Alexandra Whittingham

Award: Postgraduate Award

Year: 2020

Genre: Classical

Instrument/voice type: Guitar

Location: Royal Academy of Music


After studying classical guitar, piano, jazz guitar and composition at Manchester’s Chetham's School of Music, Alexandra Whittingham gained a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She graduated in 2019 having been awarded first class honours and the Timothy Gilson Guitar Prize.
During her time at Chetham’s Alexandra had many opportunities to play with various ensembles such as a string quartets, guitar duos and jazz groups, which resulted in her becoming a member of Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra. With the orchestra came the opportunity to tour Germany and Czech Republic, where they sold out various venues within the two countries. In her final year at the school, she also gained her LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music) second diploma in classical guitar performance.
In the spring of 2013, Alexandra won the inaugural Edinburgh Guitar Competition. Following this, she travelled to Budapest to take part in the Carpathian International Youth Guitar Competition, where she gained second place. In early 2015 at the Gregynog Young Musicians' Competition, Alexandra became Gregynog Young Guitarist of the year, and more recently was a finalist at the Aalborg International Guitar Competition in Denmark.

In 2016 Alexandra was delighted to be invited to perform at Abbey Road Studios alongside singer-songwriter Imelda May for EMI Music and Sound Foundation. She has also enjoyed giving recitals throughout Europe at such places as Festival Le Temps des Guitares in South-West France, Vilnius Town Hall in Lithuania and various venues in Italy and Germany.

Other venues in which Alexandra has played include The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Milton Court Concert Hall in London and the British Embassy in Paris, where she performed to an invited audience of diplomats. Alexandra has also appeared as a concerto soloist with Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dorset Chamber Orchestra.

Maintaining an active presence online, Alexandra has gained over 135,000 subscribers on YouTube during the last four years, where videos of her performances of varied classical guitar repertoire have surpassed 19 million views collectively.
Alexandra is delighted to be an Augustine Strings artist, using their Regal Blue range. She also plays a 2011 Christopher Dean guitar, sourced by Miles Roberts at Kent Guitar Classics.
Funding from Help Musicians means that I'm able to take up my place on the Master of Arts course at the Royal Academy of Music beginning in September. I have chosen to complete this course in one year, as opposed to the usual two.

As a classical guitarist this course offers one on one tuition with professor Michael Lewin, as well as chamber coaching and additional masterclasses with some of the world's finest musicians. I look forward to making the most out of my return to the Academy through both the first study tuition and academic electives and am very grateful to Help Musicians for making this possible.