Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Kresge Theatre

April 21, 2011


Carnegie Mellon School of Music Presents Iranian-American Guitarist Lily Afshar Internationally Acclaimed Classical Guitarist Will Perform Free Concert at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 21 at CMU

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music presents Lily Afshar, an Iranianborn classical guitarist, in a free, public concert at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 21 in the Kresge Theatre in CMU’s College of Fine Arts building. Boasting international acclaim and celebrity status in Iran, Afshar is the only guitarist from the Middle East with an international performing career and the first woman in the world to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in classical guitar performance. “We are thrilled to introduce Pittsburgh to such an innovative pioneer of the music world and beyond,” said Jim Ferla, artist lecturer in guitar at Carnegie Mellon. “Ms. Afshar’s work appeals to not only the music lover, but also to patrons interested in global politics, women’s studies, Middle Eastern studies and other areas.” In addition to the concert, Afshar also will conduct a free, public master class at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 20 in the Kresge Theatre. About Lily Afshar: Hailed as “remarkable, impeccable” by The Washington Post, Lily Afshar is an Iranian-American classical guitarist known around the world for her enchanting performances. Her solo, chamber and concerto appearances combined with her adventurous recordings have earned her the status of “one of the world’s foremost classical guitarists,” according to Public Radio International. Known for expanding the contemporary classical guitar repertoire, Afshar is sought after by classical composers for her ability to develop unusual guitar sounds through the use of quarter tones and fretlets. Afshar’s collaborations with international composers have resulted in premieres of new works in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, South America and Australia. In addition, Afshar has four recordings to her credit, which have attracted international critical acclaim. Her most recent recording, “Hemispheres,” reached #7 on Billboard’s Top Classical Albums Chart in 2006, and attracted the attention of National Public Radio’s Robert Siegel, who featured Lily on “All Things Considered” that same year. Afshar is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist, the Top Prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the Grand Prize in the Aspen Music Festival Guitar Competition, the Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Music and an NEA Recording Award. She is a three-time winner of the Premier Guitarist Award from the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. Afshar also was chosen as Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency to Africa. Born in Tehran, Iran, Afshar learned to play guitar at 10. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degree in guitar performance from The Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory of Music, and later attended Florida State University, where she became the first woman in the world to earn a Doctorate of Music in guitar performance. Currently, Afshar is head of the University of Memphis guitar program, and regularly conducts guitar master classes in conjunction with her touring. For more information about Afshar, Click Here.