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List of world-class classical guitarists


GreySeraph

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On request of p90jr, I'm gonna try to compile a list of some of the best classical guitarists around, along with some type of media to show what they do. Here goes...

 

 

Paul Galbraith (Hailing from Scotland, this guitarist uses a fan-fretted 8 string that is played like a cello with endpin. Known for being the recipient of a huge amount of praise from Segovia himself.) (This guy is one of my favorites. If you enjoy his music, pick up his cd on the bach lute suites-- it's by far my favorite)

 

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (Comprised of Scott Tenant, Bill Kanengiser, John Dearman, and Matt Greif (who replaced Andrew York). All are world-class musicians)

[video:youtube]

(Video involves Andrew York before he was replaced)

 

John Williams (Guitarist from Australia. Considered one of the greatest living guitarists. Known for his extremely prepared renditions of pieces (this means that he's very meticulous and exact with everything from dynamics to timbre to tempo))(Dont confuse him with the movie composer)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1WgoSfV_Kg

[video:youtube]

 

Andrew York (Left LAGQ to pursue a solo career in performance and composition. Several of his pieces have become regular repertoire amongst the guitar community)

[video:youtube]

 

(performance of his duet "Sanzen-in")

[video:youtube]

 

Ana Vidovic (One of the youngest guitar virtuosos in the world. Born in Croatia, she is known for an extreme technical prowess)

[video:youtube]

[video:youtube]

[video:youtube]

(I cant help but say that she's so marvelously beautiful. I will actually be meeting and assisting her next year when she comes to California to give master classes and performances...)

 

Denis Azabagic (Bosnian guitarist. In 1993, at the age of 20, he became the youngest winner of one of the most prestigious international guitar competitions Jacinto e Inocencio Guerrero, in Madrid, Spain.)

[video:youtube]

 

Li Jie (Chinese classical prodigy. Winner of several international tournaments. These videos are purported to be recorded when she was only 12)

[video:youtube]

 

David Russell (Considered one of the greatest living guitarists. Born in Glasgow but lived most of his early life in Spain.)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAg8VHuXNKU

 

Christopher Parkening (one of Segovia's favorite students. Continues to perform and is head of the guitar dept at Pepperdine.)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YdPvM_xZg4

 

Remi Boucher (French-Canadian guitarist known for his fiery displays of technique through extremely difficult pieces. Has arranged the whole of the Concierto de Aranjuez for solo guitar.)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJxI_WrUZtI

 

Carlos Barbosa Lima (master virtuoso and partial contemporary of Segovia.)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oEjsqyayUA

 

Narciso Yepes (10 String guitar virtuoso and contemporary of segovia. Known for his strong articulations and pronounced, deep tone)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxwceLlaODM

 

Leo Brouwer (Cuban guitarist and composer known for his endeavors in atonal/texture music.)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXTbT7tk9Jg

 

Kazuhito Yamashita (japanese classical guitarist known for his wild body expressions on stage and equally intense transcriptions (e.g. Pictures at an Exposition by Mussorgsky and Firebird Suite by Stravinsky)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FNlwmpU7Rk

 

Sharon Isbin (Guitar professor at Julliard.)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8d-5gCGlYg

 

Andres Segovia (Considered the father of the classical guitar as it is today. He is remembered for his expressive performances: his wide palette of tone, and his distinctive (often instantly recognizable) musical personality in tone, phrasing/timing[1] and style, revealing his deep personal insight and expressive commitment in music. Playing style considered outdated by many academic sources.)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG7y_CD9rMg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This list definitely isnt finished by any means. If anyone wants to contribute, go for it. If people find this to be interesting I'll put up more videos. And if anyone asks, the answer is no, I will never put Eliot Fisk up here. :P

 

 

 

---

edit 12/17: Here's a few more videos for you guys to check out...

 

 

Julian Bream (20th century lutenist and guitarist. Probably one of the most highly distinguished guitarists of his time. Also known to play gypsy jazz. If you ever buy any classical guitar cds, I suggest getting one of his.)

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISXznwKgKR0

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1i_2HYmJkA

 

Margarita Escarpa (Spanish classical guitarist who won the GFA festival, as well as other tournaments. Known for playing super hard pieces as if they're simple (i.e.: playing a solo rendition of La Vie Breve, a piece that's known to be HARD as a DUET piece)

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz8X4gQtyrE

 

Sergio and Odair Assad (Brazilian guitarists known for their mastery over guitar music, both solo and chamber ensemble. Odair teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory in California)

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n60V6ukmJog

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUlQdFW0oOE

 

Duo Siqueira Lima (Comprised of Cecilia Siqueira (Uruguay) and Fernando Lima (Brasil). Known especially for their next video, which probably took FOREVER to practice and get musical.)

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcsSPzr7ays

 

Pepe Romero (Spanish guitarist who played with The Romeros, his musical chamber-ensemble-of-a-family. He teaches USC frequently. Most famous for his interpretation and fingering of the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo)

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Agi3pNRnZE

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsClrKMjpTY

 

Miguel Guildimann (8 string guitarist who plays through unconventional ways (as in, i dont think he uses nails. His tone isnt my favorite but his songs are quite soothing). He's studied with several big names in classical guitar)

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-fCmYNMhg4

 

 

 

i think that should be enough for now.

