Mark Ashford is stunning audiences around the world with his unique lyricism and utter conviction to the guitar and its music.
As Classical Guitar magazine commented;
“Ashford’s playing possesses such clarity and underlying adherence to the sense of structure of the music, as to render the innate difficulties of the guitar a long forgotten trouble that need no longer concern us.”
Born in Northampton, England, Mark began his formal musical training at
Chetham’s School of Music with Gordon Crosskey. He then went on to study with Michael Lewin as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music, from where he graduated in 1993 with first class honours and awards from the Principal. During the following few years Mark completed his studies in Spain with guitarist David Russell, thanks to bursaries awarded to him from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Allcard grants and the Royal Academy of Music.
Early on in his performing career Mark became a laureate of several major national and international competitions including Radio Two’s Young Musician, the Julian Brean Prize, South East Arts Music Platform Award, the Guitar Foundation of America, the Scandinavian International Guitar Competition, and the Alessandria International Guitar Competition, Italy. After winning the Radio 2 Competition Mark’s career really took off performing regular live recitals on the BBC as a soloist and with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He was also given his own hour long showcase programme, broadcast live on the radio.
He has now performed at many of the UK’s most prestigious music venues, including the Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, Fairfield Halls, St George’s Bristol, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Sage in Gateshead and the Queen’s Hall Edinburgh. Performances have also taken him to France, Spain, Italy, Finland, Holland, Hungary, Germany, Poland, USA, Cuba and Barbados.
As a concerto soloist Mark has performed with many leading Orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Concertante and the Turin Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of such eminent conductors as Carl Davis, Christopher Warren-
Mark has recorded nine CD’s including a recording of Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Cleobury. This led to a most successful promotion tour around the UK with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. His latest CD is with the Vida Guitar Quartet (Mark Eden, Amanda Cook & Chris Stell) entitled ‘The Leaves be Green’ with music by Vaughan Williams, Britten, Elgar, Dodgson and Bowers. With the quartet he regularly tours the US and in 2015 they gave the opening concert at the Guitar Foundation of America in Oklahoma City.
He regularly gives masterclasses at International Festivals and the leading Conservatoires of Music and he is currently head of guitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music. In 2003 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music having achieved distinction in the profession.