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Anthony Glise

Anthony Glise (born January 17, 1956 in St. Joseph, Missouri) is a guitarist, composer and author. He is the only American guitarist who has won first prize in the International Toscanini Competition held in Italy. He is also the only guitarist to be chosen as "Individual Artist of the Year" by the Missouri State Arts Council.[1]

Glise has frequently been cited for his eclectic and creative but highly reclusive tendencies in both his private and professional activities. As of late, one could argue that Glise more often frequents European monasteries and hermitages than concert halls, and his presence - even at the premieres of his own compositions - is increasingly rare.

These reclusive traits have intensified to such an extent that during a meeting at a national guitar conference (Oberlin, US, 2005), Glise was despairingly dubbed by several board members as “The Ghost.”



His musical training began at a very early age under tutelage from his mother (a piano teacher) and father (an amateur baritone vocalist). Glise’s musical studies continued from that time and he ultimately matriculated from New England Conservatory (Boston, US, 1983) with a Master of Music in Classical Guitar Performance.

While in Boston, he pursued studies in classical guitar, composition, musicology, early music performance practice and historical dance, under Robert Paul Sullivan, Benjamin Zander, Daniel Pinkham (a private student of Parisien pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger who also taught Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Elliot Carter, et al.) and Julia Sutton (a private assistant to musicologist, Donald Grout). During this time (1980-83) Glise was also a lutenist and dancer for the Boston historical dance troupe, “Terpsichore.”

While finishing his degree at New England Conservatory, he simultaneously studied business management and administration at Harvard University (Cambridge, US) and shortly thereafter briefly studied medicine, earning a license as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician).

From the early 1980s Glise struck up a cordial written friendship with the famed American poet, Chad Walsh (cf. attached letter), a colleague of W. H. Auden and close friend of (by then) the late C. S. Lewis. Much of the correspondence between Walsh and Glise focused on exchanging ideas about their respective poetic writings and the integral relationship between poetry and music although none of Glise’s extant poetry is known to have been published as of this writing.

Following studies in Boston, Glise moved to Vienna, Austria (1983) to study music at the Konservatorium der Stadt (classical guitar performance) and simultaneously at the University of Vienna (Universitaet-Wien) where he earned a diploma in German Language.

Glise’s other diplomas and awards during this period include matriculation from the Universite Catholique de Lille (Lille, France, in French Language and Civilization), ARCUM (Rome, Italy, in 19th-Century Musical Performance Practice) and additional awards from the IX Nemzetkozi Gitarfesztival (Esztergom, Hungary, for musical composition), Ville Sable-sur-Sarthe (France, for musical composition), et al.

After his studies in Vienna, Glise took a teaching post in Nenzing, (in the western Austrian state of Vorarlberg while living in Bludenz), followed by posts and professional activities in Northern France (Lille), in Italy at the "Academy for the Study of 19th-Century Music" (Vigevano) and Southern Germany (Schwäbisch Gmünd).

While living in the Alps, Glise was, for a time, involved in free solo climbing. During his last ascent (in Piedmont, Italy) he was leading a climb, “on-sight” (soloing a face that hasn’t been scouted), and the face went slick at roughly 5 meters from the top as heavy cloud cover moved in. (The girlfriend of his second [climber, Stefano Abrile] was on an adjacent cliff and, unaware that there was a problem, took the attached picture with a telephoto lens.) Eventually Glise and Abrile, talked each other back down the face in a grueling and somewhat miraculous descent. This was the last time Glise solo climbed.

From 1989-90, Glise was script writer and host of the first internationally-syndicated guitar radio program, “Glise on Guitar” which featured music and personal interviews with some of the world’s leading musical figures including Pepe Romero, Sharon Isben, Christopher Parkening, Paul O’Dette, Sir Neville Marriner, et al. Satellite distribution of that program included the US via PRI (Public Radio International) and Europe, South America and the Far East via AFN (Armed Forces Network).

In 1991 Glise became the only American-born guitarist to win First Prize at the International Toscanini Competition (Italy), with an unprecedented unanimous vote from the competition jury. That competition was held in the town of Stresa on Lago Maggiore, and the ceremonial award concert was performed on the island, Isole dei Pescatori.

During this same time Glise also acted as artist-in-residence and touring artist for over a dozen US state arts councils and similar European programs. These residencies involved work as a performer, composer and educator and included time that Glise spent in Fort Yates (North Dakota) on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation (the final resting place of murdered, Lakota Holy Man and Chief, Sitting Bull). This period made a deep impression on Glise, due in part to his respect and affinity to the tribal community and his participation in Native American sacred rites.

