Sharon Isbin: Born 1956

The Cambridge Dictionary defines artist as “someone who creates things with great skill and imagination.” It’s a term affixed to many, but few truly embody it as does classical guitarist and virtuoso Sharon Isbin.

Detailing all that she has accomplished is an ambitious goal, as her career trajectory spans years and includes everything from teaching at Juilliard, where she is founding director of the school’s guitar department, to performing at the White House and the Kennedy Center, touring the world, a 2014 documentary, Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, winning numerous awards, working with an A-to-Z list of artists in every genre of music, leading the guitar program at the Aspen Music Festival and School, and recording 30 albums. In October, it was announced that she would be honored with the 2020 Musical America Instrumentalist of the Year award, making her the first guitarist to receive the award in the organization’s 59-year history. The ceremony is scheduled to take place in December at Carnegie Hall.

By the time one would tell Isbin’s story, there would be new chapters to add, as she is always busy, always creating, and always finding new challenges and directions in which to take her craft. Her latest project is a collaboration with the world-renown, Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet for Souvenirs of Spain & Italy, an album of strings and guitar music from the baroque to the mid-20th century. Like all of Isbin’s work, the result is more than a musical experience; it’s also an emotional one that carries the listener into an “eyes closed” time-travel of sounds, cultures, moods, and intricate compositions.

Excerpt from interview “Sharon Isbin: a conversation with one of the world’s greatest classical guitarists” by Alison Richter as seen on Guitar Girl Magazine.

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