From Bach to Blues, Flamenco to Folk, the Society provides guitar enthusiasts with unique opportunities to hear and play the guitar in intimate settings throughout Connecticut.
The Connecticut Guitar Society is a non-profit presenting arts organization. It is the largest organization of its kind serving the general public and classical guitarists by providing a forum for listening, learning, performing and teaching.
The society presents public concerts featuring world-renowned musicians and promising local artists. Our signature series, The Guitar Masters Series, brings to southern New England many of the worlds best known and most outstanding internationally acclaimed musicians.
This year marks a new era in our history, with the debut of a new Bushnell Concert Series in the elegant Belding Theater at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford. The Society also hosts the Guitar & Friends Concert Series in intimate settings.
Not all concerts are classical in format. Some concerts feature jazz, folk, Latin and other acoustic finger-style artists.
Each year, the society brings a select number of the world's finest guitarists to Connecticut's most intimate stages. Among the Society's most luminary classical guest artists are Christopher Parkening, Pepe Romero, Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, Oscar Ghiglia, Badi Assad, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Eduardo Fernandez, Elliot Fisk, and Kasahito Yamashita, to name a few. Our concerts have also featured jazz and acoustic legends such as Al DiMeola, Herb Ellis, Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell, Larry Coryell, Preston Reed, Bucky Pizzarelli, and many others.
Our dedication to present the guitar in settings that exhibit the beauty of the instrument is reflected by our series, Guitar & Friends - Music in an Intimate Setting.
Outreach, Education and Participation
The society offers personal services to connect anyone seeking music instruction, concert level performers, or live music for planned events with professional guitar teachers and performers. It also presents Master Classes and workshops for players at all levels, frequently in collaboration with local educational institutions. The Society publishes a Newsletter featuring articles on the guitar and the study of the instrument; there is also a section where members may advertise classical guitars and accessories. The Society hosts a Guitar Orchestra where members of all playing skills gain performance experience. The Society produces a CD record performed by its professional members.
Today, the Society boasts 900+ members and over 2,000 concert attendees from Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Known as one of the largest most active organizations of its kind, Connecticut's guitar society receives support from individuals, businesses, granting institutions and government agencies both locally and nationally. Membership is not exclusive to musicians, but is open to anyone with an appreciation for the guitar and fine music. You do not have to be a guitar player to be a member!
The Connecticut Guitar Society was founded in 1985 to promote the performance and appreciation of the classical guitar. The society presents three Concert Series, master classes, outreach programs, recording projects, referral services, and an internet website hosting guitar resources — a variety of programs offered by no other arts organization in the region. As one of the largest classical guitar societies in the country, members and affiliates are drawn from all over New England and beyond. Membership is open to all including professional, student, and amateur guitarists, as well as people who simply enjoy the guitar's music. Over the years, invited artists have represented the most esteemed classical, jazz and acoustic guitarists performing in their time, it is well known among guitar enthusiasts throughout the northeast region of the United States, and it is recognized by the guitar world as a model guitar society. Our mission fosters the growth and appreciation of the classical guitar as we serve the educational and cultural needs of professional, student and amateur guitarists, as well as the community at large. Established by two guitarists, founding president Judith Handler and founding executive director Penny Phillips, the Society was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1986 as a 501 (3)c non-profit corporation.
The CGS is funded in part by the Connecticut Commission of the Arts, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, Takamine Guitar, the Roberts Foundation and the D'Addario Foundation. Charitable donations to the CGS are welcome. For membership or concert sponsorship information, contact the CGS Office at 860.249.1132.