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ABOUT US

CGO in rehearsal
CGO in rehearsal

The Cambridge Guitar Orchestra was originally established in 1991 by Lorraine Eastwood and the late Chris Kilvington. The Orchestra disbanded in 1996 but was reformed in the same year by its members who subsequently appointed Peter Rueffer as musical director. The twenty guitars that make up the CGO include several non-standard instruments such as a higher pitched Terz Guitar (9 string and tuned a third higher than the standard guitar), Eight string Guitar and two Octave Bass Guitars. As well as increasing the register, these instruments greatly enhance the sonority and dynamic range of the Orchestra. See Pot-pourri for information on how the Terz guitar was made.

We perform regularly in and around Cambridge and have given concerts at the Brighton Festival and at venues as far afield as Portsmouth and Batley, N.Yorks. The Orchestra has been a prizewinner at the biennial National Guitar Guitar Orchestra Competition on three successive occasions gaining second place in 1998 and 2002 and first place in 2000. The CGO’s first CD was released in 2001, a second in 2005, followed by a third CD in 2010.

Chilling out
Chilling out after a competition

We rehearse on average once every two or three weeks during each term and aim to give a concert once every term.

CGO is run by committee and our Constitution states:-

The objectives of the Orchestra are:

  1. To promote the enjoyment of orchestral music for guitar, bringing original compositions and arrangements to the general public;
  2. To provide performance opportunities for Members of the Orchestra both individually and collectively;
  3. To encourage appreciation of music and participation in the playing of music in ensemble by Members of the Orchestra, and to develop Members’ musicianship:
  4. To facilitate other musical activities such as workshops and masterclasses related to the guitar.

Our repertoire is wide ranging and includes music from the Renaissance and Baroque, pieces by Debussy and Ravel as well as arrangements from the world of jazz.

Peter Rueffer's experience of chamber ensembles involving the guitar range from duo partnerships with guitarists Jason Carter and Jeff Rodrigues to being a member of the contemporary music group Omega.

He is best known however through his work with the Pro Arte Guitar Trio, a group he founded in 1987 and with whom he still maintains a busy performing schedule. With the trio he has recorded five CDs, undertaken several European tours and performed throughout the UK including many recitals at London's Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall.

His work as an arranger is well known and his settings for Guitar Orchestra were awarded the arranger’s prize at the biennial National Guitar Orchestra Competition on three successive occasions in 1998, 2000 and 2002.

He is the founder and director of the Dillington Guitar Summer School and Festival, an event dedicated to the guitar in ensemble which has now been running since 1994.

He was appointed musical director of the Cambridge Guitar Orchestra in 1996 and currently holds teaching posts at Christs Hospital School and Anglia Polytechnic University.

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