Improvisation Goyesque


Homenaje (Manuel de Falla)

Cordoba (Isaac Albéniz)

Shangri La Audio Download


Shangri La Series

Aloha Friends,

I hope this finds you in great spirits and health!

I am writing to inform you that soon I will be posting a series of videos of three pieces that are dear to me. Two of the three are compositions by legendary Spanish composers and the other by a legendary South American Guitarist-Composer. With that much information I will let them be surprises as we progress through the series.

How this came about was to some degree haphazard and organic. In June of this year I had the urge to record these pieces. I asked my great friend John Kiehl if I could come down to his studio and record. He, in his endless generosity, complied and we had a wonderful time recording.

I then thought that perhaps I should make guitar-video “art pieces” in which the guitar would be featured but in some exquisite location.

That led to me asking the great folks at Honolulu’s Shangri La if I could do a video shoot there.  The Shangri La was the home of the great Philanthropist Doris Duke who was a passionate collector of Islamic Art. It is unlike any pace I have ever been and is a renowned museum. Much to my surprise and utter delight the  wonderful people at the Shangri LA said yes!

At this point, I just needed a videographer. “Wait a minute…” I says to meself. My daughter just graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a BFA, maybe she will be up to the task of working with her father? Yikes, not easy for anyone!!! She said yes and the journey began. We had a blast doing the shoot at such an extraordinary location. Anyone who has visited the Shangri La after a few minutes starts to wonder “hmm…how can I live here?” It is that magical.

I want to make it clear that these are Mitsuko’s creations visually with some executive help from her older brother John. My brother Don will be posting on the various platforms with some much appreciated outside assistance.

We have now arrived at the final stage of the journey. Accompanying each video will be a short article about each of the pieces you will find on my web site under Ben’s Deep Thoughts.

In closing, I want to say what an honor it was to record these pieces and to shoot them at the Shangri La. I’m extending a huge mahalo to all who helped them come to fruition, and you know who you are.




I am so excited to announce my 14th guitar class on the island of Maui in Hawaii from Wednesday, July 24 through Thursday, August 1, 2013. Joining me as guest teacher this year will be the renowned guitarist and Emmy-winning composer Frederic Hand. Joining as guest ukulele teacher and ensemble assistant will be Hawaiian guitarist and ukulele player Ian O’Sullivan.

The opening concert with Frederic and myself will be Tuesday, July 23. The class will include student recitals at two spectacular and intimate locations: the Lahaina Jodo Buddhist Mission and the Keawala‘i Congregational Church in Makena, Maui, as well as a special recital for advanced students. Each student will play three times during the nine-day class, receiving two master class sessions with me and one with Mr. Hand. All students will participate in the guitar ensemble, which will be led be yours truly and Mr. O’Sullivan. Mr. O’Sullivan will offer ukulele classes for the local community and interested class participants as part of the class activities.

All applicants, including those who have attended the class in the past, must submit an audio or video recording of two works in contrasting style and tempo. These may be submitted as mp3s emailed to, or as links to online video or audio files. The application deadline is February 15, 2013. We will notify you by March 1, 2013 whether you are accepted.

The class is also open to auditors, who may attend all master classes, concerts, and other class activities. Auditors will also have the opportunity to receive a brief coaching session with me during the week.

For more information please contact John Olson at
Benjamin Verdery 2013 Hawaii Guitar Class.pdf