Ian O'Sullivan Returns to Atherton on Saturday, May 18th


Program To Include both Classical and Local Hawaiian and Jazz Works

    Virtuoso guitarist Ian O’Sullivan played to standing room only when he made his Atherton debut last season. This year he’s promising a combination of music by Bach and Paraguayan composer Augustin Barrios as well as works by local composers Bailey Matsuda, Jeff Peterson and Byron Yasui. The concert is scheduled for Saturday, May 18th in the Atherton Studio at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 general, $25 for HPR members, and $15 for students with ID. Reservations at 955-8821 during business hours.

    North Shore native Ian O’Sullivan has been described as “Thoughtful” by Classical Guitar Magazine and “Delightful” by The Honolulu Advertiser.  A Kamehameha graduate and UH alumni, Ian became the first guitarist from Hawaii to get a Masters in Guitar from Yale University, where he received the Eliot Fisk Prize in Guitar. Some of his past performances include Carnegie Weill Recital Hall; The New York Guitar Society; The New England Guitar Society; Yale’s Morse Hall; The Hawaii Public Radio Atherton Studios and Hawaii Opera Theater.

    As a child, Ian learned the ‘ukulele by watching and listening to friends and family. Like many guitarists, he began playing the guitar in a high school rock band, learning songs mostly by listening to records. In 2001, Ian began his studies at the University of Hawaii as a Marine Science Major. As an elective he enrolled in a beginning guitar course taught by Grammy-winning guitarist Jeff Peterson.  This was the first time Ian had ever heard someone who really understood the guitar and was he was truly inspired.

      The following year Ian began his formal studies in classical guitar at the University of Hawaii.  Although music had always been a passion for O’Sullivan, he still had no formal training when he started music at UH in 2002. That meant he didn’t know how to read music or a thing about western music history.  After turning in a blank music  placement test, with only his name written on it, Ian began his music studies at the University of Hawaii Music Department. Learning to read music came quickly to Ian though, as the symbols were putting a name to things he had already learned by ear.  In 2009, Ian was one of two guitarists to be accepted and receive a full tuition Scholarship to the Yale School of Music Master’s program.

      In addition to classical music, Ian also performs a variety of Hawaiian Slack-Key and Jazz. This summer, Ian will be releasing his solo debut album “Born and Raised.”  The CD is new music written for solo classical guitar by local composers Byron Yasui, Jeff Peterson, Darin Au, Michael Foumai, Bailey Matsuda and his own works. Ian is currently based out of Honolulu and is a lecturer in classical guitar at the University of Hawaii.