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.”
As an avid chamber musician, Nicholas Ciraldo has collaborated with harpist Franziska Huhn, guitarist Eliot Fisk, trumpet player Brian Shaw, violinist Stephen Redfield, and the Quadrivium Guitar Quartet in various chamber music performances. Currently, Dr. Ciraldo performs regularly with flutist Rachel Taratoot Ciraldo, in Duo Cintemani. Their concert venues have included the National Flute Association Convention, the Pelican State Chamber Music Series, the Christ Church of Pensacola, 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.
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. 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 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 collegiate program that links student composers with guitarists and shows how to write for the guitar in the most idiomatic way possible. 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. 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 student of Adam Holzman. His doctoral research involved the “1928 Manuscript” of the Etudes for Guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos. He has released three full-length compact-disc recordings.
Nicholas Ciraldo is Full Professor of the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music, in Hattiesburg, where he manages the guitar program. 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, mechanical watches, archery, running, cooking, and bothering his wife.
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