William Kanengiser

Assistant Professor of Practice

Division: Classical Performance and Composition
Program: Classical Guitar

Instrument: Classical Guitar
Phone: (213) 740-7917
Email: kanengiser@earthlink.net
Office: MUS 202


Recognized as one of America’s finest classical guitarists, William Kanengiser won first prize in the 1987 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, as well as major international guitar competitions in Toronto (1981) and Paris (1983). He has developed a unique repertoire for his instrument, ranging from arrangements of Mozart, Handel and Bartok, to his innovative excursions into the music of Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. He was twice awarded a Solo Recitalist Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his debut recording for the GSP label won an “INDIE” award for Best Classical Recording.

A member of the guitar faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music since 1983, Mr. Kanengiser has given master classes around the world and produced two instructional videos, Effortless Classical Guitar and Classical Guitar Mastery for Hot Licks Video. As a founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, he has toured extensively throughout Asia, Europe and North America, recording for the GHA, Delos and Sony Classical labels. Their first recording for the Telarc label, LAGQ: Latin, was nominated for a Grammy in the Classical Crossover category in 2001, and their follow-up recording LAGQ’s Guitar Heroes won a Grammy in the same category in 2005. Mr. Kanengiser recently released his fourth solo recording for the GSP label entitled Classical Cool, featuring jazz-inspired compositions and arrangements for classical guitar.

Video interview with William Kanengiser

Profile: William Kanengiser
Helping Students Discover their Own Musical Expression
The Link Between Breath and Musical Expression
Making Musical Decisions
Choosing to Pursue a Career in Music
The Technical Challenges of a Classical Guitarist
Revealing Your Potential in an Audition
How Parents Can Be Supportive to Students Considering a Musical Career
Why All Musicians Need to be Entrepreneurs
The Upside to Practicing Less
Teaching by Example
How Breathing and Posture Can Help Guitar Players
The Importance of Knowing Your Deadlines
Seeing the Big Picture During the Recording Process

Professional experience

Current Professional Affiliation(s):

Founding member, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

Academic degrees

  • MM, USC School of Music, 1983
  • BM, USC School of Music, 1981

Other academic experience:

Mannes Conservatory Preparatory School, 1974-1977

Studied with:

Pepe Romero, James Smith, Malcolm Hamilton, Andres Segovia (USC Master Classes 1981)