Sharon Isbin

Classical Guitar Artistry Unrivalled!

"Sharon Isbin - Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique, and versatility..."

Ms Isbin was only nine years old when she first studied guitar. That was in Italy after her father had taken the family from their native America so he could complete a year's sabbatical from the University of Minnesota. Her innate artistry was almost immediately apparent. When Isbin returned to America, she continued to study with such guitar luminaries as Oscar Ghiglia and Alirio Diaz in master classes. She also went to Sophocles Papas to enhance further her wonderful guitar technique.

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Not only has Isbin achieved a level of artistry unrivalled by most in her playing but backs this up with solid academic qualifications. Indeed, she obtained her master's degree in music from Yale University. Isbin has won many top prizes in guitar competitions for her eloquent artistry including Canadian International Guitar competition, Munich International Guitar competition and the Queen Sofia International competition in Madrid, Spain.

Sidebar - Did You Know?

Sharon became the first guitar professor at the highly respected Julliard School of Music in America. 

Back to Sharon Isbin...

After a highly successful debut in 1977 at the Wigmore Hall, in London, the critics "raved", and Isbin's reputation as one of the world's foremost guitarists was assured.

She went on to debut in her native America in 1979 at the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Centre in New York, again to rave reviews. Sharon has continued to perform around the world since that time whilst maintaining a hectic academic schedule of teaching and giving master classes. Check out this great little video on YouTube of Ms Isbin playing Tarrega's Recuerdos del Alhambra...

In a classical guitar world mostly dominated by men Isbin is a shining example of how nature bestows its grace. In other words, she'd outplay most men with her left hand tied behind her back! So beautiful is her tone and artistry, and so great is her dedication that she could never be overlooked when the discussions turn to the greatest guitarists of all time.

Here are a few related resources in which you may be interested...

Classical Guitar Answer Book

Classical Guitar Pedagogy

Here's some great information about Isbin's Classical Guitar Answer Book...

"In this update of the Acoustic Guitar Answer Book, Sharon Isbin, the classical guitar virtuoso who heads the Juilliard School Guitar Department, answers 50 essential questions about performing, practicing, and choosing and caring for your guitar. The questions were asked by Acoustic Guitar magazine readers and answered by Isbin in four years of Master Class columns in the magazine. This book collects all this vital information together in an easy reference format – an absolute must for every classical guitar player. Includes new appendices of resources for classical guitarists and students. 88 pages, 9″ x 12″.

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