Giacomo Fiore


I was born in Genova, Italy, one sunny September morning in 1983. me behind a guitar
I first picked up the guitar when I was 8; actually, I really wanted to play the piano, but there was no way one would fit in our old home, so… I learned the basics from a family friend, then continued strumming happily on my own. When I went for my first lesson with Armando Corsi, one of Genova’s (and Italy’s) most talented acoustic guitarists, I was sure I knew all there was to know. I was wrong.

Luckily enough, Armando proved to be a very patient teacher, and I let him steer me on the right track. He introduced me to the nuanced world of unaccompanied guitar playing, exposing me to a variety of fiery folk and world styles in our weekly lessons. His encouragement and tutoring also impacted my first attempts at writing for the guitar.

Music was then my secondary focus, but some time during my first year as a pre-med college student I realized that I owed it to myself to do what I loved full time. The previous summer, I had met Muriel Anderson at a guitar workshop in Portland, Oregon. She suggested I pursue a music major at an American school, and her tip led me to Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. After the initial culture shock (biscuits and gravy, anyone?) I quickly found my sea legs and began making the most of the plethora of opportunities that the college and city offered me; this period also saw the gradual shift of my interests from the folk and fingerstyle genres, to the world of classical guitar.

JI guitar pickingAfter graduating from Belmont in December of 2006, I was fortunate enough to be able to continue my studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, under the brilliant and stimulating tutelage of David Tanenbaum. The two years at 50 Oak St. went by in a blur, as my horizons were stretched and my musicianship sharpened well beyond what I thought were my limits. During my second year I served as the Guitar Department Assistant, and I decided to focus more and more on music by composers from the postwar period; the program of my graduation recital in May 2009 featured music written since 1967 exclusively.

The next step of my musical journey began in the fall of 2009, when I chose to continue my graduate studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I was extremely fortunate to find advisors such as Amy Beal, Leta Miller, and Larry Polansky, who encouraged me to keep close to my instrument and continue my development as a scholar-performer. In June 2013 I completed my Ph.D., focusing mainly development of just intonation guitars in 20th-century American music, with particular emphasis on the works of Lou Harrison, James Tenney, and Larry Polansky.

Since then I have been teaching a diverse set of courses (including 20th/21st Century Classical Music Surveys, Improvisation, Electronic Music, Music Appreciation, Hollywood and Broadway Musical, U.S. Popular Music, and the Music of the Beatles) at the San Francisco Conservatory, UCSC, USF, and Cal State Monterey Bay. I play electric guitar and serve as Executive Director for Wild Rumpus; and I often perform in an electric guitar duo with composer Larry Polansky.