Kemal Belevi Biography
The Cypriot-British guitarist-composer Kemal Belevi was born in 1954 and moved to the United Kingdom in 1972.
From 1974 to 1977 he studied music at Southgate College, and in 1977 he was auditioned by William Lloyd Webber who advised him to study at the ‘Performer’s Course’ at the London College of Music.
He was awarded a Fellowship of the college in December 1981.
He studied guitar with David Russell from 1976 to 1979 and composition with David McBride, who was a pupil of Benjamin Britten. As a performer, Belevi has given many concerts in the UK, Europe, Turkey and Cyprus. He has also given many masterclasses at guitar festivals and served as a jury member of major competitions.
He began composing for guitar in 1985. Five Preludes for David Russell was composed in March 1986 and its premiere was given in London that year. Ten of Belevi’s compositions for solo guitar were published in 1996 and his Guitar Method in 1997.
He began composing chamber works in 2001. His first concerto for guitar and strings subtitled Oriental was composed in 2002. He released the double album Guitar Music of Kemal Belevi in 2002 and some of his chamber music was recorded in 2003 in Moscow by Russian musicians. In 2006 Belevi began composing symphonic works. Guitar Concerto No. 2 and Five Cyprian Rhapsodies were recorded again in Moscow by The Seasons Moscow Chamber Orchestra in 2009.
Some of Belevi’s compositions were chosen as set pieces for the grade and diploma examinations of the London College of Music in 1997. He has written five guitar concertos and many works for orchestra.
‘Guitar Duos of Kemal Belevi’, an album of 10 titles, was released by Naxos Music in May 2020. It was highly acclaimed by the well-known critics and it reached the higher ranks of classical sales charts in that month. A second Naxos CD of Belevi’s Guitar and Violin Music will be recorded by an Italian duo in June 2021.