Galina Vale
Galina Vale born Galina Ivanovna Vernigora in Kharkov, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, is a classically trained virtuoso classical guitarist. Her individualistic solo performances combine a charismatic stage presence and dynamic powerful playing style with an unusually wide ranging and technically demanding repertoire
Repertoire may mean repertory, a system of theatrical production and performance scheduling, but may also refer to:* Musical repertoire* Repertoire Records, a German record label specialising in 1960s and 1970s pop and rock reissues...

; including classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

, flamenco
Flamenco is a genre of music and dance which has its foundation in Andalusian music and dance and in whose evolution Andalusian Gypsies played an important part....

, arrangements of Latin American and East European folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....



A child prodigy raised in a family of musicians, Galina’s performing career began at the age of eight with an appearance on Ukrainian State Television. Four years later she performed her first guitar concertos (Vivaldi RV82 and 93) with the Kharkov Philharmonic symphony orchestra. At 14 she had followed this with Rodrigo’s "Concierto de Aranjuez" and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s "Concerto in D (Op.99)" for guitar and orchestra while Ukrainian State TV produced the music film "Portrait with Guitar" featuring Galina as a soloist. From 1985 to 1991 she combined study at the Gnesin Music College in Moscow with employment as principal guitarist for the Kharkov State Philharmonia (1985 to 1997).

During this period, Galina won prizes at international music competitions
Music competitions
A music competition is a public event designed to identify and award outstanding musical ensembles and/or soloists. Pop music competitions are music competitions which are held to find pop starlets...

 in Poland, Italy, Hungary, Spain, and the United Kingdom, and her schedule with the Kharkov Philharmonic included over 2000 concerts. In 1996, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Mr. Simon Hemans, (who had attended a concert by Galina during his previous appointment as Ambassador to Ukraine), invited her to Africa for a concert tour and television appearances.

In 1995, Galina became the first Ukrainian following perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

 and the establishment of Ukrainian independence from the former Soviet Union to win a Rotary Club scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

 for study at the Royal Northern College of Music
Royal Northern College of Music
The Royal Northern College of Music is a music school in Manchester, England. It is located on Oxford Road in Chorlton on Medlock, at the western edge of the campus of the University of Manchester and is one of four conservatories associated with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music...

 in Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, UK. This year saw the first of many appearances at the EuroWirral Internationsl Guitar Festival of Great Britain and Galina winning first prize at the prestigious Mrs.Sunderland Music Competition.

In 1996, the Gendai Guitar Foundation of Japan under Masaru Kohno sponsored her first CD "The Legend," which included works by Salvador, De Falla, Sabicas
Sabicas was a Flamenco guitarist, of Romani origin, who was born in 1912 in Pamplona, Spain and died in 14 April 1990 in New York....

, Rodriguez, Sainz de la Maza, Dyens, Cardoso
Cardoso is a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. The population in 2003 is 11,238 and the area is 639.47 km². The elevation is 422 m....

, Tirao, Ramirez
-Locations:*Diego Ramírez Islands, Chile*Ramirez Island, Chile*Ramirez, California*Ramirez, Texas*Ramirez Canyon Park, Malibu, California-Companies:*Conservas Ramirez, a Portuguese canned fish producer company*Ramírez Guitars, Spanish luthiers-Other:...

, Mertz
Mertz is the surname of:* Albrecht Mertz von Quirnheim, , a German officer and a resistance fighter in Nazi Germany involved in the July 20 Plot against Adolf Hitler...

, Barrios
Barrios, de Barrios, Barrio or Berrios is a surname of Basque origin. The name may refer to:-People:*Agustín Barrios , Paraguayan guitarist and composer*Artur Barrio , Brazilian artist...

, Shevchenko, and Rak
RAK or rak can refer to:*Marrakech-Menara Airport, IATA airport code*PM-63 RAK, a Polish 9 mm submachine gun*Ras Al Khaimah, the northern-most emirate in the United Arab Emirates*Rak, a creature in the Wizard of Oz books...

 marking her radical approach to repertoire. This recording was heard on US FM radio for the first time in the 1997 network program edition of "Great Women Guitarists" produced by "Classical Guitar Alive" and later on Maltese National Radio with the programme Cantabile.

By 1997 Galina was domiciled in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and following her marriage had changed her performing name from Galina Vernigora to Galina Vale. 1999 saw the first of a number of concerts at the Instituto Cervantes
Instituto Cervantes
The Cervantes Institute is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes , the author of Don Quixote and perhaps the most important figure in the history of Spanish literature...

 in Manchester and the support of director Salvador Estabanez Eraso leading to collaborations with the Open University
Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

 and an appearance at the 2001 Hola Mundo Festival in the Bridgewater Hall
Bridgewater Hall
The Bridgewater Hall is an international concert venue in Manchester city centre, England. It cost around £42 million to build and currently hosts over 250 performances a year....

 which also included Vicente Amigo
Vicente Amigo
Vicente Amigo Girol is a Spanish flamenco composer and virtuoso guitarist, born in Guadalcanal, near Seville. He has played as backing guitarist on recordings by flamenco singers El Pele, Camarón de la Isla, Vicente Soto, Luis de Córdoba and the rociero band Salmarina, and he has acted as a...

