Celebrated guitarist Mark Ashford plays around the world as a soloist, has made many recordings and appears regularly playing recitals on BBC Radio. Head of Guitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire, Mark appears as a soloist and chamber musician at the Wigmore Hall and London's South Bank.
A guitar scholar at Chetham's School of Music studying with Gordon Crosskey, Mark then went on to study with Michael Lewin as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music, from where he graduated in 1993 with first class honours.
During the following few years Mark completed his studies in Spain with guitarist David Russell, thanks to bursarys awarded to him from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Allcard grants and the Royal Academy of Music.
Early on in his performing career Mark became a laureate of several major national and international competitions including Radio Two's Young Musician, the Julian Bream Prize, South East Arts Music Platform Award, the Guitar Foundation of America, the Scandinavian International Guitar Competition, and the Alessandria International Guitar Competition, Italy. After winning the Radio 2 Competition Mark's career really took off performing regular live recitals on the BBC as a soloist and with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He was also given his own hour long showcase programme, broadcast live on BBC Radio 2.
He has now performed at many of the UK's most prestigious music venues, including the Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, Fairfield Halls, St George's-Bristol, Bridgewater Hall-Manchester, Sage Gateshead and the Queen's Hall-Edinburgh. Performances have also taken him to France, Spain, Italy, Finland, Holland, Sweden, Hungary, Germany, Poland, U.S.A, Cuba and Barbados.
As a concerto soloist Mark has performed with many leading Orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Concertante and the Turin Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of such eminent conductors as Carl Davis, Christopher Warren-Green, Barry Wordsworth and Ignacio Yepes.
Mark has recorded seven CD's including a recording of Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez' with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Cleobury. This led to a most successful promotion tour around the UK with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. His latest CD is with the Vida Guitar Quartet (Mark Eden, Helen Sanderson & Chris Stell) entitled 'Rhapsody' featuring their own arrangements of iconic Orchestral music by Georges Gershwin, Malcolm Arnold and Adam Gorb.
Watch Mark and the Vida Guitar Quartet by clicking on this link