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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Good list! I'm looking forward to playing them next time I'm in a computer cafe - at work we don't have the software. (Probably a GOOD thing! LOL)

 

I'd certainly add Julian Bream and Hubert Kappel to the list. And the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, which includes Paul Galbraith. Their version of the Bach Orchestral Suites is brilliant.

 

There doesn't seem to be much interest in classical guitar these days among the younger set - at least compared to the 70s,when Chris Parkening was very popular. It's too bad, because there is some great music being made in that style. You can learn a lot about the instrument by learning some of the simpler pieces, even if you don't go gung ho with the style. As generations of guitarists have discovered!

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There are actually quite a lot of world class classical guitar players, but the market is small so not all of them are well known, but there are many great players as good as the famous ones. Some easy ones not listed yet are Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Jason Vieaux, and Lorenzo Micheli. Almost any touring guitarist I have seen come through Dallas in the last few yeras has been great, it's more a matter of taste and style whether I like one over another. Some lesser known players I have seen recently include Virginia Luque, Lili Ashfar, Karin Schaupp and the Grigoryan brothers.
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What does the classical world think of Steve Hackett? Is he too much of a rocker in their eyes, in spite of several classical albums & tours?

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIIIhtpHYnQ&feature=related

 

 

Cool vid. I would say he is a rock guitarist playing classical.

 

Not to say he isn't good, but some classical players are so mind blowingly technical that it makes this guy look like a rock guy playing classical.

 

 

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What does the classical world think of Steve Hackett? Is he too much of a rocker in their eyes, in spite of several classical albums & tours?

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIIIhtpHYnQ&feature=related

 

The guy sounds alright, but he just did rock vibrato on a classical guitar, which isnt very effective...

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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There are actually quite a lot of world class classical guitar players, but the market is small so not all of them are well known, but there are many great players as good as the famous ones. Some easy ones not listed yet are Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Jason Vieaux, and Lorenzo Micheli. Almost any touring guitarist I have seen come through Dallas in the last few yeras has been great, it's more a matter of taste and style whether I like one over another. Some lesser known players I have seen recently include Virginia Luque, Lili Ashfar, Karin Schaupp and the Grigoryan brothers.

 

The Romeros are amazing! I'll put up some stuff on them and the Assads, and maybe some other groups like the Brazilian Guitar Quartet like what Iverson said. Also, Julian Bream will most likely be added soon as well. Too bad I'm working on homework at the moment.

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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Steve Hackett is a decent player, I wasn't overly impressed with the video however. It was too bassy sounding to really hear what his tone was really like. He did some flamenco cliches but the piece seemed kind of lacking in substance. With all the world class players out there, I wouldn't say Hackett is representative of classical guitar. Again he is a fine player and could probably play some pretty decent classical guitar, this video just seems like CG lite, like many rock stars that dabble in classical without any real commitment. I am trying not to sound like sour grapes as I respect what he can do.
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I just edited my first post so check out the new ones if you can. If any editors are reading this, is it possible to add a few extra posts between my top post and the 2nd post so that I could add more videos in a second/third/fourth slot? I really want to show people some great classical guitaring. :)

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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Some of the names I recognize from a classical guitar cd I purchased years ago. I will agree that Ana woman is a looker as well as amazing on the guitar.

 

One I didn't see on the list (maybe I skipped over it) was Eliot Fisk? I know I have one of his CD's around somewhere.

 

Also, would you consider Tommy Emmanuel as a classical guitarist? I know he does stuff somewhat outside of the classical repertoire but he is another fingerstyle guitarist that simply amazes me.

 

Overall fantastic list and I wish I could play even remotely as good as them. My fingerstyle playing is pretty much basic pimac patterns over basic chords LOL.

[Carvin] XB76WF - All Walnut 6-string fretless

[schecter] Stiletto Studio 5 Fretless | Stiletto Elite 5

[Ampeg] SVT3-Pro | SVT-410HLF

 

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There`s so much good stuff here, it`s worth postponing a DVD for.

I have a cheap but pretty nice sounding classical guitar back stateside. Some of my own songs could really use it but, I transported it carefully so I didn`t expose it to any drastic climate changes between the Philippines and New York. It was well worth it-once.

 

You know, this commentary must have sounded really trite-my guitar teacher tried to push me toward learning classical pieces but I was more interested in composition. I have total respect, I`m just trying to do what it takes to get my musical ideas out there.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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One I didn't see on the list (maybe I skipped over it) was Eliot Fisk? I know I have one of his CD's around somewhere.

 

Also, would you consider Tommy Emmanuel as a classical guitarist? I know he does stuff somewhat outside of the classical repertoire but he is another fingerstyle guitarist that simply amazes me.

 

I'll have to go into greater detail at some later time why Eliot Fisk should not ever be anyone's classical guitar hero.

