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Robert Thompson


Robert Thompson works as a performer, recording artist, teacher and guitar faculty member at Belmont University and Middle Tennessee State University. Thompson serves as the Director of the Belmont University Guitar Ensemble, teaches Advanced Classical Guitar Seminar, and private lessons. He began his classical guitar studies at the age of ten. Thompson completed his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in classical guitar performance at Ball State University and Southern Illinois University. He has performed at guitar festivals and for guitar societies, concert series, cultural events, and universities throughout the United States. Thompson has performed over 300 formal concerts during his career. 

As one of Nashville's most active nylon-string guitarist, Thompson maintains an extensive repertoire of solo and duo music and performs as a freelance musician. Thompson made his New York City debut at Carnegie Hall Studios in 2001. His solo repertoire includes music by Albeniz, Sérgio Assad, J.S. Bach, Barrios, Bonfa, Brouwer, Corea, Bennett, Desmond, Domeniconi, Gismonti, Giuliani, Granados, Jobim, Koshkin, Mertz, Metheny, Piazzolla, Reis, Rodrigo, Scarlatti, Sor, Tarrega, Torroba, Villa-Lobos, Villoldo, Walton, Weiss, and York. As a gifted performer and teacher, Thompson’s students have performed on National Public Radio, have been accepted into prestigious graduate programs, and featured as concerto soloists and competition winners. Many of his students have found successful careers in the music business as performers, university teachers, touring and recording artists.

In 2015, DUO SUDESTE (Robert Thompson/Joey Butler, duo-guitarists) released their debut guitar duo recording entitled, “Viagem ao sul” (Voyage to the South). Their new CD features over an hour of concert guitar duo repertoire from Argentina and Brasil. Duo Sudeste specializes in performing arrangements and original compositions from Latin America, South America, and Spain. Throughout the summer and autumn of 2015, DUO SUDESTE were the featured musicians for the “Spanish Nights” art exhibit at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens featuring the work of Barcelona-born artist, Jaume Plensa. Since their formation in 2008, their duo has been featured guests on NPR’s “Live In Studio C”, performed for the Tennessee Arts Academy, performed numerous formal concerts and for other cultural events. Thompson previously released two CDs of classical guitar duets as a former member of the GODWIN-THOMPSON DUO. They presented the world debut performance of Clarice Assad’s “Valsas do Rio” which was published by Henry Lemoine (Paris, France) and dedicated to them. 

Thompson has been a featured performer on NPR’s “Classical Guitar Alive!”, “Intimate Guitar”, “Live In Studio C”, and Nashville Public Television’s “Recital Hall”. He has recently performed Sergio Assad’s “Winter Impressions” for guitar, flute, and viola and Carlos Guastavino’s “Las Presencias No.6” for guitar and string quartet with the Belmont Camerata Musicale. Thompson has performed Piazzolla's “Histoire du Tango” for violin and guitar on a live televised broadcast. He has performed on tracks with the London Symphony and performed at the Gospel Music Showcase with some of Nashville's top guitarists and other musicians. He has been a featured performer at the Ryman Auditorium, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Bluebird Cafe, Carnegie Hall Studios, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

As a student, Thompson completed additional studies and master classes at The Peabody Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Webster University, Elmhurst College, and at Southern Illinois University as graduate assistant of guitar. He has performed in master classes with Sérgio and Odair Assad, Manuel Barrueco, Lily Afshar, Joseph Breznikar, Clare Callahan, Paul Reilly, and Jeffrey Van. Thompson has also attended master classes with Odair Assad, Roland Dyens, Eduardo Fernandez, Marco Pereira, Ulisses Rocha, David Russell, and The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. He has taught previously at Taylor University, Trevecca Nazarene University, and S.I.U. in Carbondale. 

At the age of nineteen, Thompson performed at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland as guitarist for the Ball State University Jazz Ensemble. He has also performed in numerous productions of “The Man of La Mancha” featuring vocalist, Robert Goulet. Thompson has also performed guitar, banjo, and mandolin in productions of the musicals “Anything Goes” and “Chicago”. He has also performed guitar with the Nashville Ballet and Nashville Opera. As a freelance music columnist and music critic, his reviews of performances, new recordings, and sheet music have been published in “Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine”, Mel Bay’s “Fingerstyle Review”, and “Just Jazz Guitar”. Thompson currently resides in Nashville, TN.