Bath Symphony Orchestra is delighted to welcome guitar virtuoso Craig Ogden to play the concerto written for him by British composer and guitar player William Lovelady, who has worked with many of the world’s leading players and collaborated with such artists as Art Garfunkel, Hugh Masekela and Julian Lloyd Webber. Opening the programme is the charming and melodic Petite Suite de Concert by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, an African-English composer who worked with Elgar and Stanford. William Walton’s epic Symphony No. 1 provides a monumental finale, running the emotional gamut from rage and bitterness, through melancholy to exultation and triumph.
Described by BBC Music Magazine as “A worthy successor to Julian Bream“, Australian born guitarist Craig Ogden is one of the most exciting artists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and percussion from the age of thirteen. In 2004, he became the youngest instrumentalist to receive a Fellowship Award from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. One of the UK’s most recorded guitarists, he has accumulated an acclaimed discography for Chandos, Virgin/EMI, Nimbus, Hyperion, Sony and six chart-topping albums for Classic FM. His most recent recordings are a solo recital disc for Chandos, Craig Ogden in Concert and a new arrangement of the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach with violinist David Juritz and cellist Tim Hugh for Nimbus Records.
Craig Ogden has performed concertos with many of the world’s leading orchestras in countries including Latvia, Russia, South Africa, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Germany and Australia. In recent seasons he has performed with the Hallé, BBC Concert Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra (Spain), Darwin Symphony Orchestra (Australia), Spanish Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Dublin), London Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. In 2015, Craig was invited to perform a series of concerts on tour with the Royal Northern Sinfonia at major UK concert halls and again in 2016 with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the English Chamber Orchestra, both tours receiving critical acclaim. In 2019, Craig presented his own programme of “The Celebration of the Guitar” with Manchester Camerata which showcased the guitar in various styles. This season Craig performs concertos with orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Oulu Symphony Orchestra (Finland) and Ulster Orchestra.
Numerous composers have written works specially for him and in 2017 he gave the world première of a concerto written for him by Andy Scott with the Northern Chamber Orchestra at Stoller Hall, Manchester, followed by the Australian première in Perth. He gave the world première of Il Filo, a double concerto for guitar and accordion by David Gordon with Miloš Milivojević in summer 2019 and gave the world première of a concerto written for him by David Knotts in March 2022 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London with the BBC Concert Orchestra which was recorded for BBC Radio 3, filmed for BBC4 TV and currently available on BBC iPlayer. In July 2022, Craig gave the world première of Isolation Songs (Without Words) a new guitar concerto written for him by William Lovelady with the English Chamber Orchestra for Music in Country Churches with HM The King in attendance. The work received its London première in November 2022 at Cadogan Hall. In January 2023, Craig gave the world première of a guitar concerto by Greg Caffrey with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, recorded for BBC Radio 3.
Craig Ogden is the most sought-after guitarist for chamber music in the UK performing with artists including the Carducci Quartet, Miloš Milivojević (accordion), Paul Edmund-Davies (flute) and the London Tango Quintet, of which he is a regular member. Craig also performs a new arrangement written for him of the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach with violinist David Juritz and cellist Tim Hugh. He has been invited to perform with John Williams at venues including London’s Globe Theatre, where he returned for a music and poetry performance with actress Meera Syal and in 2022 he again performed with John Williams at the Royal College of Music for a concert celebrating the life of the late Julian Bream. Craig has performed at many of the major UK festivals as well as large outdoor festivals including Jamie Oliver and Alex James’ Big Feastival and the Wilderness Festival. Craig gave a recital with tenor James Gilchrist at the Edinburgh Festival which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and performed in the concert series devoted to Sir Michael Tippett at the Wigmore Hall, returning there with the Nash Ensemble.
Craig gave concerts and masterclasses in Hong Kong and Shanghai as part of the Hong Kong Guitar Symposium and he has performed several concerts at the Australian Chamber Music Festival at the invitation of Piers Lane. He was invited to be Visiting Musician at Oriel College, University of Oxford for two years. Craig frequently records for film and was featured on the British hit, Notting Hill. He has presented programmes on radio including The Segovia Legacy on BBC Radio 3 (co-presented with Louis de Bernières), Ten Pound Pom Mum for BBC Northern Ireland (a programme about his Mother’s upbringing in Northern Ireland) and a series of four interviews with artists including John Williams for ABC Classic FM (Australia). Craig presented three short videos as part of an advertising campaign on Classic FM for Emirates Airline and was invited by Sky Arts to be a mentor for the Guitar Star television series.
Craig Ogden is Director of Guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Adjunct Fellow of the University of Western Australia, and Associate Artist at The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester . Craig Ogden plays a 2011 Greg Smallman guitar and strings made by D’Addario.
We are also delighted to welcome Emilie Godden as our Guest Conductor for this concert. Emilie has just completed the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She is mentored by Martyn Brabbins. Through the association with the BBC SSO, Emilie has regularly assisted Chief Conductor Ryan Wigglesworth.
Recent engagements include a concert performance and studio recordings for Radio 3 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, assisting Ryan Wigglesworth with the BBC SSO at the Proms, and assisting Martyn Brabbins with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.
Emilie conducted at the 2022 St Endellion Summer Festival in Cornwall and has worked as assistant conductor at Grange Park Opera.
Upcoming engagements include a concert performance and a school project with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as a concert with the St Woolos Sinfonia.
As a member of the first violin section of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales since 1999, Emilie has experienced performing a broad range of symphonic repertoire over two decades.