Helen Sanderson

Born in Worcester, Helen Sanderson studied guitar at the Royal College of Music with Charles Ramirez, and accompaniment with John Blakely, graduating with prizes including the Anthony Saltmarsh Prize and the Madeline Walton Prize for Guitar.

Her performing career reflects her passion for chamber music in partnerships with eminent counter-tenor James Bowman, tenor Mark Wilde, and as a founder member of the VIDA Guitar Quartet. Performances have included recitals at the Southbank Centre, Kings Place, St Georges-Bristol, and the Sage Gateshead and in 2010 Helen made her US debuts in Los Angeles and New York, subsequently touring extensively in USA and Europe.

In parallel to her role as Senior Tutor at RWCMD, Helen is an entrepreneurial educator, committed to nurturing young guitarists throughout the UK. In 2006 she founded the music education charity, Guitar Circus, which creates events such as the internationally renowned World Youth Guitar Festival. Since 2015, Guitar Circus has also been responsible for the National Youth Guitar Ensemble, which under Helen’s leadership has expanded to offer four regional monthly ensemble schemes in London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Glasgow, and a new Fellowship ensemble for 18-25 year olds, in addition to its two residential courses.

Helen’s work in guitar education was recognised with the award of a Churchill Fellowship which she received in June 2017 after her research in the USA of whole-class guitar programmes. Helen is currently working on developing a similar programme in the UK with the support of Guitar Circus.

Helen is a sought-after masterclass artist, adjudicator and international jury member for competitions such as BBC Young Musician of the Year. She has been Director of the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Youth Competition and Winchester Guitar Festival and recently appeared as the classical industry expert for the Sky Arts series, ‘Guitar Star’. She relishes her role as conductor of the London Camerata ensemble for the National Youth Guitar Ensemble, and her compositions and arrangements feature in the Trinity College and ABRSM syllabi.

Helen plays Christopher Dean guitars and is a D’Addario Strings Classical artist.