Long biography - Craig Ogden
"A worthy successor to Julian Bream" BBC Music Magazine
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 six chart-topping albums for Classic FM are regularly played on air.
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 many of the world’s leading orchestras and all of the main UK orchestras. In recent seasons he has performed with the Hallé, BBC Concert Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra (Spain), Spanish Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Dublin), London Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. In 2015, Craig was asked to step in at short notice for the indisposed Miloš Karadaglić to perform a series of concerts on tour with the Royal Northern Sinfonia at major UK concert halls and again in 2016 with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the English Chamber Orchestra, both tours receiving critical acclaim. This season Craig performs concertos with orchestras including the Hallé, London Mozart Players, Manchester Camerata, English String Orchestra and the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Australia.
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), a solo CD of the music of Northern Irish composer Greg Caffrey, Voyage with flautist Lisa Friend (Chandos Records) and six chart-topping CDs for Classic FM.
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, BBC Concert Orchestra, 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, Orchestra of Opera North, WDR Rundfunk Orchestra (Cologne), Aalborg Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), Lund Symphony Orchestra (Sweden), Spanish Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Tasmania Symphony, West Australian Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.
Craig Ogden regularly appears as soloist and chamber musician at the major venues, collaborating with many of the UK’s top artists and ensembles. Craig has been invited by John Williams to perform with him at venues including London’s Globe Theatre, where he returned for a music and poetry performance with actress Meera Syal. He has performed at many of the major UK festivals as well as 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 and he performed as part of the Michael Tippett concert series at the Wigmore Hall and returned there 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 and in July 2017 Craig performed several chamber music concerts at the Australian Chamber Music Festival at the invitation of Piers Lane. He is the most sought after guitarist for chamber music in the UK performing with artists including the Carducci Quartet, London Tango Quintet, Miloš Milivojević (accordion), David Juritz (violin), Tim Hugh (cello), Jacqui Dankworth (vocalist), Leon Bosch (double bass), Adrian Bradbury (cello) and Judy Hall (flute). In September 2019, he performed a new programme with the Syrian qanun player Maya Youssef for Equator Festival Music at Kings Place, London.
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 gave the world premiere of a concerto written for him by Andy Scott with the Northern Chamber Orchestra in Manchester in November 2017, followed by the Australian premiere in Perth in September 2018. He gave the world premiere of ‘Il Filo’, a double concerto for guitar and accordion by David Gordon with Miloš Milivojević in summer 2019 and composer David Knotts is currently writing a concerto 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). Craig presented three short videos as part of an advertising campaign on Classic FM for Emirates Airline and was invited by Sky Arts to be a mentor for the Guitar Star television series.
Craig Ogden is Director of Guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Adjunct Fellow of the University of Western Australia, Associate Artist and Curator of Craig Ogden’s Guitar Weekend at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Director of the Dean & Chadlington Summer Music Festival and Visiting Musician at Oriel College, University of Oxford.
Craig Ogden plays D’Addario strings.