec Roth for the Signum Label with tenor Mark Padmore. His latest recording, ´Nuevo Mundo´ is available on Sarabande Records.

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. ´ In 2016 he started PRISMA, an artistic outreach programme aimed at disadvantaged and remote areas in Mexico.

Morgan is much and demand as a teacher and has given masterclasses at top conservatoires worldwide including the Royal College of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music (Cardiff) and Trinity College of Music as well as conservatoires in China and Mexico.