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I am playing a solo spot at Auckland Girls Grammar School tonight, as part of the New Zealand Guitar Ensemble 10th Annual concert.

You know – moving house is an exhausting process for anyone – moving cities, and taking your business with you is way beyond that! I am now living on Auckland’s North Shore in Browns Bay, a small very pretty seaside town. I am slowly establishing myself here as a guitar teacher and have been working on a new program for later in the year.

It is warmer and more humid up here. Especially so given that NZ has been experiencing a heatwave for the last 2 months. I think it has only rained once up here since I arrived on New Years Eve! Now that I am finally settled into a new property I will be focussing on organising another overseas tour for the winter of 2016.

Remember that I have a few Skype students now who are loving their lessons – so If you don’t live in Auckland don’t despair! Email me and we can set up a lesson on Skype very easily.

This was probably one of the smallest audiences that I had on my tour, but they made up for it with great enthusiasm and a standing ovation! It was a pleasure to play for such a lovely group of people, most of whom had never heard a classical guitar being played before.

This is the venue where I played in Hope Bay. The room I played in was on the edge of the sea – great view for the audience – I had my back to it!

It was hard to find time to post whilst touring! Unfortunately I also forgot to take the computer connection for my smart phone, so I quickly ran out of space to take any more photos.

But I have to say first of all what an amazing couple Brenda and Sam Israel are. Sam started Skype lessons with me last year, and he soon decided that they would organise a tour for me. They both worked tirelessly for months in advance, and continued to promote me whilst I was there – so a huge thanks to them! They have become life long friends, as have Mary and Brian who put me up in their spare room in the forest on Mayne Island for 4 weeks whilst I toured, it has been such a blessing to get to know them.

Sam and Brenda in the Bengal cocktail lounge of the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria

Brenda Brian and Mary – at my leaving party on Mayne Island

 

Video recording of me on Mayne Island done by Stephen Cropper. The track is Preludio from La Catedral from my album ‘A dream in the Forest’. The church is the St Mary Magdalene church where I gave my first sell out recital. Lovely warm enthusiastic crowd.

It has been hard to find the time – and internet connections – to keep this blog updated on my tour, but it has been a great success and the audiences everywhere have been very responsive and enthusiastic. It has been such an honour and a privilege to share my music with the lovely people in Vancouver and on the many islands around BC.

My last performance is this Friday on Saltspring Island, and I will be very sad to leave the many friends that I have made here. I am, however very excited to be travelling back to the UK for my 1st tour there in many years. Check out my UK schedule if you live in England. It would be great to see you there!

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It was a great concert last night, the audience was overflowing and so very appreciative. It was a lovely little church by the waterfront, though unbelievably hot at the end of a sunny day!

The audience was very attentive and the acoustic lent itself to playing very softly, so I could employ the guitar’s full range of dynamics. I had a standing ovation at the end which finished off a lovely evening with a lovely group of people. The people on Mayne Island are such warm people from diverse backgrounds, and it was a pleasure to meet them afterwards at the reception.

I am off to Pender Island on Thursday and then to Victoria.

Here I am on Mayne Island in British Columbia, living in a forest and only a 10 minute walk from the sea. I am being very well looked after, and looking forward to my first recital here tomorrow evening. There are hundreds of beautiful birds here – my first time seeing a humming bird!

 

I thought you might like to see the BBC recording of the Julian Bream Masterclass which is now available to people living in the UK to download! My performance of Sevilla begins at 25mins 49 secs.

 

This competition was recorded by the BBC and shown in many countries across the world. It was the very last competition I ever entered. There where 6 finalists, one winner and 5 of us awarded joint 2nd place – including myself. I had a huge recital work load leading up to the competition, including an important solo recital for a new agent, and 2 concerto recitals – all containing different music to that played in the competition! So I entered the competition feeling very unprepared! I also decided to learn a new piece ‘Un Sueno en La Floresta’  for the ‘own choice’ selection, instead of playing something I knew well – putting myself under even more pressure.  The finalists had to play a movement from a concerto – choice of 2 – and I chose to play Rodrigo’s Fantasia Para un Gentilhombre. Enough said that it was very ropy!! A great experience though – the castle was stunningly beautiful – the one thing I miss about the UK – the historic buildings – not the weather!!

I have just been made guitarist of the month at Guitar Tube! Go and check them out –  its a great website with lots of interesting videos covering all aspects of guitar from rock to classical! They always have interesting performances to watch!

http://www.guitar-tube.com/

Its also Julian Bream’s 80th birthday this year – so check out the videos showcasing this amazing guitarist who inspired me to greater heights. Happy Birthday Julian!

http://players.guitar-tube.com/julian-bream