His professional activities continued to expand from this time (particularly in Europe) and in 2006 Glise was invited to the board of an on-going project of the French national organization, Domaine Musique, to help develop better relations between French composers and feature film directors. He is the only non-French ever invited to that prestigious assembly.

More recently, Glise founded and currently directs various music festivals, including the “St. Joseph International Guitar Festival and Competition” (US), “Six Strings and the Spirit” (Chartres, France), sponsored by the Catholic order, Communaute du Chemin Neuf, et al.

He has recorded for a number of international labels including Young Recording Artists, Dorian Recordings (US), CEH (Hungary) and most notably for the French label, Eclipse (a subdivision of The Aevia Group, Ltd.) which Glise took over as acting CEO in the early 1990’s.

In addition to over a dozen CDs, DVDs and over 30 original published compositions, Glise has published many historical and Urtext musical editions for Willis Music Company (Cincinnati, US), under the series, "The Anthony Glise Critical Editions," and a number of books and editions for Mel Bay Publications (Pacific, US), under the series titled “The Anthony Glise Urtext Editions” (cf. list below).

The best-known of these publications include: “The Complete Guitar Sonatas of Sor, Giuliani and Diabelli in Urtext,” “Handbook for American Musicians Overseas” and the university textbook, “Classical Guitar Pedagogy - A Handbook for Teachers,” which has become the standard guitar pedagogy text used throughout the US, Canada and Australia as well as the leading international musical schools worldwide.

Glise continues to compose, write, concertize and teach throughout Europe and occasionally in the US and works with arts organizations to develop programs for children and international exchange programs between the US and Europe. He is particularly active in sailing, fly fishing, fencing (foil [Italian style] and épée), foreign languages (he is fluent in English, German and French) and culinary arts (specializing in cuisine of the Flanders region in France).

Glise lectures at Missouri Western State University in his home town of St. Joseph, Missouri (US) where he teaches guitar, Renaissance lute, guitar pedagogy, guitar history, guitar ensemble, career development and is a fencing coach (foil) for the university fencing team. Since 1995 he has lived predominantly in the small French Flanders village of Sainghin-en-Melantois on the outskirts of the city of Lille.

Further Documentation

Additional documentation about Anthony Glise can be found on over eighteen thousand (unauthorized) websites (cf. also “Endorsement Contracts” below), at: as well as music dictionaries, books and archival sources including:

  • Summerfield, Maurice. The Classic Guitar. It’s Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1800. London: Ashley Mark Publishing, 2003.
  • Who’s Who in America. New Providence: Marquis, 2001-present.
  • Guitar Foundation of America Archives (attn: Music Library, University of Ohio, Columbus).

Original Compositions

Anthony Glise's musical opus, to-date, includes works for solo classical guitar, chamber music with guitar, small ensemble (including works for string trio, lieder, etc.), chamber orchestra, 2 guitar concerti, one double concerto for 2 guitars (also arranged for violin and guitar), and ballet (including the ballets "Noah!" [on Biblical themes] for guitar, full orchestra and 120 dancers and "Dream Catcher" [on Native American themes] for 2 guitars, chamber orchestra, chorale, narrator and 8 dancers).

In the purely classical realm, compositions that have achieved considerable international attention are Glise's "Messe pour les enfants" ("Mass for the Children" for guitar, chamber orchestra, chorale and narrators), "The Missouri Fables" (a staged theater piece for two guitars, narrator and chorale), his Christmas work, “Stabat Mater Speciosa” (for chorale and solo guitar), and a massive sonata for violin and classical guitar, "The Secession" (also transcribed for violoncello and piano).

His quasi non-classical compositions include works for the avant guarde ensemble "The Nova Project," founded by himself and American guitarist, Jason Riley. Glise’s original compositions for The Nova Project combine classical and electric guitars, violin, 'cello and vocals (sung live and on CD by Glise). The Nova Project CDs and concerts have featured guest performers including members of the French National Orchestra (Ken Sugita, violin and Edwige DelleValle, cello), guitarists Michael Fuson and Kevin Gallagher (US), famed rock guitarist Jan Akkerman (Holland, former lead guitarist from the rock group, "Focus") and various leading ethnic musicians.

