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Karl Wohlwend launches guitar program

August 18, 2023

Karl Wohlwend launches guitar program

Karl Wohlwend

The School of Music is pleased to announce the return of classical guitar performance as an option for music majors starting in August. The option has also been added to the school’s admissions application for 2024–2025 which opened on August 1. 

The guitar has a profoundly rich and diverse history across various musical styles and settings. It has a home in nearly all musical genres. Professor Wohlwend not only showcases his virtuosic expertise in the instrument's classical repertoire, but he is also at home rocking out with his Telecaster and his own custom made tube amp, and is a regular on national folk music stages with his artistry.
— Michael Ibrahim, director, School of Music 

Visit the Classical Guitar Studio web page

Karl Wohlwend performs across North America, Europe and Asia, playing guitar in various styles and settings. The guitar’s greatest strength is its versatility, and he strives to do it all: classical concert halls, rock ‘n roll, musical theater pit orchestras, flamenco tablao, jazz clubs, and Irish pubs. He holds a master’s degree in classical guitar performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with John Holmquist. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of South Carolina, where he studied with Christopher Berg.

Wohlwend served on the faculties of The Ohio State University, Capital University, Otterbein University and Ohio Wesleyan University. He coordinated the jazz/improvisation program for the Chamber Music Connection and served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music’s Classical Guitar Workshop for twenty years.

He recently accompanied mandolinist Carlos Aonzo; completed a week-long residency with New York’s avant-garde ensemble, Alarm Will Sound; toured with Grammy-winning countertenor Ian Howell, including an appearance on Ravinia’s Rising Stars series; performed with the Flamenco Company of Columbus at the Chautauqua Festival and with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra; and played with clarinet legend Richard Stoltzman and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra on stage and for their debut recording, Ragomania.

He was twice featured as concerto soloist with the Westerville Symphony Orchestra, most recently in 2019 for the rarely-performed Concierto del Sur of Manuel Ponce. He performs frequently as a freelance artist, teaches privately in central Ohio, and builds custom tube guitar amplifiers through his own business, The People’s Amplifier. The Outer Banks (North Carolina) Forum for the Lively Arts hailed his “extraordinary talent;” and the Washington, DC Guitar Society praised his “command of technique, beautiful tone and sensitive musicianship.”

Wohlwend appears on dozens of recordings, including eight CDs with the Irish bands Knot Fibb’nTwo2Many, and Dogwood Road. His second solo CD, Out of Italy, features the only recording of M. A. Zani de Ferranti’s opus 11 Capricci. His projects of five-course baroque guitar music, Passacaglie and Sonate, are the first-ever recordings of the entire Libro primo di chitarra spagnola (1640) of Michele Angiol Bartolotti. He also recorded with lauded flutist Kimberlee Goodman in the EOS Duo, premiering Garrett Ian Shatzer’s The Frame. With Stanley Yates, he recorded two volumes of Guitaromanie, including premier recordings of arrangements and compositions by notable 19th century composer Ferdinando Carulli.