Bruce Holzman, Professor and Director of Guitar studies at Florida State University since 1972, received the GFA’s Artistic Achievement award during a ceremony on Sunday, June 30, 2013 as part of the Guitar Foundation of America’s 40th International Convention and Competition in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Guitar Foundation of America, America's leading classical guitar organization, confers the Artistic Achievement Award to performers, composers, pedagogues, and scholars who have made "monumental contributions to the development of the art and life of the classical guitar." Fewer than twenty people have been awarded this prestigious honor, and of these individuals Holzman is one of an even smaller number to have dedicated his career to guitar pedagogy. The list of award winners includes many of the world’s greatest performers of classical guitar including John Williams, Andrés Segovia, Pepe Romero, and Julian Bream. For the Guitar Foundation of America to honor Holzman as a pedagogue alongside these names shows the immense impact he has had on the classical guitar community.
In a recent issue of GFA’s quarterly production Soundboard, Adam Holzman, Bruce’s brother and student, wrote about his brother as a teacher and briefly interviews Bruce:
“As with any teacher, Bruce’s legacy is and will be measured by the accomplishments of his students and their students. Few teachers have had as great an influence on the classical guitar landscape as my brother. There is not enough space to list all of the recordings, competition victories, concert venues performed, and university teaching positions held by Bruce Holzman’s students.”
“Bruce’s dedication to his students,” Adam confides, “was one of the main reasons I wanted to become a teacher myself.”
Regarding his career as an educator, Bruce Holzman explains, “I have had many, many teaching successes, and of course you can define success in many ways. A success doesn’t have to be someone like yourself who has an international career, recordings, and one of the major university jobs.”
“Success,” he continues, “could also be defined as teaching someone to make a beautiful tone, or a well working rest stroke, or the difference between playing in a baroque or classical period style. Or maybe,” concludes Holzman, “it is about just learning to love the guitar.”
To read more about Bruce Holzman and the Artistic Achievement Award, refer to the “Profile of Bruce Holzman” by Adam Holzman in GFA’s publication Soundboard Vol. 39, No. 1, available online for GFA members at www.guitarfoundation.org.