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After studying classical guitar, piano, jazz guitar and composition at the world-renowned Chetham's School of Music for seven years, twenty year old Alexandra Whittingham now studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Having picked up the guitar when she was just five years old, Alexandra's father taught her the basics of the instrument before she went on to begin private lessons.
During her time at Chetham's, Alexandra had many opportunities to play with various ensembles, such as a string quartet, guitar duets and jazz groups, which resulted in her becoming a member of Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra. With the orchestra came the opportunity to tour Germany and Czech Republic, where they sold out various venues within the two countries.
In her final year at the school, she also gained her LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music) second diploma in guitar performance.
In the spring of 2013, Alexandra won the inaugural Edinburgh Guitar Competition. Following this, she travelled to Budapest to take part in the Carpathian International Youth Guitar Competition, where she gained second place. More recently in early 2015 at the Gregynog Young Musicians' Competition, Alexandra became Gregynog Young Guitarist of the year after her performance of Leo Brouwer's Sonata and Sevilla by Isaac Albeniz.
More recently, Alexandra was invited to perform at Abbey Road Studios alongside singer-songwriter Imelda May for EMI Music and Sound Foundation. She has also enjoyed giving recitals in Europe at such places as Festival Le Temps des Guitares in South-West France, Vilnius Town Hall in Lithuania and the Acoustic Guitar Village in Cremona, Italy.
Other venues in which Alexandra has played include opening the European Guitar Teachers' Association Conference at York's Queen Margaret's School, The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, The Yehudi Menuhin School and West Dene International Guitar Festival (as part of the National Youth Guitar Ensemble) and the British Embassy in Paris, where she performed to an invited audience of diplomats in February, 2015.
Later that year, she was also invited to perform Castelnuovo Tedesco's Concerto No.1 with the Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra, since which Alexandra has been invited to play the work a number of times with orchestras including Dorset Chamber Orchestra.
A new guitar programme shown on Sky Arts in 2015, highlighting all four genres (classical, jazz, acoustic and rock), featured Alexandra performing her way to the classical final of the competition, which gave her the opportunity to play in Milton Court Concert Hall at the Barbican, London. During the course of the competition, Alexandra was able to work with Miloš Karadaglić, who, in recent years, has taken the classical guitar world by storm.
Alexandra is delighted to be endorsed by Aquila Strings, highly recommending their Alabastro range. She also plays a 2011 Christopher Dean guitar, sourced by Miles Roberts at Kent Guitar Classics.
The Swaledale Festival is an annual 15 day festival of music, arts and walking in the Yorkshire Dales. Noted for its quality, friendliness and scenery.
Noted for the high quality of its programming, the Swaledale Festival attracts artists of international standing, but also runs a Young Artists Platform (YAP) providing opportunities outstanding players in the early stages of their careers. The Festival also features a number of local amateur ensembles.
It is both a registered charity (No, 1025480) and a limited company. As a charity, it relies upon sponsorship and donations as well as ticket income.
The Box Office is in Hudson House in Reeth but tickets are most easily available by booking online.
The festival is spread over several locations in or near Swaledale and Wenslydale.
See the notes on each acts entry for it's location.
Facilities also vary by location.
Whilst every effort goes into ensuring this gig listing is accurate and up to date, always check with the venue before you travel.