John Duarte *


John William Duarte (1919 – 2004) started his career as a graduate in chemistry, but on the advice of Len Williams, the father of the famous John, switched his course to music in the early seventies. He took jazz guitar lessons and became self-taught in music theory, composition, trumpet and bass.

Initially, he taught guitar at the Spanish Guitar Center in London before taking up a position at the Royal College of Music. In addition, he developed as a composer and an arranger. He wrote almost 150 pieces. He had friendship with well-known guitarists such as Andres Segovia and Ida Presti and also wrote pieces for them. For example, he composed the famous English Suite on the occasion of Andres Segovia’s wedding.

As an arranger, he showed great love for folk music and community music.

My former guitar teacher Ed Westerik once met him when he was touring with his guitar duo partner. “A typical Englishman,” was his characteristic, “pipe, Oxford dialect, but you could have a good laugh with him.”


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