The Classical Guitar: Innovators and Instigators

Course Dates: June 29 to July 12, 2015
Application Deadline: May 1, 2015 Please check with the Course Coordinator about late application for this class.

  • Be inspired and energized by spending two weeks with some of the world’s most exciting classical guitarists.
  • Participate in master classes with some of the world’s most respected, creative, and innovative guitarists.
  • Take daily masterclasses on guitar technique, interpretation, and performance.
  • Learn and perform guitar ensemble music with fellow participants.
  • Attend concerts and demonstrations featuring faculty artists.
  • This course will culminate in a public student concert.

undergraduate: MUSIC 422/3 units
graduate: MUSIC 622/3 units


This course is open to guitarists of any age and any level. Performances in master classes with visiting artists as well as participation in the culminating concert will be based on audition.

1)      Submit a brief resume and personal bio explaining your interest in the course.
2)      Upload the materials listed in step one when you complete your Online Registration Form by May 1, 2015.

Professor Scott Morris


Described by one New York Times headline as a “Fiery Missionary to the Unconverted,” Eliot Fisk is one of the most exciting and creative musicians before the public today. His numerous recordings, many of which have entered the Billboard charts as best sellers, have helped transform the repertoire by introducing countless new works and groundbreaking arrangements. He was the last direct pupil of Andrés Segovia and also studied interpretation with the legendary harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick at Yale University, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1976. In addition to his performing career, Eliot Fisk is Founder and Director of Boston Guitar Fest, an annual cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural extravaganza co-sponsored by the New England Conservatory and Northeastern University. Eliot devotes considerable energy to teaching. He is Professor at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he teaches in five languages, and in Boston at the New England Conservatory. Eliot Fisk lives in Boston and whenever possible in his beloved Granada, Spain, with his wife, acclaimed guitarist Zaira Meneses, and their ten year old daughter Raquel.

Roland Dyens
Roland Dyens shares the joy of his musical talent while performing, composing, and teaching throughout the world. His tri-dimensional talent provides the basis for the phenomenal success of this musician and his ongoing evolution. For many decades, his music has been an integral part of the instrument’s repertoire, placing him at the heart of a select group of contemporary guitarist/composers who enjoy such a privileged position. Roland’s compositions and arrangements are highly acclaimed and widely performed. They provide a new breath of life for the guitar as this player and composer never ceases to challenge the limitations of his instrument. At the young age of 33, he was recognized as one of the “100 Best Living Guitarists in All Styles” by the prominent French magazine Guitarist. Roland is ranked highest in the “Top 100″ list of most recorded original works for the guitar, by living composers. Furthermore, three of his works are part of these 100, according to the remarkable book by the Canadian musicologist Enrique Robichaud, “Guitar’s Top 100: Classical Guitar’s Most Recorded Music.” Roland teaches at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris.

Scott Tennant is a founding member of the Grammy-winning ensemble L.A. Guitar Quartet, and is considered to be one of the world’s premiere guitar virtuosos. He is a favorite guest artist with orchestras, on music series and major guitar festivals around the world. Well known as a teacher and author, Mr. Tennant currently has eight books to his name. His first book, Pumping Nylon, has attained a kind of cult status, being hailed as the only book of its kind. He is extended annual invitations as a teacher to conduct master-classes at such renowned schools as the Eastman School, Peabody, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Janacek Academy in the Czech Republic, to name a few. He lives in the Los Angeles area, and is an associate professor of guitar studies at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Andrew York is one of today’s most visible and innovative classical guitar composers, winning a Grammy award with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet during their sixteen-year partnership. Andrew’s discography includes California Breeze, a recording for Sony Japan, three solo CDs for the GSP label, ten CDs with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet on Delos, Sony, and Telarc labels, as well as inclusion on Rhino Records Legends of Guitar and numerous other compilations. Andrew shares the stage with artists Eric Johnson, Albert Lee, Doc Watson, and Mason Williams in the documentary Primal Twang, written and hosted by eminent musician and storyteller Dan Crary. In 2006 Andrew recorded and performed with the Atlanta symphony for the opera Ainadamar by Osvaldo Golijov.  The recording of Ainadamar (Deutsche Gramophone) won two Grammy awards. Andrew’s compositions have been recorded by guitar luminaries John Williams and Christopher Parkening, and Japanese pianist Mitsouko Kado.

