Decca Classics signs guitarist Alexandra Whittingham
Friday, February 9, 2024
British guitarist's new label deal begins today with first single
Decca Classics has signed guitarist Alexandra Whittingham to its label. The British virtuoso has achieved an extraordinary audience for her online videos, totalling 50 million views to date (double the number she’d already achieved when Gramophone named her our One to Watch back in July 2021) for filmed performances of such well-known guitar classics as Capricho Arabe and Lagrima by Francisco Tárrega, Asturias by Issac Albéniz, or Un Dia de Noviembre by Leo Brouwer, along with a huge number of discoveries for both players and listeners alike. One popular video featured Gran Vals, by Tárrega, the origins of the Nokia ringtone.
Growing up in Manchester, Whittingham began playing guitar aged five, initially learning the basics from her father: ‘I was playing rock and pop songs that I was into (and still am!) for a couple of years until one day I walked in, and the teacher was playing some classical Spanish guitar music. That was it, from then on, I just wanted to learn to play that way’, she recalls. Scholarships to Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music followed.
Whittingham’s first studio recording was an album called ‘My European Journey’ for the Delphian label, which Gramophone reviewer William Yeoman decribed as ‘an enjoyable recital featuring concert and salon pieces one is not afraid to describe as utterly delightful. Key is Whittingham’s unsentimental yet beautifully expressive playing.’
She'll begin her new Decca relationship with the release of 10 tracks, the first of which is available today, set to include arrangements of well-known classical pieces, established guitar miniatures, transcriptions of popular themes from media and, on two tracks, a collaboration with Brazilian guitarist Plínio Fernandes.
The first of those tracks is Estrellita by Manuel Ponce, which you can hear below.