One of the foremost guitarists of his generation, Sean Shibe brings a fresh and innovative approach to the traditional classical guitar by experimenting with instruments and repertoire.
The first guitarist to be selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and to be awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, he was selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust artist between 2015-2017. In 2018, Sean Shibe became the first guitarist to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Young Artists; and in 2019, he won a Gramophone Award in the newly-created ‘Concept Album’ category for his critically acclaimed recording softLOUD. Further awards include the Royal Over-Seas League First Prize and Gold Medal (2011); Ivor Mairants Guitar Award (2009); and a Dewar Arts and D’Addarrio endorsement.
Sean Shibe’s commitment to expanding the repertoire for his instrument sees him conceive imaginative programmes, heavily featuring new music, as well as newly commissioned works; recent and future performances include new music by James MacMillan, Daniel Kidane, Brian Bolger, David Fennessy, Sofia Gubaidulina, and the premiere of a reworked version of Georges Lentz’s Ingwe, in collaboration with the composer himself. New commissions include Lliam Paterson, David Fennessy, Freya Waley-Cohen, and young Welsh composer Sylvia Villa.
After a 5 star recital of electric and acoustic guitar works at Wigmore Hall in March 2020, Sean was one of the first artists to return to the Hall for their new socially-distanced concert series in June, giving a recital of Scottish Lute Manuscripts, Bach and Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, receiving 5 stars from The Guardian for his ‘irresistible style and authority…a nonchalant virtuoso and boundary breaker’. Sean’s new chart-topping recording of Bach lute suites arranged for guitar was also released in May 2020 on Delphian Records. The disc received considerable critical attention: Sean was the cover star of Gramophone Magazine’s June 2020 issue, in which the disc was named Editor’s Choice; The Times and The Scotsman both awarded the disc five stars; Presto Classical and Europadisc both named the recording ‘Disc of the Week’; and it spent 3 weeks at number 1 and 2 months in the top 5 in the UK Specialist Classical Charts.