John Bullard – Classical Banjo
John Bullard has attracted international attention for his work in developing and transcribing classical repertoire for the five-string banjo. His critically acclaimed CD releases include John Bullard – The Classical Banjo on the Dargason label and Bach on the Banjo on Albany Records.
In 2005, he became the first classical banjoist to graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance. Graduating magna cum laude, John was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the prestigious national music honor society. John is currently featured on VCU’s outstanding Alumni page.
Music from John’s recordings has been included in several feature films such as the DreamWorks animated film The Rise of the Guardians and the award winning The Edge of Heaven. John’s classical banjo playing was highlighted in the June 2005 issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine.
He has published two books with Mel Bay Publications, Bach for the Banjo and Scales and Arpeggios for Classical Banjo. John is also included in Mel Bay Publication’s popular book and CD collection Banjo 2000 featuring works by the world’s finest banjoists. John’s virtuoso playing was the focus of a cover story and interview in the May 1993 issue of The Banjo Newsletter. John was on the faculty of the world-renowned Tennessee Banjo Institute along with such luminaries as Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka. John is currently teaching banjo as an Adjunct Professor at Cairn University near Philadelphia.
He has performed throughout the United States and has been featured on numerous radio and television programs. In addition to his classical music, John’s involvement with Bluegrass music has included work with New Appalachian Express, Virginia Rail, The Virginia Bluegrass Band, and many others.
“…he helps to confound preconceived ideas as to what the banjo can (or should) do.”– Tony Trischka, Rounder Records recording artist
“What Segovia did for the guitar John Bullard may well do for the five-string banjo; elevate it to a respected classical instrument”!– Wireless Catalog, for fans of public radio
“Unusual? Yes, but very natural in the hands of this master…thoroughly a delight…The Classical Banjo is a wonderful and surprising album.”– The Audiophile Voice, Vol. 2 Issue 5
“This is a fun album, and once you get into it, a serious classical album as well…Even though I can picture a great look of concentration and feeling on John’s face as I imagine him playing, I do think I see a corner of his mouth turning up in a grin.”– The New Times, Seattle
“Bullard deserves an additional award for transcribing and developing a classical repertoire…and then having the audacity to play this music so masterfully.”– Acoustic Musician