Julian Bream: Classical guitarist dies aged 87

Classical guitarist and lute player Julian Bream has died at his home in Wiltshire at the age of 87.

The virtuoso musician performed globally during his heyday, and was renowned for his recordings of new compositions and masterclasses.

He won four Grammy Awards and received 20 nominations between 1960 and 85.

A self-taught musician, Bream learned playing to radio dance bands with the lute his father bought from a sailor on London’s Charing Cross Road in 1947.

As a child prodigy, his early recitals led to him being “acknowledged as one of the most remarkable artists of the post-war era”, according to the Royal Academy of Music.

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Bream often spoke of his research into Elizabethan music sparked by his love of the lute

After studying piano and composition at the Royal College of Music, and completing national service, he became one of the most prolific and best-selling recording artists in classical music.

He was made an OBE in 1964 and a CBE in 1985. His repertoire included new works by composers including Benjamin Britten, Sir William Walton and Sir Michael Tippett.

In 2008, he set up the The Julian Bream Trust to provide financial help for the less well-off, young and gifted music students, and to continue the work of commissioning new compositions for the guitar.