Morgan Szymanski in concert


the Odeion String Quartet

Samson Diamond, Sharon de Kock, Jeanne-Louise Moolman & Anmari van der Westhuizen


22 October 2015




Mexican guitarist, Morgan Szymanski, is teaming up with the Odeion String Quartet to present an exhilarating programme consisting of solo guitar and chamber music works by Vivaldi, Boccherini, Paganini, De Falla, Piazzolla and Ponce. 


Described as ‘a player destined for future glories’ (Classical Guitar Magazine) Morgan Szymanski has been highlighted as ‘One to Watch’ by both Gramophone Magazine and the BBC Music Magazine. A featured artist on the cover of Classical Guitar Magazine, Morgan Szymanski was recently selected as a finalist for the ‘Outstanding Young Artist Award’ by MIDEM Classique/IAMA.


Morgan Szymanski started playing the guitar at the age of six. Early studies at the National Music School (Mexico) and the Edinburgh Music School led to a scholarship to study under Carlos Bonell and Gary Ryan at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, graduating in 2004 with first class honours. During his studies he won all guitar prizes from the RCM as well as scholarships from the Tillett Trust, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Leverhulme Trust, Wall Trust, FONCA and a scholarship to study at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He immediately went on to become the first solo guitarist to be selected by Young Classical Artist Trust and was the first guitarist to be awarded a Junior Fellowship at the RCM, where he completed his Masters with distinction.


A top prize-winner at international competitions, in 2002 Morgan won first prize at the National Guitar Competition in Mexico. Performances as a soloist and with orchestras have taken him to concert halls and festivals in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, China, Chile, France, Germany, Guatemala, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Scotland, UK, USA and Zimbabwe.


In recent years Morgan has given recitals at major UK venues and festivals including the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, King’s Place, The Sage Gateshead, Royal Opera House, Lichfield Festival, Salisbury Festival and London International Guitar Festival. He has appeared as a soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Swan, Southbank Sinfonia, the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Sinfonia, the Cervantes Choir and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Morgan continues to build his international reputation with performances around the world.


Morgan’s devotion to chamber music has led to collaborations with artists such as John Williams, Celso Machado and Carlos Bonell (guitar), Mark Padmore (tenor), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Priya Mitchell (violin), Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneon), Adam Walker (flute), the Sacconi, Doric and Carducci Quartets, Phuong Nguyen (accordion), Adam Walker (flute) and Clara Mouriz (mezzo-soprano) amongst others.


Morgan’s first CD ‘The Unicorn in the Garden’, was released in 2005 including works by Iannarelli, Ritter, Ponce, Barrios and Alec Roth. Morgan’s second CD, ‘Songs in Time of War’ (Signum), is a stunning collaboration with Mark Padmore (tenor), Philip Honoré (violin), Alison Nicholls (harp) and composer Alec Roth. His recordings with his ensemble Machaca, ‘Mano a Mano’ and ‘Los Ambulantes’ on Sarabande Records, have been described as ‘a jewel’ by Gramophone Magazine.


Morgan’s latest project is a visual and auditory journey entitled ‘Sketches of Mexico’. Released on Sarabande, this is a unique collaboration combining Mexican music from Julio César Oliva and Manuel M. Ponce and the work of twenty visual artists from the UK, Mexico, Portugal and China. Gramophone Magazine has called it ‘a gorgeous and original tribute to Szymanski’s homeland, its artists and its music’ with Morgan’s playing ‘of the highest order.’  April 2013 also sees the release of ´Sometime I Sing´on the Signum Label, a new CD of the music for tenor and guitar by Alec Roth.


Morgan Szymanski plays on a guitar by the Chinese master guitar luthier Yulong Guo.


The Odeion String Quartet (OSQ) consists of Samson Diamond (violin), Sharon de Kock (violin), Jeanne-Louise Moolman (viola) and cellist Anmari van der Westhuizen.  Samson Diamond has been appointed as the first violinist and leader of the OSQ in January 2013.  Sharon de Kock has been a member of the OSQ and lecturer in violin at the UFS since 2008.  Jeanne-Louise Moolman was also appointed in 2008 at the UFS as violist of the OSQ and senior lecturer at the OSM. Anmari van der Westhuizen is Adjunct Professor and Head of the OSQ at the UFS. Visit their webpage at to read all about their achievements, awards and more information on the members of the quartet.



Antonio Vivaldi: Lute Concerto in D, RV 93 (Ricordi) Dur

Luigi Boccherini: Quintetto IV in Re Maggiore Dur

Niccolo Paganini: Cantabile in D major

Manuel De Falla: Five Spanish Folk Songs

Manuel M. Ponce: Three Mexican Pieces – Cuiden su Vida - Estrellita – Scherzino Mexicano



R130 (adults), R90 (pensioners), R70 (UFS staff), R50 (students and learners), R50 (group bookings of 10+)

Tickets available at Computicket.



Ninette Pretorius (tel. 051 401 2504)

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