ECU Logo
School of Music: Summer Guitar Workshop
Faculty Artists

guitar workshop

Elliot Frank
2014 Faculty

Applauded by critics and audiences for his unique blend of powerful virtuosity, beautiful tone, and natural musicianship, festival director Elliot Frank is a frequent guest performer and teacher at guitar festivals  and on concert series throughout the Americas and Europe. Recent highlights include performances for the Mediterranean Guitar Festival in Cervo, Italy, the Sea and Guitars Festival in Vrsar, Croatia, the inaugural Encuentro Internacional de Guitarra Villa Caletas in Herradura, Costa Rica, the 2009 Fort Worth Guitar Guild Festival, and the Sauble Beach Festival of the Classic Guitar in Sauble Beach, Ontario. He has also been featured performer at the 2006 Guitar Foundation of America Festival, the 2009 Classical Minds Guitar Institute, Alexandria Guitar Festival, Piccolo Spoleto, the Appalachian Guitar Fest, the Festival Lachine in Montreal, Canada, at the Southwest Guitar Festival in San Antonio, and at the Sixth Guitar Festival of the Dominican Republic. Other international performances include appearances in Colombia, Venezuela, and Vienna, Austria. He has also performed for the Tampa Classical Guitar Festival, the North Carolina Bach Festival, Columbus State University Guitar Symposium, and the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Festival, where he serves as Artistic Director.  ACA Digital Recordings recently released his first compact disc, South American Guitar Music, which has been praised as being “eloquent” and “delightful.”  He has also appeared in solo recitals for the Tallahassee Guitar Society, the University of Memphis Classical Guitar Society, the Dallas Guitar Society, the Piedmont Guitar Society, the Richmond Classic Guitar Society, and Guitar Houston. An aficionado of guitar music of Hispanic cultures, he has performed lecture/recitals pertaining to the music of Antonio Lauro for the Guitar Foundation of America at international festivals in Pasadena and New Orleans. Elliot Frank has commissioned and performed works for guitar including an important new sonata by Andrew Zohn, E Sonata, which was premiered in 2004 at the New Music at ECU Festival. Most recently he gave the world premiere of an important new guitar concerto by Marc Faris, This World May Lose Its Motion, at the 2012 New Music at ECU Festival.
Elliot Frank is also a prizewinner in national and international competitions including the Concurso Internacional de la Casa de España in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Elliot Frank was selected to initiate the guitar studies program for East Carolina University and is currently teaching there in addition to maintaining an active concert schedule. His students and alumni have distinguished themselves with an impressive array of first prizes in national and international competitions.

Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today's classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is the classical guitarist that goes beyond the classical. He has earned a reputation for putting his expressive gifts and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music, and his schedule of recital, concerto, chamber music, teaching and recording commitments is distinguished with return engagements throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Vieaux’s solo recitals have been a feature at every major guitar series in North America, as well as many of the important guitar festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe, and Mexico. Recent and future highlights include returns to the Caramoor Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and New York's 92nd Street Y. Vieaux’s appearances for Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music@Menlo, Strings Music Festival, Grand Teton, and many others have forged his reputation as a first-rate chamber musician and programmer. He collaborates in recitals this season with Escher Quartet, acclaimed harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and accordion/bandoneón virtuoso Julien Labro. Vieaux’s passion for new music has fostered premieres of works by Dan Visconti, David Ludwig, Jerod Tate, Eric Sessler, José Luis Merlin and Gary Schocker.
Jason Vieaux has performed as concerto soloist with over 50 orchestras, including Cleveland, Houston, Toronto, San Diego, Ft. Worth, Santa Fe, Charlotte, Buffalo, Grand Rapids, Kitchener-Waterloo, Richmond, Buffalo, Edmonton, IRIS Chamber, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Chautauqua Festival, and New Hampshire Music Festival. Some of the conductors he has worked with include David Robertson, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jahja Ling, Stefan Sanderling, Michael Stern, David Lockington, Steven Smith, and Edwin Outwater. 
Vieaux continues to bring important repertoire alive in the recording studio as well. His next album, PLAY, a selection of audience favorites celebrating Vieaux’s 20 years of professional touring, will be released in January 2014 on Azica Records. Among his previous eleven commercial albums is an Azica disc of Astor Piazzolla’s music with Julien Labro and A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra. Bach: Works for Lute, Vol.1 hit No. 13 on Billboard’s Classical Chart after its first week and received rave reviews by Gramophone, The Absolute Sound, and Soundboard. Images of Metheny features music by American jazz legend Pat Metheny, who, after hearing this landmark recording, declared: “I am flattered to be included in Jason's musical world.” Sevilla: The Music of Isaac Albeniz made several Top Ten lists the year of its release. Vieaux's albums and live performances are regularly heard on radio and internet around the world, and his work is the subject of feature articles in print and online around the world, including such magazines as Acoustic Guitar, MUSO, Gramophone, and on NPR’s “Deceptive Cadence.” 
In 2012, the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar was launched with ArtistWorks Inc., an unprecedented technological interface that provides one-on-one online study with Vieaux for guitar students around the world. In 2011, he co-founded the guitar department at The Curtis Institute of Music, and he has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 2001.
Vieaux is a member of the Advisory Board of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is affiliated with Philadelphia’s Astral Artists. His primary teachers were Jeremy Sparks and John Holmquist. In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious GFA International Guitar Competition First Prize, the event’s youngest winner ever. He is also honored with a Naumburg Foundation top prize, a Cleveland Institute of Music Alumni Achievement Award, and a Salon di Virtuosi Career Grant. In 1995, Vieaux was an Artistic Ambassador of the U.S. to Southeast Asia.
Jason Vieaux is represented by Jonathan Wentworth Associates, Ltd. For more information, visit ; Jason is @JasonVieaux, and his Facebook fan page is 

The Sharpe/Zohn Guitar Duo 

The musical relationship between guitarists Robert Sharpe and Andrew Zohn began in 1997 as student and teacher. Robert received his first guitar lesson from Zohn at the age of 12 and would continue under his direction at the Schwob School of Music (Columbus State University). Upon Sharpe’s joining the faculty of the Schwob School in 2012, the two formed this exciting new duo and are performing a diverse program which includes Mozart, Gnattali, and Zohn.

Andrew Zohn is recognized internationally for his work as a performer, instructor, and composer. He has performed concerts on five continents including venues in Beijing, Cairo, New York, Rotterdam, Paris, Vancouver, Honolulu, Buenos Aires, Atlanta, Toronto, and Puerto Rico. He has also served as a guest artist at many of the world’s most prestigious music festivals including the Festival of New Music (Central Conservatory of Music, China) the Guitar on the Mediterranean Guitar Festival (Italy), the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium (Germany), the National Guitar Workshop (USA), and the Sauble Beach Festival (Canada). Students of Andrew Zohn have won prizes in several international competitions and have been featured on National Public Radio.  Original compositions and transcriptions by Andrew Zohn are published through Les Productions d’Oz, Canada, Tuscany publications (Theodore Presser), and FJH Publications. His recordings for Clear Note and Centaur Records have received wide acclaim from American Record Guide, Classical Guitar Magazine, GuitArt Magazine, Soundboard, Guitarra Magazine, and Rosewood Review.

Since his national radio debut on National Public Radio’s acclaimed program From the Top, Robert Fielding Sharpe has received top prizes in national and international competitions. He has been a guest artist at the East Carolina University Guitar Festival, the Tennessee State University Classical Guitar Seminar, the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society, the Greater Cincinnati Guitar Society, the Virtuoso Showcase Classical Guitar Series, and the Fort Worth Guitar Guild. International performances include concerts at the Guitar Festival on the Mediterranean in Italy, the Sauble Beach Guitar Festival in Canada, and the Kras Guitar Festival in Slovenia. Mr. Sharpe has served on the faculty of the Tennessee State University Classical Guitar Seminar and the East Carolina University Guitar Festival.  Recently, he joined the music faculty at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music. Mr. Sharpe holds a Bachelor of Music from Columbus State University and a Master of Music from Yale University. He is currently completing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the direction of guitarist Jason Vieaux.

