Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Sean Shibe
BBT Fellowship 2012

Sean Shibe - Biography

Sean Shibe was supported by Borletti-Buitoni Trust between 2012 and 2015.  For an up to date biography please visit HarrisonParrott.

Sean Shibe is “one of the foremost guitarists” of his generation. In 2018 Sean Shibe won the Young Artist Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society following a hugely successful debut album release on Delphian Records, which also won him a nomination in the BBC Music Magazine ‘Instrumental Award’ category. Dreams and Fancies is a recording that explores the fruits of Julian Bream’s history of commissioning in the 20th Century alongside music by Dowland and was named Editor’s Choice in Gramophone as well as BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Choice.

Alongside the success of his debut album, Sean Shibe’s “uncompromisingly monumental” project softLOUD premiered at the East Neuk and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals – a revelatory programme juxtaposing Jacobean lute music for classical guitar, with electric guitar arrangements of multi-tracked repertoire including US Pulitzer prize winning composers Julia Wolfe’s powerful elegy LAD, (originally written for 9 bagpipes) and David Lang’s Killer. These works form part of the new softLOUD recording. Described as “bracingly original”, this second album has also been named as Instrumental Choice in BBC Music Magazine.

Born in Edinburgh in 1992 of English and Japanese heritage, he studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and with Paolo Pegoraro in Italy. At the age of 20 he became the first guitarist to be selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and the only solo guitarist to be awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. He was a YCAT artist between 2015 – 2017.

His awards include the Royal Over-Seas League First Prize and Gold Medal (2011), Ivor Mairants Guitar Award (2009), a Dewar Arts and D’Addarrio endorsement. He is grateful for support from the Hattori Trust.

Shibe participated in BBT’s 20th-anniversary celebrations at London’s Wigmore Hall, June 2023.

Since receiving a BBT fellowship in February 2012 I have noticeably felt my career developing. I have received opportunities that I know would not have come about without the weight of the reputation of the Trust’s support, but also been helped vastly. The help was not only in terms of the financial freedom to move in any musical direction, but more importantly in the advice given me by David, Susan and Debra. Thanks!

Photographs by Simon Weir