Long biography - Craig Ogden
Australian born guitarist Craig Ogden is one of the most exciting artists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and percussion from the age of thirteen. His music degree (with honours) from the University of Western Australia was followed by the Royal Northern College of Music Professional Performance Diploma with Distinction; the College’s highest award for performance. In December 2004, Craig Ogden was honoured by the RNCM with a Fellowship in recognition of his achievements. He is the youngest instrumentalist to have received this award from the RNCM.
One of the UK’s most recorded guitarists, his recordings for Virgin/EMI, Chandos, Nimbus, Hyperion, Sony and Classic FM have received wide acclaim. Craig’s Classic FM albums The Guitarist and Summertime both shot straight to No.1 in the UK classical chart in summer 2010 and 2011 respectively, followed by the release of Christmas Time in November 2013. His latest Classic FM albums Summer Guitar which was released in June 2014 and Craig Ogden and Friends released in June 2015 went straight to No. 1 in the classical chart and he is one of Classic FM’s most played artists.
One of the new generation’s most prominent players, Craig Ogden’s performances have taken him throughout the UK, into Europe, the USA, South East Asia, South Africa and Australia in recital, on radio and on television. Craig has performed concertos with all of the main UK orchestras plus many abroad. In recent seasons he has performed with the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Hallé, Ulster Orchestra (world premiere of new concerto by Ciaran Farrell), Bournemouth Symphony, City of London Sinfonia (UK premiere of Erik Esenvalds’ Songs of Silence), WDR Rundfunk Orchestra (Cologne) and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra (Denmark). In December 2015, Craig was asked at short notice to step in for Miloš Karadaglić who was unable to perform due to his hand injury – he performed the series of concerts on tour with the Royal Northern Sinfonia at major UK concert halls to critical acclaim. Craig was again asked to step in at short notice for Miloš for his UK concerts in winter 2016 with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the English Chamber Orchestra, taking on the challenge of learning nine new pieces of music in one week. This season Craig will be performing concertos with orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Hallé, London Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Swan, Spanish Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra (Spain).
BBC Music Magazine dubbed Craig Ogden “a worthy successor to Julian Bream” and his debut solo CD for Nimbus Records of 20th Century Classics by British composers was nominated for a Grammy Award. Craig’s Virgin/EMI release, A Quiet Thing with counter-tenor David Daniels received universal acclaim as did the duo’s USA recital tour of the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Mostly Mozart Festivals (after which Craig was immediately invited back to perform as soloist in the New York Lincoln Centre’s Great Performers Series).
Craig Ogden has released eight recordings on the Chandos label. His recording of all three solo Rodrigo guitar concertos with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra was greeted with wide acclaim and was selected as The One To Own in Classic FM magazine against distinguished competition including John Williams and Julian Bream.
Classic CD concluded this recording to be “one of the most winning performances I have encountered” whilst Rodrigo’s daughter wrote: “This recording has confirmed your position among the greatest guitarists”. Craig’s CD, ‘Music from the Novels of Louis de Bernières’ was the London Daily Telegraph CD of the week, stating “this disc is pure joy”. Selling over 10,000 discs in three months it is Chandos Records fastest ever selling CD. Of Craig’s recording of concertos by Walton, Arnold and Berkeley with Richard Hickox and the Northern Sinfonia, Gramophone Magazine wrote “All the works in this delightful collection were inspired by Julian Bream, with Craig Ogden proving a formidable successor, matching in sensitivity and flair Bream’s own vintage recordings” while The Guardian hailed Craig Ogden as “Brilliant and persuasive”. Craig’s more recent recordings include a CD of the solo guitar music of British composer Paul Coles on the Nimbus label, Souvenirs with mandolinist Alison Stephens (Chandos Records), a recital of Spanish Songs with soprano Patricia Rozario (Somm Records) and a solo CD of the music of Northern Irish composer Greg Caffrey.
Craig Ogden made his Royal Albert Hall debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez in a Classic FM Live concert and in May 2009 filled in for an indisposed John Williams at another Classic FM Live concert again playing the Rodrigo concerto. He has also performed concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia (Vladimir Ashkenazy), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Northern Sinfonia, Britten Sinfonia, Riga Kammermusika, St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra, English Chamber, English Symphony, English Sinfonia, Ulster Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of the Swan, National Orchestra of South Africa, WDR Rundfunk Orchestra (Cologne), Aalborg Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), Lund Symphony Orchestra (Sweden), Tasmania Symphony, West Australian Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.
Craig Ogden regularly appears as soloist and chamber musician at the major venues including the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Barbican. He has performed at many of the major UK festivals and is also invited to play at large outdoor festivals including Jamie Oliver and Alex James’ Big Feastival and the Wilderness Festival. In August 2015, Craig gave a recital with tenor James Gilchrist at the Edinburgh Festival which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Craig performed as part of the Michael Tippett concert series at Wigmore Hall and returned there in March with the Nash Ensemble. In July 2016, Craig gave concerts and masterclasses in Hong Kong and Shanghai as part of the Hong Kong Guitar Symposium. He is the most sought after guitarist for chamber music in the UK performing with artists including the Carducci Quartet, London Tango Quintet, Milos Milivojevic (accordion), David Juritz (violin), Mark Padmore (tenor), Claire Bradshaw (mezzo-soprano), Patricia Rozario (soprano), Paul Tanner (percussion), Gerard McChrystal (saxophone) and Judith Hall (flute). Craig has been invited by John Williams to perform with him at venues including London’s Globe Theatre, where he recently returned for a music and poetry performance with actress Meera Syal. In July 2017 Craig has been invited by Piers Lane to perform several concerts at the Australian Chamber Music Festival and later this year will be recording a new album with vocalist Jacqui Dankworth.
Craig also frequently records for film and was featured on the British hit, Notting Hill. Craig’s world premiere performances include a concerto written for him by Gerard Brophy (Australia) (with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra), Sun Trap (for solo guitar) by Jonathan Cole commissioned by the Britten Festival, a new solo work by Mark Anthony Turnage at the Cheltenham Festival which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3, The Hinchinbrook Riffs (for solo guitar and digital delay) by Nigel Westlake and an Alec Roth song cycle for the Chester Festival. He has also given UK premieres of guitar concertos by John Corigliano (USA), Eriks Esenvalds (Latvia) and Aaron Jay Kernis (USA).
Craig enjoys performing new works for guitar and gives the world premiere of a concerto written for him by Andy Scott with the Northern Chamber Orchestra in Manchester in November 2017. Composers David Knotts and Geoffrey Gordon are also currently writing concertos for Craig.
Craig has presented programmes on radio including ‘The Segovia Legacy’ on BBC Radio 3 (co-presented with Louis de Bernières), Ten Pound Pom Mum for BBC Northern Ireland (a programme about his Mother’s upbringing in Northern Ireland) and a series of four interviews with artists including John Williams for ABC Classic FM (Australia). In December 2011 Craig presented three short videos as part of an advertising campaign on Classic FM for Emirates Airline. Craig was also invited by Sky Arts to be a mentor for the 2015 Guitar Star television series.
Craig Ogden is Head of Guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Visiting Lecturer at London’s Royal College of Music, Adjunct Fellow of the University of Western Australia, Associate Artist of The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Curator of Craig Ogden’s Big Guitar Weekend at The Bridgewater Hall and Director of the Dean & Chadlington Summer Music Festival.