SOLO   REVIEWS

 

 

"Master musician and renowned composer...one of the most talented musicians in the UK"

Eastern Eye newspaper

 

"The Chaconne from Bach’s D minor Partita, written for violin, took on a gentle gravitas in its guitar version, beautifully yet simply stated through Thacker’s impeccable precision."

The Scotsman

 

"Oh lucky, lucky Edinburgh. Simon Thacker - is in my opinion - one of the most important musicians of his generation." ThreeWeeks

 

"British classical guitarist Simon Thacker is one of those well-travelled world citizens who has performed across Europe with various world music artists, leads his own ensembles which bridge the East/West divide, is passionate about Segovia, knows his jazz and is a thrilling improviser"

Elsewhere (New Zealand)

 

"I dare you to not be amazed at the deft virtuosity (not to mention compositional powers) of Simon Thacker."

classical.net

 

"For our good luck, there are still musicians who absorb hundreds of influences and synthesize them into substances that transmit, for lack of a better word, peace...The leader is gifted with an unwavering yet super-sensible touch, a style unintoxicated by trivial tricks and thus cleanly efficient. Fans of John McLaughlin circa Natural Elements and Egberto Gismonti (just to name two names, one should add more to this list) will have no trouble in welcoming the forward-looking “rational emotionality” shown by the Edinburgh-based virtuoso, who penned several chapters in the program."

Touching Extremes (Italy)

 

"Guitarist Simon Thacker transcends the instrument and persuades it to produce music loaded with subtle nuances and character."

Classical Music Sentinel

 

"The leader of the pack clearly is Simon Thacker. His playing affects an ethereal beauty that is unsurpassed by most musicians today. In fact he might easily be the worthy equal of guitarists such as Egberto Gismonti and Ralph Towner. Not only is Mr. Thacker a sublime technician but his artistry seems to soar above that of most mere mortals. His ability to extract such meaning and expression from merely six nylon strings speaks of true genius. His lines are well-rounded and curvilinear. His phrases float like feathers loosed by majestic condors as they soar in the thin air above all else. He leaps from plane to plane with improvisations that are worked forwards and backwards; then inside-out."

The World Music Report

 

"Simon Thacker is a guitar virtuoso that puts on an amazing musical display that should have fans of Indian music, world music and virtually all six string aficionados dropping their jaws in collective amazement at a new hybrid of sound that is fluid, effortless and embraces an often misunderstood culture with passion, grace and fire." 

Critical Jazz

 

"Unsettlingly unfamiliar octatonic blues runs add strange vibes to Svanranjali, while Thacker's breathless title track is a scintillating mashup of Hendrix-like backwards guitar and rhythmic devilry." 

Jazz Journal

 

"The guitar is often underrated as a solo instrument, but Thacker demonstrated with startling virtuosity just how versatile and exciting it can be in the right hands."

The Scotsman

 

"His evocative performance was both elegant and mesmeric, and he rung beautifully relaxing and warm sounds out of an instrument which has great versatility in such expert hands"

Shetland Times

 

"Thacker’s creative drive is borderless, fusing a great respect and fascination for cultural origin with the acknowledgement that even deeply embedded musical values can be uprooted from their geographical source and rethreaded through an elsewhere." 

ATTN: Magazine

 

"Thacker’s musicianship is such that inventive improvisation is not so much an intention but a natural consequence and the music may move through notation into spirited freedom."

Jazz and Beyond (Australia)

 

"Thacker is a classical guitarist of consummate skill, intuitive musicality and impressive agility in his dexterous finger work."

The Scotsman

 
"Thacker...is now one of the UK’s leading classical guitarists – and, as well as having the instrumental mastery to play demanding pieces with apparent ease, boasts a disarmingly natural and entertaining presentational style."

Glasgow Herald

 

"Thacker's performance was a veritable tour de force that took the breath away."

Rainlore's World of Music

 

"Roth was delighted to introduce local guitarist Simon Thacker, as it meant he could experience a couple of infrequently performed items. Playing from memory, with a vigilant eye on the conductor, Thacker captured the tender and rumbustious moods of “Dear Friends” and “Vamo’ alla Flamenco” respectively. The latter, which resembled a Gaspar Sanz/Luigi Boccherini mash-up, required some nifty rasgüeado strumming techniques."

