Classical Guitar James Frederick Flegel was born in Minnesota, and earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Music and Psychology from St. Olaf College, where he studied classical guitar and renaissance lute. He earned a Master’s degree in Composition from the University of Minnesota, where he studied composition, counterpoint, orchestration, and analysis under renowned professors Dominick Argento, Michael Cherlin, and Paul Fetler. He earned a Master’s degree and his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in classical guitar performance, studying under Jeffrey Van, with additional studies under Robert Guthrie.
He has taught at Carleton College, Macalester College, the University of Minnesota School of Music, and is currently on the faculty of the University of Minnesota-Morris. He also teaches guitar at the MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis, where he specializes in Suzuki Guitar.
Dr. Flegel is known for his exquisite artistry as a performer and for his passion, insight, and dedication as a teacher. He has won praise for his rare musicality and for the depth of his expression. He has performed, taught, and adjudicated competitions throughout the United States. In 2011 he released a solo CD, Music of Spain and Latin America.
Some of his highlights as a performer include collaborating with members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra to perform in a festival of Elliott Carter’s music, performances of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and performances, as soloist, of guitar concerti by Rodrigo, Ponce, and Vivaldi. He has performed extensively in guitar/piano duo with Emilia Vishnevetsky-Flegel, playing works by Bach, Vivaldi, Giuliani, Falla, Rodrigo, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Ponce. he has also had the privilege of performing his own chamber music works for guitar and winds, and his own concerto for guitar and string orchestra. As a flamenco guitarist, he has performed as a soloist, in guitar duos, and as an accompanist for full dance ensembles. He has also performed with string and chamber ensembles, with many choirs, with guitar ensembles, and has collaborated in duos with voice, flute, clarinet, violin, and guitar.
As a composer and arranger he has written for guitar, chamber winds, string orchestra and string quartet, voice, choir, and guitar ensembles. His arrangements include string quartets, solo guitar, piano and guitar duo, and guitar ensembles.