The Greats of Classical Guitar: My Favorites

Classical guitar is often forgotten about, what with all the rock and rollers out there today and all the talk about the rock and roll hall of fame. But there’s really nothing like a good classical guitar piece sometimes, and through the years of my life I have realized which of the widely known classical guitar greats are truly my favorites. I think one of the finest classical guitarists to have ever lived is Andres Segovia, a classical guitar virtuoso who – and this is a fascinating fact – was actually a Spanish nobleman by birth. I discovered his classical guitar works when I picked up a box set of them at a garage sale, and as soon as I started listening to them I fell in love.

The way his fingers move deftly across the strings is simply amazing. I do not think I have ever heard a more heartfelt piece of music. If a genie appeared in front of me today, and gave me just one wish, I think I would ask him to make me able to play the guitar like Andres Segovia. I don’t really have any other desires in the world.

3 Classical Guitar Greats

Whether you want to learn how to play classical guitar or just enjoy listening to the music, it is important to know who the leading players are. The following are considered to be 3 classical guitar greats that you definitely won’t want to miss.

1. Andres Segovia (1893-1987) is widely regarded as one of the all time greatest classical guitarists. He is known for developing his own playing technique which involved plucking with both his fingertips and fingernails. He was able to completely transform the perception of the guitar with his massive concerts that he held all over the world where he played to enthusiastic audiences enthralled with his romantic approach and idiosyncratic playing style. Segovia has had a major influence on virtually every classic guitarist who has come after him.

2. Julian Bream (b. 1933) is one of the few contemporary classical guitarists who has mostly operated away form the Segovia circle of influence. The British guitarist has been inspired and influenced by Django Reinhardt, the great jazz guitarist. Bream was among the first classical guitarists to use nylon strings. For Bream, musicality takes precedence over technique. He is considered a true virtuoso and his playing style is known for tonal variety and expression.

3. John Williams (b. 1941) is a British classical guitarist who was born in Australia. Williams studied for a time with Andres Segovia. Williams is acclaimed for his flawless technique and is considered to be a technical master. He regularly appeared on television, performed duets along with Julian Bream and also lead a rock fusion/chamber group called Sky.