Guitar

What to Expect:

The guitar program offers a rare opportunity of concentrated study with guitar virtuoso Alex de Grassi and Professor Maja Radovanlija in an immersive setting. The curriculum includes:


Guitar students will have the opportunity to join the Mindfulness for Musicians Programs and daily contemplative & wellness practices for a holistic experience.

Meet the Faculty 

Alex de Grassi

GRAMMY®-Nominated Guitarist 

Author of the Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Guitar Method


"Flawless"

— The Wall Street Journal


"...an acoustic guitarist of virtuosic strength and ability..."

— Los Angeles Times

Biography and Highlights

Alex de Grassi has been a unique voice in the world of acoustic guitar for the past 42 years; his innovative approach to composing and arranging for solo steel-string guitar has influenced a generation of younger players. From his first solo performances in university coffeehouses and as a street musician to his engagements at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Montreux Jazz Festival, Alex has followed his own vision and helped lay the foundation for contemporary fingerstyle guitar. Inspired by American and British Isles folk and blues artists in his early teens, Alex’s musical pursuits soon expanded to encompass classical, jazz, and world music. He has since become known for his evocative compositions and arrangements, and for his sheer virtuosity. Using a broad palette of techniques and timbre in conjunction with his ability to weave together melody, counter-melody, bass, harmony, and rhythm into a highly orchestrated canvas of sound, Alex’s performances take the listener well beyond the instrument. The Wall Street Journal has called his playing “flawless” and Billboard hails his “intricate finger-picking technique with an uncanny gift for melodic invention.”

Alex’s career has drawn acclaim for numerous studio recordings as well as for live performances as a soloist and within ensemble settings. His 1978 recording, Turning: Turning Back (cited by Acoustic Guitar magazine among their top ten essential fingerstyle recordings), the subsequent recordings Slow Circle (1979) and Southern Exposure (1984), and his GRAMMY® nominated recording The Water Garden (1998) are considered classics of the genre. In 2006, he collaborated with Quartet San Francisco leader and violinist Jeremy Cohen to premiere an original concerto for steel-string guitar, string quartet, and string orchestra, commissioned and published by String Letter Publishing for their 20th anniversary celebration at Herbst Theater in San Francisco. He has twice been commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival to compose and perform live scores for the festival's Silent Films/Live Guitars series. Festival director David Spelman says “Alex de Grassi is a treasure… his technical wizardry as well as his vibrant and poetic music-making make him one of the most distinctive steel-string guitarists performing today.” 

His latest solo studio recording, the Bridge (released in April 2020), features six new original compositions plus arrangements of Gershwin (It Ain’t Necessarily So), Hendrix (Angel), and a pair of classic folksongs (Shenandoah, Sí Bheag Sí Mhór). Pop Matters says “The Bridge provides further evidence of his compositional prowess and his ability to fuse the heady world of virtuosity with deep emotions.  His inimitable voice remains intact and as awe inspiring as ever.” His first solo guitar recording in 17 years since his Now and Then: Folk Songs for the 21st Century (Tropo Records/33rd Street 2003), The Bridge was recorded by multi- GRAMMY® award winner and TEC Hall of Fame engineer Leslie Ann Jones at the legendary Skywalker Sound studio in Northern California. 

Alex has taught at the Interlochen Institute, Berklee School of Music, the Omega Institute, the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop, and the National Summer Guitar Workshop. He also founded the Mendocino Summer Guitar Workshop near his home in Albion, California. His guitar transcriptions have been published with Hal Leonard, Stropes Editions, Tropo Music and numerous guitar magazines. The Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Guitar Method, a reference book on the fundamentals of acoustic guitar technique published by String Letter Publishing in March 2012, is being used as a primary text for the first fingerstyle guitar degree program at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where Alex is a frequent artist-in-residence. 

