Published: 01 April 2014

John Williams launches new guitar research centre

John Williams officially opens Surrey's International Guitar Research Centre during a weekend of concerts, discussions and exhibitions.

Distinguished guitarist John Williams joined an exciting line-up of musicians, artists and academics for the annual Guildford Guitar Weekend, which this year also marked the launch of the International Guitar Research Centre (IGRC).

Mr Williams - who has been one of the most famous names in classical guitar music for nearly six decades - gave the keynote speech for the weekend, and also took part in a public conversation with Professor Stephen Goss, Director of Research in the University of Surrey's School of Arts. Professor Goss is a prolific composer of guitar music, having written and arranged many pieces for Mr Williams.

John Williams gave the keynote speech and will serve as Honorary President for the International Guitar Research Centre

The weekend's other highlights included a series of academic seminars, performances by the likes of Xuefei Yang, Michael Partington, Declan Zapala, Bridget Mermikides and the Amadeus Duo, and a guitar-themed gallery installation created by Dr Matthew Sansom and Jan Hendrickse in honour of the launch.

The IGRC will serve as an international hub for research into guitar music, composition, performance and history. The Centre will work in close affiliation with various partner institutions, including the IGF (International Guitar Foundation), the IGRA (International Guitar Research Archive) and the University of São Paulo. It will be hosted at the University of Surrey, which has played a prominent role in the guitar world for several decades. Professor Goss is IGRC Director, with Mr Williams serving as Honorary President.

“The success of the Guildford Guitar Weekend shows that the IGRC is fulfilling a real need for quality research in the guitar community," said Dr Milton Mermikides, Deputy Director. "The Centre has enormous potential to deliver new music, performances and discoveries around the instrument."

"The Centre has enormous potential to deliver new music, performances and discoveries"

Dr Milton Mermikides

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