Craig Ogden
Craig Ogden

Craig Ogden

About Craig Ogden

Australian-born guitarist Craig Ogden, based for some years at Britain's Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, has drawn comparisons to the legendary Julian Bream with the flair and what an American Record Guide critic called the daredevil quality of his playing. The catholic nature of Ogden's repertory is also noteworthy; he presents guitar chestnuts and contemporary premieres with equal enthusiasm, and he has worked as an accompanist to quite diverse vocalists.

A native of Perth, Ogden took up the guitar at age seven and also studied percussion as a teen. Graduating with honors from the University of Western Australia, he moved on in 1990 for a performance degree at the Royal Northern College of Music and was hired as a lecturer in guitar by the RNCM, becoming the youngest instrumentalist ever to receive one of the school's fellowships. In concert and on recordings, Ogden has managed to win acclaim even for performances in the most crowded field of all: the guitar concertos of composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Making his Royal Albert Hall debut with Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and recording all three concertos with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Ogden gained not only strong notices but also praise from Rodrigo's daughter, Cecilia. More innovative Ogden programs were likewise successful; he gave the British premieres of guitar concertos by American composers John Corigliano and Aaron Jay Kernis (and has commissioned several concertos from British composers). A disc combining passages from the novels of British writer Louis de Bernières with the music they describe made Top 10 on British classical sales charts.

The roster of labels for which Ogden has recorded is unusually prestigious, including Nimbus, Virgin/EMI, Chandos, Hyperion, Collins Classics, and Sony. Ogden has collaborated with artists including countertenor David Daniels to release the album A Quiet Thing, joining together for a series of duo recitals that introduced him to U.S. audiences. Another collaborator has been soprano Claire Bradshaw, to whom he is married. By 2018, Ogden, backed by the marketing muscle of Britain's Classic FM crossover music radio network, had notched four number-one albums on UK classical charts, including 2015's Craig Ogden and Friends: The Perfect Summer Guitar Album. In 2019, he was heard on the Chandos chamber album Voyage Central Park. He has already made numerous plans for future recording projects, including an engagement with Bach's works. Ogden is the author of a set of right-hand exercises for guitarists, and he has increasingly often commissioned new works for the guitar. At work on a project that pairs guitar music by Nigel Westlake with a video installation, he teaches at the University of Western Australia in Perth.

    Perth, Australia

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