Julian Bream

Julian Bream

Infobox musical artist | Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist | Instrument = Classical Guitar, Lute
Name = Julian Bream

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Genre = Classical music
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Julian Bream O.B.E. (born July 15, 1933) is an internationally celebrated British guitarist and lutenist, widely recognized as one of the most important classical guitarists of the 20th century. He has also been successful in renewing popular interest in the Renaissance lute.


Bream was born in London and brought up in a very musical environment. His father played jazz guitar and the young Bream was impressed by hearing the playing of Django Reinhardt. He was encouraged to play the piano but also the guitar (though using a plectrum). On his 11th birthday, Bream was given a classical guitar by his father. He became something of a child prodigy, at 12 winning a junior exhibition award for his piano playing, enabling him to study piano and cello at the Royal College of Music. He made his debut guitar recital at Cheltenham in 1947, aged 13.

After national service he resumed a busy career playing around the world, including annual tours in the U.S. and Europe for several years. He played part of a recital at the Wigmore Hall on the lute in 1952 and since has done much to bring music written for the instrument to light. 1960 saw the formation of the Julian Bream Consort, a period-instrument ensemble with Bream as lutenist. The consort led a great revival of interest in the music of the Elizabethan era. His first European tours took place in 1954 and 1955, and were followed by extensive touring in North America (beginning in 1958), the Far East, India, Australia, the Pacific Islands and other parts of the world.

Bream has recorded extensively for RCA and EMI Classics. These recordings have won him several awards, including four Grammy Awards, two for Best Chamber Music Performance and two for Best Classical Performance. [ [http://www.grammy.com/GRAMMY_Awards/Winners/Results.aspx?title=&winner=Julian%20Bream&year=0&genreID=0&hp=1 Grammy Award Winners] ] RCA also released The Ultimate Guitar Collection, a multi-CD set commemorating his birthday in 1993.

In 1984 Bream’s arm was seriously injured in a car accident. It cost him great effort to regain his previous technical ability.

Bream's recitals are wide-ranging, including transcriptions from the 17th century, many pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach arranged for guitar, popular Spanish pieces, and contemporary music, much for which he was the inspiration. He has stated that he has been influenced by the styles of Andrés Segovia and Francisco Tárrega.

Many composers have worked with Bream, and among those who dedicated pieces to him are Malcolm Arnold, Richard Rodney Bennett, Benjamin Britten, Leo Brouwer, Peter Racine Fricker, Hans Werner Henze, Humphrey Searle, Tōru Takemitsu, Michael Tippett and William Walton. Britten's "Nocturnal" is one of the most famous pieces in the classical guitar repertoire and was written with Bream specifically in mind. It is an unusual set of variations on John Dowland's "Come Heavy Sleep" (which is played in its original form at the close of the piece).

Bream has also taken part in many collaborations, including work with Peter Pears on Elizabethan music for lute and voice, and three records of guitar duets with John Williams.

Bream's playing can be characterized as virtuosic and highly expressive, with an eye for details, and with strong use of contrasting timbres.

The above, along with his many radio and television appearances, have made Bream an important ambassador for the classical guitar. Despite his importance, many of his RCA Records recordings (including the series of 20th century guitar music) are out of print.

The 2003 DVD video profile "Julian Bream: My Life In Music" contains three hours of interview and performance. It has been declared by Graham Wade "the finest film contribution ever to the classic guitar." His series "Guitarra!" was made for British television and charts a journey across Spain.

Bream has stated that even though he had some 'sessions' with Segovia, he never really studied with him — Bream also does not exclusively hold his right-hand fingers at right angles to the strings, but has stated that he uses a less rigid hand position for reasons of tonal variety. [cite web|url=http://www.egta.co.uk/content/articles_about_guitarists/segoviatechnique|title= Segovia's Contribution to Technical Studies|publisher=Graham Wade, EGTA Guitar Journal no.4 (July 1993)]

Bream has for over 40 years lived in a Georgian farmhouse at Semley in Wiltshire [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main.jhtml?xml=/property/2007/09/22/pbream122.xml No strings attached] : article by Anna Tyzack in the Daily Telegraph Property section pp 1&2 Saturday 22nd September 2007 (Issue no 47,730)] .