Described as “iconoclastic” and “inventive” by The New York Times and “one of the classical guitar world’s most foremost personalities,” by Classical Guitar Magazine, Benjamin Verdery enjoys an innovative and eclectic musical career. Since 1980 Benjamin has performed worldwide in theatres and at festivals and released more than 15 albums. He has recorded and performed with such diverse artists as Andy Summers (The Police), Frederic Hand, William Coulter, Leo Kottke, Anthony Newman, Jessye Norman, Paco Peña, Hermann Prey, and John Williams. A prolific composer, many of his compositions have been performed, recorded and published over the years by artists such as John Williams, the Assad Duo, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. In addition to his performance tours and recording, since 1985, Benjamin has been chair of the guitar department at the Yale University School of Music and Artistic Director of the bi-annual Yale Guitar Extravaganza. Benjamin Verdery uses D’Addario strings and guitars by Greg Smallman and Christopher Carrington.

Honored in 2013 with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Guitar Society, Jack Sanders’ performances have included The Sitka, Kapalua, GFA, Oregon, and Arrowhead Bach Festivals. He has performed with the St. Petersburg, Colorado, and Angeles String Quartets and as a touring artist with the Piatigorsky Foundation, Jack concertizes throughout the United States. His recordings include two CDs with violinist Clayton Haslop, and a solo CD featuring the complete preludes of Ponce, Villa-Lobos and Carlevaro. An accomplished luthier, he builds reproductions of historical guitars and modern instruments, and his guitars are owned by Yale University, UCLA, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Northridge, San Francisco Conservatory, and others. A faculty member of Pomona College and Claremont Graduate University since 1980, he received his degrees from California Institute of the Arts.

Kai Narezo
Kai Narezo is a Los Angeles-based Flamenco guitarist whose background includes study both in the caves of Sacromonte and at the Berklee College of Music. He studied with some of the top guitarists in Spain and the United States, and is now himself a much sought-after performer and teacher. Kai has performed throughout the United States as well as in Spain, Japan, Russia, Mexico, and Canada. He has also put in thousands of hours of Tablao playing and is equally comfortable in the most intimate settings as on the concert stage. Kai teaches Flamenco guitar in his studio in Hollywood and on Skype/Facetime, and has just released his first two lessons for the On The Music Path iPad app. He also owns and operates Universal Exports Studio, a recording studio devoted to capturing the performance of Flamenco and other acoustic music.

Ron Borczon has been teaching guitar and music therapy at California State University, Northridge since 1984. His expertise in both music therapy and guitar has been widely recognized as his guitar students have won both regional and international competitions, and he is often seen on television specials regarding music therapy. He is prominently featured in the documentary The Space Within US – which chronicles Paul McCartney’s tour of the United States. He has two CD recordings through Centaur Records and has also published two books on music therapy, Music Therapy: Group Vignettes and Music Therapy: A Fieldwork Primer. Most recently he has published a new book, Life’s Lessons Through Your Guitar, where he compares playing the guitar to aspects of life. He is an Alumnus of Florida State University, the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and the Aspen School of Music.

Meyer-Thachuk Guitar Duo: Kenneth Meyer and Steven Thachuk,
American Kenneth Meyer and Canadian Steven Thachuk met during their studies at the Eastman School of Music. They performed in recital and concerto throughout North America between 1997 and 2001. After a 10-year hiatus, Ken and Steve came together again as a duo at CSU Summer Arts in 2012 and have since been enjoying a revival in their partnership. They recorded one CD of Spanish works, Evocacion, in 1999.

The Washington Post refers to Ken Meyer as, “A thinking man’s guitarist – he focuses on the inner structure of a piece…and plays with impressive gravity and power.” The Buffalo News has called him, “Impeccably articulate with superb technique.”

Steve Thachuk is known as one of Canada’s most outstanding and versatile guitarists. Performing works from J.S. Bach and Toru Takemitsu to John Lennon and Radiohead, he consistently challenges the nature of the instrument’s repertoire and boundaries.