Nicholas Ciraldo

Associate Professor of Guitar

About the Studio


Nicholas Ciraldo is a leader among his generation of American classical guitarists.  He has won awards and reached high levels at several prestigious solo competitions, including 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 has enjoyed numerous solo, chamber, and concerto performances throughout the United States, Europe, and South America, playing in such venues as the United States’ Jordan Hall, Germany’s Berliner Dom, and Brazil’s Teatro José Maria Santos.

Soundboard magazine states that Ciraldo’s “performances…are, without reservations, marvelous…with abundant technique and commitment to the music…one of the best….” claims that he “confidently…goes right to the heart of the music, with his precise, active, athletic style.”  The Baton Rouge Advocate reviewed his concerto performing as “definitely in command….generating a collective gasp of amazement in the audience.”  Kansas City’s Online Journal of the Performing Arts said 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.”

An avid chamber musician, Nicholas Ciraldo has collaborated with diverse performing artists, including harpist Franziska Huhn, guitarist Eliot Fisk, trumpet player Brian Shaw, and the Quadrivium Guitar Quartet.  Currently, Dr. Ciraldo performs regularly with flutist Rachel Taratoot Ciraldo, in the Duo Ciraldo.  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.

A participating member of the arts community, Nicholas Ciraldo has held diverse positions with several arts organizations.  He was Artistic Director of the Boston Classical Guitar Society, Vice President of the Austin Classical Guitar Society, and 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 currently serves as faculty advisor to the USM Guitar Society and chair of the guitar division for the Mississippi Music Teachers' Association.

Another of Dr. Ciraldo’s activities is being an avid artist/teacher.  His Quadrivium Guitar Quartet performed as artists-in-residence throughout rural Kentucky under the auspices of New Performing Arts.  The Ciraldo Duo was invited by both the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Classical Guitar Society to be artists/teachers-in-residence.  Dr. Ciraldo has given numerous lectures and masterclasses throughout the U.S. and Brazil.  He is on the faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he manages a thriving guitar program and is the recipient of the College of Arts and Letters Creative Activity Award.

Nicholas Ciraldo holds a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University, where he studied with Ernesto Bitetti and Luis Zea.  He also holds a Master of Music, with Performance Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Leisner and Eliot Fisk.  He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Adam Holzman as a Freeman Fellow, and his research involved the 1928 Manuscript of the Villa-Lobos guitar studies.


CDs: available through,, and

Soundboard Review: ciraldosoundboard.pdf