Sean Shibe is “one of the foremost guitarists” of his generation. In 2018 Sean Shibe won the Young Artist Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society following a hugely successful debut album release on Delphian Records, which also won him a nomination in the BBC Music Magazine ‘Instrumental Award’ category. Dreams and Fancies is a recording that explores the fruits of Julian Bream’s history of commissioning in the 20th Century alongside music by Dowland and was named Editor’s Choice in Gramophone as well as BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Choice.
Alongside the success of his recording debut, Sean Shibe’s “uncompromisingly monumental” project softLOUD premiered at the East Neuk and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals – a revelatory programme juxtaposing Jacobean lute music for classical guitar, with electric guitar arrangements of multi-tracked repertoire including US Pulitzer prize winning composers Julia Wolfe’s powerful elegy LAD, (originally written for 9 bagpipes) and David Lang’s Killer. These works form part of the new softLOUD recording.
Born in Edinburgh in 1992 of English and Japanese heritage, he studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and with Paolo Pegoraro in Italy. At the age of 20 he became the first guitarist to be selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and the only solo guitarist to be awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. He was a YCAT artist between 2015 – 2017.
He has performed at internationally renowned venues including Aldeburgh Festival, Bath International Festival, Heidelberger-Frühling and the Musashino Hall in Tokyo. He returned to the Marlboro Summer Music Festival on the invitation of Mitsuko Uchida, and has extensively toured in China. Engagements in the 18-19 season include debut concerts with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Ensemble, Trondheim Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, as well as recitals at Wigmore Hall, St George’s Bristol, Bridgewater Hall, MITO Settembre Musica and the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He tours Scotland, and gives a concert at the Royal Albert Hall with the RPO. With an acute interest in commissioning new works and arrangements for the instrument, Sean Shibe performs music by Michael Murray, James MacMillan and Daniel Kidane this season.
He has appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Symphony Orchestras performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasía para un Gentilhombre, the Malcolm Arnold and Villa-Lobos Concertos, and recording Takemitsu’s To the Edge of Dream.
He has recorded solo works by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for Linn Records as part of a Scottish Chamber Orchestra disc, as well as John Adams Naive and Sentimental Music with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on Chandos. Recent collaborators include the BBC Singers, Danish String Quartet, cellist Isang Enders, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and singers Ben Johnson, Robert Murray and Robert Tritschler. His awards include the Royal Over-Seas League First Prize and Gold Medal (2011), Ivor Mairants Guitar Award (2009), a Dewar Arts and D’Addarrio endorsement.
He is grateful for support from the HattoriTrust.