 

In regards to Tommy Emmanuel, though, we can possibly call him a classical guitarist when he plays the more non-pop repertoire. I know he plays some mozart and what not. Not all classical guitarists have to play on nylon stringed guitars. Agustin Barrios was a prolific writer of the classical guitar, but sometimes he performed these pieces on steel stringed guitars. Definitely a good musician plays on whatever instrument he has and makes it sound as good as he can make it. Another guy who does a lot of steel stringed stuff is Michael Chapdelaine. Here's some pop stuff by him:

 

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

and here's pieces that he wrote himself in a 20th century classical style:

[video:youtube]

 

[video:youtube]

 

and finally, a master repertoire piece:

[video:youtube]

 

Also, here's some Tommy:

[video:youtube]

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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Eliot Fisk is a somewhat controversial figure in the classical guitar world. Lots of players consider him a great player and others think he is awefull. He sometimes trys to play too fast, beyond what his technical skills allow. At times he plays decently and other times he plays with complete disregard for tone, rhythm, or musicalality. If you watch some of his YouTube videos he sounds fine, in others he skips over notes and sounds dreadfull. His quirky manner and stage presence turn some people off as well.

 

There is always a segment of the guitar population that thinks the major skill in guitar playing is speed, at the expense of just about all the other musical aspects. You could think of Eliot Fisk as the Yngvie Malsteen of the classical guitar world. Some people think he is the greatest guitar player ever, and others think he is a musical fraud. I guess you just have to judge for yourself.

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I judge him farther than that. There's been several times where, during master classes, he will put people down (rather than help them) so much that it causes people to break down on stage. One of my teachers who came from San Francisco Conservatory told me that when he came to give a master class, he caused several girls to bawl. David Tanenbaum (who's the guitar dept. head there) had to tell him to not come back. The guy's a dick; no one needs that type of personality in ANY genre, I dont care who you are. Every person is a person; we all have souls; we all have feelings; everyone deserves respect. (I guess that means then that I have to respect him...and to that I say that I've never made him cry lol.)

 

This being said, he's also known to demand baked yams as part of his outrageous pay when doing master classes.

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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LOL, thanks for the info on Fisk. I knew nothing of him other than he was on a compilation cd so I checked him out.

 

Sounds like he is a diva! That cracks me up.

[Carvin] XB76WF - All Walnut 6-string fretless

[schecter] Stiletto Studio 5 Fretless | Stiletto Elite 5

[Ampeg] SVT3-Pro | SVT-410HLF

 

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Wow, I have only heard positive things on his personality,in other online forums, I haven't met him. The people I have heard talk about his masterclasses say he is the nicest guy around and very knowledgeable. Are you sure the stories of abuse are about Fisk, as I have heard stories of other teachers being abusive. Just more controversy it seems, but I would hate for bad rumors to get started.
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I judge him farther than that. There's been several times where, during master classes, he will put people down (rather than help them) so much that it causes people to break down on stage. One of my teachers who came from San Francisco Conservatory told me that when he came to give a master class, he caused several girls to bawl. David Tanenbaum (who's the guitar dept. head there) had to tell him to not come back. The guy's a dick; no one needs that type of personality in ANY genre, I dont care who you are. Every person is a person; we all have souls; we all have feelings; everyone deserves respect. (I guess that means then that I have to respect him...and to that I say that I've never made him cry lol.)

 

 

Pretty much the same thing could be said of Segovia, but it was tolerated because he was Segovia.

[video:youtube]

 

Another somewhat controversial player is Yamashita, but I love this reading of the Adagio from the Aranuez:

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjnj4NaaFE0&feature=related

 

Despite the shoddy camera work this one is worth a listen;

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR6BzLcANJA&feature=related

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Oh Justus, dont get me wrong. I think Segovia is a jerk as well. The way he treats Chapdelaine in those master classes is horrible, and the way he goes about getting pissed off when people cough in concerts is rude and obnoxious. But yes, if anything, he's still the guy who made classical guitaring a world-class instrument, so he sorta saved himself there.

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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Quoting Grey Seraph, regarding Eliot Fisk:

 

"This being said, he's also known to demand baked yams as part of his outrageous pay when doing master classes."

-----------------------------------------

Well, none of the churches where I have played free for years has ever offered to PAY me..

However, right is right, and going forward, "I demand BAKED YAMS"!!!!

Even Popeye understood the concept, "I YAM what I YAM, and that's all what I YAM..."

 

Seriously, some musicians are notorious prima donnas... and yet, sometimes they are accused of being such when they just want to make a decent living, and be treated with the same respect as other professionals.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Jarrett#Idiosyncrasies

 

Here's another musician with a knack for being retarded. Don't get me wrong, I think Keith Jarrett is a marvelous musician, but he needs to get his priorities in line and realize that the entertainer is always there for the audience, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

 

(...maybe we can even substitute the idea of government in place of the entertainer...hmmm :P )

My Gear:

 

82 Gibson Explorer

Ibanez 03 JEM7VWH

PRS McCarty Soapbar

Diezel Herbert 2007

 

Peters '11 Brahms Guitar

Byers '01 Classical

Hippner 8-Str Classical

Taylor 614ce

Framus Texan

 

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