Stanley Yates - guitarist

Biography & Reviews

British-born guitarist Stanley Yates has established an international career as concert performer and recording artist, teacher, arranger and scholar.

Performing to wide critical and audience acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, he has been praised by the English magazine Classical Guitar as "one of an elite breed of guitarists," the Fort Worth Star Telegram for the "transcendent quality of his interpretative abilities," the Italian magazine Suonare for his "musical instinct and brilliant technique." He has been the subject of interviews, articles and extended reviews in many national and international guitar magazines including, Guitare Aktuel (Germany), Il fronimo (Italy), Fingerstyle (US), Soundboard (US), Guitar International (UK), Fingerstyle Review (US), Teaching Guitar (US), Suonare (Italy), Classical Guitar (England). He is also featured in the standard reference works The Classical Guitar: Its Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1800 and Instrumental Influences: Reflections on the Classical Guitar from the Instrument’s Most Influential Performers and Pedagogues.

His transcription and recording of the Bach cello suites received international attention, being described as "immaculate...a major landmark" (Classical Guitar, England), "elegant and persuasive...a transcription that makes history" (Suonare, Italy), "distinguished...refreshing" (Soundboard, USA), "compelling and technically flawless" (American Record Guide). 

A past prize-winner in such prestigious performance competitions as the Myra Hess (London) and the Guitar Foundation of America International Competition, he has performed as recitalist and concerto soloist at prestigious venues throughout the United States and Europe, as well as in Asia, South America and Australia.

A committed interpreter of new music as well as neglected masterpieces from the past, he has been dedicatee and first performer of music by such notable American and European guitar composers as Stepan Rak, Angelo Gilardino, John Duarte, Atanas Ourkouzounov, Mark Delpriora, James Piorkowski, Mark Houghton, Elizabeth Vercoe, Lloyd Wells and Roger Hudson, and has reconstructed and given first modern performances of such important rediscovered works as Villa-Lobos' Valsa Concerto No. 2, the Shand Premier Concerto and late eighteenth-century concertos by Vidal, Doisy and Viotti. 

His recordings for Reference Recordings, Heartdance Music, Zillian Records, dbMusic and Aeolian Recordings include his widely-acclaimed arrangements of the Bach Cello Suites, premiere recordings of major chamber works by John Rutter, Michael Fink and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, a recording of music by Lennon and McCartney, a premiere recording of late 18th-century Paisian concertos, and a series of  didactic recordings, among others. 

His numerous editions and arrangements are published in the Stanley Yates Series by Mel Bay Publications. This critically-acclaimed series includes transcriptions of music by Bach and Albéniz; performance editions of collected concert works by Rak and Shand, and a series of didactic works. including original works, a best-selling guitar method, and several collections of graded student repertoire. His performance articles dealing with the music of Bach, Villa-Lobos and Albéniz have been published internationally in over ten languages, appearing in such journals as Il Fronimo, Guitarre & Laute, Gendai Guitar, 8 Sonoro, Homa Guitar, Soundboard and Classical Guitar

An in-demand teacher, he has presented masterclasses and lectures at numerous festivals, colleges, universities and conservatories, including the Royal Academy of Music, London; and the Royal Conservatory of Music, Glen Gould Professional School, Toronto; the Royal Northern College of Music; the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (where he performs and teaches each summer), and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has been an advisory board member of both the Guitar Foundation of America and Guitar Forum - the Journal of the European Guitar Teachers' Association and Guitar Forum Editor for the American String Teacher's Association. He has been described as "one of the leading pedagogues of our era" (Soundboard - Journal of the Guitar Foundation of America).

He received performer's diplomas from Trinity College, London, and Sandown College of Performing Arts, Liverpool (where he graduated with the highest pass in the history of the college). He also received post-graduate degrees from the University of Liverpool (with a distinction in performance) and the University of North Texas (where he was the only non-pianist ever to receive the Morgan Dissertation Award for Excellence in Music Performance). 

A resident of the United States, he is Professor of Music and director guitar studies at Austin Peay State University, home of Tennessee's Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. 



Performance Reviews 

"one of very few musicians who, having dedicated themselves to the guitar, have managed to bring together instinct and brilliant technique with the most refined musical and musicological preparation."
Suonare (Italy) 

"one of the premier exponents of 20th-century music for the classical guitar...a truly outstanding and  memorable musical experience."
The Rosette, Orange County, California, USA 

"...a master of the experience not to be missed!
Banbury Guitar Society (England)

"The transcendent quality of Yates' interpretative abilities was apparent not only in the Rak piece but also in the rest of his wide-ranging program, which  included two suites by is clearly this quality that sets him apart from his peers."
Fort Worth Star Telegram, Dallas Classic Guitar 
Society, Dallas, USA 

"Yates plays with all profundity in undisturbed communication of the music. Technical perfection, tonal purity and a considered objectivity are all perfectly placed."
Azijnfabriek in Muzerije, Bosch Auditorium, 
Den Bosch, Holland 

"...a performing academic of the highest caliber - one  of an elite breed of guitarists whose playing is every  bit as impressive as his qualifications."
Classical Guitar, Euro-Wirral International Guitar 
Festival, England 

"Great authority and control..."
Guitar International, Liverpool, England 

"...poetic and rhapsodic."
Soundboard, GFA Guitar Festival, Miami, USA 

"Throughout one tended to be unaware that this was a guitar recital as such, hearing only the actual music - the ultimate test in this writer's opinion..."
Classical Guitar, Chester Guitar Society, England 

"...totally efficient, controlled mastery of his 

Classical Guitar, The Old Malthouse, England 

"...exhilarating...a superb player"
Classical Guitar, Euro-Wirral International Guitar Festival, England 

CD Reviews

"the performances recorded here are of the greatest relevance to all who cherish Bach...[Yates] has brought considerable academic and cultural resources to the task. Allied to immaculate technique, this results in a sense of commitment and ownership rarely equaled in this repertoire....A major landmark.
Classical Guitar (England)

"This is distinguished playing, a recording to hear and learn from.
Soundboard (USA)

"..a very personal, compelling, and technically flawless performance..."
American Record Guide

"Listening to this interpretation it is impossible not to refer to the same transcriptions of the Suites by Yates, where he rethinks the terms in which Bach has been represented in the guitar tradition..."
Guitart (Italy)

"In accord with the English saying "The proof of the pudding is in the eating"...we hear neither an arid Bach imitation nor a romanticized interpretation to which the guitar might lend itself, but rather a piece of music-making characterized by joyful playing and knowledge of the subject.
Guitar Aktuell (Germany)


Publication Reviews 

"This is a transcription that makes history...since the time of Segovia's version of the Chaconne (1934) there has not been, in the history of guitar transcription, a more important event...
Suonare (Italy)



Aug. 2002

April 2002

Nov. 2002