The Italian guitarist, Oscar Ghiglia (pronounced
"GHEE-lyah" with the hard G), was born of an artistic family - his
father and grandfather were both famed painters and his mother an accomplished
pianist. Oscar had to choose between a path strewn with brushes and colours
and a world cut into harmony and melody. Though his early choice produced
a few hundred water colours and a number of oil paintings, he soon realised
music was his way. For this decision he thanks his father, who one day
made him pose for a painting showing a guitarist. For this he had to hold
his father’s guitar, a companion to his artistic musings in front of his
forming works. This painting was the start to a lifetime of disciplined
dedication to music.
At the age of fourteen young Oscar decided to study classical guitar
at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, where he won certificates
of honour not only in guitar but also in theoretical subjects as well.
In 1957 he began study with the Spanish guitar master Andrés Segovia
at the Academia Chigiana in Siena and at Santiago de Compostela in Spain
(1958-1963). Segovia was his major influence and inspiration during his
formative years. The young guitarist has also studied with Venezuelan virtuoso
Ghiglia's graduation from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in 1962
was followed by several important awards: 1st Prize at the Orense
Guitar Competition, 1st Prize at the Santiago de Compostela
Guitar Competition (1963) and 1st Prize at the International
Guitar Competition of Radio France (ORTF) (1963, Unanimous Winner). After
the latter winning, he received scholarship to the Schola Cantorum in Paris,
where he studied music history with Jacques Chailley in 1963-1964. Andrés
Segovia chose Ghiglia as his assistant for classes at the University of
California in Berkeley in the summer of 1964.
Since then, Ghiglia has given numerous concerts and master-classes
throughout the world. He made his first tours to the USA and Japan in
1964-1965, and his British debut in 1966. In addition to appearing extensively
in all parts of North and South America and Europe (Italy, Spain, Switzerland,
France, the Netherlands), he is a frequent performer in the Far East,
Turkey, Israel, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Besides touring as a solo performer, Ghiglia has played and recorded
with such names as singers Victoria de Los Angeles, Jan DeGaetani, Gerald
English, John McCollum; flutists Jean-Pierre Rampal and Julius Baker;
ensembles including the Juilliard String Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet,
the Cleveland String Quartet, the Quartetto d’archi di Venezia and the Tokyo
String Quartet; violinists Giuliano Carmignola, Franco Gulli, Salvatore
Accardo and Regis Pasquier; violists B. Giuranna, and P. Zuckerman; cellists
K. Adam, A. Roman and L. Varga; guitarists Eliot Fisk, S. Fukuda, Loretta
Guerra, Antigoni Goni, and Elena Papandreou. Ghiglia was a founding member
of the International Classic Guitar Quartet (with, in different turns:
Benjamin Bunch, O. Koga, Anders Miolin, S. Schmidt, and Andreas von Wangenheim).
While being active as a concert artist, Ghiglia has always favoured
teaching as a sister profession, and spreading his own teaching around
the five continents. Very few well-known guitarists today have not at one
time or another been in his classes and profited from his lessons. In
1969 he founded the Guitar Department at the Aspen Music Festival (Aspen,
Colorado USA) and taught there for twenty years. He also founded the Festival
de Musique des Arcs and the “Incontri Chitarristici di Gargnano”, and
has been artist in residence, or visiting professor in such centres as
the Cincinnati and San Francisco conservatories, the Juilliard School,
the Hartt School, University of Hartford, the Northwestern University of
Evanston, Illinois, and the Banff Centre of the Arts in Canada (from 1978).
In all these centres and elsewhere Ghiglia has been nurturing talents and
forming or perfecting young artists' musical outlook and interpretation.
In 1976 he “inherited” Segovia’s class in Siena's Accademia Chigiana.
From 1983 to 2004 he was professor of guitar at the Basel Music-Akademie
where he taught post-graduate students. He now regularly gives summer classes
in Europe (at the Festival d'Arc in southern France, at the Chigiana Academy
in Siena, Italy, and at the Festival Garnanno, Italy), America and the Middle
East. Founder of the International Guitar Competition of Gargnano (Italy),
Ghiglia boasts a very high number of first prize winners among his students,
in competitions around the world.
Oscar Ghiglia has recorded for Angel and Nonesuch Records.
-- Biography from the Bach Cantatas website (with slight emendations).