Glise has performed and premiered his original compositions throughout the US and Europe including highly successful concerts at Carnegie Hall, Federal Hall, Lincoln Center (New York), Vienna International Centre (Vienna, Austria), Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri (Rome), Nouveau Siecle (the main concert hall of the French National Orchestra-Lille), Festival Sablonceaux and Festival Hautcombe (France), Estate Chitaristica (Stresa, Italy), Shore Festival of Classics (for the concert series entitled, "Mozart and Glise"), etc.

Primary Awards and Citations

2006 “Individual Artist of the Year, 2006” (Jefferson City, US), presented by Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. (first guitarist ever cited for this award).

2006 Inscribed resolution from the Missouri State Senate for Glise’s receipt of “Individual Artist of the Year, 2006.”

2006 Inscribed resolution from the Missouri State House of Representatives for Glise’s receipt of “Individual Artist of the Year, 2006.”

2006 “Mayor’s Award for the Arts” (St. Joseph, US). (first guitarist awarded this citation and only time the award has been presented to the same artist a second time - cf. below).

2005 “20 Who Count” (St. Joseph, US). Award presented by local press citing those in the community who have made positive contributions to the quality of life in St. Joseph, US.

2005 “Anthony Glise Day, February 20” On February 20, 2005, this date was named by St. Joseph Mayor, David Jones as “Anthony Glise Day” in recognition of Glise’s contribution to international relations and cultural activities for the city of St. Joseph, US.

2000 “Mayor’s Award for the Arts” (St. Joseph, US). (first guitarist awarded this citation).

1991 “International Toscanini Competition” (Stresa, Italy). Only American to ever win 1st Prize in the Toscanini Competition.

1990 Nominated for Pulitzer Prize for Composition for composition, “Cavatina - At the Border,” for string orchestra.

1989 Awarded “Special Prize” at the “International Toscanini Competition” (Stresa, Italy).

1989 Awarded Diploma at IX Nemzetkozi Gitarfesztival for composition of “Unterwegs, Op. 3” for solo guitar (Esztergom, Hungary).

1985 Awarded Diploma at Festival Ville Sable for composition of “American Fantasia, Op. 8” (Ville Sable-sur-Sarthe, France).


Glise has endorsement agreements with a number of international firms, including:
Classical Guitars by: Gioachino Giussani (Anghiari-Arezzo, Italy)
Classical Guitar Strings by: E&O Mari—LaBella (New York)
Steel String Guitars/Strings by: C.F. Martin & Company (Nazareth, US)
Amplifiers by: Marshall Amplification (England)
Microphones by: Audio-Technica (US).

Editions of Anthony Glise

The following works, edited by Glise, are distributed worldwide.

Complete original compositions published by Aevia Publications. US distribution: Aevia Publications, US. (cf. list below).

Head Editor: “The Anthony Glise Editions” (critical editions of traditional classical guitar repertoire) published by Willis Music Company. Including:

  • Weiss, Sylvius Leopold, Prelude, Fugue & Allegro, Critical Edition by A. Glise (Willis Music: Cincinnati, 1991).
  • Weiss, Sylvius Leopold, Cappriccio, Critical Edition by A. Glise (Willis Music: Cincinnati, 1991).
  • Sor, Fernando, Deuxieme Fantaisie, Op. 4, Critical Edition by A. Glise (Willis Music: Cincinnati, 1990).
  • Sor, Fernando, Complete Bagatelles, Op. 43, Critical Edition by A. Glise (Willis Music: Cincinnati, 1989).
  • Giuliani, Mauro, Complete Bagatelles, Op. 73, Critical Edition by A. Glise (Willis Music: Cincinnati, 1989).

Head Editor: “The Anthony Glise Urtext Editions” (Urtext editions of traditional classical guitar repertoire and books) published by Mel Bay Publications. Including:

  • Classical Guitar Works of the 19th Century from Italy and France. Including extensive preface on 19th-Century performance practice in English, French, German and Italian. Urtext Edition by A. Glise. (projected 2009).
  • The Chaconne Collection Including the complete chaconne of S.L. Weiss (from the British National Museum Manuscripts), J.S. Bach, Chaconne in D Minor BWV 1004, et al.) Urtext Edition by A. Glise. (projected, 2007-8).
  • The Sonata Collection—Complete Multi-Movement Sonatas of Anton Diabelli, Mauro Giuliani and Fernando Sor in One Volume with Optional Cadenzas. Including extensive preface on 19th-Century ornamentation, improvisation and performance practice in English, French, German and Italian. Urtext Edition by A. Glise (Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 2000).
  • Numerous articles written by Glise have been published in The Soundboard (US), Gitarre und Laute (Germany), Guitar International (England), Guitar Toronto (Canada), et al. [Cf. RILM/RISM for current listing.]

