Described by Grammy award winning Classical Guitarist, David Russell, as a Guitarist of ‘outstanding talent’, Bradley Johnson is a young virtuoso currently based in London.
Since the beginning of his relationship with the Guitar, Bradley has been particularly drawn to music of the 20th and 21st centuries and is committed to its performance and promotion. He is currently working towards premières by Gary Carpenter, David Gorton and Mark Simpson alongside the revival/exposition of works by Bryn Harrison, Edward Cowie and Tristram Cary. His curiosity was ignited by exposure to Michael Tippett’s Sonata - ‘The Blue Guitar’, a performance of which secured Bradley First Prize in the Ivor Mairants Guitar Award in 2015, and which was described by Classical Guitar Magazine as possessing ‘strongly formed musical ideas and the ability to deliver them with a natural sense of spontaneity’.
Bradley began studying for a Masters degree with Professor Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music in 2017, from where he graduated with Distinction and DipRAM for 'outstanding performance in a Final Recital' in 2019 and is now completing his Advanced Diploma.
During his studies, Bradley has expanded his love of music from the 20th century through chamber music, with performances of Georg Friedrich Haas’s ‘Guitar Quartett’, Michael Tippett’s ‘Songs for Achilles’, and Reginald Smith-Brindle’s rare Guitar Duos with Professor Steven Thachuk at the International Guitar Research Conference. He has also explored Concerti, with a performance of Malcolm Arnold’s Guitar Concerto for which Bradley was awarded First Prize in the inaugural Royal Classics Concerto Competition – a performance described by the jury of ‘outstanding rapport, excellent musicality and near flawless technique’.
Since 2018 he has been a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and has represented the company in concerts throughout the country. He holds a First Class Honours Degree from the Royal Northern College of Music, has received a Special Commendation from the Boise Foundation Scholarship Trust and his studies are supported twice by the Blyth Watson Charitable Trust Award, the Charlotte Fraser Award and CHK Charities Limited.
“Outstanding sense of rapport...excellent musicality and near flawless technique.”
— Edoardo Catemario
Bradley Johnson began playing Guitar at age 7 and started taking lessons from Nicholas Powlesland. After experimenting with a multitude of styles, he finally decided to specialize in Classical Guitar and soon after enrolled at the Royal Northern College of Music to study with Craig Ogden in 2013.
Showing great promise upon the inception of his studies, he soon began performing regularly, representing the RNCM in both Solo and Chamber ensembles - performing at venues such as the Bridgewater Hall, Liverpool University, Leeds College of Music, Buxton Festival as well as participating in masterclasses with artists and teachers such as Zoran Dukic, Ricardo Gallen, Jose Antonio Escobar, Elena Papandreou and Gordon Crosskey.
During 2015, he was awarded First Prize for the Ivor Mairants Guitar Award, which led to a performance at the International Guitar Research Conference (IGRC) at the University of Surrey the following year. Soon after, this led to a placement onto the European Guitar Teacher’s Association’s (EGTA) ‘Young Performer’s Platform’.
Bradley graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with First Class Honours in 2017.
Later in the same year, Bradley began a Postgraduate degree after being awarded a Scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Professor Michael Lewin. Alongside Solo performance, he has performed with the Academy Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner, Manson Ensemble, as well as the Mandolin with Royal Academy Opera ('it is worth pointing out that there was some astonishingly beautiful playing of the mandolin in Don Giovanni's serenade from Bradley Johnson' - Brian Dickie, Chicago Opera), and for the International Guitar Research Centre for Reginald Smith Brindle’s centenary, where he performed with rare Chamber works alongside Professor Steven Thachuk from California State University. Recent projects include collaborations with 2019 resident Academy composer, Georg Friedrich Haas, with a performance of his Guitar Quartet at the event - Anachronism. During his studies at the Academy, he has twice performed for the Assad Brothers, David Leisner and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny as well as receiving regular tuition from David Russell and Fabio Zanon. He graduated from the Academy with Distinction and DipRAM in 2019.
He is currently working towards an Advanced Diploma at the Academy, which will include première recordings and performances by Gary Carpenter, David Gorton and Mark Simpson alongside the revival/exposition of works by Edward Cowie, Bryn Harrison and Tristram Cary.
Since 2018 he has been a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and has represented the company in concerts throughout the country. He has received numerous Scholarships for his studies, including a Special Commendation from the Boise Foundation Scholarship Trust, being twice awarded the Blyth Watson Charitable Trust Award, the Charlotte Fraser Award and CHK Charities Limited.
He performs on a 2017 Guitar by Sergio Abreu loaned to him by the Royal Academy of Music, a 2011 Stephen Hill and a 1987 Manuel Contreras 'Doble-Tapa' Guitar.