Guitarists You Should Know: Denian Arcoleo

By Dave Belcher

The information age has caused an explosion of new technologies that bring all kinds of things to light that may have otherwise remained hidden—like cute cat videos. It has also made many musicians much better known than they otherwise would have been without the aid of YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Still, most of us probably still know the Marcin Dylla’s and Gabriel Bianco’s and John Williams’s and ____ [insert favorite well-known guitarist here] much, much better than some other guitarists. Here’s a new series of posts bringing you some of those perhaps lesser-known guitarists you should know about.

First up is guitarist-composer Denian Arcoleo, who hails from the UK. Denian has countless YouTube videos showing off not only the breadth of his repertoire but also his virtuosity and musicianship. Denian recorded Book 1 of Gilbert Biberian’s 24 Preludes (Domani Music), which you should check out now.

Denian is also a composer who has written some musically rich pieces full of both complexity and subtlety. Here is Denian playing his own composition, “Sambas Bachianas,” which is both an homage to the samba and a creative samba-esque reworking (in the middle section) of J. S. Bach’s “Bourée” from Lute Suite no. 1 (BWV 996). Extended techniques, wonderful samba rhythms, and silky harmonies show us why Denian is someone we should all be listening to. So here you go, have a listen.

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3 Responses

  1. Paul Hardy says:

    Hear hear — I am an admirer of Denian, and can warmly recommend the CD of the preludes by Biberian

  2. Debian’s playing is incredible. Having worked alongside Denian as a teacher, I have had the privilege of watching him perform and many musicians have commented on his virtuoso playing. There are a growing number of excellent classical guitarists and Denian is clearly among the very top oerfomrers and composers for the classical guitar.

  3. Dave Belcher says:

    Thanks for the comment, Steve! I agree completely: Denian is a fantastic musician who happens also to be a wonderful virtuoso guitarist.


    Dave B

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