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 Ciraldo’s “performances…are, without reservations, marvelous…with abundant technique and commitment to the music…one of the best….” defines his playing as “confident…goes right to the heart of the music, with his precise, active, athletic style.”  The Baton Rouge Advocate reviews 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.”

As an avid chamber musician, Nicholas Ciraldo collaborated with harpist Franziska Huhn, guitarist Eliot Fisk, trumpet player Brian Shaw, violinist Stephen Redfield, 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.

Nicholas Ciraldo is also a dedicated educator.  The Quadrivium Guitar Quartet performed as artists-in-residence throughout rural Kentucky under the auspices of New Performing Arts.  Both the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Classical Guitar Society invited the Ciraldo Duo to be its artists/teachers-in-residence.  Dr. Ciraldo gave numerous lectures and masterclasses throughout the U.S. and Brazil.  Currently, he is a full-time, tenured faculty member of the University of Southern Mississippi School of Music, in Hattiesburg, where he manages a thriving guitar program and is the recipient of numerous 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 the Austin Classical Guitar Society. 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. His most recent post was being 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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