I met Morgan when we were at college together. It was very clear then that he was not only an exceptional musician and performer but also an individual with a very holistic view of music.
Everywhere Morgan goes whether teaching, performing, doing workshops or influencing those in power, he shares a wonderful love and passion for music that he sees is for all of us not just the few.
Morgan is a musician who has already achieved many things and I always look forward to news of each next step on his musical journey – ferociously talented, ever humble. (And thank you Morgan for all the guitar tips!)
Tell us about who you are and what you do:
My name is Morgan Szymanski. I was born in Mexico to a Scottish mother and a Mexican father of Polish background! I fell in love with the guitar when I was six and never stopped playing.
I am concert artist, but I enjoy recording as well as composing. I spend most of my time touring, collaborating with many musicians. I enjoy playing as a soloist, in chamber groups, with singers, as an accompanist and with orchestras.
How did music get you to where you are now?
I studied at various music schools in Mexico before moving to Scotland at sixteen, where I attended the Edinburgh Music School. That is when I really started working on my music and decided to try for music college.
I was fortunate to get into the Royal College of Music in London where I realised music was going to me my life. I am grateful to all my teachers, colleagues and friends I met on the way. Without them I would not have managed.
Music is a wonderful language that enables you meet, collaborate and forge lifelong friendships and relationships, whether artistic or personal.
There were days when I did not want to practise. Mum made me make a deal – I could only play video games or rock after I had done an hour of practise!
Why did you choose to work in music?
I never really even considered any other options. It was a one way road!
What advice would you give to the parent of someone learning music for the first time?
Be patient and supportive. Also, here’s a little tip! There were days when I did not want to practise and only wanted to play Nintendo or my electric guitar. Mum made me make a deal – I could only play video games or rock after I had done an hour of practise on my classical repertoire, scales and exercises. A bit like putting a carrot in front of a horse!
Name a piece of music that inspires you and why
Anything by JS Bach. His music is organic, yet mathematically complex. Playing Bach does for your music what eating healthily does for your body and mind. It is good for your technique, your phrasing, your musicality, your memory….the benefits are endless!
Where is the most exciting place music has taken you?
I can´t really pick one. I love going to Zimbabwe and working in schools there because children are so musical. I also loved playing in Chile and had the chance to visit the Atacama desert – a magical place.
Climbing up the Great Wall of China, playing for remote communities in Mexico, jamming on the Beijing underground, playing tango in Buenos Aires, listening to jazz in New Orleans, touring among the South African vineyards and practising on the night trains in India. All unforgettable experiences!
What made you choose your instrument?
It was a random choice by a friend at school who wanted to form a rock band. He chose the guitar for me.
What is the best piece of advice you were given by a music teacher?
Its not about you, its about your audience.