Carlos Bonell (born London 1949) is an English Classical guitarist of Spanish origin. He has been described by Classical Guitar Magazine, UK as "one of the great communicators of the guitar world". He started to play at the age of five, learning to play Spanish folk music on the guitar from his father who was a keen amateur guitarist, while also studying the violin more formally at school. Carlos continued his studies at the Royal College of Music with John Williams, where upon completing his studies in 1972, he was appointed professor. In 1973 he won the Greater London Arts Association Young Musicians' Scheme award and as a consequence gave more than fifty concerts in the south-east of England between 1973–74. His concerto debut in 1975 was with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at the Royal Festival Hall, London in a performance of the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo. His first solo LP recording, for the Enigma Classics label, recorded in 1975, was "Guitar Music of Spain". The following year Carlos recorded a Grammy nominated album with John Williams and Friends for CBS with the instrumentation of two guitars, marimba, xylophone and double bass. The group performed throughout the UK for several years. His first performance in New York in 1978 was at the Mostly Mozart Festival in the Avery Fisher Hall. The New York Times wrote of his performance: “Carlos Bonell is a player of superb poetic gifts”.
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