Books of Anthony Glise

(Through Mel Bay Publications) Glise, A., Help! — My Kid is Taking Music Lessons — A Handbook for the Confused Parents of Young Musicians with Glossary for the Musically-Challenged Parent (Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 2005). 157 pages.

Glise, A., The Missouri Fables (St. Joseph, US: Aevia Publications, 2005).

Glise, A., The Young Guitarist’s Notespeller (Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 2004). 40 pages.

Glise, A., Handbook for American Musicians Studying Overseas with Dictionary of Foreign Musical Terms (Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 2003). [Dictionary is in English, French, German and Italian.] 328 pages.

Glise, A., Classical Guitar Pedagogy—A Handbook for Teachers (Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 1997). University textbook. [Currently in use as the primary guitar pedagogy textbook in over 100 universities and conservatories worldwide.] 327 pages.

Original Compositions

Listed by opus number and citing premieres when known. All works are published by Aevia Publications (US/France).

1 Method for Guitar (for adults).

2A Note Speller for Guitar (republished by Mel Bay - cf. above).

2B Chromatic Exercises and Arpeggio Studies. For solo guitar.

3A Unterwegs, I — Ten Progressive Bagatelles for Beginning Guitarists. Premiered and awarded diploma for composition at IX Nemzetkozi Gitarfeztival (Esztergom, Hungary). For solo guitar.

3B Unterwegs, II — Ten Progressive Bagatelles for Intermediate Guitarists. For solo guitar.

4A The Child’s Guitar, Vol. I (includes CD).

4B The Child’s Guitar, Vol. II (includes CD).

4C The Child’s Guitar, Vol. III (includes CD).

5 Lullabies For solo guitar—eight movements. Premiered at Panoply Festival of the Arts, 1988 (Huntsville, US).

6A Sonata #1 “The Phoenix.” For solo guitar—three movements (after the sonnet by William Shakespeare, “The Phoenix and the Turtle”).

6B Sonata #1 “The Phoenix.” (arr. two guitars). 7 Sonata #2 “The Canonization.” For solo guitar—four movements (after the poem by John Donne of the same name). Premiered for Dame Myra Hess Concert Series, 1989 (Chicago). Live broadcast via WFMT-FM to ca. 350 satellite radio stations.

8 American Fantasia — Introduction & fantasia. For solo guitar—two movements. Premiered at benefit concert for Mali, Africa (1984, Lille, France). Revised edition premiered and awarded diploma for composition at Festival Ville Sable-sur-Sarthe, France, 1986.

9A Traum Szenen (“Dream Scenes”). For solo guitar—three movements. Premiered at the American Institute for Guitar, 1990 (New York City).

9B Die Wiener Skizzen (“The Viennese Sketches”). For two guitars or guitar/melody instrument with improvisational sections—five movements. Premiered at Der Tunnel, 1983 (Vienna, Austria).

10 Sonata #3 “Die Dreifache” (“The Threefold”) Sonata quasi una fantasia. For solo guitar—one movement. Premiered at Federal Hall, 1989 (New York City), for American Landmark Festivals.

11 Concerto No. 1 for Guitar and Orchestra “The Globe Rooms” (after a segment from Hermann Hesse’s “Steppenwolf”). For flute, B clarinet, horn, percussion, guitar and strings—three movements. Premiered at the Shore Festival of Classics, 1989 (Ocean Grove, US).

12 Sonata for Violin & Guitar “The Secession” (named after the arts movement, “Vienna Secession” in early 20th-Century Vienna). For violin & guitar—two movements. Commissioned and premiered by violinist, Ken Augustine Sugita [of the French National Orchestra-Lille] (1993, Lille, France).

13 Concerto No. 2 for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra. For flute, oboe, B trumpet, percussion, guitar and strings.

14A Classical Guitarist’s Gig Book , Vol. I Christmas & Holiday Music. For solo guitar & guitar w/melody instrument.

14B Classical Guitarist’s Gig Book , Vol. II General Gig Music. For solo guitar & guitar w/melody instrument.

15 Variations on “Folias de Espana.” For solo guitar—seven movements. Commissioned by Accademia degli Studi “L’Ottocento” (Vigevano, Italy) and premiered at Santa Maria degli Angeli, 1990 (Rome, Italy).

