Mark Ashford is an internationally renowned performer and teacher. He began his formal musical education as a scholarship student at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester at the age of 12. He was then awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London with Michael Lewin, from where he graduated with first class honours and awards from the Principal in 1994. Mark then completed his studies with the eminent guitarist David Russell in Vigo, Spain thanks to awards from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Allcard Grants and the Royal Academy of Music.
He is a laureate of several major national and international competitions including the Guitar Foundation of America, Alessandria International Guitar Competition (Italy), Scandinavian International Guitar Competition, Julian Bream Prize, and BBC Radio 2 Young Musician. He has performed as a soloist at major venues including, Buckingham Palace, the Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, Queens Hall (Edinburgh), St George’s (Bristol) and has performed throughout Europe and in the U.S. Mark has recorded 7 CD’s which includes a recording of Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Nicholas Cleobury. This led to a hugely successful concerto tour of many venues throughout the UK including Fairfied Halls (Croydon) and Bridgewater Hall,(Manchester).
He was course director at the International Guitar Festival, Bath for six years and is now head of guitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music. He regularly gives masterclasses and recitals at the leading Conservatoires of Music and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for his achievements in the music profession. Along with his solo performances Mark is also a member of the Vida Guitar Quartet who released their debut CD in 2009 to critical acclaim.
"Ashford shows in turns a songlike cantabile and a riveting light touch." The Observer
"His interpretation of Mozart's Piano Sonata highlighted his skill at playing to the distinct strengths of his instrument to remake the music in its own image." The Scotsman
"… on several occasions (he) transcended the mere excellent to something on a far higher plain’