Patrick Burke Fine Concert Guitars

Background

Patrick Burke was born in Dublin. He started to play guitar while at school in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), initially in a rock band until he was converted to classical guitar when he heard a recording of Segovia. He made his first guitar when he was 14. Having trained as a post office engineer he worked in that field while continuing to study the guitar and give his first recitals. A newspaper critic advised him to turn professional and he came to London to study the guitar with Sebastian Jorgensen and music theory with Mabel Carnell. On his return to Africa he worked as a studio technician for the South African Broadcasting Corporation and gave several concerts in major South African venues which were praised by the critics. Teaching positions followed at the Pretoria Technical College and later at Rhodes University when he received a scholarship to attend Música en Compostela the famous master classes inaugurated by Andres Segovia in Santiago de Compostela, Northern Spain. Smitten with Spain, he plotted to return and had the idea of building a 33ft yacht and sailing there (and living in the boat) with his wife Diana.

They subsequently sailed from Cape Town to South America, crossing the Atlantic to Spain and, gaining confidence, continued around the world with Patrick giving recitals at most ports of call. Having built a boat, the challenge of building a guitar did not seem impossible and he began the first one on the boat in 1982 when they were docked in Waterford, Ireland for the birth of their daughter Zoë. With the boat’s big diesel stove running all winter it seemed a waste not to use it for bending the sides. He played his guitars in concerts as far afield as the Caribbean, the USA, Pacific and Indian Ocean islands and in the Azores where son Joshua was born. At age eight Joshua, now a budding violin student (who is presently studying at the Royal College of Music in London), joined him for his debut concert on the South Atlantic Ocean island of St Helena. In the early days a guitar which perhaps had its sides bent on a beach in the Bahamas might end up being played in a concert in the Azores. Many of these early nautical guitars are now prized by their owners in the USA, South Africa, the Caribbean, England and Ireland. With the new millennium, the Burkes “swallowed the anchor” and Patrick Burke’s guitar workshop is now at their home in Adra, Almería where the sunny climate and the excellent light are perfect for guitar making.

Click on any of the images below for a full size picture.

Guitar Recital bu Patrick Burke

Guitarist tunes in to song of sea
Nelson, New Zealand