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ABOUT

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Hailed a ‘string sensation by BBC Music Magazine, British-French guitarist and composer Laura Snowden is acclaimed for her ‘poise and intensity’ (Guardian) and playing of ‘extraordinary depth’ (Strings, Classical Music Magazine).

 

Laura studied with Julian Bream, during which time she gave two concerts at Wigmore Hall featuring premieres of his recent commissions. This led to international recognition and festival debuts across Europe, China and the US, as well as concerto debuts with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester and a recording with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

 

As a composer, Laura’s music has been performed at Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and Sadlers Wells, commissioned by the Birmingham Symphony Hall, International Guitar Foundation, New York Guitar Festival and the Park Lane Group, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland and Hong Kong Radio 4. Her work has been recorded for BGS Records, Rubicon Classics and Centaur Records, and her exam pieces are published by ABRSM, London College of Music and Rockschool/Hal Leonard.

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Described by Classical Guitar Magazine as ‘linking guitar’s past, present and future’, Laura’s eclectic musical output has ranged from playing on Lorne Balfe's sountrack for Marvel film Black Widow to performing Lisa Streich's guitar concerto Augenlider with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; she has also given dozens of world premieres by composers including Julian Anderson, Errollyn Wallen and Olli Mustonen.

 

Laura has collaborated closely with her folk group Tir Eolas; after releasing their debut album Stories Sung Truths Told, the band toured numerous UK shows and festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Bestival, and Shakespeare’s Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the invitation of John Williams. Other collaborations include creating and recording guitar arrangements for Noah and the Whale frontman Charlie Fink’s album Cover My Tracks, and recording a new work for voice and guitar by Josephine Stephenson on the debut album by acclaimed soprano Héloïse Werner.

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Laura’s international concert appearances have included the Guitar Foundation of America, New York Classical Guitar Society, Long Island Guitar Festival, Upstate New York Guitar Festival, Altamira Hong Kong International Guitar Symposium, Uppsala International Guitar Festival, the Volterra Project in Italy and the Guitar and Lute Festival in Sweden.

 

Alongside classes at various festivals and universities, she has given classes at the Royal College of Music, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham Conservatoire, Yale University, the Purcell School, Brussels Conservatoire, Arizona State University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mannes School of Music and Manhattan School of Music. She currently teaches at the Royal College of Music Junior Department.

Laura is gratefully supported by Help Musicians and plays a guitar made by Christopher Dean.

Early

life

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Laura was born in York to a French mother and English father, and grew up in Cornwall, Devon and Sussex with Celtic folk music, played by her father on the Irish tenor banjo. Before starting the guitar, Laura liked to make up songs and record them on her tape player, and was inspired by the guitar playing of Ralph McTell to start lessons at her primary school.

At secondary school, her

teacher Ashley Hards gave her recordings of famous guitarists and his entire back catalogue of Classical Guitar Magazine. One day, Laura was leafing through the latest copy of Classical Guitar Magazine when she came across something remarkable: the renowned Yehudi Menuhin School was auditioning guitarists, following a donation from the Rolling Stones!

 

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Thanks to the Rolling Stones, Laura was awarded a scholarship to study at the school at the age of 16, and fulfilled a lifelong ambition to attend boarding school. From here, she went on to study at the Royal College of Music, where she formed her folk ensemble Tir Eolas.

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