Lorenzo Micheli: How I run a successful masterclass

The guitarist tells us how it's done



A masterclass is a very important moment in the life of students.

It gives them the chance to share their artistic achievements, prove their musical awareness, and confront themselves with somebody who often has a different background and different ideas.

But it also can be a frustrating and somehow ‘artificial’ experience because of the short time available.

This puts a lot of pressure on the performer, who feels obliged to deliver the best possible performance: an educational, instructive moment can therefore turn into a ‘competitive’ moment. At the same time, the guest teacher might end up making remarks and providing advice based on an incomplete picture of the student’s skills and qualities, thus interfering with his or her learning process.

This is why, in a masterclass, I try to focus on aspects of the musical performance that can be discussed together with the player according to his or her taste and ideas, and I always try to make sure that I am not misunderstanding his or her musical intentions.

I like to provide students with a different perspective – the listener’s perspective – and challenge them by asking them to defend and justify their interpretative choices.

Also, stylistic knowledge is very important to me – especially in certain areas of the repertoire, such as Baroque music or early 19th Century music. Technique is also essential – no need to say – but only as it is functional to the expression of musical ideas.


Check out one of Lorenzo’s masterclasses with Guitar Brisbane this September 30.

About Lorenzo

Lorenzo Micheli has taken up a busy concert career throughout the world since winning the first prize in some of the most prestigious international guitar competitions (Alessandria, Guitar Foundation of America). He has played more than 600 concerts all over Europe, in 200 United States and Canadian cities, in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America, as a soloist and with orchestra. Since 2002, he has been performing worldwide in duo with Matteo Mela – under the name of SoloDuo – in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Seoul’s Sejong Hall, Kiev’s Hall of Columns and Vienna’s Konzerthaus. Their duo was welcomed by The Washington Post as “extraordinarily sensitive – nothing less than rapturous”.

Lorenzo’s discography includes more than 20 titles on the labels Naxos, Stradivarius, Pomegranate, Soundset and Amadeus. An active editor and researcher, he has published solo and chamber works with guitar by such composers as Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Ferdinand Rebay. He is in charge of a collection of music for two guitars for the Canadian publisher Les Productions d’Oz.

Lorenzo lives in Milan, Italy, where he studied Greek and Latin literature at the university. He teaches at the University School of Music in Lugano, Switzerland, and he is an artist-in-residence at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. In addition, he serves as guest faculty at the Universidad Pedro de Olavide in Sevilla, Spain, and the Conservatorio A. Boito in Parma, Italy.


Lorenzo Micheli will perform at Magda Community Artz on September 29. The gig is presented by Guitar Brisbane, and you can find out more online.

Score a huge discount off your ticket when you book as a CutCommon subscriber!


Images supplied.

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