Expanding Your Guitarist Horizons – Marcin Dylla

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted up an “Expanding Your Guitarist Horizons” post, so I thought it was high time for such a post, particularly given that I’ve had one guitarist on pretty high rotation in recent weeks – a Polish guitarist by the name of Marcin Dylla.

To say that Dylla has a technical command of the instrument with an exquisite musical sense, is a bit like saying Bream was kind of alright at a bit of expression here and there. Dylla is, for sure, one of the finest classical guitarists gracing stage and studio today.

To prove that I’m not talking rubbish, here’s one of my favourite clips of the moment – Dylla playing the technical tour de force that  is Giuliani’s Rossiniana No. 1:


Marcin Dylla was born in Chorzow in 1976. He received his first guitar lessons at the Ruda Slaska Music Conservatory in his native Poland. From 1995 to 2000 he studied at the Music Academy of Katowice with Adi Wanda Palacz. He then completed his studies with Oscar Ghiglia, Sonja Prunnbauer and Carlo Marchione at the Music Academies of Basel, Freiburg and Maastricht, respectively. He is currently a Professor at the Music Academy in Kraków and Katowice.

Dylla won 1st prize in the 2007 Guitar Foundation of America International Competition, arguably the world’s most prestigious guitar competition. Which, of course, was followed by his recording on the Naxos label as part of it’s GFA winners series. This recording (which is a favourite of mine) featured Joaquin Rodrigo’s Junto al Generalife,  Alexandre Tansman’s Variations on a Theme of Scriabin, Nicholas Maw’s Music of Memory (which is frankly nuts as a piece!), and Manuel Ponce’s Sonata Romantica.

Here’s Dylla playing an absolutely beautiful rendition of Rodrigo’s Junto al Generalife:

And here’s the first movement from the Ponce’s Sonata Romantica at the 2012 Classical Guitar Retreat in Scotland:

I’ve also managed to find a pretty cool interview with Dylla from 2013 too – some great insights into the concert performer’s world, Dylla’s background, his thoughts on performance and approach to the guitar and thinking for yourself. He’s a pretty smart guy and well worth a watch:


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