Tapping into the past and present of the flamenco world Gerard Mapstone is among the most evocative and dynamic guitarists touring today. Known as a deeply expressive performer his music is conceived between the visceral of the Spanish and the conceptual of the contemporary, offering his music as an act of freedom, from a total availability to the moment and to the place.
His last studio album Despertares is the reformulation of his own knowledge of flamenco in which research and experimentation are the bases to create a genuine music, a music that flows beyond the labels, stripped of all superfluous adornment. This album follows his highly acclaimed debut Vuelta al Mundo that is featured on ABC Classic.
Established as a concert performer from a young age numerous tours and collaborations have spanned Mapstone's career in Australia, Spain, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Mexico with support shows for Buena Vista Social Club, Cyndi Lauper, Tomatito, Estrella Morente, The Gypsy Queens and Kings, Pierre Bensusan and Fanfare Ciocarlia.
In his early career he studied classical guitar with Julian Byzantine (Queensland Conservatorium) and in London with Carlos Bonell (Royal College of Music). In Spain while living in Jerez de la Frontera, Mapstone studied with José Ignacio Franco. His most recent ethnographic research included collaborations with with Victor Monge 'Serranito', Antón Jimenez, Paco Heredia Torres, Diego del Morao and Keko Baldomero (Compañia de Sara Baras).
Mapstone has been awarded the QCGU Guitar Prize (2000), Best Jazz Album at Queensland Music Awards (2013), Research and Training Scholarship at The University of Melbourne (2018), Creativity and Wellbeing Research Initiative CAWRI Scholarship (2021), among others. Mapstone has a Masters Degree in Music, and is a PhD candidate at The University of Melbourne VCA & MCM.
Mapstone's orchestral compositions, including Nacer (2008) have been debut by The Queensland Chamber Orchestra as part of their celebration of Australian Composers. His continued collaboration with the QCO as a soloist and composer have gained numerous tours, and festivals.
Based in Melbourne Mapstone performs widely as a recitalist and festival guest, as well as ongoing collaborations with Opera Australia, The Victorian Orchestra, Melbourne International Guitar Festival, Guitar Perspectives (MCM), Dale Caña Flamenco Company, Queensland Chamber Orchestra (QCO), Shenzo's Electric Stunt Orchestra, Doch Gypsy Orchestra, Queensland Music Festival, Blues Fest, Falls Fest, Melbourne Fringe, Tanks Arts Centre, QPAC, Brisbane Powerhouse, Music by the Sea, WOMAD, Melbourne Recital Centre and The Australian Folk Federation.
Beyond the stage, Mapstone has released numerous albums and collaborative works that can be found on AppleMusic, Spotify and Bandcamp.
Despertares by Mapstone, 2018.
The Last Reel by Laique, 2014.
Cravin' just a little misbehavin by Laique, 2011.
Simple Joys of Maidenhood by Rhiannon Hart & the Umm-Ahh's, 2010.
Bride in a Red Dress by Doch Gypsy Orchestra, 2009.
La Cathedral: Rodrigo, Mapstone, Boccherini, Mahler by Mapstone, 2008.
Vuelta al Mundo by Mapstone, 2008.
Tomorrow 'Give it a Stab' by Preference, 2006.
Wish Hill 'The Last Reel' by All Jigged Out, 2004.
To Sleep 'Hell is full of Angels' by Lee Westwood, 2004.
Live at Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music by Mapstone, 2002.
In academia Mapstone works as a guitar teacher at The University of Melbourne specialising in Flamenco, Classical and Contemporary guitar. His work has founded the first Bachelor of Music degree in Flamenco Guitar in Australia. Courses include: Bachelor of Music in Performance, Minor Study in Performance, and Graduate Diploma in Flamenco Guitar.
His presentations at international conferences and symposiums include The Musicological Society of Australia's 44th Annual Conference (2021). PGECR's 28th Symposium (2021). The Guitar Century (c. 1880-1980): Global Trends and Local Contexts (2018). The Instrument of Change: The International Rise of the Guitar (c.1870-1945) (2016). TEDx (2011).