2018 Andrew Britton Fellowship

The Consortium for Guitar Research invites applications from guitar researchers at an early stage of their work for a Fellowship in memory of Dr. Andrew Britton. The Fellowship covers accommodation and meals during the three-day colloquium of the Consortium at Sidney Sussex College, The University of Cambridge, to be held from Saturday 24 March to Monday 26 March 2018. Because membership of the Consortium is by invitation only this award provides a unique opportunity to share ideas with a group of acknowledged experts in the field.

Although there is no age limit, the applicant for the Andrew Britton Fellowship must be deemed to be at a relatively early stage of their work. During the conference, the recipient is expected to give a 30 minute paper or other account of their current research.

Applicants are invited to submit their CV and a 400 word (maximum) statement describing their latest research and why this award would be useful to them. The application must be sent via email, in a Word or PDF document, to Professor Christopher Page (chp1000@cam.ac.uk) by Wednesday 1 November 2017.

The chosen candidate will be notified by Friday 1 December 2017 and is required to accept the place by Tuesday 12 December 2017. The Consortium reserves the right not to appoint to the Fellowship if they deem no applicant suitable. The successful candidate will fund their own travel and must ensure any necessary visas are in place.

Dr Andrew Britton was a Founding Member of the Consortium. His PhD thesis The guitar in the romantic period: its musical and social development, with special reference to Bristol and Bath is a benchmark to all new scholars and is available online on the British Library Ethos site.


A newly discovered 19th century guitarist: Mariano de Castro (c. 1800-1856)

In a new article, Erik Stenstadvold reconstructs the biography of a musician of Spanish-French background whose name and existence have hitherto been unknown, the guitarist and singer Mariano Castro de Gistau (c. 1800–1856). He arrived in Britain around 1829, during the relatively brief period when the guitar was widely fashionable there. The article discusses the factors that created this fashion as well as some of the principal forces that would soon challenge the instrument’s position and complicate the life of musicians like Castro (such as the rise of a canonical repertoire performed in concert halls built ever larger). Castro remained in the British Isles until his death in 1856, with a career unfolding mainly in provincial centres like Edinburgh, Dublin, Aberdeen and Cheltenham. Contemporary reviews show that he was a highly respected musician who appeared in concerts both as a guitarist and singer, often accentuating his Spanish background in the choice of repertoire. In addition to giving singing and guitar lessons, he was teaching the French language (increasingly so in later years when the guitar had lost much of its status) and after 1845 he was also engaged as a teacher in various private schools and academies.

Erik Stenstadvold, ‘Mariano Castro de Gistau (d 1856) and the Vogue for the Spanish Guitar in Nineteenth-Century Britain’,  Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 2017, 1–21.