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(1919 - 2004)

John W. Duarte was born 02 October 1919 in Sheffield. His father was Scottish and his mother was an Englishwoman born in Philadelphia.

He was educated at Manchester Central High School and Manchester University Faculty of Technology, and worked as a professional chemist until 1969, then abandoned chemistry in favour of full-time music. He took up formal lessons in jazz-guitar playing with Terence Usher; the rest was by self-instruction. John W. Duarte also worked professionally as a trumpet player and double-bassist, and as a regular jazz musician until 1953.

He composer of over 130 works for guitar and lute (many were commissioned with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain and other sources, official and private, both domestic and overseas). Most have been published—57 of which have been commercially recorded by 58 artists and/or ensembles in 24 countries. He was also an arranger for several recorded music and didactic works.

John W. Duarte was a prolific writer of articles and acted as a regular contributor to Soundboard, interviewer and reviewer of books, music, concerts and recordings of many kinds (specializing in Baroque music) with Gramophone, Music Teacher and Classical Guitar, and author of numerous concert-program notes and about 250 liner notes for records of various kinds, including those for the complete reissue of Julian Bream’s recordings for RCA (28 compact discs). He received a GRAMMY® Award for his annotation to the reissue of Segovia’s recordings of 1927–39. In the past, he has contributed regularly to Music in Education, Guitar Review, Guitar International, Music & Musicians, Records and Recording, and Performance. He was also a contributor to the revised edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

He was director of the Cannington International Guitar Summer School and Festival (1974–93), course director of the Bath International Guitar Festival (1994–95) and taught at the Oatridge International Guitar Summer School and Festival (near Edinburgh). He worked as a teacher, lecturer and adjudicator in 29 countries outside the United Kingdom.

In 1990 he received a Silver Medal from the Czech Ambassador in London, for his “services to Anglo-Czech and Slovak cultural relations”. At the Convention of the Guitar Foundation of America in October 1999 he received an Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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