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Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple GRAMMY Award winner Sharon Isbin has been hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time”. She is the winner of Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Classical Guitarist” award, and the Toronto and Madrid Queen Sofia competitions, and was the first guitarist ever to win the Munich Competition. She has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras and has given sold-out performances in the world’s finest halls, including New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’ Châtelet, Vienna’s Musikverein, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Madrid’s Teatro Real and many others. She has served as Artistic Director/Soloist of festivals she created for Carnegie Hall, the Ordway Music Theatre (St. Paul), New York’s 92nd Street Y, and the acclaimed national radio series Guitarjam. A frequent guest on NPR’s All Things Considered and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, she has been profiled on television throughout the world, including CBS Sunday Morning and A&E. She was a featured guest on Showtime Television’s hit series The L Word, and a soloist on the GRAMMY nominated soundtrack of Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning The Departed.
Looking back at all of the videos we shot in 2011 it’s impossible not to feel thankful for all the great guitarists, most of whom have become friends (if they weren’t already), who came through GSI this year and lent us their talent to help show off and archive some of the countless amazing guitars that come through the shop. They all have hectic schedules and tons to do, so I want to thank everyone for making the time. I like to think that everyone had a good time playing some new and interesting guitars, but it’s also important to remember that they all put themselves out there playing guitars they weren’t used to, and many of them were extremely accommodating of my schedule, for which I owe them a personal thank-you.
A lot of the players surprised me with music I hadn’t heard before or just particularly beautiful performances, and some of them just plain lived up to my already-high expectations of them.
In no particular order, here are the players who made this blog a really great place to hear guitar music this year and without whom many of us might never have heard some of these guitars (names will link to videos or articles about them on the blog):
Duo Solaris (Scott Wolf and Connie Sheu)
Alma Nova (Almer Imamovic and Jessica Pierce)
Line Forms Hear (Scott Morris, Steve Thachuk and Julian Coryell)