16 Concerto for Two Guitars & Chamber Orchestra The Pendulum. (after Umberto Ecco’s book Foucault's Pendulum). For flute, oboe, percussion, 2 guitars and strings—three movements. Commissioned and premiered by Grand Rapids Symphony, 1991 (Grand Rapids, US).

17 “Noah!” — Ballet for Chamber Orchestra (90 minutes). For flute, oboe, horn, 2 percussionists, guitar, strings and 120 dancers. Commissioned and premiered by Pointe Station Ballet at Von Braun Center, 1993 (Huntsville, US).

18 Sonata for Violoncello and Piano “The Secession.” For ‘cello and piano—two movements. Arranged and adapted from op. 12.

19 Trio for Violin, Viola and Violoncello, “The Canonization.” Arranged and adapted from op. 7—four movements. Commissioned and premiered by Trio Parnasse, at Nouveau Siecle (hall) of the French National Orchestra, Lille, (Lille, France), 1999.

20 Dream Catcher. Ballet for flute, clarinet, B trumpet, percussion, guitar and strings, chorale (SATB), 8 dancers and narrator. (Chorale text is in Lakota Sioux dialect.)

21 Dream Catcher (arr. solo guitar). Arranged and adapted from op. 20.

22 Quartet for Four Guitars “The Pendulum.” Arranged and adapted from op. 16. Premiered at Jordan Hall (New England Conservatory, Boston, US), 2005.

23 Messe pour les Enfants [Mass for the Children]. Mass for chorale (SATB), flute, B clarinet, B trumpet, percussion, guitar, strings, Celebrant and children readers—seven movements. Premiere: Wasquehal, France, March, 2005.

24 The Holy Sonnets — contemporary lieder for voice, classical guitar, precomposed/improvising guitar (or other improvising instrument). Text (in English) based on “The Holy Sonnets” of John Donne (1572–1631). Premiered at Chartres Cathedral (Chartres, France), 2004.

25 Les Sonnets Chretians (“The Christian Sonnets”) — contemporary lieder for voice, classical guitar, violin and ‘cello (with optional improvisational sections). Text (in French) based on “Les Sonnetes Chretians” of Laurent Drelincourt (1626–1680). Premiered at Chartres Cathedral (Chartres, France), 2004.

26 “The Missouri Fables.” For narrator, classical and electric guitars, optional choral—8 movements. Based on surrealistic short stories by Glise. Premiered: 2005, St. Joseph (US).

27 “The Blue Virgin - Stabat Mater Speciosa - A Christmas Cavatina” (after the famed “Blue Virgin” stained glass window at the Chartres Cathedral in France). For chorale (SATB) and classical guitar—6 movements. Premiered: 2005 (US) St. Joseph, (Europe) Wasquehal, France. West coast (US) premiere: Los Angeles. Cal State University and Long Beach Guitar Society (Dr. Scott Morris, guitarist, Cal State Chorale, Dr. Sally Etcheto, conductor). Premiered December, 2006.

28 “Duos for One Guitar...” Three pieces for classical guitar played on one guitar (the second guitarist stands behind the seated guitarist and plays only the left hand while the first guitarist plays both left and right hands). Premiered: 2003, (US) St. Joseph.

29 “At The Border - Triple Concerto.” For classical, electric guitars, solo violin and string orchestra—5 movements.




  • Summerfield, Maurice. The Classic Guitar; It's Evolution; Players and Personalities Since 1800; London: Ashley Mark Publishing, 2002.
  • Who's Who in America. New Providence: Marquis, 2002 - present.

Archival sources

  • Guitar Foundation of America Archives (attn: Bierce Library, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA)
  • St. Joseph Public Library (St. Joseph, Missouri, USA) including archival holdings of Glise's books and fair copy manuscripts of his original compositions.
  • Accademia degli Studi, L'Ottocento (Vigevano, Italy)


  • The Soundboard (USA)
  • Gitarre und Laute (Germany)
  • Guitar Player (USA)
  • Guitar (UK)
  • GuitArt (USA)
  • Les Cahiers de la Guitare (France)
  • MoArts (Missouri State Arts Council Magazine)


  • Various CD liner notes from Glise's CDs with labels: Young Recording Artists [US-catalog numbers: YRA-1217], Dorian Recordings [US-catalog numbers: DIS-80113, DIS-80127], Eclipse [France-catalog numbers: ECL-1982, 1986, 1980, 1984, 1988].


Bound copies of various newspaper articles about Glise from 1981 - present (ca. 400 pages) are held in non-circulating (reference) stacks at the St. Joseph Public Library (St. Joseph, Missouri, USA)

Commercial websites



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