Empowering Students Through the Joy of Music and the Arts


Competition Coordinator

Nicoletta Todesco is a guitarist based in New York City, faculty member and general manager of Classical Guitar Corner Academy. Since August 2023, she has also been serving as the newly appointed director of the New York City Guitar Orchestra.

A native of Italy,  Nicoletta  studied with Benjamin Verdery at the Yale School of Music where she was awarded the Eliot Fisk Prize, recognized to an outstanding guitarist whose artistic achievement and dedication have contributed greatly to the guitar department. In April 2019 she had her Carnegie Hall debut with the Yale School of Music guitar studio.

Nicoletta plays as a soloist as well with guitar chamber ensembles. She is a founding member of the Clio Artist Project and the Collettiva Concorde and plays in a duo with Mexican flutist Laura Guzmán.

After receiving an early education in guitar by guitarist Roberto Gemo, Nicoletta left her hometown at the age of 14 to study at the Conservatory of Trento, where she graduated with honors under guidance of Norma Lutzemberger. During those years, Nicoletta emerged as a young talented guitarist and was awarded 2nd place at the National Guitar Competition “G. Rospigliosi” (cat. young guitarists) and 3rd place at the International Competition “E. Mercatali” (cat. chamber music ensembles with guitar).

Niki – as her friends call her – then completed the Master of Music in guitar performance at the Conservatory of Bologna, under the teaching of guitarist Walter Zanetti. Those years in Bologna had a strong influence on Nicoletta’s way of conceiving music and arts in general, as she started experimenting with contemporary music and improvisation. She was among the founding members of the zerocrediti (“no credits”) contemporary music ensemble that carried out well-appreciated projects – among others, Ich Bin Mein Stil: the Schöenberg Experience, in collaboration with the German Institute for Culture and the Arnold Schöenberg Centre.

During her career, Nicoletta studied and performed in masterclasses with world-renowned guitarists, including Pavel Steidl, Sharon Isbin, Paolo Pegoraro, Aniello Desiderio, Lorenzo Micheli, Duo Melis, Giampaolo Bandini, Bruno Giuffredi, Andrea Dieci.

Nicoletta plays classical and electric guitar, with a strong interest in contemporary music that brought her to perform in important festivals in Italy, Mexico, and the USA. She has been particularly active in chamber music ensembles and enjoys working in close contact with composers, which allows her to experiment with New Music and premiere new pieces. Her performances often include pieces for voice and guitar, as well as original compositions and arrangements.

In addition to her studies as a guitarist, Nicoletta is very interested in arts and musical disciplines in general. She holds a Master degree in Music Studies at the University of Bologna, with a research internship at the musical research center Carlos Chávez in Mexico City and a thesis on musical iconography.

Since the beginning of her career, Nicoletta is committed to music pedagogy. She taught guitar and music theory in several private and public institutions, both in Italy and the U.S, where she has been a teaching artist and teaching assistant at Yale University. In 2015, she spent a year in Aguascalientes (Mexico) promoting music education among children and young adults in collaboration with Italian NGO Engim.

Nicoletta performs on a classical guitar made by Leonardo De Gregorio, Rome, a classical guitar made by Gino Canello, Crespano (TV), Italy and on an electric guitar made by Jack Vees and Bruno Jacquet.