Christopher Parkening

America's Prince of the Classical Guitar

"Christopher Parkening - Recognized as heir to the legacy of Segovia..."

Parkening is arguably the best classical guitarist to come out of America. Being a student of both Celedonio and Pepe Romero went a long way to developing the young guitarist's innate talents and guitar technique. Indeed, Parkening's virtuosic display in the "Young Musicians Foundation" competition saw him compete as an "out of competition player" as there were no classical guitar categories and the judges, who included Jascha Heifitz, Gregor Piatigorsky and Castelnuovo-Tedesco, were too impressed with his playing to leave him out.

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Over the years,  Parkening has worked with, and been lauded by, many famous musicians including Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Segovia, Placido Domingo, Kathleen Battle and many others. He even appeared on "The Tonight Show", and made numerous recordings for film scores etc. Parkening has also won many awards over the years and even Grammy nominations, no mean feat in today's crowded musical landscape.

Segovia once said of him... "Parkening is a great artist - he is one of the most brilliant guitarists in the world."

One of my favorite stories about Parkening and Segovia is where, as a fifteen year old, he was performing a Bach piece before Segovia in a master class. Parkening's teacher at the time had used different fingerings to the Segovia edition which enraged Segovia to the point where he exploded with the comment... "Change the fingerings back for tomorrow!"

With an ego like that who needs friends? That story aside, Parkening had great affection and respect for the "old master" and I'm sure it was reciprocated whilst the great man was still alive.

Parkening gave up concertizing, recording and even playing for about four years. In his early thirties,  he pursued his "dream" of early retirement on his ranch in Montana. With nothing to do, but go fly-fishing and enjoying the wilderness, he soon tired of this lifestyle. He was feeling rather "empty" when a neighbor invited him to a local chapter of the Christian church where he heard a sermon entitled..."Examine Yourself Whether You Be in the Faith".

This "struck" him very deeply, and from that moment on he dedicated his life to the Christian faith. He resurrected his career (sorry for the pun, but I just couldn't resist :)) with greater purpose than before and, as they say in the classics, "never looked back".

Check out this great little video on YouTube of Christopher Parkening playing Etude No.1 by Villa Lobos...

Had Parkening not had that epiphany, the classical guitar world would have been robbed of one of its most shinning talents.

You can get a great Guitar Method by Christopher Parkening here...

More Christopher Parkening...

Here are some more related resources in which you may be interested...

Virtuoso Performances

A Celebration Of Segovia

Get more information on C. P. here...

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