Carlos Bonell is one of today's most celebrated guitarists. He was born in London of Spanish parents and he studied at the Royal College of Music with John Williams, where he was appointed the youngest ever professor in 1972. He gained prominence in 1981 through his recording for Decca of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit. It has been repeatedly singled out as the finest version available. At the beginning of his recording career, his 1976 CBS recording with John Williams and Friends received a Grammy nomination. Since that time Carlos has made more than 20 LP and CD recordings.
Since 2006 Carlos has been helping Sir Paul McCartney in notating and recording a concerto for guitar and orchestra, with the composition of the work due to continue into 2011. The work was featured in a June 2007 cover article by The New Yorker magazine.
His career includes TV, Film and CD recordings, worldwide tours, concertos with the major orchestras, and the creation of his own Ensemble. He can be heard on the sound tracks of the Hollywood films City of Angels and The Honest Courtesan and on the BBC TV productions Inspector Morse and The Politician's Wife. He has played at many international Festivals including The City of London, Aldeburgh, Helsinki, Israel, Tanglewood, Sydney, Istanbul, Hong Kong, and New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, and his tours take him as far as Australia, the Far East and South America.
Carlos has formed musical associations with a wide variety of musicians including ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, guitarists John Williams and Paco Peña, violinists Salvatore Accardo and Pinchas Zukerman, and singers Patricia Rozario and Teresa Berganza.
Carlos’ first DVD Classical Guitar Performance, released in 2005 contains a one hour live performance with spoken introductions in English and Spanish by Carlos himself. It has met with universal acclaim. The same year saw the first book about the guitar by Carlos: Guitar - An Easy Guide.
In 2006 Carlos undertook an extended tour of the USA which included Fort Worth, Dallas, Atlanta and Las Vegas, presenting his acclaimed solo programme “Millennium Guitar, the first 1000 years”.
In 2007 he was awarded the prestigious Spanish prize Premio Trujamán for his work for the solo guitar, and in 2008 he presented the third edition of the London International Guitar Festival, of which he is the Artistic Director. Also in 2008 his album release Queen Guitar Rhapsodies of new arrangements of music by the group Queen for solo guitar and symphony orchestra, was widely praised, including by Queen’s Brian May himself.
From 2007 to 2009 Carlos has toured extensively through Europe, North and South America and Asia both as soloist and guest with Symphony Orchestras. In 2010 he returned to Japan for an extended tour.
Carlos is greatly in demand as a teacher. Every year he conducts international teaching courses in Italy, Spain, the UK and Venezuela, as well as masterclasses during many of his concert tours. In Venezuela he was awarded the Cátedra Internacional de Guitarra Carlos Bonell in recognition of his teaching activities there since 2000 which have included workshops and masterclasses throughout the country. The Cátedra receives financial support from numerous organisations and institutions, and is recognized by Universities as a valuable part of student studies.
Following his association with Sir Paul McCartney Carlos released the album Magical Mystery Guitar Tour in 2011. It is dedicated to the music of the Beatles in Carlos’ own arrangements for solo guitar.