Julian Alexander Bream

(b. 1933) English guitarist and lute player

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(1933– )

British guitarist and lutenist, whose mastery of these instruments did much to popularize them. He was made a CBE in 1985.

Born in London and first taught the guitar by his father, Bream was later a student at the Royal College of Music, although he continued to study the guitar privately, as it was not then taught there. He made his London debut in 1950 and quickly became popular in Britain and on the continent; he made his US debut in 1958 and has toured the Far East and Southeast Asia. He began to study the renaissance lute in 1950, which led to recitals of Elizabethan lute-songs with Peter Pears; the formation of the Julian Bream Consort has stimulated the playing of early consort music. Bream's brilliant style, taste, and intensity have inspired several composers to write works for him, including Britten (Nocturnal after John Dowland), Walton (Five Bagatelles), and Alan Rawsthorne (Elegy).

Subjects: Music — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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