Pieces written for Julian Bream (in chronological order)

*Reginald Smith Brindle "Nocturne for Guitar Solo" (1946)
*Reginald Smith Brindle "El Polifemo de Oro" (1956)
*Lennox Berkeley "Sonatina", op. 52, no. 1 (1957)
*Tristram Cary "Sonata" (1959)
*Malcolm Arnold "Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra", op. 67 (1959)
*Benjamin Britten "Nocturnal after John Dowland", op. 70 (1963)
*Richard Rodney Bennett "Impromptus" (1968)
*Tom Eastwood "Ballade-Phantasy" (1968)
*Peter Racine Fricker "Paseo" (1969)
*Reginald Smith Brindle "Variants on two themes of J. S. Bach" (1970)
*Richard Rodney Bennett "Guitar Concerto" (1970)
*Malcolm Arnold "Fantasy", op. 107 (1971)
*Alan Rawsthorne "Elegy" (1971)
*William Walton "Five Bagatelles" (1972)
*Humphrey Searle "Five" (1974)
*Lennox Berkeley "Guitar Concerto, Op. 88" (1974)
*Hans Werner Henze "Royal Winter Music" (first sonata, 1976)
*Giles Swayne "Suite" (1976)
*Peter Maxwell Davies "Hill Runes" (1981)
*Michael Berkeley "Sonata in One Movement" (1982)
*Richard Rodney Bennett "Sonata" (1983)
*Michael Tippett "The Blue Guitar" (1984)
*Leo Brouwer "Concerto elegiaco (Guitar Concerto No. 3)" (1986)
*Tōru Takemitsu "All in Twilight" (1987)
*Leo Brouwer "Sonata" (1990)

Awards and Recognitions (incomplete)

* 1964: Officer of the Order of the British Empire
* 1964: Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance at the Grammy Awards of 1964 for "Evening of Elizabethan Music" performed by the Julian Bream Consort
* 1966: Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music
* 1967: Grammy Award for Best Classical Performance – Instrumental Soloist or Soloists (with or without orchestra) at the Grammy Awards of 1967 for "Baroque Guitar (Works of Bach, Sanz, Weiss, etc.)"
* 1968: Honorary Doctorate from the University of Surrey
* 1972: Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with orchestra) at the Grammy Awards of 1972 for André Previn (conductor), Julian Bream & the London Symphony Orchestra for "Villa-Lobos: Concerto for Guitar"
* 1973: Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance at the Grammy Awards of 1973 for Julian Bream & John Williams for "Julian and John (Works by Lawes, Carulli, Albéniz, Granados)"
* 1981: Fellowship of the Royal College of Music
* 1983: Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music
* 1984: Honorary Doctorate from the University of Leeds
* 1985: Commander of the Order of the British Empire
* 1988: Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society
* 1996: Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist's Award

Partial discography


*"20th Century Guitar", RCA LSC-2964
*"70's", RCA ARL 0049
*"Dedication", RCA ARL 5034
*"A Bach Recital for the Guitar", Westminster CLP 1929
*"Baroque Guitar" (1966), RCA
*"Collection of the Greatest Performances of Julian Bream, Vol. II, Westminster
*"Concertos for Lute and Orchestra", RCA ARL1-1180
*"Dances of Dowland", RCA LSC-2987
*"Elizabethan Lute Songs", RCA LSC-3131
*"Elizabethan Music by The Julian Bream Consort", RCA LSC-3195
*"The Golden Age of English Lute Music", RCA LSC-3196
*"Julian & John", RCA
*"Julian Breams Greatest Hits", Westminster
*"Julian Breams Greatest Hits Volume Two", Westminster 9008-8185
*"Lute Music of John Dowland", RCA ARL1-1491
*"Music for Voice and Guitar" with Peter Pears, RCA LSC-2718
*"Popular Classics for Spanish Guitar", RCA
*"Rodrigo: Concerto De Aranjuez, Berkeley Guitar Concerto (1975), RCA
*"Sonatas for Lute and Harpsichord—Bach, Vivaldi" with George Malcolm, RCA LSC-3100
*"Villa-Lobos, Twelve Etudes for Guitar, Suite populaire bresillienne" (1978), RCA
*"The Woods So Wild", RCA LSC-3331


