Described as ‘a player destined for future glories’ (Classical Guitar Magazine) Morgan Szymanski has been highlighted as ‘One to Watch’ by both Gramophone Magazine and the BBC Music Magazine. A featured artist on the cover of Classical Guitar Magazine, Morgan Szymanski was also selected as a finalist for the ‘Outstanding Young Artist Award’ by MIDEM Classique/IAMA.
Born in Mexico City in 1979, Morgan Szymanski started playing the guitar at the age of six. Early studies at the National Music School (Mexico) and the Edinburgh Music School led to a scholarship to study under Carlos Bonell and Gary Ryan at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, graduating in 2004 with first class honours. During his studies he won all guitar prizes from the RCM as well as scholarships from the Tillett Trust, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Leverhulme Trust, Wall Trust, FONCA and a scholarship to study at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He immediately went on to become the first solo guitarist to be selected by Young Classical Artist Trust and was the first guitarist to be awarded a Junior Fellowship at the RCM, where he completed his Masters with distinction.
A top prize-winner at international competitions, in 2002 Morgan won first prize at the National Guitar Competition in Mexico. Performances as a soloist and with orchestras have taken him to concert halls and festivals in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, China, Chile, France, Germany, Guatemala, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Scotland, UK, USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
In recent years Morgan has given recitals at major UK venues and festivals including at the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, King’s Place, National Concert Hall (Dublin), The Sage Gateshead, Royal Opera House, Festival de México and London International Guitar Festival. He has appeared as a soloist with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Orchestra of the Swan, Southbank Sinfonia, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Sinfonia, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Cervantes Choir and the Coro de Madrigalistas de Bellas Artes in Mexico. Morgan continues to build his international reputation with performances around the world, most recently including performances at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Vienna Konzerthaus and Mexico’s Palacio de Bellas Artes. In 2015 he will make his debut in South Africa.
Morgan’s devotion to chamber music has led to collaborations with artists such as John Williams, Celso Machado and Carlos Bonell (guitar), Mark Padmore (tenor), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Harriet Mackenzie (violin), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), Adam Walker and Alejandro Escuer (flute), and the Sacconi, Doric, Amici, Carducci and Odeion Quartets.
Regularly broadcast live on TV and radio worldwide, Morgan can often be heard on BBC Radio 3. Described as ‘top class in every respect’ (Classical Guitar Magazine, 2005), Morgan’s first CD ‘The Unicorn in the Garden’, was released in 2005 including works by Iannarelli, Ritter, Ponce and Barrios as well as works especially written for him by Alec Roth. His recordings with his ensemble Machaca, ‘Mano a Mano’ and ‘Los Ambulantes’ on Sarabande Records, have been described as ‘a jewel’ by Gramophone Magazine. Szymanski´s ‘Sketches of Mexico’, a visual and auditory journey is a unique collaboration combining Mexican music from Julio César Oliva and Manuel M. Ponce and the work of twenty visual artists from the UK, Mexico, Portugal and China. Gramophone Magazine has called it ‘a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music’ with Morgan’s playing ‘of the highest order.’ His latest recording, Nuevo Mundo is available on Sarabande Records and can be heard on Itunes and Spotify. He has also recorded the works of Alec Roth for the Signum Label with tenor Mark Padmore.
In 2014-15 Morgan appered as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and made his debut with the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra and Dublin´s RTÉ Orchestra in the presence of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.
Morgan Szymanski plays on a guitar by the Chinese master guitar luthier Yulong Guo. He is a Live Music Now alumni, the scheme started by Lord Yehudi Menuhin to reach audiences that would otherwise have no access to live music. ´
Morgan is much and demand as a teacher and has given masterclasses at top conservatoires in the UK including the Royal College of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music (Cardiff) and Trinity College of Music as well as conservatoires in China, Bermuda and Mexico. In 2013 he was appointed resident artist at Beaminster Festival in Dorset, of which Sir Neville Marriner is Patron.
Numerous composers have dedicated works for Morgan including, Alec Roth, Stephen McNeff, Simon Rowland-Jones, Simone Iannarelli, Deborah Pritchard, Paul Coles and Julio César Oliva.