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Sharon Isbin

 
One of the best guitarists in the world.
  Boston Globe
 
 
She gets nuances out of the classical guitar few guitarists since Segovia have matched. Everything she performs bespeaks perfect technical control yet suggests spontaneous improvisation—the art that conceals art.
  Chicago Tribune

Press Features

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Die Welt Sharon Isbin im Porträt
March 17, 2016
Sie ist die Gitarrenfrau schlechthin, nicht nur in Amerika, sondern auf der ganzen Welt; sie hat mehr für dieses Instrument getan als jeder Musiker seit dem legendären Andrés Segovia. Sharon Isbins Wohnzimmer ist mit Grammy Awards und anderen Auszeichnungen geschmückt, sie spielt regelmäßig vor ausverkauften Sälen, ihre CDs verkaufen sich millionenfach. Wer Martin Scorceses Thriller “Departed – Unter Feinden” gesehen hat, erinnert sich vielleicht an die eindringliche Gitarrenmusik, von der die Handlung unterstrichen wurde. Das war sie.
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Sharon Isbin: Troubadour   Sharon Isbin: Troubadour Documentary Wins 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Television Broadcast Award!
October 7, 2015
 
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Acoustic Guitar Song Travels
October 18, 2015
Isbin’s mastery is on display as she shares notable recordings of her work and performs from her classical repertoire in this one-hour NPR feature hosted by Michael Feinstein.
Listen Here

Acoustic Guitar Acoustic Guitar
May 2015
Smashing Through Glass Ceilings
Isbin is not only the first female classical guitarist to have won a Grammy Award, the only guitarist to record an album with the New York Philharmonic, and the first director of Juilliard’s prestigious guitar department, now, thanks to a new film, she is also the only female classical guitarist to be the subject of a nationally televised documentary.
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Classical Guitar - Spring 2015 Classical Guitar
Spring 2015
‘The Face of Classical Guitar’
Troubadour traces the career of the guitarist from her early days as a youthful science whiz, who blasted grasshoppers into the abyss on a homemade rocket, to her lofty position, to quote one contemporary in the film as, “the face of classical guitar”.
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Making Music Making Music
May/June 2015
Troubadour Unveils the Mysteries of Classical Guitar
At 17, Isbin began practicing transcendental meditation, which she says helps her in her career. “It has so many benefits because it allows you to focus on what is positive in life and be even more creative”.
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Making Music Guitar Girl Magazine
May 2015
Take Five with Classical Guitar Master Sharon Isbin
“The newest project was hatched last month when I premiered a work for guitar and orchestra written for me by Chris Brubeck, son of the late Dave Brubeck. It’s a fabulous, virtuosic, jazzy and Middle Eastern inflected piece, one I look forward to recording and to performing everywhere.”
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Soundboard Soundboard
Spring 2015
Sharon Isbin’s Visionary Legacy
[Her] commitment to new compositions, in the midst of one of the most successful concert careers of any modern classical guitarist, is remarkable. Along with performances on the world’s grandest stages, and in film and television, Isbin has embraced the pursuit of new music with fervor, using her recognition as a pulpit from which to champion these works.
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Teaching Music Teaching Music
April 2015
“Music is a valuable part of our culture. It’s as important as studying math or literature, and it should be part of the process of education. Music is really the essence of creating beauty in our world.”
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Tavis Smiley
Sharon Isbin and Tavis Smiley
Tavis Smiley
Monday February 16, 2015
Sharon Isbin joins celebrated talk show host and author Tavis Smiley on his nationally syndicated PBS television show. Their lively discussion explores how turtles and tapirs shaped her CD of music from the Amazon; how color, lyricism and vibrato create soul; and the new documentary on DVD/Blu-ray, Sharon Isbin: Troubadour.
Watch Here

