Gilbert Isbin

Composer, Guitarist & Lutenist



‘Belgian guitarist Gilbert Isbin is one of the most interesting, dynamic and poetic composers writing for the guitar today.’ (Mel Bay)
Gilbert Isbin’s (Gilbert Dewaele) compositional and performing style defies genre, blending elements of contemporary classical, jazz, early music, world music and improvisation. In favorable comparisons with the likes of Ralph Towner and Egberto Gismonti, his music has been described as “oblique, subtle, and hauntingly beautiful.”

His compositions – more than 400 – for guitar(s), lute(s), ukulele, theorbo, renaissance guitar, baroque guitar, bass and ensemble, songs, are published by Mel Bay, Edizioni Curci (Berben) , The UK Lute Society, Hal Leonard- Beratio Music, GuitarbyMasters, Lantro Music, Golden River Music, Kameleon Editions  Auurk Ed, VRT Publishing.  They have been performed and recorded by a.o. guitarplayers Rob MacKillop (Uk), Sandro Di Stefano (It), Frabrice Desmets (Fr), Christian Vasseur (F), the Guitarquartet Four Times A Lady (B), Quartetto Chitarristico Italiano (It), the guitar Duo D’Atenas (Gr), Ukulele players, Donald Bousted (UK), Elisabeth Pfeiffer and Lee Ferguson (DE), the Spectra Ensemble (B), Peter Verhelst, De Camer van Musiecke (B), lutenists David Van Ooijen, (NL), Alberto Crugnola (IT), Stuart Walsh,(Uk), Thomas Schall (Sw), Andrés Bonilla (Argentina), Thomas Langlois (B), Stathis Skandalidis (Greece), Lieven Misschaert (B),  Peter Sinneave (B), reedplayer Kurt Bertels (B),  digital horn player Iain Cameron, (UK), flugelhorn player Stephen Altoft, UK, Renaissance guitarplayers, Davide Donelli (It), Dmitry Cherovko (RU),  marimbaplayer Jonathan Bonny (B), singers Marie Schoenbock (F), Muriel Batbie Castell (F), Anna Nuytten (B),  bassplayers Cameron Brown, Joe Fonda, Scott Walton, Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), percussionplayers Vasilis Stefanopoulos, Chris Joris, pipa player Jie Ma. 

Thus far 5 books have been published by Mel Bay: ‘ 24 Guitar Pieces‘ , ‘Classical and Contemporary Studies for Bass Guitar‘ featuring studies by Giovanni Bottesini and Gilbert Isbin, (Edited and Recorded by Rob Mackillop) ‘The Improvising Fingerstyle guitarist‘ and ’50 Easy Contemporary Pieces For Fingerstyle Guitar’ and The Improvising Lute Player

He has performed on festivals and major venus throughout Europe and the US with a.o  Cameron Brown, Joe Fonda, Scott Walton, Hugh Hopper, Jeff Gauthier, Vinny Golia, John Ruocco, Andre Goudbeek, Pierre Vaiana, Ernst Reijseger, Jaap Blonk,  Hanka Rybka, Iep Fourier, Michel Godard, Sandro Di Stefano, Christian Vasseur, Bruce Arnold, Sandor Szabo, Albert Giminez, Philippe Deschepper, Rudy De Sutter, Jie Ma, Chris Joris, Alex Cline, Wolfgang Reisinger, Ivo Vanderborght, Jatinder Thakur, Jaap Blonk, Balazs Major, Dirk Wachtelaer

Some Concerts : Holland Festival (Amsterdam, NL), Italia Guitar Festival (Rome, It), Acoustic Stings Festival, Raalte  2002 (NL), Lullabyes Festival UK (St. Martin’s Church In The Fields, London), Tourcoing Jazz Festival (F), Festival Schnittpunkte der Musik (Austria) Limmitationes Festival 2007 (Austria) , Jazz en Nord Festival (F), European Trytone Festival (NL), WIM Festival (B), Cactus Festival (B), Concertgebouw Brugge 2003, Music In Mind Festival (B), Paulusfeesten (B), Gentse Feesten (B), Jazz Halo Music Days (B), De Singel (B), Ancien Belgique (B), Les Dimanches De L’Impro (F), and tours in The Netherlands, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland, France, Germany, Austria, Los Angeles, San Francisco….

Articles/reviews/interviews on his guitar and lute playing, Cds, compositions in a.o. Silvia Amato’s thesis on Contemporary Lute Music (La Musica Moderna e contemporanea per liuto), The Lute News (UK), Geluit/Luthinerie (B), Le Joueur du Luth (FR), Nostalgia (JP), Tablatuur (NL), the LSA Quarterly  (USA), Lauten-Info (Germ.), Il Liuto (IT), Aalga (ARG), Guitar Player (USA), Cadence (Canada), Jazz Life (Japan),  Jazz Dimensions (Germ.),  Record Collector (UK), Akustik Gitarre (Germ.), Acoustic Guitar Magazine (USA), …

Gilbert Isbin composed the music for several videos by Didier Eeckhout


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