Roland Chadwick – Biography

Since arriving in the UK in 1998, Roland Chadwick has been hailed as a guitarist’s guitarist by the likes of John Renbourn and Tommy Emmanuel. His recordings with Steve Vai, Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull) and the English Chamber Orchestra are regarded as classics of their type. Other credits include: Mike Lindup – Level 42, Sir George Martin, Andy Sheppard, Alan Glen – The Yardbirds. Critics have been unanimous in their praise of his virtuosity, versatility and originality.

“I was born in May, 1957 in Wollongong, NSW, Australia to ‘£10 Poms’ Frank and Margaret Chadwick who had immigrated from Liverpool earlier that year.  My first year was spent in Nissan Hut in Fairy Meadow. First memories are of watching the Pacific Ocean roll up to the headland at Austinmer Beach and later at Woonona Beach where the Chadwick family eventually settled. The usual Australian State School education followed and until the age of thirteen I was variously an Experimental Chemist (which resulted in the explosion of the outhouse), a Geologist and got passionately involved in any kind of messy science stuff I could get into. All this time my father had filled the house with Beethoven, Bach Brahms et al and without knowing it he was educating me to music from the point of view of passion, love and inspiration. The technical stuff came much later. At 13 my parents bought me a guitar. It was a Japanese Guitar called a Kapok. It was awful but it never left my side.

At 16 relations between my parents and they with me caused me to runaway from home. I went to Sydney with 2 guitars and 2 dollars and started life there in Insurance. At 18 I started guitar lessons with a wonderful teacher, Peter Andrews. Classical Guitar was all I wanted to play and I would practice from the time I got home from work till midnight every day. At 22 I decided to take the plunge and become a professional musician. I had no experience as either a Teacher or a player but within 6 weeks I had part time teaching job and shortly after that I landed the job as Guitarist for the Benelong Players at the Sydney Opera. This group comprised Flute or Violin, Guitar and Cello. We played at the Benelong Restaurant 3 nights a week and I was able to play with some of the finest chamber musicians in Sydney. This was better than any University course.

During this time I wrote music and did broadcasts for the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) and 2MBSFM (Sydney’s Public Classical Music Station) and in 1988 I made my Classical Guitar début Recital at the  Sydney Opera House Broadwalk Theatre. Tours of Italy, England, Sweden and Mexico followed in 1989/90 during which I was Australia’s representative at Festival Cervantino in Mexico (’89).

In 1990 I lost a woman, got the Blues and bought a Tascam 4 Track Recorder and began exploring blues and the possibilities that multi-track recording could offer. During this time I began work on both of my guitar concertos and my Mandolin Concerto.

In 1997 I moved to Los Angeles and in October that year I decided that instead of going back to Australia I’d make a break for the UK. ”

On Arriving in England in 1997 Roland pursued various recording/performance projects which included:

Roland produced and arranged strings for Mike Lindup’s (Level 42) Conversations with Silence CD. Roland and Mike also recorded an EP of songs with Tabitha Lebec called PPF-EPwhich features Roland’s Morning Song. Roland’s blues/rock album Native Tongue was recorded with drummer Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull) and Producer Julian Mendelsohn. Roland later recorded La Violeta with Lesley Garrett and Sir George Martin. The CD also featured Michel Legrand. Roland collaborated with Surinder SandhuSteve Vai and Andy Sheppard on the recording Saurang Orchestra contributing the original composition Elepant Strings. At various times Roland performed with John Rebourn, Pentangle, Papa George, Tommy Emmanuel and Alan Glen of The Yardbirds. Roland also performed recorded with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The English Chamber Orchestra, The Britten Sinfonia and members of The Boston Symphony Orchestra