Andrey Lebedev Presented By The Julian Bream Trust With 2 World Premiere Performances

Well, its fair to say that we Australians (and Victorians in particular) have had a good share of the envy-inducing classical guitar gigs of late. Now it’s the turn of the UK (again) to make us Antipodeans green around the gills, via an upcoming Australian talent no less!

The legendary Julian Bream and his Trust, together with the young Australian Andrey Lebedev, have come together to extend recently written repertoire for the instrument.

Amongst other things, the Julian Bream Trust was formed to present substantial and often ignored music written for the guitar, with a particular focus on new literature. Andrey Lebedev’s concert has the unusual inclusion of two world premieres of works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Leo Brouwer, both commissioned by the Trust.

Andrey, who was personally chosen by Julian Bream for this particular concert (nice!!), has been visiting Bream from time to time at his home in Wiltshire (I’m not envious at all Andrey…..). They have collaborated closely, working through the new music as well as the more conventional works in the programme.

Birtwistle’s piece is inspired by Picasso’s Construction with Guitar Player. It’s an immense and very dense work,” says Lebedev, “built around a short piece he wrote for his wife’s funeral and played by their son Silas. It’s a great honour for me to be giving the first public performance of a work written by one of the foremost composers of our time.

Leo Brouwer’s Sonata No.5 Ars Combinatoria, is the second sonata he has written for Julian Bream. “It sparkles with Brouwer’s personal and richly resonant guitar writing, developed in his youth as a gifted concert guitarist and refined over decades of brilliant writing for the instrument” says Bream.

Andrey Lebedev  Photo: Shannon Morris
Andrey Lebedev
Photo: Shannon Morris

Andrey Lebedev is at present a post-graduate student at the Royal Academy of Music, partially assisted by The Julian Bream Trust and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).


7.30pm, Thursday, 4 December, 2014
St John’s Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HA
Andrey Lebedev guitar, presented by The Julian Bream Trust

Andrey will be playing:
JS Bach Partita in D minor BWV 1004
Harrison Birtwistle Beyond the White Hand – Construction with Guitar Player World Premiere
Leo Brouwer Sonata No. 5 “Ars Combinatoria” World Premiere
Takemitsu In the Woods – Three pieces for guitar
Ginastera Sonata for Guitar, Op. 47
Tickets: £20 / £15 / £10
Box Office: +(0)20 7222 1061 /

Check out more about the event here:

And check out more about Andrey at his website:

Expanding your guitarist horizons – Xuefei Yang

Here’s a fantastically talented young female guitarist from China and somewhat of a pioneer. Xuefei was the very first classical guitarist in China to enter a music school, the first ever Chinese student to be awarded a full international scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London and then the first to launch an international professional career. Nice work!

Xuefei was born in 1977 in Beijing and began studying guitar at the tender age of seven. Just three years later, at age ten, she began studying under Chairman of the China Classical Guitar Society, Chen Zhi. It was also at this time that she made her public debut at the China International Guitar Festival. Apparently, she impressed the Spanish Ambassador so much he immediately presented her with a top-notch concert guitar! And that wasn’t the only time a top-flight instrument was bestowed upon her – when John Williams visited Beijing in 1995 he was also so impressed with her that he actually gave his very own Smallman to her as a gift!

I first came across Xuefei Yang a couple of years ago with her recording of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez (which is a really fantastic interpretation and I invite you to check it out. She comes pretty bloody close to my all-time favourite version of this concerto by Carlos Bonnell). This recording also features the debut presentation of Stephen Goss’ Albeniz Concerto, which is also well worth a listen – taking many of Albeniz’s well-known themes and weaving into a fantastic guitar and orchestra concerto setting. It does feel perhaps a little “pastiche-y” perhaps in places, but an impressively grand, lush, full-on Romantic re-imagining of some of Albeniz’s works and, of course, fantastically delicious playing form Xuefei Yang.

Here are Xuefei and Stephen Goss talking about the work:

Check out some more of Xuefei’s playing……