Since placing in over 15 international competitions, Chicago-born guitarist Marisa Sardo has emerged as one of today’s most exciting young artists to see perform live. Born in the United States of America from Italian parents, she holds a dual-citizenship and is an active musician in the Italian and American music scenes. She began playing at the age of 4, and at a young age, she started competing in and winning local competitions. In 2022, she was one of the only classical guitarists to win 1st prize in the New York Laureate International Music Competition. In 2021, she won 1st prize in the Twisted Spruce International Music Competition. In 2019, she won 1st prize in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Competition, and performed in Amsterdam and Salzburg in the winner’s concert tour. She also was the 2nd prize winner and only American competitor in the 2021 Tabula Rasa International Guitar Competition, 2nd prize winner in the IYMC International Classical Music Competition, and 3rd prize winner in the University of Memphis International Guitar Competition. She has performed in numerous venues in Europe as a guest soloist, including the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands, San Simone church, and Accademia Chigiana concert hall in Siena, Italy, and various venues in Milan, Italy. Marisa was also selected to be a guest artist for the 2022 season at the Chicago Guitar Festival, and she was the guest artist for the 2018 season at the Associazione Culturale Alirio Diaz Concerto di Chitarra in Costacciaro, Italy. She has also performed in multiple operas as the on-stage performer, including Beatrice and Benedict and Le Avventure du Roi Pausole. Marisa will be releasing her first album with Frameworks Records in summer 2022, which will include works by Sor, Mertz, von Sehrwald, and more.
In addition to performing, Marisa is also an active teacher. She held the Associate Instructor position for classical guitar at Indiana University and is the classical guitar and music theory instructor at Arpeggiato Music School. She teaches in English, Italian, and Spanish to an international student body.
Marisa is currently pursuing a postgraduate Performer Diploma at New England Conservatory. She received her Master of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in 2022. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University in 2020, and she also studied at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy in 2018, being the youngest person that year to receive a Diploma di Merito, and at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan, Italy in 2018. Past and current teachers include Eliot Fisk, Anne Waller, Mark Maxwell, Senio Diaz, Paola Coppi, Oscar Ghiglia, Richard Matthews, Nathan Fischer, Daniel Duarte, Ernesto Bitetti, and Sergio Assad. Marisa plays on custom-made rosewood guitars by Marshall Brune, Wilson Burnham, and James Baur.