New John Williams Biography by William Starling


New Biography of classical guitarist John Williams by William Starling. I love the down-to-Earth opinions that Williams interview give. He is very realistic about music study and regarding the importance of students experiencing music for themselves rather than enlisting in the musical military academy.  The biography is not available June 2013 but the Guardian had a sneak peak (see quote below).

Update (2014): I’ve been reading the book and it’s a fascinating read. Actually, I’m now equally interested in John’s father Len Williams.

See the biography on amazon: Strings Attached: The Life and Music of John Williams

Or see the Guardian article link below.

Andrés Segovia is revered as one of the greatest guitarists of the 20th century. But, 25 years after his death, his reputation is being challenged by one of his former students, the guitar virtuoso John Williams, who has attacked him as a musical and social snob who stifled creativity among his students.

Starling reveals that Williams remembers Segovia making his students copy his every inflection – demands that he believes “undermined any sense of personal ownership of a piece”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE via the Guardian


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  1. The book is currently available in the UK. I ordered a copy from Frets Only (, and it only took a week to reach my home in Texas.

    I admire Williams’ forthrightness, and I think he’s dead-on regarding Segovia’s style of teaching. Watching a few of the films of Segovia’s master classes confirms it. Segovia’s treatment of Michael Chapdelaine in particular was disgraceful.

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