Tom Kerstens is a major figure in the guitar world, highly regarded as a versatile performer on both modern and period instruments and an influential champion of the guitar in his roles as player, recording artist and artistic director. He was recently chosen in Classic FM’s list of the ‘100 best classical artists’ and hailed as a “refreshing musical explorer”.

Kerstens’ reputation has taken him all over the world, his concerts featuring at many leading festivals and touring worldwide. He appears regularly at prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Kings Place, The Sage Gateshead and St George’s, Bristol. He also appears in leading European capitals with regular performances in Rome, Madrid, Paris and Amsterdam. He also frequently tours the US and South America.

Since 1995, Tom Kerstens has led IGF (International Guitar Foundation) as Artistic Director, bringing with him a passion for the guitar’s heritage and a genuine commitment to its future. IGF’s main showcase festivals in London, Bath and The Sage Gateshead have established themselves as amongst the foremost in Europe and have confirmed Kerstens’ reputation as an artist of rare qualities. He has commissioned over 70 new works for guitar from many leading composers including three concertos. He has also created major international competitions for young guitarists and has established publishing and recording companies to support the work of IGF.

Kerstens’ latest recording projects include a series of new works for the guitar recorded for BGS Records, including Black Venus – new music for guitar Vol. 1 and Standing Wave – new music for guitar Vol. 2. These recordings feature leading British composers such as Graham Fitkin, Howard Skempton, Philip Cashian, Joby Talbot, Giles Swayne, Errollyn Wallen, Gabriel Jackson, John Metcalfe and others. These were followed by Spanish music projects such as Goya the music of Enrique Granados (2008), and España, the music of Isaac Albéniz (late 2011), the latter two performed on a period instrument, a copy of Torres guitar of 1888.

Cecilia Rodrigo awarded him the prestigious Joaquin Rodrigo commemorative medal for his “outstanding contribution to the dissemination of Rodrigo’s work”, a rare distinction awarded to a select few only.

Collaborations have included a host of leading British orchestras and ensembles and in addition he has recently formed his own ensemble called G Plus which is dedicated to especially commissioned new music for guitar in a varying chamber ensemble context. Composers who have written for the exciting line up of two guitars, strings and percussion include Joby Talbot, Max Richter and John Metcalfe. The G Plus Ensemble’s debut CD Utopia was made in Peter Gabriel’s famous Real World studios and was released in May 2010 to great critical acclaim.

www.tomkerstens.com

  • IGNiTE

    £12.00
    IGNiTE is a unique and important release for the future of guitar music. All tracks offer great new guitar music, all especially commissioned by IGF’s Artistic Director Tom Kerstens. Tom’s G Plus Ensemble is dedicated to performing new music, its line-up of two guitars, strings and percussion, often using electronic effects, produces a ravishing and innovative sound. The new album presents new work by today’s most prestigious contemporary composers working in the UK such as Max Richter, Gabriel Jackson, Howard Skempton, Anna Meredith and John Metcalfe.
  • Tom Kersten's celebrates the music of the iconic Spanish composer Enrique Granados. This collection of works (transcribed by Kerstens) draws on some of the composers most loved works, including the Valses Politicos, Cuentos de la Juventud and Danzas Españolas. Kerstens performs the pieces using a copy of a period 1888 Torres guitar, adding a unique character to the sound that relates these arrangements more characteristically to the time in which they were created. View pdf of cd booklet
  • Following his first volume of new guitar music Standing Wave, Black Venus is Tom Kersten's second volume of new comissions for solo guitar, including works by Giles Swayne, Errollyn Wallen, Howard Skempton, Terry Riley, Leo Brouwer, Philip Cashian, Toru Takemitsu and Gordon McPherson.
  • The first in our series of albums of new works for guitar, commissioned by the IGF and performed by Tom Kerstens for BGS. This disc includes works by Graham Fitkin, Joby Talbot, Edward McGuire, Howard Skempton, Bruce MacCombie and Kevin Volans.
  • A fascinating juxtaposition of works, Tom Kerstens' danza! combines charming 19th-century works with new commissions for IGF, all centred around the concept of the dance miniature. Pieces by Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos, Falla and Tárrega and joined by new works from Howard Skempton, Philip Cashian, Alastair King, Edward McGuire, Graham Fitkin and Errollyn Wallen.
  • A disc of works marking the 2001 centenary of the birth of Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999), acknowledged as one of the great Spanish composers of the 20th century who extended the romantic impressionist tradition of Albéniz, Granados, and Falla. Tom Kerstens performs some of the best of his guitar works alongside the premiere recordings of commemorative commissions by Errollyn Wallen, Howard Skempton and Edward McGuire.

  • A short history of the guitar in the 19th century performed on original instruments, Serenade rediscovers a host of authentic compositions and arrangements from an era that is now considered a turning point in the guitars developmental history. As well as original works by Francisco Tárrega and Niccolo Paganini, the disc includes two fascinating authentic arrangements of Schubert Lieder by players of the era – Tárrega and Johann Kaspar Mertz.

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