Strings of Knowledge: When Classical Guitarists Become Guiding Maestros


The world of classical guitar is where talent and dedication converge to create beautiful music. While many classical guitarists find their calling as performers, some embark on a transformative path, sharing their knowledge and skills as educators. This article explores the inspiring journeys of five remarkable classical guitarists who transitioned from performers to mentors, leaving an indelible mark on the next generation of musicianswhilst also encouraging new works to be written for their instrument.

  1.  María Isabel Siewers: María Isabel Siewers, an Argentinean guitarist, gained international recognition for her masterful performances characterized by technical brilliance and profound musicality. After achieving world-widesuccess as a performer, Siewers turned her focus toward education. She became a professor at a renowned conservatory, where she developed a comprehensive curriculum blending classical guitar techniques with music theory and history. Moreover, she has also toured, taught, and served on juries for international competitions throughout Europe, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand.
  2.  David Russell: David Russell, a Scottish classical guitarist, is celebrated for his virtuosity and interpretive depth. In addition to his illustrious performing career, Russell has significantly impacted as an educator. He has held teaching positions at esteemed music institutions and regularly conducts masterclasses worldwide. Russell’s teaching philosophy centres on meticulous attention to technique, nuanced expression, and a deep understanding of musical structure.
  3.   Sharon Isbin: Sharon Isbin, an American classical guitarist, has achieved critical acclaim for her extraordinary musicianship and trailblazing contributions to the guitar world. Alongside her illustrious performing career, Isbin is an esteemed educator who has established renowned guitar teachingprograms at leading institutions. She’s the founding director of the guitar department at the Juilliard School, through which she has mentored an array of students, providing them with technical mastery and guiding them in discovering their unique artistic identities.
  4.  Pepe Romero: Pepe Romero, part of the legendary Romero family dynasty of guitarists, has made an indelible mark as both a performer and an educator. With a career spanning over decades, Romero has performed on prestigious stages worldwide. Simultaneously, he has shared his vast knowledge and experience through teaching and mentoring. He is a guitar instructor at the University of San Diego, Southern Methodist University, University of Southern California, University of California at San Diego, and the USC Thornton School of Music.
  5.  Andrew Keeping: Andrew Keeping is a British classical guitarist who has performed in venues worldwide and is one of the favourites of the British Royal Family. In 2015, he established his own recording company, KeepingMusic, and since then has mentored numerous successful students who have established their music careers. Andrew also has a vast experience working with children, including those with learning disabilities and emotional, behavioural, and communication difficulties.

The transformative journeys of these five classical guitarists-turned-educators exemplify the power of knowledge and the impact of mentorship. By transitioning from performers to mentors, they have contributed immeasurably to the preservation and advancement of classical guitar. Their passion for sharing their craft has shaped the lives of countless students, allowing the rich legacy of classical guitar to flourish. As these remarkable individuals continue to inspire and guide, their collective influence extends far beyond the stage, leaving an enduring imprint on the world of classical music.

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