3. The University of Southern California Thornton School of Music – Los Angeles, CA
Notable Faculty: Pepe Romero, Scott Tennant
When Pepe Romero, acclaimed soloist and member of the esteemed Romero ‘classical guitar family,’ joins a faculty that includes Scott Tennant, member and founder of the Grammy-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, you have one of the most impressive classical guitar faculties at any school in the nation. Their students go on to form solo and chamber music careers of impressive versatility, performing music of Spanish, modern, and classical vernacular languages with graceful ease. USCs classical guitar department has long been considered one of the most esteemed guitar departments in the nation since its founding in 1967 by then-sophomore Christopher Parkening.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out Pepe Romero’s classic solo guitar text below.
2. The Juilliard School – New York, NY
Notable Faculty: Sharon Isbin
Founder of the classical guitar department at Juilliard, Sharon Isbin has created a niche in the Juilliard School that has risen to a level of outstanding prestige in the academic world of classical guitar. Soloist in more than 160 orchestral performances, director of the guitar department at the Aspen Music Festival, and author of the widely used text Classical Guitar Answer Book, Sharon Isbin is a master teacher and performer of her instrument. One of the most accomplished string musicians of her generation, an opportunity to hear her play and study under her tutelage is a rare chance at classical guitar mastery.
Listen to the Faculty: Check Out Sharon Isbin on her critically acclaimed CD Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions
1. Pepperdine University – Malibu, CA
Notable Faculty: Christopher Parkening
One of the most successful and widely-known classical guitarists in the entire world, Christopher Parkening has written the premiere texts on classical guitar technique, has recorded Grammy-nominated albums for the top record labels, and has been featured in the most prestigious concert venues throughout the country. His students have concertized frequently throughout the US, and many of them have gone onto respectable teaching careers. Parkening himself started the guitar department at the University of Southern California in the late 1960s when he was just a sophomore! An active and internationally known master of his instrument, Parkening accepts only the most advanced talent for his studio.
Check Out the Faculty: Here is a copy of Parkening’s Guitar Method book, a universally used and praised guitar text.