Artistic Achievement Award 1999 - John W. Duarte
|John W. Duarte contributed prodigiously to the guitar world in many
ways. A prolific composer and arranger, he was also very active as a
teacher, a writer and a journalist. Throughout his long and productive
involvement with the guitar, he accumulated a considerable library of
John W. Duarte was born on October 2, 1919 in Sheffield, England. He
died on December 23, 2004 in London. He was 100% English despite the
Latin-looking last name. His father was Scottish, and his mother was
English, although she was born in Philadelphia, U.S.A.
Educated at Manchester Central High School (1931-35) and Manchester
University Faculty of Technology (1936-40), he worked as a professional
chemist until 1969 and then abandoned chemistry in favour of full-time
music. His only formal musical education was lessons with Terence Usher
from 1934 to 1936 in jazz-guitar playing; the rest was by
self-instruction. He worked professionally also as a player of the
trumpet and double-bass in music of many kinds and regularly as a jazz
musician until 1953. His many associations with great artists included a
friendship of 39 years with Andrés Segovia and an enforcedly shorter
one with Ida Presti.
As a composer he wrote nearly 150 works for the guitar and lute, many
commissioned with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain
as well as other sources, official and private, both domestic and
overseas. Most have been published and 59 have been commercially
recorded by over 60 artists and/or ensembles in at least 24 countries,
some several times. He was also the author of many arrangements
(several also recorded) and didactic works.
He was the writer of countless articles including as a regular
contributor to Soundboard, interviewer and reviewer of books, music,
concerts and recordings of many kinds (specialising in Baroque music)
with Gramophone, Music Teacher and Classical Guitar, and author of
numerous concert-programme notes and about 250 liner notes for records
of various kinds, including those for the complete reissue of Julian
Bream's recordings for RCA (28 compact discs). He received a Grammy
Award for his annotation to the reissue of Segovia's recordings of
1927-39. He also contributed regularly to Music in Education, Guitar
Review, Guitar International, Music and Musicians, Records and
Recording and Performance and was a contributor to the revised edition
of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
As a teacher he prepared many international students for successful
careers. He directed the Cannington International Guitar Summer School
and Festival (1974-93), the Bath International Guitar Festival
(1994-95) and the Oatridge International Guitar Summer School and
Festival (near Edinburgh, Scotland). He worked as a teacher, lecturer
and adjudicator in 29 countries outside the United Kingdom**.
His 60th and 70th birthdays were celebrated with gala concerts of his
music in the Wigmore Hall, London, played by artists from Britain, the
USA, Czechoslovakia, Venezuela, Germany and Croatia. His 80th birthday
was marked by a similar concert in the Bolivar Hall, London, with
artists from England, Scotland, Brazil, Greece and Italy. In 1990 he
received a Silver Medal from the Czech Ambassador in London for his
"services to Anglo-Czech and Slovak cultural relations". At the
Convention of the Guitar Foundation of America in October 1999 he
received an Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Of particular interest are the multitude of musical interviews by
John Duarte published in a wide variety of journals and periodicals.
Among the many notable names featured in these interviews are:
- Bowed-string players: John Holloway, Gidon Kremer, Viktoria Mullova, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Derek Solomon, Simon Standage, Paul Tortelier
- Composers: Geoffrey Burgon, John Corigliano
- Conductors: John Eliot Gardiner, James Judd, Joshua Rifkin, Bruno Turner
- Guitarists: Julian Bream, Ian Davies, David Starobin
- Harpsichordists: Valda Aveling, Kenneth Gilbert,
Christopher Hogwood, Igor Kipnis, Ton Koopman, Trevor Pinnock, Gilbert
Rowland, Blandine Verlet
- Lutenists: Konrad Junghänel, Jakob Lindberg
- Pianists and organists: Jennifer Bate, Malcolm Bilson, Alicia de Larrocha, Simon Preston, Murray Perahia
- Recorder players: Michala Petri, Philip Pickett
- Various: Catherine Bott (soprano), Christian Lindberg (trombonist), Ravi Shankar (sitar), Nicanor Zabaleta (harpist).
- ** Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czechoslovakia (CFR, Slovakia), Denmark, Eire, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Maylasia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, USA, Venezuela, Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo).
(Those in bold type: supported by the British Council)
Biographical sketch supplied by Christopher Duarte.