Kazuhito Yamashita

Just as Franz Liszt created new repertoire and technique for the piano by transcribing Symphonies and Operas and then developing new techniques with which to play them, Kazuhito Yamashita took a similar path in the early 1980's and so revolutionised the world of possibilities on the guitar.

Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004
Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004

By transcribing well known pieces of orchestral music for solo guitar he has encouraged a trend which could make classical guitar much more appealing and accessible to concert programmers and the general concert going audience.

Truly these transcriptions should have shaken up the world of guitar pedagogy, but this apparently didn't happen. I know they shook up my world, turned me upside down and forced me to reassess my whole approach to the instrument. A good part of the sleeve notes to my 2005 CD "Late Night Lovers" is devoted to this.

The Yamashita Chronicles by Matanya Ophee - is a must read - these articles describe Yamashita's first appearances in the West and the subsequent politics which have probably prevented his wider recognition.

 Kazuhito Yamashita

He has realised the idea of guitar as a "small orchestra" more literally and vividly than anyone before. The training as an "orchestral guitarist" began with his father Toru Yamashita, founder of the Nagasaki Guitar Orchestra.


1961 Born in Nagasaki.
Studied guitar under:

  • Toru Yamashita
  • Kojiro Kobune
  • J. Thomas
  • Narciso Yepes
  • Andres Segovia
  • Toru Takemitsu.

Member of the Nagasaki Guitar Ensemble.
Married and with children, he often performs and records with his wife and children, who, not surprisingly are very competent guitarists also.

He has released over 80 CD's! A true virtuoso in the "big sense" he has a huge repertoire which he performs both effortlessly and musically. He has recorded all the Guitar works of Sor, Giuliani, Ponce and most of the standard Classical guitar repertoire.