2013 ECU Solo Competition first prize winner Silviu Ciulei was born in Constanta, Romania, and won his first performance prize in the Romanian National Music Olympics. While in Romania, Silviu won many prizes including First Prizes in the National Music Olympics, and was First Prize winner and Gold Medalist three times consecutively in the “George Georgescu” International Music Performance Competition.  He graduated at the top of his class from the High School of Arts in Constanta and was selected to perform the Giuliani opus 30 Concerto in A major with the Black Sea Philharmonic Orchestra.  Most recently Silviu won first prize in this year’s Schadt String Competition held by the Allentown Symphony.

In addition to first prize at ECU this past year, Silviu has won an impressive collection of prizes including First Prize at the Indiana International Guitar Competition, Second Prize in the Texas International Guitar Competition, First Prize in the Columbus Guitar Symposium, First Prize in the Appalachian Guitar Festival, Third Prize in the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition, Fifth Prize at the prestigious Parkening International Guitar Competition, and Third Prize in the Schadt Concerto Competition.   He has performed with his flamenco band Tequila Flamenco Group at the Guitar Foundation of America International Festival at Oberlin Conservatory, Eastfield College Guitar Festival in Dallas, TX, and with his new flamenco project Maharajah Flamenco Trio at the Southern Guitar Festival and Competition in Columbia, SC after a long United States east coast tour from Florida to New York.  Silviu holds a Bachelor of Music in guitar performance from Middle Tennessee State University, a Master of Music in guitar performance from Florida State University, and  the Doctor of Music degree in guitar performance at Florida State University.

Critically acclaimed guitarist David Asbury has appeared on concert stages throughout the United States, Europe and Central America.  Active as a soloist and chamber musician, Dr. Asbury has played in a diverse array of venues and styles.  In recent seasons he has played solo recitals at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Legation in Tangiers, Morocco, the Dramatic Theater in Kiev, Ukraine, the Bay View Music Festival, Montana State University, Hastings College, Riverton Arts Alliance, University of South Dakota, Valley City State University, Arts on the Prairie, Green Mountain College among many others, and additionally has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Dnipropetrovsk and the Austin Civic Orchestra. His collaboration with baritone Bruce Cain has led to performances in venues such as the Library of Congress, the Kukuk Festival in Hof, Germany, the Festival des Cordes Pincées, Rabat, Morocco, Western Michigan University, Rollins College, Austin College and Rhodes College among others. The Duo has had more than 15 new works written for them and has recorded for the Clear Note label.  His scholarship on composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco has led to professional papers and presentations to organizations such as the Guitar Foundation of America, the College Music Society and the ICERI International Conference in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Asbury is also a dedicated teacher, having has served on the faculty of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, since 1992.  He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Masters and Doctorate of Music degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. His principal teachers have been noted pedagogue Aaron Shearer and noted virtuoso Adam Holzman. His solo recording Lullabyes and Serenades was released under the Retamas label.

