How did you end up at CIM?
I received my bachelor's there in 1995 studying with John Holmquist, and he brought me onto the guitar department faculty shortly after. In 2001, I began heading the department.
What's the difference between technical and inspired playing?
The wonderful thing about technique is that the more developed it is, the easier it is to experience higher levels of inspired playing. But technique is of course only the means to that end, not an end in itself.
What musical styles do you listen to?
I love music, so if I'm attracted to something, it's because I'm hearing something in it that is musically exciting -- sonically, intellectually, emotionally, etc. I never worry about what style it is.
Who are your three favorite guitarists?
The three classical guitarists I most admire are Julian Bream, David Russell, and Manuel Barrueco, all for different reasons. I like any playing where the guitar is really an extension of musical thought and feeling, like Pat Metheny's, for example.
What would you tell a kid just picking up the guitar?
Be open to many different styles of guitar-playing. If you should find a direction you feel strongly about, be diligent; the guitar deserves your focused attention.
If you could see one concert by anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Andrés Segovia, no question.