In a career that has spanned over fifty years,
Julian Bream’s remarkable artistic achievements are singular in the
guitar’s history. His recitals present an immense variety of
compositions including transcriptions from the 17th century onwards.
Julian Bream was paramount in inspiring profound developments in the
contemporary guitar repertoire. Eminent composers who dedicated pieces
to him include Arnold, Berkeley, Bennett, Britten, Brouwer, Fricker,
Henze, Maxwell Davies, Searle, Takemitsu, Tippett, and Walton. As well
as his enthusiasm for modern guitar, Bream is renowned for his advocacy
of the Elizabethan lute.
Julian Bream was acknowledged from the mid-1950's onwards as one of
the great recording artists of the 20th century. From 1958 Julian Bream
recorded for RCA, winning many international awards, including six from
the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in the USA, two
Edison awards and various prizes from Gramophone magazine. In 1979 RCA
presented him with a platinum disc to mark record sales of half a
million in the UK alone, as well as gold and silver discs for duo
recordings with John Williams.
Julian Bream was awarded an OBE (1964) for services to music and
the CBE (1985). He has received Honorary Doctorates from the
Universities of Surrey (1968), and Leeds (1984). In 1976 he was
personally presented with the Villa-Lobos Gold Medal by the composer's
widow. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music
(1966), and has been honored with Fellowships of the Royal College of
Music (1981) and the Royal Northern College of Music (1983). In 1988 he
became an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, and was
also presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist's
Award in 1996.