About Phil Moran
Phil Moran is one of this country’s finest classical guitarists. He is
known for his excellent solo guitar recitals and performances with orchestra,
as well as collaborations with artists such as flutist Jane Rutter. He possesses
a unique ability to captivate an audience with his superb musicianship and warm
tone and personable approach. Phil is also a fine teacher of music. Phil’s
Christian faith also informs and enhances all his music making.
Phil Moran took up the guitar at the age of nine, studying with local teachers.
He commenced a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium in 1977, majoring
in guitar with Gregory Pikler. Phil spent 1979/80 in London studying the guitar
privately with Timothy Walker and at the Guildhall School of Music, and toured
England as a musician with the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. He was a regular
member of the Benelong Players and toured parts of Australia presenting chamber
music to school children.
Phil undertook master classes with John Williams at the Victorian College
of the Arts and won first prize in the Australian Guitar Competition in 1983.
In the same year he completed his Bachelor of Music and was named Student of
the Year, obtaining high distinctions for his solo recital and concerto performances.
Phil returned to England in 1984 to pursue further guitar studies with Carlos
Bonell and Gordon Crosskey, and completed master classes with David Russell
and Jose Tomas in Spain. In 1985 he gave his debut solo recital at the Sydney
Opera House, and performed Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Sydney
Youth Orchestra under maestro Tommy Tycho. Phil has performed with artists
such as Martin Lass, Jane Rutter and Deborah Byrne.
Over the past fourteen years Phil has been involved with Christian ministry
as Head of Music at the Wesley Institute, a Christian Arts College, as Church
Music Coordinator and as a Bible teacher. His love and talent for the classical
guitar brought him back to the performance arena in 2002.
Currently Phil keeps up a busy schedule lecturing in music at the Wesley
Institute, teaching guitar privately and freelancing as a musician in Sydney.
Phil released his first solo CD ‘Spanish Inspiration’ in 2003
and toured NSW and QLD where the album has been well received. Spanish Inspiration
has also been regularly programmed on ABC Classic FM.
In 2004 Phil appeared as guest soloist in the “Spirit of Spain”
concert with the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic, and gave concerto performances with
the Beecroft and the Eastern Sydney Chamber Orchestras. 2005 saw Phil give
numerous solo recitals for music clubs including Shoalhaven, Hunters Hill &
Wollongong. He played on the soundtrack recording for the new Australian film
‘The Bet’ and with the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra in the oratorio
‘El Nino’ by John Adams.
Recently Phil successfully developed an educational guitar show which he
has taken into schools. ‘The Guitar Through the Ages’ showcases
Phil’s versatility on the instrument as he plays music from Baroque to
Rock on classical, steel-string acoustic and electric guitars.
This year Phil is preparing and recording his second album. This will be
a programme of Latin American guitar works and will include two new original
compositions. The album is scheduled for release in September. Up coming concerts
include a recital for the Hunter’s Hill Music Club with Jane Rutter as
guest artist, a performance of Nigel Westlake’s Antartica guitar concerto
with the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, and a recital for the the Ryde music
club with tenor Ronald Stevens.
The highlight definitely was the amazing Guitar Concerto by Castelnuovo-Tedesco
performed by the illustrious Phil Moran. He held us awestruck with his seemingly
endless stream of warmth and colour on his instrument clutched on his knee before
the orchestra in an effusive rendition. We are surely honoured to have such
a talented musician working with our local chamber orchestra.
Guitarist Phil Moran supplied Scarlatti and Hispanic interludes for a pleasing
“An impressive recital by the brilliant young classical guitarist Phil
Moran…he produced some lovely tonal contrasts… the Preludes by Villa
Lobos were played sensitively.” Virginia Gerrett, The Manly Daily.
“On his own in music by Tarrega he made it clear that he understands
those qualities in performance which turn mere notes into music.” David
Vance, Sydney Morning Herald.
“Phil Moran is a guitarist who commands an authoritative approach
to style. His playing is always musical.” David Vance, Sydney Morning
“This young man held the audience spellbound with music by the Spanish
composers Albeniz and Tarrega and the Brazilian Villa Lobos.” The Camden
“He performs with an outgoing strength… there are no wrong notes…
rhythmic discipline is admirable.” Fred Blanks, Sydney Morning Herald.
“Guitarist Phil Moran gave a pleasing and precise recital. It was
in the Five Preludes by Villa Lobos that his prowess as a performer became clear.
The melodies sang out in a luscious, thick tone, while phrases and episodes
were subtly, individually coloured. Particularly enjoyable was Moran’s
sense of rubato which avoided the mire of sentimentalism. The mood of each piece
was vividly portrayed. Moran has a fine sense of colour and technical ability.”
Margaret Legge-Wilson, Canberra Times.