My last post featured John Williams, and although many commented favourably, there were one or two critical of John’s virtuosity. When I searched the threads in the Delcamp forum, I soon realised that there are as many opinions on the ‘best’ living classical guitarist as there are on what constitutes ‘best’.
The criteria for judging ‘best’ appear to fall into four categories: musicality, technique, tone production, and emotional impact. However, what interested me more was the sheer number of CG players listed among the top three picks… 38 in total!
So, I have compiled a list of just the top 10 candidates. I have done this as a basis for further research, learning, and listening pleasure. I have arranged the list based on the number of different people identifying them as part of the top three living players. Of course, the list is not meant as any sort of definitive ranking, but rather as an inspiration for run-of-the-mill classical guitarists like me. Along with each name are links to their websites and a video of them playing.
Of the 10 maestros listed, seven are over 60 years of age, and so the fear for many is that the era of classical guitar greats is passing. Not so! In my next post, I intend to highlight 10 great players between 40 and 55 years old. Then in a 3rd post I intend to feature another 10 fabulous players 35 years old and under. The future of the classical guitar looks bright to me!
1. Julian Bream (84 years old)
Grand Solo by Fernando Sor
2. David Russell (64 years old)
Choro No 1 by Villa-Lobos
3. John Williams (76 years old)
Sevilla by Albeniz
4. Ana Vidovic (37 years old)
La Catedral by Barrios Mangore
5. Marcin Dylla (41 years old)
la Alborada by Francisco Tárrega
6. Jason Vieaux (44 years old)
Bach: Lute Suite No. 3 in E minor, BWV 996
7. Manuel Barrueco (65 years old)
Variations on a Theme of Mozart
8. Pepe Romero (74 years old)
Pepe Romero plays Zapateado & Fantasia from ‘Suite Andalucia’ by Celedonio Romero
9. Christopher Parkening (70 years old)
Christopher Parkening plays Koyunbaba at Harvest Crusade
10. Sharon Isbin (61 years old)
Sharon Isbin plays Waltz by Agustin Barrios Mangore
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