The New York Times The New York Times
January 2, 2015
Sharon Isbin: Seeking Out Serenity
“Sharon Isbin’s living room is decorated with two Grammy Awards and a keepsake from her time performing in the Amazon: a handcrafted poison-dart gun. (It does not work.) She lives on the Upper West Side with a view of the Hudson River and of a statue of her heroine, Eleanor Roosevelt. Ms. Isbin, has been a trailblazer both for female musicians and for the guitar’s place in the classical music world.”
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The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal
November 26, 2014
Sharon Isbin: Notes From a Classical Guitarist
Sharon Isbin, a pioneer in classical guitar, faced a steep career climb, but she refused to accept the possibility of failure
“As a guitarist in the classical music world, and as a woman in the guitar community, Ms. Isbin has had a steep climb in her career. This month, American Public Television will release a new documentary called ‘Sharon Isbin: Troubadour’, tracking her rise as a musical pioneer.”
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UTNE Reader UTNE Reader
January 12, 2015
Celebrating Guitar Virtuoso Sharon Isbin
Sharon Isbin is widely regarded as one of the foremost guitar players in the world. She’s collaborated with and cultivated the respect of musicians from numerous genres outside the classical genre.
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WNYC New York City The Leonard Lopate Show / WNYC New York City
January 7, 2015
A New Documentary On The Acclaimed Classical Guitarist, Sharon Isbin
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Guitar Player Guitar Player
Holiday 2014
Cosmic Traveler
Sharon Isbin Continues Her Musical Journey with Troubadour

In the current documentary, Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, First Lady Michelle Obama is seen saying, “Sharon’s father promised her that if she practiced guitar for an hour, she could go outside and launch her model rockets.” Eventually her amazing classical guitar talents would get her music onto actual rockets, on the NASA Space Shuttle as well as the Russian space station Mir. Talk about a trajectory. For the uninitiated, there has simply never been a better time to discover why so many people call Isbin “the world’s premier classical guitarist”.
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NPR / Here & Now NPR / Here & Now
December 4, 2014
Sharon Isbin, Guitarist Extraordinaire
Sharon Isbin: Troubadour”, a documentary on her career, is airing through March on public television stations around the country. Isbin brought her guitar along and told Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd why she thinks the guitar is “one of the most extraordinary instruments.”
The show is broadcast on over 380 stations to 3.6 million listeners.
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Minnesota Public Radio Minnesota Public Radio
November 19, 2014
New Classical Tracks: Sharon Isbin’s Five Classic Albums
Sharon Isbin, a pioneering classical guitarist—who is out of this world. Grammy Award-winning Isbin is talking about her legacy, which has recently been chronicled in, Troubadour, a one-hour documentary. Five of Isbin's classic recordings have been packaged into a new CD set corresponding with the film, which explores what it takes to nurture a dream against all odds to become a world-class musician.
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Pollstar Pollstar
November 17, 2014
The Passion of Sharon Isbin
Sharon Isbin talks to Pollstar about Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, airing now on public television stations. The film gives a look at how the Grammy Award-winning musician, who has been called the “pre-eminent guitarist of our time” and “the Monet of the classical guitar,” broke into the world of classical music as well as the male-dominated field of guitarists.
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GRAMMY-Winning Guitarist Sharon Isbin Will Be The Subject
of a Documentary GRAMMY-Winning Guitarist Sharon Isbin Will Be The Subject of a Documentary, To Be Broadcast Nationally On Television Nov-Dec
October 10, 2014
Sharon Isbin: Troubadour explores the trailblazing performer’s extraordinary career, with guests including Michelle Obama, Joan Baez, Martina Navratilova and more.
 
“She has broken every glass ceiling for guitar and for women in her field.”
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Guitar World Guitar World
October 2014
Sharon Isbin Talks “Troubadour” Documentary and More
Sharon Isbin: Troubadour is a wonderful piece that artfully shares this artist’s passion for musical creation and exploration. Isbin has a pioneering spirit, and has often found a way around obstacles and embraced genre-bending projects.
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Examiner.com Examiner.com
April 12, 2014
‘Sharon Isbin: Troubadour’ documents the ‘fearless’ classical guitarist
Following Thursday’s New York premiere of the 57-minute documentary Sharon Isbin: Troubadour for a full house at Lincoln Center's Bruno Walter Auditorium, its producer Susan Dangel, calling Isbin a “one-of-a-kind artist”, invoked the “fearless” tag ascribed to her in the film by composer Tan Dun.
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Grammy Awards GRAMMY.COM
February 2014
GRAMMY Hall of Fame Inspirations: Sharon Isbin
From Elvis Presley to Andres Segovia, GRAMMY-Winning Classical Guitarist Reveals Five GRAMMY Hall of Fame Recordings That Connect Her Musical Dots
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San Jose Mercury News San Jose Mercury News
February 19, 2014
Flashing Her Passion for Guitar
Fans of Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin should thank the gods of classical guitar her older brother didn't want to grow long fingernails... Genre-stretching jaunts like the one she is engaged in now with Jordan and Lubambo prompted the Washington Post to credit her with pushing the guitar “into provocative, edgy new realms”.
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Portland Performing Arts Festival Portland Performing Arts Festival
June 2012
Watch Sharon Isbin in concert on Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Maine Arts! Presents: Guitarist Sharon Isbin at the Portland Performing Arts Festival in a one hour television program archived online.
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Enlightenment Magazine Enlightenment - The Transcendental Meditation Magazine
June 2012
An Interview with Sharon Isbin: The Monet of Classical Guitar
“As a musician, TM enhances my mental stamina, memory, concentration, and ability to learn. It puts me in touch with my innermost creative core and enables its expression through music.”
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NPR Music NPR’s All Things Considered
December 27, 2011
The ‘Guitar Passions’ of Sharon Isbin & Steve Vai
“Her new album, Guitar Passions, features collaborations between Isbin—who studied with Andres Segovia, among others—and artists with very unclassical careers ...”
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The Guitar Show Minnesota Public Radio
January 20, 2012
“She plays like a goddess and frankly, she looks like one too! Sharon joined me today on air to share a few tracks from her latest disc and talk about playing the Rodrigo this weekend.”
Listen

