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The Hartt School

Guitar

The Guitar Program at The Hartt School is the oldest and most developed performance-based guitar program in the country. 

About the Major

In 1968, Hartt graduated its first guitar major and over the years the program has expanded to offer a Master of Music, Graduate Professional Diploma, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Artist Diploma.

At Hartt, you will participate in masterclasses given by world renowned performers. Past guest artists include Oscar Ghiglia, Antigoni Goni, and Andrew York.

Our graduates presently hold or have held guitar positions at various prestigious institutions, including New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, The Longy School of Music, and Oberlin Conservatory.

Our alumni and present students have won or been finalists in the Alirio Diaz International Guitar Competition in Venezuela, Guitar Foundation of America International Guitar Competition, American String Teachers Competition, MTNA competition, and Appalachian State Guitar Competition.

In addition to classical guitar training, you will also experience chamber music, guitar pedagogy, guitar literature, lute and baroque guitar tablature, and electric guitar styles. Our goal is to graduate students who are well-prepared to enter the fields of concert performance and college teaching. Towards that end we hold weekly performance classes that are required of all performance majors. In addition, every year, we sponsor six to eight public performances as part of our Evening with Guitar concert series.  This provides our students the opportunity to develop and refine their performance skills in a professional setting.

Admission and Audition Requirements

The Hartt School will not be hosting live auditions for 2021 applicants due to safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All applicants will be required to submit a recorded audition.

Learn more about the undergraduate or graduate application process.

Bachelor of Music

  • Three contrasting works (preferably two pieces to be performed from memory)

Suggested Repertoire:

  • Carcassi: 25 Melodious Studies – Nos. 2, 3, 7, 13, 15
  • Sor: Twenty Studies, edited by Segovia
  • Giuliani: Any studies one page or longer in length
  • Six Lute Pieces from the Renaissance (Columbia Music)
  • Villa-Lobos: Any preludes or études (Max Eschig)
  • J.S. Bach: “Bourrée” or “Allemande” from the 1st Lute Suite, “Sarabande” from the 3rd Cello Suite, or any movement from the 1st Cello Suite
  • Tárrega: Adelita & Lagrima
  • Brouwer: Selected works from Simple Studies, Vol. 1 & 2 (Max Eschig)

These pieces are to be played on classical guitar (nylon strings). They should show your technical and musical abilities to perform with a good hand position and sitting position, as well as the ability to produce a good focused fingernail sound.

Please note: We have students who come to Hartt from across the United States and around the world. That is one of the things that makes a Hartt education so special. Some students are accepted and arrive having had extensive private study on their instruments. Others have had less experience (and perhaps less conventional training), but their natural abilities and great love of music allow them to make remarkable strides in a short period of time because of the expertise of our faculty.

Our requirements are sometimes quite specific to give applicants a sense of where they should be to enter a high-level conservatory environment. However, we encourage applicants to reach out to our faculty members to discuss audition repertoire. It may be that what you have prepared will suffice. Our primary goal is to identify potential, and if we feel that the potential is there, it is then our responsibility to provide each and every student with the tools to be successful.

If you would like to be in touch with a member of the faculty to discuss your audition repertoire, please write to harttadm@hartford.edu.

Master of Music

The Graduate Program at The Hartt School is a highly-developed performance-based program. We look for and accept students with well-developed technical, musical, interpretative, and practice skills, who show a commitment to high performance standards and a desire to pursue either a college teaching/performing career or a solo/chamber music career.

Thirty minutes of solo repertoire played from memory is required. While we occasionally accept students who do not possess the following repertoire, it is more an exception than the norm.

  • A major Baroque Suite. J.S. Bach and S.L. Weiss are the most frequently performed composers.
  • A major 20th-century work. Composers frequently represented include: Brouwer, Martin, Britten, Dodgson, etc.
  • A major work by one of the following: Sor, Giulliani, Coste, Mertz, Regondi or any Spanish or Latin American composer.

Doctor of Musical Arts & Artist Diploma

The DMA and AD programs are The Hartt School's highest levels of musical training. As such, the Guitar Department requires not only well-developed technical and interpretative skills but also a high level of musicianship and artistic ability.

Audition: The audition is based upon a recital program, (approximately sixty minutes in length), submitted by the candidate with the doctoral application. During that time the committee will ask the candidate to play selections from the submitted program. The submitted program should contain:

  • A major Bach suite, preferably one of the lute suites; Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro; or Chaconne.
  • A major 20th-century work
Works from the Classical, Romantic, and 20th-century Segovia repertoire are encouraged.

Our Faculty

Christopher Ladd

Christopher Ladd

Guitar Faculty; Associate in Music and Guitar; Program Chair, Guitar and Harp

Award winning and internationally renowned classical guitarist Christopher Ladd is recognized throughout North America and abroad as one of the most promising classical musicians of his generation.

Fingerstyle Guitar hails his performances as being “… rendered confidently and expressively.” Praised as “… an exercise in extremes.” by Soundboard Magazine, he is highly sought after as a soloist and chamber musician.

Peter Clemente

Peter Clemente

Artist Teacher of Guitar

A native of New England, award winning guitarist Peter Clemente is a frequent recitalist and committed music educator.

An eclectic musician with influences from both classical and improvisatory traditions, his playing has been described as “sumptuous classical guitar” (Camden Herald), and “haunting expressiveness” (Worcester Telegram and Gazette).

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