Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

James Ferla

James Ferla

Artist Lecturer in Guitar
Director of Guitar Ensemble

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


James Ferla's teaching reflects an integrated philosophy of musicianship skills and methodology by providing musical training that connects the broad spectrum of historical and current practices. The emphases throughout the guitar curriculum are connections, immersion in a wide range of musical repertoire, independent skills, sequential development of skills, and integrating the guitar into the great historical tradition. 

As a performer, Ferla has given numerous solo and ensemble concerts throughout the United States including programs at the Smithsonian Institution, Wolf Trap, the Chautauqua Institution, Arizona State University, Florida State University, Oberlin College and Notre Dame. He has been heard on NPR, PBS, CBS, Voice of America, USIA, Chukyo TV-Nagayo in Japan, and in Pittsburgh on WQED-FM. Ferla has published articles on guitar repertoire in SoundBoard, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is heard on seven CDs. He has performed most frequently in a guitar duo with colleague John Marcinizyn with a repertoire ranging from Renaissance to Jazz. He has also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, singer/actress Kate Young, the Renaissance City Winds, the Dear Friends Ensemble, oboist Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, tenor Doug Ahlstedt, mezzo-soprano Daphne Alderson, recorder player Colin Sterne, and violinist Roger Zahab. 

James Ferla has an MA in Music History from the University of Pittsburgh (1981) and an MFA in Performance from Carnegie Mellon University (1979).