DECCA CLASSICS SIGNS VIRAL VIRTUOSO ALEXANDRA WHITTINGHAM
THE “ENGLISH CLASSICAL GUITAR PHENOMENON”*
LISTEN TO HER FIRST SINGLE "ESTRELLITA" HERE
9 FEBRUARY 2024 (TORONTO, ON) — Decca Classics is proud to announce the signing of classical guitarist Alexandra Whittingham. Dubbed a "young 21st-century virtuoso" by The Guardian, Alexandra’s creative spirit is reshaping classical music and defying conventions. She has become known for her creative videos of guitar repertoire on social media where she reaches millions of young people who are discovering classical music for themselves.
Originally from Manchester, Alexandra's journey from daughter of a window cleaner to viral classical virtuoso is more than a story of humble beginnings; it's a narrative of a passionate musician and entrepreneur. From a remarkably young age, she has been on an unwavering quest to connect with people through her music, continually redefining classical music boundaries.
With over half a million followers across social media platforms, Alexandra started to film her own music videos as a personal project, rapidly creating a large community of fans worldwide on YouTube. Her videos not only entertain but also impart knowledge to her followers, accumulating an impressive nearly 50 million views in total.
Alexandra recently grabbed headlines with a viral video, currently at over 12M Instagram views, in which she unveiled the classical inspiration behind the iconic Nokia ringtone, traced back to "Gran Vals," a solo guitar composition by Francisco Tárrega dating back to 1902. Whittingham adeptly performs the original piece in the video culminating in the familiar Nokia tone's emergence and playfully stating, "I won't rest until this piece gets the recognition it deserves." This revelation sparked surprise and even humorous comments from viewers, adding a playful touch to the unveiling of a musical secret and “breaking a spell, freeing the piece from ringtone infamy.” (Music Radar).
The guitarist grew up listening to local legends The 1975 and Oasis, along with the influences of millennial pop punk princess Avril Lavigne and The Eagles. Having picked up the guitar when she was just five years old, Alexandra's father taught her the basics of the instrument before she went on to begin private lessons and recalls: “I was playing rock and pop songs that I was into (and still am!) for a couple of years until one day I walked in, and the teacher was playing some classical Spanish guitar music. That was it, from then on, I just wanted to learn to play that way”. She quickly won scholarships to study at the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music and Royal Academy of Music. She received first-class honours in her undergraduate degree and a distinction in her Masters.
On her debut releases with Decca Classics, Alexandra Whittingham brings together what she understands by the broad term "classical" to create a fresh look at the genre: “There are so many areas of music I can’t wait to explore. The idea of bringing the guitar to a wider audience excites me a lot, so I’d like to do more arranging as there’s so much out there that would fit the instrument so well.”
Alexandra will be releasing 10 brand-new tracks beginning today and in line with National Guitar Day. These unique arrangements include well-known classical pieces and established guitar miniatures through to transcriptions of popular themes from TV and anime. On two of the tracks, Alexandra collaborates with Brazilian guitar mate Plínio Fernandes.
Decca Classics Executive Producer, Helen Rogers remarks: “Alexandra represents a fearless, creative and entrepreneurial new generation of young classical artists who are throwing out the rule book and building their careers in innovative ways that complement contemporary culture. She is an exceptionally talented guitarist and communicator, as passionate about her instrument as she is about breaking down traditional boundaries into classical music. We are very excited to welcome her to Decca Classics.”
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