The Emperor’s Barber: Graham Wade’s latest novel

Graham Wade The Emperor's BarberFollowing on from the success of his The Fibonacci Confessions, Graham Wade has published The Emperor’s Barber – the memoirs of Kutaissov, the Turkish barber who became a trusted advisor to Emperor Paul I of Russia.

A riveting story of adventure, romance, and retribution, this beautifully crafted historical novel by Graham Wade recounts the meteoric rise of an orphaned peasant boy from Turkey to the exalted position of confidant to the Emperor of Russia, the insane son of Catherine the Great.

Chris Dell

The Emperor’s Barber, is a fascinating, entertaining, and strange tale of how a lowly Turkish orphan rises up to become one of the most influential noblemen in the court of Emperor Paul I of Russia. Award-winning author Graham Wade has turned out yet another gem, giving his readers a peek into the history of probably the nadir of the Russian Empire. The historically accurate and witty writing vividly describes court life at the turn of the nineteenth century, using real-life characters and a great imagination to interpret the historical events that led to the demise of the son, and successor, of one of Russia’s paramount rulers, Catherine the Great.

Charles Postlewate  

The Emperor’s Barber has been published by The Choir Press.

Sir Graham Wade

Graham Wade has recently had a racehorse named after him, ‘Sir Graham Wade’, as a result of his friendship with Paul Dean, millionaire owner of various famous horses in recent years.

Goodwood 080AlowGoodwood 088alow

‘Sir Graham’ won prestigious races in August and September at Glorious Goodwood and Pontefract, Haydock and Doncaster and so far has won £90,000 in prize money. The horse has been described in the Racing Post as a ‘somewhat quirky character of high class and great promise’.

Traditions of the Classical Guitar – New edition

A new edition of Traditions of the Classical Guitar, Graham Wade’s first book, has just been reprinted by Overture Publishing – Oneworld Classics. 


First published in 1980, Traditions of the Classical Guitar has been described as the first book to examine in detail the many traditions of one of today’s most popular instruments. With its central focus on Andrés Segovia’s pioneering work in establishing the guitar as an international concert instrument, it goes on to examine in detail its subsequent developments with reference to great artists such as Bream, Williams, Diaz and Yepes.

Traditions of the Classical Guitar continues to be a classic of twentieth-century guitar scholarship, offering a challenging assessment to perceptions of the guitar’s progress throughout the ages. It is also a timely reminder of the glorious years of Segovia’s concert career between 1909 and 1987; Segovia himself said of the work: ‘Graham Wade has shown his love for the guitar from the first page to the last; true love and understanding’.

Fibonacci wins Award

Graham Wade’s recent novel, The Fibonacci Confessions, published by GRM Publications,  has won the best novel category and was voted as Book of the Year, best of all categories, in the 2011 David St John Thomas Charitable Trust Award, in association with Writers’ News and Writing Magazine, held on 11th May 2011 at Mary Sumner House in London.


The two awards included cheques for £250 and £750 respectively and a silver cup presented by David St John Thomas, DSJT Charity Founder and President of Writing Magazine. The panel of judges praised the book as ‘An outstanding publication and a brilliant piece of writing’.

Guitar and harp in Dublin

The ESB Feis Ceoil held its 115th Music Festival from the 4–15 April 2011. Graham Wade adjudicated the guitar and harp classes. The winner of the Marion Kelly Cup, An Chruit C (Irish harp) was Grace Ruddin, of Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. 



Grace Ruddin with Graham Wade. Photograph by Catherine Ruddin. 

Feis Ceoil is an important annual festival in the musical calendar. ‘Set up in 1896, Feis Ceoil Association promotes excellence in the learning and performance of music across all ages, levels and disciplines. We run an annual festival before Easter each year in Dublin which comprises almost 200 competitions, attracting over 4,000 participants from all over the island of Ireland. We also run non-competitive events and concerts throughout the rest of the year.’

More details  about the Feis Ceoil Festival and music association can be found on their website.

Bristol Classical Guitar Society

Graham Wade will be giving a lecture at the Bristol Classical Guitar Society on 10 March 2011.


