Rising star Alexandra Whittingham to show Wanstead why classical guitar is on the up
PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 April 2016
In only 18 years Alexandra Whittingham has already accomplished what many guitar players might hope to achieve in an entire lifetime.
She has toured around the world, performed on television shows and attended two esteemed music schools.
The classical guitarist is playing in Wanstead Library on Tuesday, for Redbridge Music Society, which is an event not to be missed.
Alexandra, who originally hails from Manchester, told the Recorder her early guitar memories were of her father.
“I started playing guitar because my dad did, as lots of people do, he used to play quite a lot around the house.”
Alexandra had lessons at primary school, before attending the famous Chetham’s School of Music when she was eleven.
“The timetable was based around music, you got the chance to play in lots of different groups.
“They were long days, because you had to fit in all the normal lessons with the music.”
But while most children learning guitar choose to thrash out Jimi Hendrix or the Rolling Stones at a deafening volume, Alexandra played classical music.
“I was having a guitar lesson, and one day my teacher started playing this Spanish music and I instantly fell in love with it.”
Alexandra explained the genre is really starting to take off: “At the moment there are a lot more people taking up classical guitar.”
She puts the increasing popularity down to iconic Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia.
This can be shown by Sky Arts’ television programme Guitar Star, which Alexandra reached the final of.
She continued: “It’s quite exciting because unlike say the violin, which has been around for so many centuries, the history of the classical guitar and its music is still being written.”
Alexandra is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music in central London, whose alumni include Elton John, Annie Lenox and Simon Rattle.
Over the next two years she is set to play at music festivals in France, Italy and “excitingly” Philadelphia in the USA.
Alexandra Whittingham is playing in the Churchill Room, Wanstead Library, Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead on Tuesday. The recital starts at 8pm. Tickets are £7 for Redbridge Music Society members and £10 for visitors.