November 14, 2020: John Bullard

As a classically trained musician and the first graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music to earn a degree in performance with the banjo, John Bullard has established a critically praised performing and recording career dedicated to exploring the artistic marriage of banjo and classical music. Bullard understands that accepting the banjo—a “folk” instrument with a complex pedigree—into the classical fold is a challenging proposition for traditionalists; the guitar once had to navigate a similar journey to mainstream acceptance.

But through three album-length recordings, live performance, and workshops, Bullard continues to introduce the classical banjo to a growing audience worldwide. Bullard’s concert repertoire includes solo, duet, and quartet performances of works from Bach, Vivaldi, Handel and others of the Baroque Period, along with later-period pieces by Schumann and others. More recently, Bullard has begun featuring new work by contemporary American composers, including a Caprice in D minor in the Romantic style, from composer Frank Mullen, and a set of 24 Preludes for Solo Banjo, commissioned from Adam Larrabee. In addition, Bullard is now working on a new collaboration with the genre-fusing composer Joshua Stamper.

More information, including recent videos of Bullard in performance, can be found at

See John Bullard perform live at the Church of the Old Oak in Meadowdale, VA on Saturday, November 14th.  The performance begins at 7:00 p.m.  In an effort to provide music in a safe environment, the Arts Council will be following COVID guidelines for seating and space will be limited. To make reservations, email the Highland Arts Council at or call (540) 499-2879 before November 13th so seating can be arranged prior to the concert. Social distancing and mask requirements will be in effect.

John’s performance is made possible in part by funding from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge.

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