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Simon Thacker, classical guitarist

Simon Thacker, classical guitarist

"Not only is Mr Thacker a sublime technician but his artistry seems to soar above that of most mere mortals. His ability to extract such meaning and expression from merely six nylon strings speaks of true genius."

World Music Report (Canada)

“one of the most important musicians of his generation" *****


Solo - Guitar


  • Simon Thacker - guitar


Simon brings a lifetime of inspiration and collaboration to solo classical guitar. Simon's programmes are always carefully constructed in dialogue with societies. Examples:

Programmes include:

"The virtuoso composer": the evolution of the guitar through some of the most celebrated music by its greatest luminaries, including Tarrega, Mertz, Agustin Barrios, Villa-Lobos, Cuba's Leo Brouwer.

"Obras maestras": masterworks by Bach, Schubert arr Mertz, Rodrigo, Ginastera, Thacker

"Pashyanti": a passionate, revelatory cultural masterclass drawing on Simon's immersion in diverse traditions


Simon Thacker is a classical guitar soloist, composer, improviser and ensemble leader. His work has been nominated for The Ivors Composer Awards and won a Scottish Award For New Music.

A gifted instrumentalist with a compelling command of the masterworks of the repertoire, Simon's solo performances are renowned for weaving "magic which has live performance at its heart" (The Scotsman).

His own compositions distil his extraordinary experiences with leading musicians from traditions around the world to create music of infinite expression and revelatory insight for solo guitar and his ensembles. Simon has been invited to perform his music at many major festivals, including Alchemy at London’s South Bank Centre, Cheltenham Music Festival, Christchurch and Taranaki International Arts Festivals (New Zealand), Celtic Connections, Dhaka International Folk Fest (Bangladesh, for an audience of 60 000) and The Sacred Pushkar (India). He toured India as a soloist in 2019.

He has been selected to represent the country in the Made in Scotland showcase at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe five times. In 2021 this was with solo programme Pashyanti, described by The Scotsman as showing "seemingly impossible delicacy and dexterity". In 2023 he will premiere Tandava, a production for solo classical guitar and three classical dancers from India's Piah Dance Company for which he composed the music.

Simon leads several ensembles, all of which exclusively feature his music. These include Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, a world leading Indo-Western community, and Simon Thacker's Ritmata, his musical laboratory with three of Europe’s finest improvisers.

Simon has been instrumental in nurturing the next generation of Scottish based talent as Head of Classical Guitar at Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College (where he also teaches composition) for over 15 years. He is a former University of Aberdeen Visiting Fellow. He has been nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, was a winner of the 50th Park Lane Group Awards and has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the RSNO. He holds an MMus with Distinction and PGDipMus from RCS and a 1st class BMus(Hons) from Edinburgh Napier University. His music has received airplay in over 50 countries and 200 radio stations in the USA alone.

His discography includes the Scottish New Music Award winning Trikala album by Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti. This year he will release Songs of the Roma.