Patron & Friends

Patron

Berta Rojas

The Bristol Classical Guitar Society is honoured that Latin Grammy award-winning Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas agreed to be the Patron of our Society.

Berta Rojas is, of course, a name, and a performer, familiar and sought after in the guitar world. Her undisputed command of the work of her compatriot Agustín Barrios, and the adventurous and enchanting new repertoire she has brought to the platform are legendary.

It was a rare chance that on a visit to Paraguay a BCGS member should unexpectedly find himself chatting to Rojas’ ex-press officer, and that back home, an afternoon of phone calls to UK guitar societies led to Chris Gilbert. and Tony Lewis of the BCGS jumping at the opportunity to host one of the world’s most talented guitarists. A solid friendship has ensued, and we continue to delight in each of Berta’s visits to the UK and her continued patronage of our Society.

http://www.bertarojas.com

Friends

Luke Bartlett

Luke Bartlett is a British classical and electric guitarist from Bristol.  He started playing at age 10 and remained largely self-taught until being inspired to pursue conservatoire classical study at the World Youth Guitar Festival in 2017.  He joined the BCGS as a member while still at school, and is now a final year undergraduate student at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff where he studies with maestros Helen Sanderson, Zoran Dukic and John Mills.  Luke seeks to reinvigorate the guitar’s tradition for dramatic and expressive performance while also exploiting more of the instrument’s technical possibilities. He is a member of Res Novus, a flute & guitar duo with Josephine Connor and is humbled to be a Julian Bream Trust scholar and receive support from the Bristol Classical Guitar Society, Classical Guitar Centre Birmingham and LFMI. Luke is also an IGF Young Artist. Luke is an inspiration to the society, and we are delighted to support him and observe this exciting stage of his career.

https://www.instagram.com/lukebartlettguitar

Helen James

Helen James previously led the BCGS Ensemble group, and we continue to play her wonderful arrangements. She is widely known in the region as a teacher of classical and folk guitar and for her involvement in such innovative musical projects as Brejeiro and Duo Recado. Helen also leads a singing group and performs as a classical guitar soloist and in a folk singing duo. www.helenjames.net

Jane Debney

The historical success of the BCGS Concert Series is due in no small part to Jane Debney. Jane is a professional graphic artist and web designer, whose love of the classical guitar prompted her to contribute to the life of the guitar community with her work. Jane has for several years designed and produced, free of charge, all of the BCGS’ concert publicity, programmes and tickets.

Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory is well known as a guitarist, who made his concert debut at the age of 16. Since his Wigmore Hall debut, he has played numerous London concerts in the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Barbican. In 1978 he won the prestigious Andres Segovia International Guitar Competition in Spain. He has since made over twenty programmes for BBC Radio 3 and written scores for stage, screen and concert hall. Paul is chief examiner for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. Many of Paul’s compositions include the guitar, not just solo music, but a large quantity of chamber pieces as well. He has also composed commercial music including BBC TV documentary sound-tracks, with a number of works still in print. The Guildhall includes some of his guitar pieces in its grade examination syllabus.

Paul runs Maestoso Guitars, the UK’s distributor of Luthier Strings, and has offered preferential rates to BCGS members, for which we’re very grateful. He is also joining us in 2024 for a member’s talk.