2016 RPS Instrument Purchase Grant recipient
After studying classical guitar, piano, jazz guitar and composition at the world-renowned Chetham's School of Music for seven years, eighteen 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.
Venues in which Alexandra has played include Leeds College of Music (as part of Leeds International Concert Season), 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 Orhestra.
A new guitar programme shown on Sky Arts last year, 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.
This Summer, Alexandra is set to play in the inaugural French festival ‘Le Temps des Guitares’, which takes place from the 19th - 22nd of July. Other upcoming concerts include a recital in Vilnius Town Hall, Lithuania, alongside clarinettist Morta Kacionaite, and at the Acoustic Guitar Village in the Italian city of Cremona at the beginning of October.
Alexandra is delighted to be endorsed by Aquila Strings, and highly recommends their Perla range.
More information can be found at: www.alexandrawhittingham.com
Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director, Chineke! Foundation; Founder, principal Double Bass, OAE: As a musician it feels vital to be part of the RPS family, and its endeavours to go-all-out for the sake of music.
DID YOU KNOW?
Alina Ibragimova, who won the 2010 RPS Young Artist Award, first received help from the RPS to buy a new bow when she was only 14.