Welcome to Wikipedia's portal for Classical guitar. The classical guitar is the grandfather of guitars. Its history and repertoire spans over four centuries. Its most characteristic physical feature is the use of nylon strings. Nylon strings give the classical guitar a unique, varied and rich color palette. The size and shape of the classical guitar have been nearly standard for over 100 years.
John Williams (born 24 April 1941) is one of the world's best-known classical guitarists. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Williams was taught initially by his father Len Williams. At the age of twelve he went to Italy to study with Andrés Segovia. Later, he attended the Royal College of Music in London, studying piano because the school did not have a guitar department at the time. Upon graduation, he was offered the opportunity to create such a department. Being such a lover of the instrument, he seized the opportunity and ran it for the first two years. Williams has maintained links with the College (and with the Northern College in Manchester) ever since.
Williams's first professional performance was at the Wigmore Hall in London on 6 November 1958. Since then, he has been performing throughout the world and has made regular appearances on radio and TV. He has recorded almost the entire repertoire for the guitar and has extended it by commissioning guitar concertos from composers such as Stephen Dodgson, André Previn, Patrick Gowers, Richard Harvey and Steve Gray. He has recorded albums of duets with fellow guitarists, Julian Bream and Paco Peña.
John Williams was instrumental in bringing the works of Agustín Barrios back to popularity. Williams has often spoken highly of Barrios' work, even stating that he believes Barrios is the greatest composer of guitar music. He has also worked with contemporary composers from his native Australia, including Phillip Houghton, Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards and Nigel Westlake, to produce guitar works that capture the spirit of his homeland. However he has also the music by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, Cuban composer Leo Brouwer and music from many African countries.
It's kind of 19th century tradition that practice should be hard work, leftover from the Victorian thing. I think this is a totally destructive idea. The essence of the thing is that the work should be enjoyable...When people are learning instruments, they should be encouraged and advised: if they say they don't enjoy their practice, I always say, well, find a way to enjoy it.