Nicholas Ciraldo

Associate Professor of Guitar

About the Studio


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 enjoys 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 Nicholas Ciraldo’s performances are “without reservations, marvelous…with abundant technique and commitment to the music…one of the best….” describes his playing as “confident…goes right to the heart of the music, with his precise, active, athletic style.” The Baton Rouge Advocate reviewed him as “definitely in command….generating a collective gasp of amazement in the audience.” Kansas City’s 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.”

Nicholas Ciraldo 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 the 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 is also a founding member of the new 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. With Duo Cintemani, he was hosted by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Austin Classical guitar. Most recently, Ciraldo taught at the School of Music and Fine Arts in Curitiba, Brazil, and at the Industrial University of Santander, in Bucaramanga, Colombia. He has given numerous lectures and masterclasses throughout North and South America. He is a full-time tenured faculty member at the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music, in Hattiesburg, where he manages the guitar program. He has received several university awards and grants.

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 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 Honors and Distinction in Performance 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 as a three-year recipient of the “Freeman Fellowship,” and he studied with Adam Holzman. His doctoral research involved the “1928 Manuscript” of the Etudes for Guitar by Heitor Villa-Lobos.


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