Sean Shibe (guitarist) and Ben Johnson (tenor) are set to undertake a national tour of Ireland this November including a date in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Dublin.

Ben Johnson and Sean Shibe will tackle choral and operatic masterpieces from Beethoven, Schubert and Giuliani in a diverse programme delving back as far as the 14th century for works by John Dowland and as far as the 20th for William Walton’s Anon. in Love.

The performance will also include a rendition of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite in E minor and a brand new composition by Brian Bolger commissioned by Music Network.

Who is Sean Shibe?

Sean Shibe has been described as “one of the foremost guitarists” of his generation and a “genius” whose approach to the traditional classical guitar canon avoids cliché and challenges all preconceptions. His 2017 debut solo album ‘Dreams and Fancies’ (Delphian Records) saw Sean Shibe nominated for the ‘Instrumental Award’ in BBC Music Magazine and named Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine.

Sean Shibe’s project ‘softLOUD’ premiered at the East Neuk and was described as “a revelatory programme juxtaposing Jacobean lute music for classical guitar, with electric guitar arrangements of multi-tracked repertoire.”

Sean Shibe studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and with Paolo Pegoraro in Italy. Aged just 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.

And if that wasn’t enough to get you excited Steve Reich described Shibe’s recording of Electric Counterpoint as “one of the best recordings of Electric Counterpoint ever!”

Who is Ben Johnson?

Sean Shibe is joined by acclaimed tenor Ben Johnson, Johnson trained as an English National Opera Harewood Artist and was named a Wigmore Hall Emerging Talent. He represented England at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2013, winning the Audience Prize. Johnson has also won the Kathleen Ferrier Award.

Johnson recently appeared at the English National Opera as Earl Tolloller in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe as well as performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and Britten Canticles with Fundacion Juan March in Madrid.

What can you expect? – Programme:

  • John Dowland (1563-1626) Come Again, Fine Knacks for Ladies
  • Philip Rosseter (1567/8-1623) When Laura Smiles, What then is love but mourning
  • Thomas Morley (1557/58-1602) It was a lover and his lass
  • Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Adelaide
  • Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Ständchen, Das Fischermädchen, Der Tod und das Mädchen
  • Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) Par che di giubilo, Alle mie tante lagrime, Confuso, smarrito
  • Brian Bolger (b.1978) Lawra (Music Network Commission)


  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Suite in E minor, Prélude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Bourrée, Gigue
  • Folk Songs The Wealthy Farmer’s Son (arr. Broadwood), Poor Old Maid (arr. Brown), The Knife Grinder (arr. Cockshott), The Crow (arr. Cockshott), The Nightingale (arr. Sharp)
  • William Walton (1902-83) Anon. in Love, Fain would I change that note, O stay, sweet love, Lady, when I behold the roses, My love in her attire, I gave her cakes and I gave her ale, To couple is a custom

Tour Dates

  • Thurs 21 Nov – The Edmund Rice Chapel, Waterford – Tickets
  • Fri 22 Nov – Siamsa Tíre, Tralee – Tickets
  • Sat 23 Nov – Royal College of Physicians, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2* (includes interval reception) – Tickets
  • Sun 24 Nov – The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny – Tickets
  • Tues 26 Nov – All Saints Church, Castleconnell – Tickets
  • Wed 27 Nov – Station House Theatre, Clifden – Tickets