*"Fret Works" (1990), MCA ASIN|B00000DWBQ
*"Guitarra: The Guitar in Spain" (1990), RCA ASIN|B000003EOU
*"Joaquin Rodrigo: Concerto Elegiaco/Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre" (1990), RCA ASIN|B00000E6E7
*"Julian Bream plays Bach" (1990), RCA ASIN|B000003EOG
*"Julian Bream Plays Granados & Albéniz (Music of Spain, Volume Five)" (1990), RCA ASIN|B00000E68D
*"Music of Spain, Vol. 7" (1990), RCA ASIN|B00000E697
*"Two Loves" with Peggy Ashcroft (1990), RCA ASIN|B00000E6FM
*"Baroque Guitar" (1991), RCA ASIN|B000003F1J
*"La Guitarra Romantica" (1991), RCA ASIN|B000003F0G
*"Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez; Villa-Lobos: Preludes" (1991), RCA ASIN|B000003EPS
*"Romantic Guitar" (1991), RCA ASIN|B000003EQA
*"Baroque Guitar" (1993), RCA ASIN|B000025HGT
*"A Celebration Of Andrés Segovia—Bream" (1993), RCA ASIN|B000009JN3
*"Highlights from the Julian Bream Edition" (1993), RCA ASIN|B000003FKP
*"Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez; Fantasía para un gentilhombre No1-5" (1993), RCA ASIN|B000003FI4
*"Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez; Takemitsu: To the Edge of Dream" with Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1993), Capitol ASIN|B00000DNS6
*"Together/Julian Bream & John Williams" (1993), RCA ASIN|B000003FDM
*"Together Again/ Julian Bream & John Williams" (1993), RCA ASIN|B000003FDN
*"Villa-Lobos: Guitar Concerto; Preludes; Etudes" with André Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra (1993), BMG International ASIN|B000024RKH
*"Bach Guitar Recital" (1994), EMI Classics ASIN|B000002RU9
*"Bach: Lute Suites, Trio Sonatas" (1994), RCA ASIN|B000003FG2
*"Guitar Concertos" (1994), RCA ASIN|B000003FG4
*"Julian Bream Consort, Vol. 6" (1994), RCA ASIN|B000003FFX
*"Music of Spain" (1994), RCA ASIN|B000003FG6
*"Popular Classics for Spanish Guitar" (1994), RCA ASIN|B000003FFY
*"Romantic Guitar" (1994), RCA ASIN|B000003FFZ
*"Sonata" (1995), Angel ASIN|B000002RUX
*"20th Century Guitar I" (1996), RCA ASIN|B000003FG0
*"The Golden Age of English Lute Music" (1996), RCA ASIN|B000003FFW
*"Music for Voice & Guitar" (1996), RCA ASIN|B000003FG1
*"Music of Spain: Milán, Narváez" (1996), RCA ASIN|B000003FG5
*"Popular Classics for the Spanish Guitar" (1997), RCA ASIN|B000003G9U
*"Julian Bream Edition, Volume 1: The Golden Age of English Lute Music" (28 CDs) (1998), RCA ASIN|B000003FFV
*"The Romantic Hours" (1998), RCA ASIN|B000003FSG
*"Spain—Sor, Vol. 24" (1998), BMG Classics ASIN|B000025HGH
*"Guitar Concertos" (1999), RCA ASIN|B00000HZS3
*"Guitar Music by Albeniz, Vivaldi, Rodrigo & Grandos" (2 CDs) (1999), RCA Classics/BMG ASIN|B00002DFHV
*"Woods So Wild" (1999), RCA ASIN|B00000HZS6
*"Nocturnal: Martin, Britten, Brouwer, Lutoslavski" (2000), EMI ASIN|B000002RTP
*"The Ultimate Guitar Collection" (2 CDs) (2000), RCA ASIN|B00004UEH6
*"Duos de Guitares" with John Williams (2001), RCA ASIN|B00005I9SO
*"Spanish Guitar Music" (remastered) (2001), Deutsche Grammophon ASIN|B00005OLDN
*"Spanish Guitar Recital" (2001), RCA ASIN|B00005OC01
*"Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez; Fantasía para un gentilhombre; Tres piezas espanolas; invocacion y danza" (remastered) (2004), RCA ASIN|B0002DD67Y
*"Spanish Guitar Recital" (2004), ASIN|B000026GX4
*"Guitar Recital: Bach, Sor, Turina, Tippet, Schubert" (2005), Testament ASIN|B0009UC6L2
*"Music of Spain" (2005), RCA ASIN|B0009U55QA
*"Elizabethan Lute Songs", Decca ASIN|B000ICGD06
*"Julian Bream & Friends", Musical Heritage Society ASIN|B000294GJK
*"Lute Music from the Royal Courts of Europe", BMG Classics ASIN|B000G27DIO
*"Music of Spain: The Classical Heritage", RCA ASIN|B0001GH54C