Bachtrack.com, soloist with the RSNO in music by Nobuo Uematsu

 

"Simon Thacker, making his RSNO debut, delighted the audience with Dear Friends from Final Fantasy V and the lively Spanish-infused Vamo’ Alla Flamenco from FF IX."

The Scotsman, soloist with the RSNO in music by Nobuo Uematsu

 

"In solo classical guitar music by Ponce, Villa Lobos and Gnattali, Thacker displayed highly sophisticated playing that is second to none in its detailed clarity – brilliantly silvery one moment, muscular and earthy the next."

The Scotsman

 

"Classical guitarist Simon Thacker is a stunning Scottish performer of Western, European, and South Asian musical styles."

Inside World Music

 

"Thacker's Multani sustains its fiendish 15/16 rhythm with unerring ease, and his reimaginings of Punjabi folksongs are beautifully done...Thacker's exuberant Rakshasa closes the disc, its fancy production tricks never sounding gimmicky."

The Arts Desk

 

"A stylish and sophisticated player"

The Scotsman

 

"showed real poise... a lovely crystalline clarity."

Classical Guitar

 

"The audience were treated to a concert which was thrilling in its departure from the relative ‘safety’ of traditional music....Simon Thacker’s compositions and reworkings demonstrate his skill and sensitivity in the teeth of what amounts to a considerably complex and original journey with little precedent. His mastery of the guitar allows him to pilot the ensemble through unchartered waters with great conviction."

edinburghguide.com

 

"the supremely accomplished Simon Thacker"

The Scotsman

 

"...with Thacker proving an acutely stylish and sensitive fulcrum for an often mesmerising melding of old and new..."

The Classical Review

 

"Up close guitar magic."

The List

 

"Guitarist Simon Thacker is a musician who has always seen his instrument as international and his classical training as the portal to expressing a whole world of music."

Sunday Herald

 

"My admiration for Thacker the composer increased throughout the evening.“It isn’t overtly Indian,” he said while introducing Svaranjali, “but takes elements of Indian music to make a new sound.” It was refreshing to hear these words actually reflected in the music, showing an understanding of what ‘fusion’ music can be: not merely a sticking together of bits from here and bits from there, but a boiling down of their essential elements to make something new from scratch, to make something truly new."

United World Radio

 

"A glittering display of classical guitar playing."

 Dundee Courier

 

"Simon Thacker provided an amazing innovation. He is clearly an incredibly talented guitarist and composer, unique in adventure and experimentation."

Darlington and Stockton Times

 

"Thacker deploys his instrumental resources with subtlety so his sound world never becomes oppressive to the ear; quite the reverse in fact and one is amazed that such textural variation can be achieved with so few instruments." 

Jazz Views

 

"If I could point to a single track that represents the core of the music, I would choose Thacker’s compositions Svaranjali. The scales and rhythms used throughout this propulsive work are right on the edge of traditional ragas and something you might find on a Bela Fleck album. It isn’t that Thacker has “cleaned up” Indian rhythmic and pitch vocabulary to fit Western classical guitar tradition, Thacker instead draws on elements of both musics to shape a fiery and groovy piece." 

Sequenza 21

 

"Simon Thacker's expressive abilities on guitar bring both delicate touches and angrier, intentional dissonance to proceedings - right on the raga edge, if you will."

FabricationsHQ

 

"Scotland's Simon Thacker is one of Elsewhere's kinda people. He plays classical guitar but has his ears wide open to the world..."
Elsewhere (New Zealand) 

 

"Thacker’s progress seems one of unstoppably forward motion."

The Scotsman

 

"Thacker's lively compositions are interestingly constructed and full of precision and drive"

Songlines Magazine

 

 

 

Solo Music In Quiet Places, Lincolnshire review here

 

Solo, Music at Paxton Festival review here

 

Solo University of Aberdeen concert review here

 

Peerie Willie Guitar Festival, Shetland, review here

gG

The Alternative Guitar, University of Aberdeen review here

 

Scotsman review of The Alternative Guitar premiere

performance at the Queens Hall, Edinburgh here

 

Solo Nicolson Square Edinburgh concert Scotsman review here

 

Dundee Courier concerto review here

 

Classical Guitar Magazine review of the Park Lane Group London Purcell Room solo concert here

 

East Lothian News review, first solo tour here