Will McNicol and Sönke Meinen
Sönke Meinen, born in 1991 and raised in Ihlow/Northern Germany, studied under Prof. Thomas Fellow, Prof. Stephan Bormann and Reentko Dirks at the Dresden University of Music, where he held a teaching position himself from 2019 to 2022. Sönke Meinen won numerous competitions – in 2016 he collected awards at two of the largest international guitar competitions: the well-respected “Guitar Masters” (first prize) and the “European Guitar Award“ (sponsoring prize).
Sönke Meinen is not only performing in solo concerts, but also in duo projects with Danish violin virtuoso Bjarke Falgren as well as with guitarist and theatre musician Philipp Wiechert. Bjarke Falgren’s and Sönke Meinen’s highly acclaimed duo debut album “Postcard to Self” earned two nominations for the Danish Music Awards in 2019.
In addition to his musical work as a guitarist and composer, Sönke Meinen is a renowned lecturer and workshop leader as well as the initiator and artistic director of the Freepsum International Guitar Festival, which has been taking place annually since 2011.
Having picked up his ﬁrst guitar at the age of six, Will has gone on to become Guitarist Magazine’s UK Acoustic Guitarist of the Year (2011) and one of Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s 30 Great Guitarists Under 30 from around the world (2014). He holds Associate, Licentiate and Fellowship diplomas with Trinity College London in Classical Guitar Recital and has released four critically acclaimed albums of original material. His most recent solo album, “Dragonﬂies, Frogs and Bumblebees” was awarded ﬁve-star reviews and described as “technical mastery” and “simply beautiful” by magazines including Guitarist and Guitar Techniques.
Will has performed relentlessly throughout his career and has given concerts up and down the UK and abroad. Whether it be headlining his own solo shows, performing at festivals, or supporting world-renowned artists such as Pierre Bensusan, Clive Carroll, Jon Gomm, Martin Simpson and Mumford and Sons amongst others, his performances have been described as “beautifully ﬂawless” and “magical” by the music press. Having toured, performed, workshopped and given masterclasses in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Zimbabwe and China, Will has also made appearances including multiple concerts and workshops at one of Africa’s biggest music festivals The Harare International Festival of Arts.
As a composer, Will’s music is inﬂuenced by styles from all over the world, and has extended beyond just solo guitar composition. His orchestral works have been debuted by the UK’s Ten Tors Orchestra and his guitar pieces have been used for various media projects including BBC Radio 4 documentaries. Will has been commissioned to write everything from incidental music for ﬁlm and dance through to tuition pieces for beginners and has published three notation books to accompany his most recent albums.
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