External links

* [http://www.myspace.com/breamjulian Julian Bream's myspace page]
* [http://www.hazardchase.co.uk/artists/julian_bream Biography] (Hazard Chase)
* [http://www.sonybmgmasterworks.com/artists/julianbream/ Discography at SonyBMG Masterworks]
* [http://digital-library.csun.edu/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=exact&CISOFIELD1=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOROOT=/IGRAdiscography&CISOBOX1=Bream%2C+Julian+Alexander Some photos of LP covers] (Oviatt Library Digital Collections)

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  • Julian Bream — Julian Bream, CBE, nacido el 15 de julio de 1933, es un guitarrista británico y laudista. Nació en Londres y fue criado en un ambiente muy musical. Su padre tocaba jazz en la guitarra y el joven Julian quedó impresionado al oír la forma de tocar… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Julian Bream — (rechts) im Jahr 1985 Julian Bream, OBE, (* 15. Juli 1933 in London) ist ein britischer Gitarrist und Lautenspieler. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Julian Bream — Julian Bream, guitariste et luthiste anglais (né à Londres le 15 juillet 1933) Son père, guitariste amateur, l initie à cet instrument. Durant son enfance, il admire en particulier Django Reinhardt et Andrès Segovia. A douze ans, Julian …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Julian Bream — ➡ Bream * * * …   Universalium

  • Bream —   [bri:m], Julian, britischer Gitarrist und Lautenist, * London 15. 7. 1933; studierte in London und bei A. Segovia, widmet sich besonders der elisabethanischen Lautenmusik und dem Schaffen zeitgenössischer Komponisten, die er zur Komposition von …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Bream — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Julian Bream (* 1933), britischer Gitarrist Sid Bream (* 1960), amerikanischer Baseballspieler Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bream, Julian — ▪ British musician in full  Julian Alexander Bream  born July 15, 1933, London    internationally celebrated English guitarist and lutenist who inspired new interest in the music of the Renaissance lute.       After studying with his father and… …   Universalium

  • Julian — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Julian imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = Male meaning = region = origin = related names = Julius, Julia, Julie footnotes = Julian, also spelt Julien, is a common given name in Britain, Ireland, France… …   Wikipedia

  • Bream — /breem/, n. Julian (Alexander), born 1933, English guitarist and lutanist. * * * European food and game fish (Abramis brama) of the carp family (Cyprinidae). Found in lakes and slow rivers, the bream lives in schools and eats worms, mollusks, and …   Universalium

  • Bream — [[t]brim[/t]] n. Julian (Alexander), big born 1933, English guitarist and lutanist …   From formal English to slang

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