About Sean

Sean Shibe is “one of the foremost guitarists” of his generation. In April 2018 he was shortlisted for two categories (Young Artist and Instrumentalist) in the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Awards, becoming the first guitarist to receive the RPS Award for Young Artists in May 2018.

In 2017 Sean Shibe’s debut solo album release on Delphian Records was met with critical acclaim and won him a shortlisted nomination in the BBC Music Magazine ‘Instrumental Award’ category. Dreams and Fancies is a recording that explores the fruits of Julian Bream’s history of commissioning in the 20th Century alongside music by Dowland and was named Editor’s Choice in Gramophone as well as BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Choice.

Alongside the success of his recording debut, Sean Shibe’s “uncompromisingly monumental” project softLOUD premiered at the East Neuk and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals – a revelatory programme juxtaposing Jacobean lute music for classical guitar, with electric guitar arrangements of multi-tracked repertoire including US Pulitzer prize winning composers Julia Wolfe’s powerful elegy LAD, (originally written for 9 bagpipes) and David Lang’s KillersoftLOUD will be his second outing on Delphian Records upon its release in September 2018.

Born in Edinburgh in 1992 of English and Japanese heritage, he studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and with Paolo Pegoraro in Italy. At the age of 20 he became the first guitarist to be selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and the only solo guitarist to be awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. He was a YCAT artist between 2015 – 2017.

He has performed at internationally renowned venues including Aldeburgh Festival, Bath International Festival and Heidelberger-Frühling. He returned to the Marlboro Summer Music Festival on the invitation of Mitsuko Uchida, and has extensively toured in China.

Engagements this season have included debut concerts in Nagoya, Tokyo’s Musashino Hall performing J.S Bach, Villa-Lobos and Takemitsu, and recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Elbphilharmonie und Laeiszhalle and Cumnock Tryst. With an acute interest in commissioning new works for the instrument, Sean Shibe premiered new pieces by Michael Murray, whilst appearing as soloist with the  Scottish Ensemble, and recorded John Adams Naive and Sentimental Music with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

He has appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Symphony Orchestras performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasía para un Gentilhombre, the Malcolm Arnold and Villa-Lobos Concertos, and recording Takemitsu’s To the Edge of Dream.

Recent collaborators include the BBC Singers, Danish String Quartet, cellist Isang Enders, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and singers Ben Johnson, Robert Murray and Robert Tritschler.

His awards include the Royal Over-Seas League First Prize and Gold Medal (2011), Ivor Mairants Guitar Award (2009), a Dewar Arts and D’Addarrio endorsement. He is grateful for support from the Hattori Trust.

Full biography.


After receiving critical acclaim and being broadcast on BBC Radio 3 following its premiere at the East Neuk Festival, softLOUD tours to Germany (Mosel Musikfestival), America (Newport Music Festival, Rhode Island), Ireland (Great Irish Houses Festival) as well as making appearances across the UK. Visit the diary.

“uncompromising monumentality” – The Scotsman

“unmissable”The Herald

“only Shibe could have thought of asking her [Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Wolfe] if she minded his transcribing it [LAD, originally for 9 bagpipes] for nine electric guitars…genius, a term which should rarely be applied to performing musicians, but at 25 Shibe has it.” – theartsdesk.com

Further info



Dreams & Fancies: English music for solo guitar

Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice and BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Choice

The Herald: “Unmissable”

The Sunday Times: “The most seductive of charmed sounds…His playing unites finesse and poetry…”



Apple Music


Please contact Emily Granozio at emily.granozio@rayfieldallied.com

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