Administrative director Cindy Spell holds both the bachelor and master of music degrees from East Carolina University, where she studied with Dr. Elliot Frank. She has served as guitar instructor at several schools, including Barton College, Pitt Community College, Coastal Carolina Community College, and the Music Academy of Eastern Carolina. In addition to teaching, Cindy enjoys performing on faculty recitals and collaborating with other musicians whenever possible. She has appeared as guest soloist with the Wilson Symphony Orchestra, PCC Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of Hope.  In recent performances, Cindy can be found on stage in duo with guitarist David Norton. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, where she works with Legacy Music Alliance and the Utah Classical Guitar Society. Cindy has assisted with the ECU Summer Guitar Festival since 2001.  
Joseph Ikner
serves the music faculty of Auburn University as an instructor of guitar and music appreciation and also serves the community as the director of the Auburn Guitar Society. As an active soloist and chamber musician, Joseph engages a variety of audiences with an energetic, thoughtful and entertaining program of diverse repertoire for the guitar. Dr. Elliot Frank of East Carolina University hails, “Joseph Ikner plays with a beautiful and rich tone, one possessed by very few guitarists. One of the finest young guitarists of his generation.” Joseph’s debut recording, Premiere, has been featured on public radio and is available on and
Joseph has directed guitar studies at Campbell University and served on the faculties of Shenandoah Conservatory, Barton College, Johnston Community College and Coastal Carolina Community College and has served as a guitar pedagogy advisor for the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He is a charter faculty member of the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Workshop where he directs a teacher training course and has served as performing artist, instructor, adjudicator and administrator. He has completed studies toward a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Guitar Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory and holds a MM and BM, magna cum laude, in Guitar Performance from East Carolina University.
Joseph has directed the guitar programs at Lunsford Middle School and Mercer Middle School and served as Lead Mentor for the Loudoun County Public School District in Northern Virginia. Loudoun County Public Schools is a highly progressive district with a fully supported guitar program in every middle and high school. Joseph has been a pivotal figure in the advancement of this growing program, active in curriculum development and the recruitment of a highly talented guitar faculty. In 2007, Joseph was honored as a Founding Teacher of the National Music Certificate Program for his efforts in establishing a national standard for developing musicians in the United States. 
Joseph is passionate about the impact that quality guitar education has on young people. This passion fuels an advocacy to put guitar in schools throughout our nation and provide those guitar programs with the support services they need to achieve optimum success and change lives. He is the director of Guitar In Schools, an advocacy component of and the Austin Classical Guitar Society, a non-profit organization. Promoting guitar programs in public schools, he regularly conducts teacher trainings and curriculum consultation and is frequently sought to adjudicate, and conduct master classes for high schools and universities.

Christopher Neil Adkins has distinguished himself as one of the most talented young  guitarists of his generation.  As a performer, Christopher has garnered multiple awards and prizes in both regional and international guitar competitions, including first prizes in the Appalachian GuitarFest Competition at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, the Music Academy of North Carolina Guitar Competition in Greensboro, NC and the Mississippi Guitar Competition in Jackson, MS. Christopher has performed in concert halls across the United States and Latin America including Legacy Hall at Columbus State University, A. J. Fletcher Recital Hall at East Carolina University, , Opperman Recital Hall at The Florida State University, and the Eugene O’neill Theatre in San Jose, Costa Rica. In the spring of 2014, Christopher and the newly formed Florida Guitar Quartet were selected to represent The Florida State University College of Music on a tour of Costa Rica.

Christopher holds both his Bachelors and Masters of Music from East Carolina University, where he was a scholarship student of Dr. Eliot Frank. In addition, he was one of two guitar students chosen to participate in the prestigious Artist Diploma program at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, where he was the Graduate Assistant to Dr. Andrew Zohn. Christopher has performed for a wide range of guitar luminaries including: Sergio and Odair Assad, David Russell, Jason Vieaux, Paul Galbraith and Johannes Möller. Currently, Christopher is a Doctoral Candidate at The Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL where he is the Graduate Teaching Assistant to the world-renowned pedagogue Bruce Holzman.

A native of Hillsborough, NC, Christopher began to teach himself to play the guitar left-handed at the age of twelve. After beginning college at East Carolina University, he found himself smitten with the classical guitar only to realize that the instrument is traditionally played right-handed. Eight years later, Christopher was awarded his first prize in an International Competition as a classical guitarist. Christopher now lives in Tallahassee, FL where he maintains a small private teaching in addition to his studies at Florida State University.

A native of Winston-Salem NC, Dr. Adam Kossler began his musical studies with his father, William Kossler, and continued his musical training through college, receiving a bachelor of music degree at East Carolina University studying under Dr. Elliot Frank.  He earned a master of music degree at Appalachian State University and was a teaching assistant to Dr. Douglas James.  Mr. Kossler has been a top prize winner in a number of national and international guitar competitions including the MANC guitar competition, East Carolina guitar competition, Appalachian State guitar competition, MTNA competition, Columbus State guitar competition and the UTD International Guitar competition. As a teacher he has been featured as a guest artist or clinitan at several festivals in the US and Canada. Mr. Kossler currently resides in Tallahassee, Fla., where he is pursuing a doctoral degree as Bruce Holzman's teaching assistant. Kossler performs regularly as a solo artist as well as with the Kossler Guitar Trio with his father and brother John. Most recently Adam was been selected as one of fifteen semifinalists for the Parkening Guitar Competition, the most prestigious guitar competition in the world.