New York Guitar Festival 2021 Honors Classical Guitar Giant Julian Bream with Free Online Series

classical guitarist julian bream playing guitar looking at camera

Starting on July 14, the New York Guitar Festival will be presenting a week of online performances honoring the memory of the great and influential British classical guitarist Julian Bream, who died last year at the age of 87. “Remembering Julian Bream,” includes commissions by a group of stellar classical guitarists, lutenists and composers, including Pepe Romero, Sharon Isbin, Leo Brouwer, Jason Vieaux, Ben Verdery, David Leisner, Pablo Villegas, Newman & Oltman, Laura Snowden, and others.

The festival will premiere three video performances each day, from July 14 through July 20 at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time via the New York Guitar Festival YouTube channel and New York City radio station WNYC will debut audio recordings of the newly commissioned works at 93.9 FM or at Six composers will perform their own works dedicated to Bream: Laura Snowden (UK), Jiji (Korea), Leo Brouwer (Cuba), Jozef van Wissem (Holland), Derek Gripper (South Africa), and Gyan Riley (USA). In addition to these world premieres, the series includes performances of the classical-guitar music that Bream became known for, dating from the 16th through the 20th century. Composers will include John Dowland, Anthony Holborne, Benjamin Britten, Francisco Tárrega, Mauro Giulliani, Enrique Granados, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and many more.

Access to “Remembering Julian Bream” is FREE, however the NYGF and performing artists are asking viewers to make donations to MusiCares, the charitable foundation of The Recording Academy’s MusicCares COVID-19 Relief Fund to help the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.


Here’s the daily program schedule, with all performances appearing online at (All times are U.S./ Eastern Daylight Time, so do the math to figure out when you can watch live): 

Wednesday, July 14: Sharon Isbin (3 p.m.), Pepe Romero (4 p.m.), Pablo Sáinz Villegas (5 p.m.)
Thursday, July 15: Jason Vieaux (3 p.m.), David Leisner (4 p.m.), William Kanengiser (5 p.m.)
Friday, July 16: Derek Gripper (3 p.m.), Amadeus Guitar Duo (4 p.m.), Paul Odette (5 p.m.)
Saturday, July 17: Eliot Fisk (3 p.m.), Hopkinson Smith (4 p.m.), Marija Temo (5 p.m.)
Sunday, July 18: Jozef van Wissem (3 p.m.), Alberta Khoury (4 p.m.), Tengyue Zhang (5 p.m.)
Monday, July 19: Benjamin Verdery (3 p.m.), Jiji (4 p.m.), Gyan Riley (5 p.m.)
Tuesday, July 20: Adam Del Monte (3 p.m.) Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo (4 p.m.), Laura Snowden (5 p.m.).