Classical guitarist Tom Ward makes quite the impression on the Australia’s Got Talent judges during his 2011 audition for the show’s fifth season. Holding his instrument upright, he plucks and strums with breathtaking expertise, leaving judge Dannii Minogue waving her hands with delight. It should come as no surprise that Ward’s talent carried him all the way to the show’s semi-finals.
According to his Facebook page, Ward hails from Tasmania, and he cites Australia’s rich cultural diversity as the primary inspiration behind his music. Using Spanish, Hungarian, Japanese, and Russian influences (to name a few), Ward strives to transport his audiences with his lush, layered guitar-playing. Ward trained with greats such as Australian classical pianist Geoffrey Lancaster and classical guitarist/conductor Carlo Barone, and these esteemed apprenticeships shine through in his virtuoso performances.
However, Australia’s Got Talent wasn’t the first time Ward turned heads with his guitar-playing. He states on his Facebook page that at the age of 15, he was named Tasmanian Composer of the Year. He was also given the Gisborne Music Competition Award in New Zealand. Having mastered his art both as a solo performer as well as part of symphony orchestras, Ward’s list of credentials also includes duets with pop stars such as Jason Mraz.
Classical guitar is considered one of the most difficult techniques of guitar-playing. It requires the musician to hold the instrument upright on his or her left leg, tilting the instrument to the right – a departure from contemporary posture in which musicians often wear the guitar on a strap. Classical guitarists are simultaneously able to play a melody and multiple harmonies with their right hand. This technical execution makes the craft a captivating standalone performance, and Ward demonstrates this flawlessly through his Australia’s Got Talent audition.
by Elizabeth Owen