After graduating from Santa Cecilia’s Conservatory of Rome, O.G. began an apprenticeship beside the great Master Andres Segovia, who was his major influence and inspiration during his formative years. Later O.G. “inherited” Segovia’s glorious Class in Siena’s Accademia Chigiana (1976)and spread his own teaching around five continents as a sister vocation to his concertizing.
O.G. is proud of having founded such strongholds of guitar teaching as the Guitar Department at the Aspen Music Festival (1968) as well as in the Festival de Musique des Arcs and the Incontri Chitarristici di Gargnano (1973). O.G. was a founding member of the International Classic Guitar Quartet (with, in different turns, Benjamin Bunch, O. Koga, Anders Miolin, S. Schmidt, and Andreas v. Wangenheim). Presently, after his last CD, Manuel Ponce’s Guitar Music, the Stradivarius label has issued a new CD including some of the most important lute works of J. S. Bach. In 2011 a DVD was released featuring Ghiglia’s performance of Ponce’s Sonata Romantica among other works, along with a long interview. He plans a new CD for the near future.
Retired from the Basel Music Academy (Switzerland), where he held the professorship in guitar from 1983 until 2005, his teaching continues in the summer at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, in Gargnano, Italy, and during the year in Athens, or Thessaloniki, where he and his wife Elena Papandreou now reside, to a select group of pupils flocking in periodically from the four corners of Europe.
In March 2008 a selected group of his former students celebrated Oscar Ghiglia’s 70th birthday in a festival held in the Mannes School of music of New York—including concerts, lectures, and master-classes—called “The Ghiglia Legacy.” An analogous celebration took place in 2009 in Ithaca, New York. Besides having started the guitar program at the Aspen Music Festival, Ghiglia was founder (1976) of the International Guitar Competition of Gargnano, Italy. O.G. boasts a very high number of first-prize winners among his students in competitions around the world. In 2013 he was invited as unique non-American to be part of “An American Tribute to Andres Segovia” created by New York’s 92nd Street Y, together with Eliot Fisk a selected group of American guitar virtuosos.
Among his recent appearances Oscar Ghiglia cherishes the concert given in the Santa Cecilia Concert Hall of Rome. This was the same hall he gave his first public performance (60 years ago) as a student in the first European music conservatory to admit the guitar among its instrument schools (of course… after Madrid!). Oscar Ghiglia has had the honor and the great satisfaction to have been guest of honor in the last four editions of the Boston GuitarFest.