Tom Kerstens’ G Plus Ensemble

Tom Kerstens is a major figure in the guitar world. He is highly regarded as a versatile performer on modern and period instruments and is an influential champion of the guitar in his roles as player, recording artist and artistic director. An acclaimed solo performer, Kerstens has also collaborated with many leading UK orchestras and ensembles, recently forming his own ensemble, G Plus, which is dedicated to performing especially commissioned new work.

For over one hundred and fifty years, the guitar has been languishing on the periphery, overlooked by composers and out of touch with mainstream developments. With very little repertoire written, guitarist Tom Kerstens has taken the lead in commissioning work for himself. Talented young writers such as Joby Talbot, Errollyn Wallen, Max Richter, John Metcalfe and Graham Fitkin have created some truly original work, bringing the guitar to the heart of classical and contemporary music. Approaching composers from outside the classical world is all part of Kerstens’ desire to get compositions for the guitar out to a much wider audience and free from the concert hall.

"A true poet of the guitar." Gramophone

G Plus means guitar with something else. This can be guitar with other instruments, (e.g. the G Plus ensemble) or guitar with electronics (e.g. the three movements of The Third Fire). Both versions can be found on ‘Utopia’ – their first recording. The G Plus ensemble here consists of two guitars, strings and percussion and features Amanda Cook and Dan Gresson.

Tom Kerstens is Artistic Director of the International Guitar Foundation and Festivals (IGF).

Further reading

Bab L’ Bluz’s Yousra Mansour guests on BBC Music Life podcast

Yousra discusses her creative processes with Derya Yildirim, Hasan Nakhleh, Merve Erdem.

New Apple TV+ series ‘Long Way Up’ to feature music by Real World artists

Featuring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, the series follows the hugely popular 'Long Way Down'

Track of the Day: ‘Mustt Mustt’ by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Taking an in-depth look at the Qawwali singer's most loved song.

Remix Contest: ‘Love’ by Les Amazones d’Afrique

Les Amazones d’Afrique invite you to remix ‘Love’ from their new album Amazones Power