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John Couch

MMus, FTCL, GradDip, BMus

Examiner Number: 1060

Based in Canberra, New Zealand-born guitarist John Couch holds a Masters of Music in Performance (2000) from the Australian National University. Guided by Timothy Kain, he also gained his Post graduate Diploma (Performance and Research (1998)) in Canberra after having completed his Bachelor of Music in Performance in Auckland in 1997.

Couch released his first CD in 2001 entitled A Fairytale…with Variations, featuring contemporary solo guitar music from all around the world. His second CD was released late 2005 entitled Desdemona’s Song and is a collection of favourite guitar music. His latest CD was released in 2008 entitled Andre’s New Shoes and celebrates ten years of musical collaboration with Australian Violinist Judith Hickel. He has recorded for and played on ABC Classic FM (Australia), 2CN (Australia), Classic FM (New Zealand), TVNZ (New Zealand), Radio Canada and HCMTV7 (Vietnam), and has featured as a soloist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Artistic director of the Taranaki Classical Guitar Summer School, John Couch has worked with leading Australian composers, both premiering and commissioning new work, including Richard Charlton, Marian Budos, Ivana Troselj, Sally Greenaway, Campbell Ross and Dr Jesmond Grixti. He has presented concerts and recitals throughout New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Canada, Mexico, England, Eastern Europe, Germany and Sweden as a soloist, chamber musician since 1994. In 1994 Couch was awarded first place in the New Zealand Guitar Competition, and in 2001, not only was he the first guitarist to reach the final of the Gisborne International Music Competition for Orchestral Instruments, he was the first guitarist to win it. In 2002 Couch was awarded first place in the Australian International Guitar Competition. In 2003 he was a prizewinner at the 36th International Guitar Competition “Michele Pittaluga” (Italy), in 2004 he was awarded second place in the Taiwan International Guitar Competition, and in 2008 he performed in the Finals of the Tokyo International Guitar Competition.