Nicholas Ciraldo is a leader among his generation of American classical guitarists. At the start of his career, he won awards and reached high levels at the Tredrez-Locquemau International Guitar Competition (France), the Gaetano Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition (Italy), the GFA Solo Guitar Competition (USA), the Portland International Guitar Competition (USA), and the MTNA Guitar Competition (USA). Ciraldo now pursues numerous solo, chamber, and concerto performances across four continents, now having played in such venues as the United States’ Jordan Hall, Germany’s Berliner Dom, and Brazil’s Teatro José Maria Santos.
Soundboard magazine states that Nicholas Ciraldo’s performances are “without reservations, marvelous…with abundant technique and commitment to the music…one of the best….” Allmusic.com describes his playing “goes right to the heart of the music, with his precise, active, athletic style.” The Baton Rouge Advocate writes that Ciraldo is “definitely in command….generating a collective gasp of amazement in the audience.” Kansas City’s Journal of the Performing Arts says Ciraldo’s “touch was nimble and delicate, skilled without being flashy. The instrument was a clear extension of the performer, with integrity of sound and performance taking precedence.”
Nicholas Ciraldo is an avid chamber musician who devotes about fifty percent of his performing schedule to music written for guitar and various instruments, including piccolo, flute, alto flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, trombone, violin, viola, cello, harp, piano, harpsichord, organ, voices of all types, and various percussion instruments. Currently, Dr. Ciraldo performs regularly with flutist Rachel Taratoot Ciraldo, in Duo Cintemani. Their concert venues have included several National Flute Association Conventions, the Pelican State Chamber Music Series, Lamar Chamber Series, and the Escola da musica e bellas artes do Parana, Brazil. Ciraldo was also a founding member of the multi-genre music trio, the HonkyTonk Philharmonic, and the Quadrivium Guitar Quartet.
Nicholas Ciraldo has been artist-in-residence at several notable organizations. As a member of the Quadrivium Guitar Quartet, he traveled throughout rural Kentucky under the auspices of New Performing Arts. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Austin Classical Guitar has hosted Duo Cintemani both twice. Most recently, Ciraldo taught at the School of Music and Fine Arts in Curitiba, Brazil, the Industrial University of Santander, in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and the University of Costa Rica. He has given numerous lectures and masterclasses throughout North and South America.
Nicholas Ciraldo has released three full-length recordings. The first is entitled “The Guitar Music of Villa-Lobos Including the ‘1928 Manuscript’,” a collection of the composer’s five preludes for guitar as well as all twelve of his etudes, carefully interpreted from their hand-written version dated 1928. His second album, entitled “Coming of Age,” includes masterworks by Bach, Sor, Tórroba, and Brouwer. Ciraldo’s third, entitled “So Wonderful, So Nice,” includes works by Sor and Regondi. Nicholas Ciraldo’s fourth album will be a recording of the complete works for guitar by composer Matt Van Brink.
Nicholas Ciraldo held diverse positions with several arts organizations. He was Artistic Director of the Boston Classical Guitar Society and Vice President of Austin Classical Guitar. He was co-founder of the Hammer/Nail Project, a program that links student composers with guitarists in order to show composers how to write for the guitar. He was Undergraduate Coordinator as well as Associate Director of the Southern Miss School of Music.
Nicholas Ciraldo earned a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University at Bloomington, where he studied with Ernesto Bitetti and Luis Zea. He earned a Master of Music with Honors and Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Leisner. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, as a three-year recipient of the “Freeman Fellowship” and a student of Adam Holzman. His doctoral research involved the “1928 Manuscript” of the Etudes for Guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Nicholas Ciraldo is Professor of Music of the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, where he manages the guitar and string chamber music programs, mentors guitarists from the undergraduate through the doctoral level, and coaches various chamber ensembles. He has received several awards and grants, including the College of Arts and Letters’ Creative Activity Award, the Lucas Faculty Excellence Award, and the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Performing Artist Fellowship. His hobbies include audio-video rabbit holes, horology, running, cooking, and bothering his wife.