The Guitar Show The Guitar Show Sharon Isbin Interview #2
December 22, 2011
In our exclusive interview, Isbin takes us behind the scenes of her newest release, Guitar Passions, which features eight guest artists, including guitarists Romero Lubambo, Steve Vai, Stanley Jordan, Steve Morse & Nancy Wilson.
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Musos Magazine Musos Magazine
November 2011
Sharon Isbin
“How did a kid from Minneapolis, Minnesota with a passion for rocket science come to create The Juilliard School’s first guitar department, win Grammys, record with the New York Philharmonic, Joan Baez, and most recently a CD with rock and jazz legends Steve Vai, Stanley Jordan, and Nancy Wilson of Heart titled Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions?”
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Classical Guitar Classical Guitar
November 2011
Sharon Isbin
“Isbin is ahead of the curve with Guitar Passions, perhaps in the running for another Grammy, and once again pushing the envelope to the benefit of us all.”
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Guitar Player Guitar Player
November 2011
Sharon Isbin
“Sharon Isbin isn’t your average internationally renowned, multiple Grammy Award winning, Billboard chart-topping female classical guitarist.”
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BBC 4 BBC Radio 4
November 2011
Sharon Isbin
“Legendary guitarist, singer and songwriter, Joan Armatrading meets Sharon Isbin, America’s leading Classical guitarist and winner of 2 Grammys“.
Listen
Ariama WRTI’s Crossover
October 2011
Classical Guitarist Sharon Isbin
Join Jill Pasternak as she interviews multiple Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin. Her latest CD, Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions is highlighted.
Listen to Interview
Ariama Ariama
September 2011
Sharon Isbin, Passionate Guitarist
“Sharon Isbin is one of the great guitarists. Her repertoire is vast and her discography enormous. Guitar Passions features some of her favorite music from Spain and Latin America.”
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ABC - Paraguay ABC - Paraguay
September 1, 2011
Sharon Isbin y Steve Vai grabaron “La catedral”
Grandes de la guitarra interpretan a Barrios
“Los guitarristas Sharon Isbin y Steve Vai tocan juntos La catedral de Agustin Barrios, en el nuevo disco de Isbin Guitar Passions.”
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San Francisco Classical Voice San Francisco Classical Voice
January 3, 2011
Sharon Isbin: Voyager on Six Strings
“I notice that when you play, you sometimes are almost in a trancelike state. It's very beautiful to watch. Does this have anything to do with your practice of Transcendental Meditation?”
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Albany Times-Union Albany Times-Union
March 11, 2010
Guitar star Isbin teams with violinist O’Connor
“Although widely regarded as the top classical guitar soloist of our time, she keeps teaming up with other artists, often far afield from the traditional realm of so-called concert music.”
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The Orange County Register The Orange County Register
December 6, 2009
Guitarist who played for the Obamas will play in O.C.
“She has commissioned ten concertos for her instrument ... by the likes of Tan Dun, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse and Lukas Foss.”
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BBC Music Magazine BBC Music Magazine
November 2009
Sharon Isbin
The American guitarist reveals the inspirations behind her latest CD, Journey to the New World

