French guitar phenomenon Thomas Viloteau enjoys shaking things up. His approach to the instrument, its repertoire and its technique, has reshaped the term ‘classical’ guitar, into something new, alive and forward thinking. Viloteau will join the Conservatory faculty in fall 2019.
At 25 he published a technique book ‘In the Black Box, Technique(s) of the Classical Guitar’ which has sold more than a thousand copies on his website alone. At 27 he decided to go back to school to complete both a Master’s and Doctoral degree. He is one of the very few players to have won both the Guitar Foundation of America and the Francisco Tàrrega competitions. In 2013 he won the Northern Trust/Piper Enrichment Award; which allowed him to commission the Suite Brasileira 3 from composer Sergio Assad. Viloteau is the only guitarist to ever win the Arthur Foote Award from the Harvard Musical Association in 2016. He has also been the Artist in Residence at the show Performance Today in 2017, broadcasting his playing to more than a million people across the USA. As an avid world traveller, Thomas Viloteau has lived in Barcelona, Paris, San Francisco, New York City, London, Tucson, Montreal and Rochester, NY.
There is nothing ‘classical’ about Thomas Viloteau, and he likes to mix up different types of music in his concerts and recordings. Whether it’s Brazilian, baroque or romantic music, to him, each piece is an excuse to turn into a different player. Viloteau adapts his technique to achieve a specific sound, phrasing or articulation to match the performance practices of any given repertoire. And when the instrument itself limits him, he will exchange it for an acoustic, baroque or romantic guitar.