Performance Departments


The Conservatory's Guitar Department features five world-renowned guitar faculty dedicated to mentoring a new generation of excellent guitarists, interesting and expressive artists and performer-teachers. Guitar students at the Conservatory are given a broad range of skills and opportunities, through collaboration with composers, instrumentalists and vocalists, through teaching and scholarship and through extensive opportunities to perform. A varied collection of 25+ instruments, including a Smallman, two Rubios and a lute, enhances this comprehensive program of study.  SFCM is very lucky to also be home to the Harris Guitar Collection.  SFCM students not only get the opportunity to see these beautiful instruments, but also to play them.  Check out the link to see the collection!


  • Five guitar faculty
  • Over 40 guitar students total in program
  • Weekly guitar class, as well as master classes offered by guest artists
  • Opportunities to play chamber repertoire and early music and to collaborate with other instrumentalists
  • Opportunities to collaborate with the composition department
  • Instrument collection of 25+ instruments includes a Smallman, two Rubios, two theorbos, two Baroque guitars, lutes and 19th-century guitars
  • Eight guitar department recitals per year and an annual Guitar/Voice Department collaboration.
  • Biannual Guitar Concerto Competition - winner plays with the Conservatory Orchestra
  • Biannual Wesley Day Solo Guitar Recording Competition awards the winning student a fully funded CD production and a CD release tour of California cities
  • Conservatory Guitar Ensemble performs regularly throughout Northern California. Highlights include the 2000 tour with Steve Reich as well as the commission and premiere of works by Steve Mackey, Terry Riley, Jorge Liderman and many others
  • The Bay Area is one of the most active classical guitar scenes in the United States
  • The 2008 GFA International Convention and Competition were held in San Francisco, and the new Conservatory facilities were used for competition and evening concerts




Sérgio Assad
Lawrence Ferrara
Richard Savino
David Tanenbaum chair, guitar department
Marc Teicholz

We encourage prospective students to contact the guitar faculty to arrange a consultative lesson. The guitar faculty and the Office of Admission are happy to answer any specific questions that you have about our program.


2015-2016 SEASON

Marc Teicholz Faculty Concert | Oct 11,  2 pm
Alvaro Pierri Master Class | Dec 3,  7 pm
Round Midnight: Transcribing the World to Guitar, SFCM guitar students. Arrangements by Sérgio Assad, Roland Dyens and others  Feb 29, 8 pm
Manuel Barrueco Master Class Mar 14, 12 pm

Guitar Competition & Festival Jan 14-17
Twelve young guitarists from around the world compete for a $12,000 cash prize during a festival that celebrates the tradition and evolution of classical guitar. SFCM hosts the Third International Guitar Competition Maurizio Biasini in January. Concerts feature the Conservatory Guitar Ensemble, New Music Ensemble, SFCM faculty and a world premiere by composer and performer Clarice Assad.

Department Recitals
Oct 7, 29; Nov 10; Dec 2; Feb 17; Mar 16; Apr 6, 27


Guitar Ensemble
Guitar Pedagogy
Guitar Literature: Classical and Romantic
Guitar Performance