“Originally I wanted to honour Joan Baez as she was one of my folk-music heroes, so I asked John Duarte to write the Joan Baez Suite.”
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Guitare Classique Guitare Classique
October 2009
Sharon Isbin, En mode majeur
FRENCH
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Guitarist Classic Guitarist Classic
July 2009
Sharon Isbin, La lady aux cordes nylon
FRENCH
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NPR Music NPR’s All Things Considered
June 4, 2009
Guitarist Sharon Isbin’s American ‘Journey’
“... the renowned classical guitarist, recently sat down with NPR’s Robert Siegel to play songs and talk about her new album, Journey to the New World ...”
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Classical Guitar Magazine Classical Guitar Magazine
May 2009
Sharon Isbin
“The longer I know Sharon Isbin, the more I am amazed by the scope of her career.”
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Il Venerdi di Repubblica Il Venerdi di Repubblica
May 2009
Sharon Isbin, La lady aux cordes nylon
ITALIAN
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Orlando Sentinel Orlando Sentinel
February 2009
Guitar Goddess
Grammy winner Sharon Isbin headlines Winter Park’s 74th annual Bach Festival

“Guitar gods are still strictly rock theology, but if the term were applied in the classical realm, Sharon Isbin would be fit for deification.”
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Boston Globe Boston Globe
October 15, 2004
A pioneer in classical guitar, Isbin continues to break ground
“She has this voracious musical curiosity that feeds her imagination, and she is charismatic in all the best ways...”
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Fanfare Fanfare
May/June 2004
“Ms. Guitar, Inc.”: A Chat With Sharon Isbin
“Isbin has helped to spread the gospel of the classical guitar through concerts, broadcasts, television appearances, and interviews in non-specialist publications such as Elle and People.”
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The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal
July 10, 2003
“Classical Guitar? She Wrote the Book
“... the classical guitar lingered at the edge of standard concert life—till now. The change is due largely to the American guitarist Sharon Isbin.”
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Schwann Jazz & Classical Schwann Jazz & Classical
August 2001
Sharon Isbin Reworks the Repertoire
“Isbin’s life with the guitar was international from the beginning. She took up the instrument in Italy at the age of nine ...”
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Musicians Friend Musicians Friend
August 22, 2001
Commissioned Response: Sharon Isbin
“Isbin is one of the most adventurous classical guitarists to come along in years.”
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The New York Times The New York Times
Sunday, July 22, 2001
Sharon Isbin Coolly Carries the Torch for the Classical Guitar
“In her hands the guitar takes on the precision of a diamond, each note a clear, shining facet that catches, prismlike, a glint of the spectrum.”
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Town & Country Town & Country
June 2001
The Busy Ms. Isbin
“Isbin’s CD Dreams of a World not only displaced The 3 Tenors: Paris 1998 from near the top of the classical-music charts ... it won a Grammy award in February—the first won by a classical guitarist in almost thirty years.”
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Town & Country Associated Press
May 30, 2001
Guitarist Isbin Steps Out of Shadows
“... while Isbin is among the world’s elite classical players, what really sets her apart is the dogged commissioning of new concerti for guitar and orchestra.”
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NPR Music NPR’s All Things Considered
May 4, 2001
Sharon Isbin
“Robert Siegel interviews Sharon Isbin, a sensation in the world of classical guitar. This year, Isbin became the first classical guitarist to win a Grammy award in nearly three decades, for her CD Dreams of a World.”
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Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune
May 30, 2000
Sharon Isbin is at the Pinnacle of a Macho Tradition
“One of the world’s preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar, Isbin is the first woman to reach the pinnacle of the solo guitar world.”
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Boston Globe Boston Globe
February 14, 1999
In the Tradition: Sharon Isbin’s New and Old Guitar Music
“In the 1980s, she embarked on a collaboration with the eminent Bach pianist Rosalyn Tureck that revolutionized the way Bach is interpreted on the guitar ...”
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E L L E ELLE Magazine
June 1996
Sharon Isbin, unplugged
“Isbin’s virtuosity has attracted admirers throughout the music world ...”
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Sharon Isbin Sitting with Guitar

 

Features


Guitarist Acoustic Classic (France) June 2009



Reviews


Klassik-CD Des Monats, August 2010



Magazine Covers


48 Magazines
9 Countries
Fanfare May/June 2004


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