Schedule / Past Festivals

Fabi Reyna in conversation with John Schaefer

The guitar is still an instrument most often associated with guys. Fabi Reyna wants to change that. Not just by being a badass guitarist herself, but by creating a place where the ever-growing community of female guitarists can learn from and support each other.

Sharon Isbin in conversation with John Schaefer

Sharon Isbin has been at the forefront of the classical guitar world for over 40 years. More than a virtuoso, she has commissioned more new concertos than any other guitarist, including a major new work by John Corigliano. And she has a long history of performing with leading Brazilian and jazz musicians as well.

Debashish Bhattacharya in conversation with John Schaefer

The world is full of great guitarists, and India is full of gifted classical musicians. But in both worlds, Debashish Bhattacharya cuts a singular figure. Playing a specially-designed slide guitar, he has made his instrument an extraordinarily versatile and emotive purveyor of India's ancient raga tradition, while attracting fans from around the world.

The Life of a Luthier

The Life of a Luthier: How visibility can create the next generation of guitar builders. Local repair women and luthiers Rachel Rosenkrantz, Mamie Minchand and Chloe Swantner discuss their experiences in starting, maintaining and inspiring the humble career of guitar building.

The Ruts of Performance

The Ruts of Performance: Guitarists Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, Erika Anderson (EMA) and Ava Mendoza share and explain their methods of moving past creative walls. Moderated by Fabi Reyna, founder and editor-in-chief of She Shreds Magazine.



It’s a first in Festival history: A marathon devoted entirely to... ragas! The Winter Garden at Brookfield Place will host this FREE-ADMISSION all-day event. In Hindustani classical music, melodies and modalities are thought to reach full potency at a particular hour, in tune with the Earth on its axis.

Sharon Isbin and her Juilliard protégés

Building on last year’s sold-out event, the New York Guitar Festival and WNYC’s New Sounds present a four-week series that features a diverse cast of guitar slingers performing newly commissioned works and special collaborations.

Saul Koll in Conversation with Ed Keller

Renowned luthier Saul Koll will present a keynote talk about his guitars and design process. Koll is known both for his ‘Glide’ electric guitars, which hybridize many attributes of classic instruments, and his innovative custom instruments, the RE 7 and 8 String ergonomic archtop jazz guitars, played by artists such as David Torn, Elliot Sharp, Bill Frisell, and Lee Ranaldo.

New Ergonomics in Guitar Design; with Saul Koll, Ola Strandberg,Harvey Valdes, Joe Ravo, Jeff Doctorow and Ed Keller

In recent decades an increasing number of luthiers have addressed the challenges surrounding ergonomic guitar design. Shape, weight and playability are part of this; the greater availability of new materials and manufacturing processes have played a substantial role also as builders use carbon fiber, synthetic materials, laminates and aerospace glues, and CNC milling machines for fabrication.

Creation: A panel discussion on trends in composition,  commissioning,  performing and publishing new music for classical guitar. Featuring Robert Cuckson,  Marco Cappelli and Andrew McKenna Lee. Moderated by Michael Newman and Laura Oltman, of the Newman Oltman Duo.