Who or what inspired you to take up the classical guitar, and make it your career?
The rage to master happened after hearing a recording of the Concierto De Aranjuez during my teenage years. There were no classical guitar teachers in my native town of Donegal in the Northwest of Ireland so I had to travel an 8 hour roundtrip to Dublin every other weekend to study to renowned Irish classical guitarist John Feeley. Up to this point I had played electric guitar.
Who or what were the most important influences on your playing?
Andres Segovia, John Williams, Johann Sebastian Bach. My influential teachers were John Feeley, Carlos Bonell and Ricardo Iznaola
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
Adapting to the many skills that are required of the musician today.
Which performances are you most proud of?
Performances that were against the odds when either the material or the emotional state proceeding the performance has been challenging
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in?
National Concert Hall, Dublin
Favourite pieces to perform? Listen to?
Chaconne BWV 1004 Johann Sebastian Bach, Scarlatti Sonatas, music of Albeniz, Granados,
Who are your favourite musicians?
Those who manage to transcend the technique and make each phrase sound loved. Segovia, Benedetti, Rheinhardt, Gould, Horowitz, Pollini
What is your most memorable concert experience?
Nigel North playing BWV 1004 on the lute
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
Practice smart not hard, enjoy the challenges and take risks.
What are you working on at the moment?
Various new compositions by French composer Colette Mourey and a second CD
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A good equilibrium between teaching and performing goals
Irish born classical guitarist Stephen Reck is regarded as one of the foremost players of a new generation of artists emerging from Ireland. Born in Dublin, Stephen grew up in a small town called Donegal in the northwest of Ireland. He holds a Bachelor in Music Performance from Trinity College, Dublin and a Masters Music from the London College of Music. Initially he studied with Irish virtuoso John Feeley before leaving Ireland to study in London with Carlos Bonell. Stephen also did advanced guitar studies over two years with Cuban guitarist Ricardo Iznaola in at the University of Denver, USA who said of Stephen’s playing “Great technique and beautiful sound”.
Based in London, Stephen has performed in Ireland, UK, France and America. He has made regular appearances at the John Field Recital Room of the National Concert Hall in Dublin and venues throughout the UK and has also performed and taught at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Maine, USA performing such contemporary works as Mundis Canis by George Crumb and Tan Dun’s as part of the Gamper Music festival.
He has recently premiered two works written for him by renowned French composer Colette Mourey in Paris. Colette who recently won first prize in the 20th International Competition for Instrumentalists and Composers 2012 said “Stephen Reck is a complete, very sensitive, marvellous musician, with a great quality of inspiration in all the pieces he interprets; beautiful sound, very varied colours…and a great concentration in all his musical and guitaristic effects”.
Distributed by Con Brio recordings, his first album of recorded work “Saudade” was released early in 2007, and has been featured on many radio stations including RTE Lyric FM and WNYC radio New York. According to Jeremy Nicholas of Classic FM Magazine said “An imaginative choice of 12 works sensitively played, intimately recorded and nicely presented ” (June 2008), and American Record Guide “Clean pleasant tone….. his best work is the most challenging piece, Dodgson’s ‘Fantasy Divisions’, which he navigates with involvement and imagination…”
In addition to his solo work Stephen has collaborated for several years with the highly regarded flautist David Cuthbert as part of the group Flautarra and Gina Kruger as part of the Kruger-Reck Piano Guitar Duo