Teaching Experiences:

Education:

Dr. Maja Radovanlija

Professor of Guitar

University of Minnesota

Jury

Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) International Convention and Competitions

Doctor of Music

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Biography and Reviews

Maja Radovanlija was born in Belgrade, Serbia. As a child, she won several awards in music festivals and competitions in former Yugoslavia. During her high school, studying with Dr. Aleksandar Hadzi-Djordjević, she won several festivals and competitions in Yugoslavia region, performed her first solo recital and took part in a classical music show for National Television of Serbia. Other than classical repertoire, she was strongly attracted to jazz, Balkan traditional music, and improvised music idiom, attending annual workshops with famous bass player, jazz and improvised music master Vojin Mališa Draškoci.


During her studies of music in Belgrade, Serbia Maja won 1st prize at the International Competition in Kjustendil, Bulgaria and has performed frequently as a soloist and member of various ensembles touring Bulgaria, Greece, Tunisia, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Belgium and former Yugoslavia. As a graduate student at Indiana University, she studied guitar with Ernesto Bitetti and early music with lutenist Nigel North, and broaden her repertoire in this direction, as well. Maja holds Masters of Music with minor in early music, and Doctorate degree with minor in music theory.


Since her performing years in Belgrade, Maja had a strong interest in contemporary music, collaborating with young Serbian composers and various new music ensembles. During her studies at IU and after, she premiered numerous new pieces (for solo guitar, guitar duo, and guitar in chamber ensemble settings) written by D. Freund, A. Trevors, PQ Phan, Szilard Mézei, Alex Lubet, Joey Crane, Ben Abrahamson, Jeffrey Van, Ian Krouse, Mary Ellen Childs, Catherin Dalton, Richard Barret, etc. She has been collaborating with many performers and artists in a chamber group setting: Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Szilard Mézei trio, guitar-flute duo with Linda Chatterton, oboist Yasna Brandstäter, in duo with Eva Beneke, ImprovIsAndDo project, Improvised Ecosystems, OneVoice mixed chorus, Ansambl Studio 6, etc.. In solo recitals

Maja often performs her own pieces inspired by Balkan music, improvised pieces, as well as her own arrangements of traditional Balkan songs.


Beginning in the fall of 2011, Maja has been appointed as guitar faculty at the School of Music,

University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.


* * * * * * *

Reviews


“…Her music curiosity and broad interest in various, sometimes distant genres (Baroque, contemporary

music, free Jazz), make her into such unique artist. With the same passion, Maja performs music of

Eighteenth and music of Twenty first century.”(Srdjan Tošić, classical guitarist/professor-University of

Belgrade)


“…I was impressed by variety of Maja’a repertoire and her skill to improvise, especially. Variety of styles

that she is familiar with in depth, is amazing!” (Don Freund, composer)


“Maja is very sophisticated performer, with exceptional sense for style in which pieces on her repertoire are

written! Her interpretation always brings something very authentic, as a result of her studios research of

performance practice of given music period” (Ernesto Bitetti, classical guitarist/guitar professor-IU,

Bloomington)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We encourage participants to read music, but it's not a requirement. Materials in both notation and tablature formats will be provided. 


We welcome intermediate and advanced players, and seasoned beginners are also encouraged to join us. Participants will have opportunities to receive individual and small group instructions tailored to their levels and needs.


Absolutely! Participants will have informal and formal occasions to share their talents and skills.


Our program offers a diverse exploration of various styles and traditions. Our instructors bring expertise in fingerstyle and classical guitar, providing insights into composing, arranging, and improvising. 

Program Fee & Learn More

Residential

1-week Programs: $1500 | Educator or Group Rate*: $1100/person

2-week Programs: $3000| Educator or Group Rate*: $2200/person

Residential rates include tuition for all program offerings, a single occupancy room, three nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals everyday during your time here.

Non-residential (full time)

1-week Programs: $1000| Educator or Group Rate*: $750/person

2-week Programs: $2000 | | Educator or Group Rate*: $1500/person

Full time non-residential rates include tuition for all program offerings, three nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals everyday during your time here.

*Group rate applies to a group of 2+ people. 

Non-residential (part time)

5-day package: $500

This rate includes tuition for program offering from 7am - 2:30pm, and two nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals (breakfast and lunch) for 5 days.

Learn more: Schedule, Scholarships, 2024 Summer Facilities