Instructor of Classical Guitar
“One of Italy’s finest guitarists, a very active performer on the two shores of the Atlantic Ocean, a thoughtful musician and a wonderful pedagogue.” – Lorenzo Micheli, internationally renowned concert artist and master teacher
Italian guitarist Nicolò Spera brings to his teaching and performing a unique synthesis of European and American traditions.
After his studies with Mauro Storti and Marco Tajo at the Giuseppe Nicolini Conservatory in Piacenza, Spera graduated with the highest marks from the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano as a student of Lorenzo Micheli. He later studied with Oscar Ghiglia at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan and at the prestigious Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, where he always received the Diploma di Merito distinction and the scholarship from the Chigiana Foundation.
In separate studies, he focused on the performance of Renaissance music on the guitar with Massimo Lonardi, and on chamber music with Matteo Mela and Anna Sorrento.
Spera received his postgraduate education with Lorenzo Micheli at the Conservatory of Aosta and at the Accademia Musicale Tema in Milan. He then moved to the United States, where he was awarded the Artist Diploma in Guitar Performance at the University of Denver. He later completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado Boulder with Jonathan Leathwood.
A versatile chamber musician, in 2012 Spera co-founded the ensemble Duo Chagall with violinist Jenny Diaz. Previously, he worked on an unusual chamber music project with clarinetist Andrew Dykema, and together they performed the complete guitar and clarinet repertoire by the late Romantic Viennese composer Ferdinand Rebay.
As a soloist, Spera is one of the few guitarists in the world to perform on both six-string and ten-string guitars, including in his repertoire the extraordinary music of the Franco-Andalusian composer Maurice Ohana. He has given lectures on the music of Ohana at different institutions and festivals, including the Mediterranean Guitar Festival, Arizona State University, and the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana.
Thanks to his passion for contemporary music, he has had the privilege of collaborations with composers such as John Drumheller, Ryan Fiegl, and the accomplished Italian conductor Simone Fontanelli, giving premières and performances of their guitar works.
Together with his CU colleagues, Spera has also given the US première of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Morning in Iowa, for guitar, banjo, accordion, clarinet, sax, double bass, percussion, and narrator: a unique musical fresco based on the homonymous poem by Robert Nathan.
He has won top prizes at several Italian and international competitions and is regularly invited to play in music festivals such as the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, the Mediterranean Guitar Festival in Italy, and the Sauble Beach Festival in Canada. He performs as a soloist with different orchestras, collaborating with conductors Andrés Cárdenes, Alejandro Gómez Guillén, Cynthia Katsarelis, and Leonardo Vordoni.
In 2011, Spera was appointed to the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is Instructor of Classical Guitar. He is also on the faculty of the International Studies Institute at Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, Italy.
In 2013, he founded the University of Colorado International Guitar Festival and Competition, an unprecedented event that attracts prestigious guests, guitar performers, and students from all over the world.
Scenes from the Faculty Series September 18, 2012 featuring Nicolò Spera, guitar with Paul Erhard, double bass; Gary Lewis, conductor; Patrick Mason, narrator; Daniel Silver, clarinet & saxophone; Douglas Walter, percussion; and Garrett Aman, accordion. The concert marked the US première of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s incidental music to Morning in Iowa, the narrative poem by Robert Nathan.