Annalisa Ewald's Bio
Annalisa Ewald began playng the guitar at age 10, followed by lessons at the guitar mecca of Sophocles Papas' Guitar Shop. When she was 13, Papas, a close colleague and friend of Andrés Segovia, took her on as his protegée. Papas and his Guitar Shop were then the epicenter for classical guitar in the Untied States, so Annalisa was exposed to players like Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, Ida Presti and others who made a point of stopping in to pay homage to Papas when they were performing in the D.C. area.
Annalisa graduated from high school early to enroll at St John’s College, Annapolis, a liberal arts college known for its innovative Great Books curriculum. After completing two years of study, music took top priority and she enrolled in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and was soon seeking out the best teachers she could find outside the Conservatory as well. Her classical guitar skills began to develop further as she studied with the versatile Karl Herreshoff of the Paul WInter Consort and later ICM concert artist, Turan-Mirza Kamal.
She followed her B.A. in classical guitar from Bard College with more than a decade of baroque performance practice with the New York Continuo Collective. And for 20 years, from her undergraduate days up until his death in 2014, Annalisa studied with the internationally sought-after master teacher and lutenist, Patrick O'Brien, with whom she studied continuo accompaniment on baroque guitar, cittern and theorbo.
Annalisa's historical interests led her to cultivate a classical guitar repertoire of music that spans over 400 years. For her, giving an audience the cultural and musical context of the music is critical-- from the knife-wielding Jacaras music of sixteenth century criminals, the lascivious beginnings of some of the baroque era music and South American guitar music whose composers risked imprisonment when it was performed.
This ability to express guitar music of all periods within its historical setting is why Annalisa is widely embraced and at home with fans of rock, blues, bluegrass and other mainstream genres. She bridges historical gaps and conveys the common roots of the music, allowing listeners to inhabit an aural landscape populated with their own imagery, thoughts, feelings and emotions. The listener becomes the co-author and the experience becomes more meaningful to them.
She has won rave reviews for her excellence as a player and her approach. Her first solo classical guitar album charted at No. 8 on Billboard's Traditional Classical chart. She is a favorite at numerous festivals and has also been awarded multiple concert series grants by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA.)
Recently she has formed Circe’s Consort , an early music project which explores the seminal influence of the baroque guitar and continuo on all Western music and specifically opera.