So the publisher of Classical Guitar Magazine forwarded us this press release and seemed to suggest that Sean Shibe might be the next big thing in the world of classical guitar. Listening to him play Bach I can see why.

Here’s his press release:

Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama RSAMD Student Wins Music Competition

A classical guitarist at the internationally renowned RSAMD has won one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions.

Nineteen year old Sean Shibe from Edinburgh picked up the top award and £15,000 prize money in the Royal Over-Seas League 59th Annual Music Competition this week.

Sean is the Academy’s first student to win this much celebrated award and only the second classical guitarist in the ROSL’s 60 year history.

At the final on Tuesday 17 May 2011, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the classical guitarist overcame competition from the winners of the Wind, Singers and Keyboard sections to carry off the Competition Gold Medal.

“I am delighted to have won such a prestigious award. This is an internationally renowned competition and I am very much looking forward to the months ahead performing on tour for the ROSL,” said Sean.

“To be one of the youngest ever recipients of this award and only the second guitarist to win in 60 years, is a real honour. There are many people I would like to thank, but my teacher Allan Neave, comes to the top of that list.”

On congratulating Sean, Professor John Wallace, CBE, Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, said: “Sean plays with such human understanding.  Listening to him is life enhancing – young artists like him carry the future of Scotland with ease. To say that the RSAMD, shortly to become the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, is proud of him, is an understatement.”

The other finalists, who each received £5,000 were Suzanne Thorn oboe (Royal College of Music), Kitty Whately (Royal College of Music), and Ashley Fripp piano (Guildhall School of Music and Drama).

During the jury deliberations, performances were given by the Cavaleri Quartet and Cries of London, winners of the competition’s two ensemble awards of £10,000 each.

The Chairman of the distinguished panel of judges was Gavin Henderson CBE, Principal of Central School of Speech and Drama. Prizes were presented by Ursula Jones OBE.

Born in Edinburgh in 1992, classical guitarist Sean Shibe is currently studying  under Allan Neave. When only 15 years old he became the youngest musician to ever study at the conservatoire. He previously studied at the City of Edinburgh Music School and the Aberdeen City Music School.

In 2008, aged 16, he was a finalist in the “Westfalian Guitar Spring” in Germany, and received the Chanterelle Guitar Prize. In November 2010 he won the North East Scotland Classical Guitar Society Award, 2nd prize in the Ligita International Guitar Competition, and the Ivor Mairants GuitarAward.

He has worked with The Scottish Flute Trio and Scottish Opera, and is in regular demand for guitar festivals around the United Kingdom including Dundee Guitar Festival, Big Guitar Weekend, Ullapool Guitar Festival and West Dean International Classical Guitar Festival.  He has also performed to critical acclaim in the United Kingdom, China, Holland, Germany, Liechtenstein and has featured on the BBC and European television and radio.

Future plans include solo recitals in the ROSL ARTS music @ 100 Princes Street concert series on the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and his Wigmore Hall debut as part of the prestigious Monday Platform series in 2012.

What the Press have said about Sean Shibe

“…dynamic… spectacularly talented.”

Classical Guitar Magazine

“…the finest acoustic guitarist I have ever heard……Shibe was back on stage fuelling the engine with astounding playing.”

Michael Tumelty, The Herald

“This was a recital that side-stepped all the clichés of the Classical Guitar Repertory…articulated with exceptional delicacy…a guitarist of rare perception…he focuses entirely on the music…exquisite…”

Conrad Wilson, The Herald


Sean Shibe joins a distinguished alumni of ROSL Annual Music Competition Gold Medallists including: Geoffrey Parsons (1953), Jacqueline du Pré cello (1961), John Lill paino( 1963), Melvyn Tan piano (1976), Barry Douglas piano (1979), Jean Rigby mezzo soprano (1981), Piers Lane piano (1982), Susan Chilcott soprano (1986), Janice Watson soprano (1987), Liwei Qin cello (1996), Jonathan Lemalu bass-baritone (2000), Lucy Crowe soprano (2002) and  Amy Dickson saxophone (2004).  The 2011 Panel of Adjudicators, including several past ROSL prizewinners, were George Caird, John Harle, Ieuan Jones, Gillian Keith, Malcolm Layfield, Gina McCormack, Charles Owen, Jonathan Plowright, Christopher Underwood, Tessa Uys, Helen Vollam and Mark Wildman.

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3 Responses to “Sean Shibe – Scottish Wunderkind”

  1. cuchares says:

    This is some kind of musician,

  2. AncientTerp says:

    A beautiful, flawless performance of a technically difficult piece. Mr Shibe’s career should be stellar.

  3. […] I’m also mentioned on the Guitar Salon International Blog. […]


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