Player Spotlight: Thomas Viloteau
Thomas Viloteau is considered one of the most gifted classical guitarists of the younger generation and not without reason. His first concert was in his home country of France only a year after he began his studies, in front of an audience of 200 people. Since that concert, Thomas has played in some of the best venues through out the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Norway, Great Britain, Taiwan and Puerto Rico.
Born into a family of fine arts enthusiasts, Thomas took his first lesson at the age of twelve. Although a late start for an internationally recognized musician, inspired by listening to Naxos recordings of other prominent classical musicians, Thomas decided at the outset of his career that he wanted to record such a CD too. Eager to learn as much as he could about his instrument, he immediately went on to study at an international level, moving from Barcelona (Escola de Musica Juan Pedro Carrero and Conservatorio Superior Municipal), to Paris (École Normale with a scholarship from Fondation Zigmund Zaleski and CNSM), Tucson (University of Arizona) and San Francisco (San Francisco Conservatory of Music), seeking advice from some of the leading professors like Alvaro Pierri, Alberto Ponce, Judicaël Perroy, Tom Patterson, Roland Dyens and Marc Teicholz. He is currently finishing his doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music under the guidance of Nicholas Goluses and Paul O’Dette.
Equally as talented as a performer, Thomas has also proven his versatile abilities as a competitor. Thomas has placed in numerous international competitons, taking first prize in the Segovia Competition (Linares, Spain), Mottola (Italy), Ville d’Antony (Paris, France), Sernancelhe (Porto, Portugal) and in 2006, only nine years after he started playing, the renown Guitar Foundation of America International Competition which allowed him to record his first CD with the label Naxos. In the summer of 2012, after years away from competitions, he played for the first time at the Francisco Tàrrega Competition in Benicàssim, where he won the prestigious 1st prize. In December of 2015, he was the first guitarist to win the Arthur W. Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association in Boston, a prize given each year to the best musician in the top music schools and conservatories in the United States.
Always willing to push his passion for classical guitar further, Thomas has written and published a book about the modern advanced techniques of the classical guitar. “In the Black Box – Technique(s) of the Classical Guitar” is based on his own experiments, thoughts and those of his teachers and contemporaries. With this book, Thomas has created a tool in helping others get to a point that he was able to accelerate to so quickly.
In the past years, Thomas Viloteau has lived in Barcelona, Paris, San Francisco, New York City, London, Tucson, Montréal and Rochester. Thomas only uses Savarez strings and plays on guitars made by Greg Smallman and Bastien Burlot.