When I heard we were doing staff picks, I thought: Which videos come to mind right away, without any second guesses? Which ones have recently caught my attention the most? It was tough narrowing it down to five videos, but then again my picks change every few months, so these are just the five I can loop on YouTube for days (as of now). This is also a great way to introduce friends to these videos as a sampling of the classical guitar, so enjoy:
Andrea De Vitis (Rome, 1985) graduated with full marks from the Morlacchi Conservatory in Perugia, Italy, where he studied under Leonardo De Angelis. He continued his studies at the Segovia Guitar Academy in Pordenone, Italy with Paolo Pegoraro and Adriano Del Sal. There, he attended masterclasses with Oscar Ghiglia, Carlo Marchione, Arturo Tallini, Pavel Steidl, Frédéric Zigante, Carles Trepat and Piero Bonaguri among others.
Benjamin Pila is the only classical guitarist ever named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He’s performed extensively throughout the United States and has been a featured artist at both New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center, Washington D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center and San Francisco’s Herbst Theater.
Irina Kulikova was born in Chelyabinsk, the capital of Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia. Under the guidance of Victor Kozlov and her mother – cellist Vinera Kulikova – she started developing her musicianship from the earliest age. At the age of twelve, she was already traveling around Russia and abroad for gala-concerts and festivals. When she reached fourteen, she was included in the book The Classical Guitar, its evolution, players and personalities since 1800 by Maurice Summerfield.
Judicaël Perroy has become widely known as an extraordinary virtuoso classical guitarist and musician with several prizes to his credit. In 1997, he captured the prestigious first prize of the 15th Guitar Foundation of America International Competition and Convention awarding him tour of the United States and Canada with more than sixty concerts and master classes. In between his North American tour that year, he gave several concerts in France where his performances were broadcast live on France-Musique followed by extensive recital tours throughout the world.
Nejc Kuhar finished his Masters degree (with honors) in guitar and composition in Vienna, studying the guitar under Alvaro Pierri and composition under Dr. Reiner Bishof and Professor Christian Minkowitsch. Since 2015, Kuhar teaches guitar at the Music Academy in Vienna while also teaching at the Frankfurt Music School since 2013.
As an active performer and teacher Mr. Johnson currently serves as the Head of the Classical Guitar Department, Director of Classical Guitar Ensembles, and Professor of Music Theory at Colorado State University in Pueblo. He also teaches outreach programs for the Colorado Springs Conservatory. As an ambassador of the guitar, Benjamin Johnson is dedicated to performing works for the guitar from all eras of music in many venues both conventional and unconventional. As an avid chamber musician, he has recently performed the chamber works of Astor Piazolla in collaboration with other chamber musicians.