John Williams: musician first, guitarist second

To call John Williams a fine, or even great guitarist is in a way missing the point! He is actually a great, well rounded musician who happens to play guitar... and play it very well indeed!

Very.... very... well...

Always putting the music first, his performances are reknowned for being the ones to listen to "when you really want to know how that piece sounds".

Click here if the video doesn't play in your browser: John Williams: Seville Concert, 1992

Eschewing musical mannerisms, he delivers vigorous and disciplined interpretations which reveal aspects of the music often obscured by the interpretative and physical foibles that other players may display.

One might say he lets the music speak for itself without interposing his own ego. From a humanistic psychology standpoint he is an example of a "highly self actualised person" doing what he does best.

His musical education began at home with his father Len Williams who was a jazz guitarist running his own school of guitar in London. Obviously a good influence, within a few years Len packed young John off to the Royal College of Music.

A truly versatile musician and one of the legends of 20th century guitar, John Williams barely needs an introduction!

John Williams, guitar


  • Nylon String Guitarist
  • Classical style
  • Baroque style
  • Romantic style
  • 20th century styles
  • Popular music styles
  • South American styles
  • Fusion (see Paul Hart Concerto)
  • Electric Guitar (The Height Below)
  • A champion of Guitar in chamber music.
  • ... and much more, which I explore in other articles on this site.

"I'm always in awe of how wonderful the guitar is, to be able to conjure up all those moods and to evoke all those periods in such an exciting way by those composers... I never cease to be amazed by what you can say with the guitar."

- John Williams from an interview at Guitar Alive.