, Celia Cruz
Celia Cruz
Celia Cruz was a Cuban-American salsa singer, and was one of the most successful Salsa performers of the 20th century, having earned twenty-three gold albums...

 and Radio Tarifa
Radio Tarifa
Radio Tarifa was a Spanish World music ensemble combining Flamenco, Arab-Andalusian music, Arabian music, Moorish music and also influences of the Mediterranean, of the Middle Ages and of the Caribbean. The name of the ensemble comes from an imaginary radio station in Tarifa, a small town in the...

. In 2006 she performed the first of three concerts at [Cambridge University] while a series of concerts with the LACCS under Juan Monroy led to appearances in London at the Purcell Room
Purcell Room
The Purcell Room is a concert and performance venue which forms part of the Southbank Centre, one of central London's leading cultural complexes. It is named after the 17th century English composer Henry Purcell and has 370 seats....

 (Royal Festival Hall
Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is a 2,900-seat concert, dance and talks venue within Southbank Centre in London. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, not far from Hungerford Bridge. It is a Grade I listed building - the first post-war building to become so protected...

) in London and interviews on the BBC World Service
BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in 27 languages to many parts of the world via analogue and digital shortwave, internet streaming and podcasting, satellite, FM and MW relays...


Galina has since also performed in South Korea, Thailand, Italy, Turkey, Mexico, the United States, Rep.of Ireland and Portugal. In 2007 and in recognition of her work, she became an Ambassador of the EuroWirral International Guitar Festival alongside Woody Mann
Woody Mann
-Biography:Mann specializes in jazz, blues, and American roots music.He was born in New York, where he first studied acoustic guitar with ragtime and blues guitarist Reverend Gary Davis from 1968-72. From 1973-78, Mann continued private lessons, focusing on improvisation with jazz pianist Lennie...

 and John Williams (guitarist)
John Williams (guitarist)
John Christopher Williams is an Australian classical guitarist, and a long-term resident of the United Kingdom. In 1973, he shared a Grammy Award win in the 'Best Chamber Music Performance' category with Julian Bream for Julian and John .-Biography:John Williams was born on 24 April 1941 in...


Galina’s early influences included the female guitarists Maria Luisa Anido
María Luisa Anido
María Luisa Anido was a Spanish classical guitarist. She was born 26 January 1907 in Morón, in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina; she died 4 June 1996 in Tarragona, Spain, and was buried there.-Biography:...

 and Ida Presti
Ida Presti
Ida Presti, was a French classical guitarist. She has been called ‘the greatest guitarist of the 20th century, and possibly of all time.’-Biography:...

. By her teenage years she had become an admirer of Kazuhito Yamashita
Kazuhito Yamashita
is a Japanese classical guitarist. His technique and expression are considered somewhat controversial.-Musical career:Yamashita began to study the guitar at the age of eight with his father, Toru Yamashita. In 1972, aged eleven, he won the Kyushu Guitar Competition. Four years later, he was awarded...

 and Stepan Rak
Štepán Rak
Štěpán Rak is a Rusyn-born Czech classical guitarist and composer. He is well known for the technical innovations that he uses in his compositions.-Interviews:** * -Photos:...

 who were breaking boundaries in current classical guitar
Classical guitar
The classical guitar is a 6-stringed plucked string instrument from the family of instruments called chordophones...

 techniques and repertoire, the Russian gypsy guitar work of Sergei Orechov and flamenco guitarists Sabicas
Sabicas was a Flamenco guitarist, of Romani origin, who was born in 1912 in Pamplona, Spain and died in 14 April 1990 in New York....

 and Paco de Lucia
Paco de Lucía
Paco de Lucía, born Francisco Sánchez Gómez , is a Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist and composer. He is considered by many to be one of the finest guitarists in the world and the greatest guitarist of the flamenco genre...

. She has developed a dramatic
Dramatic may refer to:* Drama, a literary form involving parts for actors* Dramatic, a voice type classification in European classical music, describing a specific vocal weight and range at the lower end of a given voice part...

 guitar technique that owes more to contemporary flamenco and earlier styles rather than current fashions of classical guitar playing.

Never afraid of controversy
Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of opinion. The word was coined from the Latin controversia, as a composite of controversus – "turned in an opposite direction," from contra – "against" – and vertere – to turn, or versus , hence, "to turn...

 Galina has become a unique personality of the international guitar world: very few female guitarists have even attempted both classical and flamenco genres, while her most recent recording also included electric guitar. She continues to experiment in crossing of boundaries and musical styles.


1. The Legend (1996)

2. Hungarian Rhapsody (2000)

3. The Great Gates of Kiev (2002)

4. Guitar Magic (2008)

5. Cruzando la Frontera (2011)

Films (Ukrainian State TV)

1. Portrait with Guitar (1984)

2. Strings and Sails (1989)

3. Spirit of Spain (1996)'


Guitardream no.16 Apr-May 2009 (Japanese language)

Classic Guitar no.6 June 2007 (Korean language)

Thai Classic Guitar Magazine no.4 Jan. 2008

External links

Youtube video links -

Alma Guitar -

Galina Vale web-site -

Last fm page for Galina Vale -

International Guitar Festival of Great Britain-

Myspace for Galina Vale -

Facebook Galina Vale fan page -

Galina Vale facebook page -

Reverbnation page for Galina Vale -


Classical Guitar nl -
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