"The First Lady of the Guitar", Liona Boyd, is a real ambassador for the classical guitar. Her talent coupled with film star looks make for a combination that can't be ignored. She's made over 20 recordings, many of them going gold and platinum.
Liona was born in London but was brought up in Canada from the age of eight. She's got a Spanish connection which might explain her passion for the classical guitar. Her grandmother came from Linares, birthplace of Andres Segovia, and her father grew up in Bilbao. Liona Boyd would eventually have private lessons from Segovia.
She took up guitar at fourteen years old after she heard a concert by Julian Bream and asked for a guitar as a Christmas gift. As a teenager she had lessons from Bream and a number of other prominent teachers and players. Segovia said of her "I predict that Liona will have a magnificant career". He wasn't wrong.
Liona obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Performance at the University of Toronto where she graduated with honours and won first prize in the Canadian National Music Competition. After two years of private study with Alexandre Lagoya in Paris, Liona returned to North America and recorded her first album for Boot/London Records. After her debut at Carnegie Recital Hall the New York Times praised her "flair for brilliance."
Her playing was featured in the movie, "A Walk in the Clouds," which won a Golden Globe Award for best musical score, the Hemingway film " A Dream of White Elephants' and Disney's " A Kid in King Arthur's Court". She's had five gold albums, three platinum albums, five honorary degrees, five Juno awards and was awarded The Order of Canada. Liona Boyd just seems to excel at everything she does. Certainly the readers of Guitar Player Magazine think so, she's won Best Classical Guitarist five times.
She now lives in Florida and maintains a busy schedule of concerts and recording. Take a look at the Liona Boyd website for more information.
Let me know about any classical guitar players you've enjoyed in concert and would like to see featured.
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