Helen Sanderson

Guitar Adjudicator

Helen Sanderson epitomises life as a 21st-century guitarist; her diversity as a performer, educator, arranger, composer and creative entrepreneur is reflected in the broad spectrum of guitar studies at RWCMD where she is Head of Guitar Performance.  

Helen’s international performing career has centred on chamber music with highlight performances including the Southbank Centre, Kings Place and the Guitar Foundation of America and CD recordings with the Vida Guitar Quartet, James Bowman and Mark Wilde. Alongside her love of performing, her impetus to create opportunities for young guitarists led to her founding the music charity, Guitar Circus, home of the National Youth Guitar Ensemble and the World Youth Guitar Festival of which she is Artistic Director.  

Helen’s work is regularly chosen for the ABRSM, Trinity College and London College of Music exam boards and she is Head of Plucked Strings for the European String Teachers Association. Her passion as an educator has continued since becoming a Winston Churchill Fellow with her research into guitar programmes in the USA and she is often invited to competition juries including BBC Young Musician of the Year, Guitar Foundation of America, London International Guitar Competition, Koblenz Guitar Competition and most memorably, the Sky Arts televised series “Guitar Star”.  

Helen’s work within the music community includes her role as a mentor for the Guitar Foundation of America’s Mentorship program to nurture and develop talent among classical guitarists of colour and she is a Director for The F-List UK which actively supports career development for female and gender minority musicians. Helen is a D’Addario Classical Artist and plays Christopher Dean guitars.