Sharon Isbin (1956–)
Sharon Isbin began playing the guitar at age nine. Her father was a professor at the University of Minnesota on sabbatical in Italy when she began her serious study with Aldo Minella. When she returned to the United States, she continued her studies with teachers Sophocles Papas and Jeffrey Vant. She also attended master classes given by Segovia disciple Oscar Ghilia and took additional classes from Alirio Diaz.
In order to hear the scope of Sharon Isbin's incredible use of baroque ornamentation on guitar, listen to her recordings of the Bach Lute Suites. She performs all four Bach lute suites, the first time these pieces were all recorded on guitar.
Sharon Isbin gave her first European tour at the age of seventeen. She has the distinction of being a triple-prize winner. In 1975, she won first prize in the international Guitar' 75 competition in Toronto. In 1976, she won the top prize in the guitar division of the Munich International Competition, which was televised and broadcast internationally. In 1979, she was the winner of the Queen Sofia International Competition in Madrid. All these amazing accomplishments explain why Sharon Isbin was appointed the first professor of guitar at the Julliard Music School in New York in 1989.