The Jacaranda website is edited by Stephen Kenyon. This biographical section is intended to enable visitors to learn something about his background so they can decide what to think of his suggestions and recommendations elsewhere in the site. The text here can also be freely used as information for programmes and biographies.

Stephen Kenyon studied classical guitar from the age of seven, but did a BA Honours Degree in English and Media Studies, graduating in 1984, rather than a music degree or guitar diploma. After graduation he travelled widely, following up various ethnomusicological and folk music interests, and from 1986 began to combine these with a more formal approach to guitar study and composition. In 1990 this led to enrollment as a Post Graduate at Trinity College of Music in London under Gilbert Biberian and Dr Glenn Morgan, where in 1991 he successfully took the Post Graduate Certificate in Guitar Performance.

He stayed at TCM for a further three years, working with many student composers, ensembles and workshops, playing a concerto with the Trinity String Ensemble, and being the first guitarist to be invited to play solo in the concerts given under the aegis of the Principal, Philip Jones. During this time he also conducted the London Guitar Orchestra, the only professional guitar orchestra in the country, and in 1993 began his international recital career with a tour of France. This has now grown with concerts throughout France, Germany, Latvia and the US as well as the UK. In 1998 Stephen was invited by Angelo Gilardino to Italy to join the panel of judges for the Lagonegro Guitar competition.

Since 1995 Stephen has often performed on an 1830 Staufer guitar, concentrating on music of the period with this instrument for the first half of the programme.

In late 1994 Stephen was invited by the editors of Classical Guitar magazine to join their panel of reviewers, and was immediately given responsibility for live events in London and the South East of England. Until 1997 he covered all the major and many minor performances given in the South Bank Centre, Wigmore Hall and elsewhere, and has continued to review a large collection of mainly contemporary music scores and CD recordings. From 1995 to 1998 he was editor of the EGTA (UK) Guitar Journal.

He has written three guitar concertos, of which the third was premiered in Wuppertal, Germany on February 1st 1997, numerous chamber and solo works, and music for the stage. The first concerto was premiered on 21st June 2003 with soloist Fabio Zanon with the Oberon Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer. Stephen's music has been performed in France, Germany, Italy and the US. He has won first prizes in composition competitions from Middlesex University and the St Cecilia Festival.

Music for solo guitar has been published by Tuscany Publications: Maumbury Rings and Dancing Ledge, two pieces evocative of the Dorset landscape; and the Scottish Suite, which is inspired by the music of the Scottish Highlands. Another piece, Caer Meini has been included in a new book "The Contemporary Guitar - An Anthology of New Music" from Mel Bay, commissioned and edited by Stanley Yates. Pieces by Stephen have been included in the exam syllabus of both Trinity and Guildhall, and on the Music Medals syllabus of the Associated Board.

Since moving to Dorset Stephen has performed with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on a number of occasions and with their 20th Century music ensemble Kokoro, and is Artistic Director and conductor of the Dorset Guitar Society.

For concert reviews and pictures, click here.
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