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Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Episode 79: The Women Of Classical Guitar With Valerie Hartzell

Why did the number of female guitarists diminish over time? Was it a comet?? Find out here!


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Guitarist Valerie Hartzell
Guitarist Valerie Hartzell. Photo courtesy of the artist’s website.

It’s Women’s History Month, and all month, we’re bringing you amazing women in classical music! In this episode, guitarist Valerie Hartzell, creator/director of the Classical Minds Festival and Competition, talks about the ladies of classical guitar. Who are they? Why did their numbers diminish over time? And what can we do about it??

Audio production by Todd “Not Tony Danza” Hulslander with editing by Mark DiClaudio and bossing by Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:
– “Rosita” by Francisco Tarrega. Played live in studio (also available on Valerie’s Ex Tenebris Lux CD).
– Chaconne in G Major by George Frideric Handel. Played by Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya.

For more about Valerie Hartzell:

Want to learn more about women in classical guitar? Check out this information from guitarist and scholar, Candice Mowbray: Dr. Mowbray wrote her doctoral dissertation about Ida Presti; she’s also been writing short essays about the women of classical guitar on her Facebook page during Women’s History Month. You can see another article she wrote about Presti here. In her own words, “I started my research about female guitarists in 2006 when I was asked to give a lecture at the Bethlehem Guitar Festival. The theme of the that year’s event was “Women in Guitar” and my lecture discussed women as performers, composers and philanthropists. Through the process, I discovered wonderful players and music that was new to me. I have enjoyed continuing to share the information.” Thanks to Dr. Mowbray for providing us with this great info!

Thumbnail photo by Richard Marsham – RMG Photography. Also courtesy of the artist’s website.