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Michael Nicolella


Seattle, WA
5 Played at 5 groupmuses!

Contact Michael Nicolella

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With a repertoire spanning from J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti to Jimi Hendrix and Elliott Carter, Michael Nicolella is recognized as one of America's most innovative classical guitar virtuosos. Described by Classical Guitar magazine as: “one of the contemporary guitar’s most gifted stars” and by Guitar Player as a: “classical iconoclast (who) continues to push the boundaries of the genre as both a composer and player,” he has received wide critical acclaim for his performances, recordings and compositions. As a concert artist, Michael has performed throughout North America, Europe and Japan as solo recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestra.

Michael blurs the lines between musical styles and disciplines. He is part of a growing trend in classical music to revitalize the role of the composer/performer. As a concert artist he frequently programs his own works for guitar in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Known for his creative programming, he has introduced electric guitar into his ‘classical’ programs and extended the repertoire and audience of his instrument not only with his own compositions and transcriptions, but also by premiering and commissioning works by some of today's most exciting emerging composers. His work as both a classical and electric guitarist prompted John Duarte to state in Gramophone magazine that: "Others have 'crossed the track' in one direction or the other but none has done so with the technical and/or musical success as Nicolella, who, chameleon-like, achieves comparable distinction in both fields.”

Michael's newest recording, a double album of his arrangement of the Complete Bach Cello Suites was described as a “monumental achievement” by Soundboard magazine and as “performances that show the suites in an entirely new light” by the Seattle Times. His previous four critically acclaimed releases were albums of contemporary music for classical and electric guitar. A frequent performer with the Seattle Symphony, Nicolella has also collaborated with a wide range of artists including: Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, violinist Gil Shaham, Broadway legends Bernadette Peters and Brian Stokes Mitchell, singer Jon Anderson of the legendary prog-rock band Yes, jazz vocalist Johnaye Kendrick, Charanga Danzon, and the Seattle Guitar Trio, which performed Michael's groundbreaking arrangement of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring."

Michael is a graduate of Yale University, Berklee College of Music and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He is on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

Traditional Repertoire

A sampling of current repertoire:
Torre Bermeja, Granada, Rumores de la Caleta - Isaac Albeniz
Ciaconna - J.S. Bach
Ständchen - Franz Schubert
Fantasie No.7, Op.30 - Fernando Sor
Two Minuets - Nicolo Paganini
Two Sonatas - Domenico Scarlatti
Two Preludes - Michael Nicolella
Shard - Elliott Carter
Electric Counterpoint - Steve Reich
Help Me - Philip Glass




Alexandra Picard and Michael Nicolella

  • Voice and guitar
  • Seattle
  • 2 groupmuses played

Performed groupmuses (5)

MICHAEL NICOLELLA: Classical Guitar Concert. RC Strings Artists Guitar Concert Series

  • Sunday, July 3, 2022, at 9:00 PM
  • Seattle, Washington, USA

This groupmuse happened over 1 year ago

Music in our living room

  • Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 7:00 PM
  • Wallingford, Seattle Seattle, WA

This groupmuse happened almost 4 years ago

evening of music in Wallingford

  • Thursday, September 19, 2019, at 7:00 PM
  • Wallingford, Seattle Seattle, WA

This groupmuse happened about 4 years ago

Groupmuse on Nov 4th

  • Saturday, November 4, 2017, at 7:00 PM
  • Northeast Seattle, Seattle Seattle, WA

This groupmuse happened about 6 years ago

Groupmuse on Capitol Hill

  • Friday, March 18, 2016, at 7:30 PM
  • Capitol Hill, Seattle Seattle, WA

This groupmuse happened over 7 years ago