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Masakazu Ito

Teaching Assistant Professor, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

­Masakazu Ito has been a music faculty at the Colorado School of Mines since 2016, where his main responsibility is being a musical director and a conductor to lead the Colorado School of Mines Philharmonic Orchestra.  Before adding orchestra conducting to his résumé he has been touring the world as an acclaimed concert guitarist, and is continuing to do so today.

Following his professional solo debut in Tokyo 1987, Ito won top prizes in seven major international guitar competitions, including the Andres Segovia International Guitar Competition, the Tokyo International Guitar Competition, and the Guitar Foundation of America International Guitar Competition. A performance of Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo with the National Repertory Orchestra marked his concerto debut in 1990.

He has a number of recordings to his credit.  In particular, London’s Classical Guitar magazine called his 1998 recording ¡España! Music from Spain “a recording of depth… most musically satisfying.”

The Japanese government has invited Ito to perform solo concerts in honor of two historic milestones – 150 years of US-Japan diplomatic relations in 2003, and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in 2015. The latter was attended by the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, representatives of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, among others.

Most recently Ito traveled extensively in Spain giving solo guitar concerts and clinics in November 2019 and May 2022.  The highlight of both tours was being a featured solo artist during the Andrés Segovia International Guitar Festival in Segovia’s birth place, Linares. 

“Ito displayed conspicuous skill and tonal range… [he] proved himself to be a clean and technically adroit player, whizzing through thorny passages with aplomb.”

– The Los Angeles Times

Guitarist Masakazu Ito further contributed to the overall spellbinding performance.”

– The Denver Post

The nearly full concert hall was enraptured with the amazing fluidity of Ito’s playingIto’s performance was flawless and beautiful. …It was just amazing. The crowd rose to its feet and gave Ito rousing applause… Just superb.”

– Rapid City Journal




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