On the 10 March 2011 we welcome Prof. Graham Wade, renowned international performer, champion of the instrument, and biographer of Julian Bream and Andrés Segovia. Prof. Wade could hold us enthralled for many many hours, as he does on a constant worldwide lecture itinerary. On this occasion his talk is entitled The Classical Guitar Scene – Then and Now and traces the momentous changes in the classical guitar world since the mid-twentieth century, accompanied by his first-hand experiences from the heart of the world of guitar music. To have Prof. Wade with us is a unique privilege, and we look forward greatly to 10 March 2011. (From the BCGS website)

For more details, see the Bristol Classical Guitar Society website

The Bristol Classical Guitar Society meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at the Pierian Centre, 27 Portland Square, Bristol, at 7.45pm. Tel. 0117 924 4512. They regularly host concerts and guitar events.

Nights in a Divided Spain – BBC Radio 3

Nights in a Divided Spain, with contributions from Cecilia Rodrigo – daughter of the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo and Director of the Fundación Joaquín Rodrigo, musicologists Carol Hess, Graham Wade, Samuel Llano, and the historian Paul Preston, who will be discussing music and Spanish politics, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 29 January 2011 at 12.15 pm.

To listen online via the BBC Radio 3 website, click here

The Fibonacci Confessions

Although Graham Wade has been publishing books on music and musicians for years, today his first work of fiction, a novel titled The Fibonacci Confessions has been published by GRM Publications.


The feedback so far has been excellent:

This truly beautiful and enchanting book takes the reader into a world of love, logic, adventure, genius, fantasy, and mystery. Lila Pancholi

A very accomplished, picturesque novel, full of romantic scrapes, maths, philosophy, and travel. Bill Swainson

A rich, deeply imaginative, intellectually confident historical novel. Will Francis

A story of discovery, adventure, romance, and betrayal, laced with delicious prose that enables the reader to savour the beauty of the English language. Chris Dell

The Fibonacci Confessions presents the intimately personal letters of Leonardo Pisano (also known as Fibonacci), mathematician, scholar and traveller, looking back over a lifetime at the follies of youth, travels in North Africa, Egypt, and Syria, the disasters of various amorous affairs, and his endless pursuit of ‘the numbers’ in a quest which leads to both glorious and tragic consequences.


Rodrigo biography – book launch

This month Graham Wade‘s long-awaited biography of the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo has been published. The biography Joaquín Rodrigo – A Life in Music: Travelling to Aranjuez 1901–1939, the first Rodrigo biography to be written in English, was launched at Schott Publications, London on 15 June 2006.


There were many people attending, including Cecilia Rodrigo, the daughter of Joaquín Rodrigo, who is Director of the Victoria and Joaquín Rodrigo Foundation and the guitarists Julian BreamJohn Mills and Cobie Smit.


There has been much excitement surrounding the composer Joaquín Rodrigo during this month of June; not only has the biography been published but there has also been a première of one of his works for solo guitar written in 1933. The manuscript of the Toccata was recently found among the personal papers of the Spanish guitarist Regino Saínz de la Maza (1896–1981). Although the Rodrigo family knew that the work existed, they did not have a copy of the manuscript.

On 1 June 2006 the brilliant young Polish guitarist Marcin Dylla gave the posthumous world première of the Toccata for solo guitar in Madrid. Although the work had been written for Regino Saínz de la Maza, who had planned to play it on his second South American concert tour in 1934, the Toccata was never performed in concert. The work has now been published by Ediciones Joaquín Rodrigo. The Toccata was Rodrigo’s second piece for guitar, and it was the piece on which Rodrigo later based the first movement of his violin concerto Concierto de Estío.

On the 15 June at Schott Publications, there was a double celebration – not only the launch of Graham Wade’s Rodrigo biography but also the British première of Rodrigo’s Toccata. The Toccata was played by the Swedish guitarist Anders Moilin, professor of guitar at the Hochschule Musik und Theater in Zürich, on his 13-string guitar, although the Toccata was written for a standard 6-string guitar.


Joaquín Rodrigo – A Life in Music: Travelling to Aranjuez 1901–1939 is published by GRM Publications. Joaquín Rodrigo was born in 1901 and died in July 1999. As the title indicates, the book only covers the years up to 1939 – a second and third part will follow some time in the future. In 2002, Graham Wade was awarded the Schott Gold Medal for his contribution to Rodrigo studies.

All photographs © 2006 Thérèse Wassily Saba