Multiple Grammy winner Sharon Isbin was named the 2020 Musical America Worldwide instrumentalist of the year, the first guitarist to receive the honor. She has been soloist with more than 200 orchestras and has performed in the world’s finest halls across 40 countries. Winner of the Munich ARD, Toronto, and Madrid competitions, Germany’s Echo Klassik and Guitar Player’s best classical guitarist awards, Isbin performed in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed, at Ground Zero for the first internationally televised 9/11 memorial, at the White House by invitation of President Obama, and as the only classical artist in the 2010 Grammy Awards. The documentary Sharon Isbin: Troubadour was seen by millions on more than 200 PBS stations worldwide, won the ASCAP Television Broadcast Award, and is available on DVD/Blu-ray and Amazon Prime.
Isbin’s catalogue of more than 35 albums include two named best of 2020 featuring world premieres written for her: Affinity, showcasing composers from three continents, and Strings for Peace, with India’s legendary sarod master Amjad Ali Khan. Isbin’s 2019 Souvenirs of Spain & Italy with the Pacifica Quartet debuted at number one on Amazon, and Alma Española with singer Isabel Leonard was honored with a 2018 Grammy for producer of the year. Isbin’s Grammy-winning Journey to the New World with guests Joan Baez and Mark O’Connor spent 63 consecutive weeks on the Billboard chart, and her Latin Grammy-nominated Rodrigo Aranjuez disc with the New York Philharmonic is the orchestra’s only recording with guitar. Other highlights include Bach Complete Lute Suites in landmark editions created with her mentor Rosalyn Tureck and Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions, with rock and jazz guests Steve Vai, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, and Stanley Jordan.
Author of the Classical Guitar Answer Book, Isbin has premiered more than 80 works written for her by some of the world’s finest composers. She directs the Aspen Music Festival guitar program and chairs Juilliard's guitar department, which she founded in 1989.