Switched on: Classical guitar star goes electric

Switched on: Classical guitar star goes electric


norman lebrecht

October 18, 2021

In a diversion akin to Bob Dylan’s early transition from folk to rock, the rising classical guitarist Sean Shibe has taken up the electric guitar on his new album.

It’s a collection on Delphian of contemporary devotional works by Shibe’s friend, the Scottish composer Lliam Paterson, sung by the choir of King’s College London with solo accompaniment by Shibe, who is plugged in to the electricity grid.

This is not to be mistaken for a quotable review, but on first hearing it sounds pretty damn good to me.

Stand by for ructions from the purists.



  • Luke says:

    Didn’t Shibe play electric guitar on their album ‘Softloud: Music for Acoustic and Electric Guitars’ (also with Delphian) released in 2018? It even included ‘Electric Counterpoint’…

  • TP says:

    It sounds like you’re not familiar with Sean’s discography (specifically his second album, ‘softLOUD’). Indeed, he’s played the electric guitar in concert, including at Wigmore Hall. Maybe the purists you mention haven’t noticed either; or maybe they realise what a superb musician he is.

  • James Walker says:

    ERMAGERD! A classical guy picks up an electric guitar? How innovative, fresh and new! (*Cough, cough*, John Williams, *cough*, 1978, *cough cough*)

  • CYM says:

    Looking at the picture, it certainly looks like a safer yoga position for Sean.

  • Freewheeler says:

    Electric guitar is an instrument like another other. It is capable of being played with great subtlety and finesse and can make beautiful music, but it can also be abused.