Mark Ashford is a world renowned classical guitarist. Born in Northampton, England, Mark began his formal musical training at Chetham's School of Music with Gordon Crosskey. He then went on to study with Michael Lewin as a scholarship student at the Royal Academy of Music, from where he graduated in 1993 with first class honours and awards from the Principal. During the following few years Mark completed his studies in Spain with guitarist David Russell, thanks to bursaries awarded to him from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Allcard grants and the Royal Academy of Music.
Early on in his performing career Mark became a laureate of several major national and international competitions including Radio Two’s Young Musician, the Julian Bream Prize, South East Arts Music Platform Award, the Guitar Foundation of America, the Scandinavian International Guitar Competition, and the Alessandria International Guitar Competition, Italy.
He has performed at many of the UK's most prestigious music venues, including the Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, Fairfield Halls, St George's-Bristol, Bridgewater Hall-Manchester, Sage-Gateshead and the Queen's Hall-Edinburgh. Performances have also taken him to China, U.S.A, the Caribbean and all over Europe.
As a concerto soloist Mark has performed with many leading Orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Concertante and the Turin Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of such eminent conductors as Carl Davis, Christopher Warren-Green, Barry Wordsworth and Ignacio Yepes.
Mark has recorded ten CD’s including a recording of Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Cleobury which led to a most successful tour around the UK. His latest CD is with the Vida Guitar Quartet (Mark Eden, Amanda Cook & Chris Stell) entitled ‘Bachianas’, featuring saxophonist Amy Green and new works by Howard Skempton and Laura Snowden.
He was course director at the International Guitar Festival-Bath for six years and regularly gives masterclasses at International Festivals and leading Conservatoires of Music. He is currently head of guitar at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music, Director of NYGE-Birmingham and has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for his achievements in the profession.