Welcome to the Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music!

The Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program aims to be an agorà, a public space for scholars and guitarists, for students and music lovers—a place where different people and cultures meet to share ideas and foster the arts.

Through our various initiatives, campus and community collaborations, and emphasis on chamber music, our mission is to encourage our students to interact within an international environment and to expose them to the most refined music-making. Students are stimulated to broaden their cultural and human horizons and to always look for new occasions in which to meanginfully connect with other musicians. In so doing, they build their unique artistic path. 

Every semester, different guest artists are invited to perform and teach at our College of Music—to date, we’ve welcomed lutenists Paul O’Dette and Nigel North; as well as guitarists including the Assad Brothers, Roland Dyens and Paco Peña, among others. 

Mike + Mikhy Ritter—and the Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program

In October 2014, CU Boulder alumni Michael and Michele Ritter made a trailblazing gift to the classical guitar program that, combined with a commitment from the Office of the Chancellor, endowed and renamed it the Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program. “The generosity of Mikhy and Mike nurtures our guitar students’ dreams, strengthens their desire to explore and to discover, and encourages their search for a unique voice in the musical world,” says Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program Director Nicolò Spera.

nicolo speraNicolò Spera

Italian guitarist Nicolò Spera brings to his teaching and performing a unique synthesis of European and American traditions. Spera is one of the few guitarists in the world to perform on both six-string and ten-string guitars, as well as on theorbo. His wide-ranging repertoire includes the extraordinary music of the Franco-Andalusian composer Maurice Ohana; he has given lecture-recitals on the music of Ohana at many institutions and festivals worldwide, and his recordings of Ohana’s works for solo guitar have won different awards including a “Chitarra d’oro” at the Convegno Internazionale di Chitarra in Milan, Italy. Spera has also published recordings of new works for guitar and choir; his own transcriptions of Bach’s Cello Suites; selected works by Catalan composers Federico Mompou and Enrique Granados; a recording focused on the passacaglia form; and the complete works with guitar of Christopher Theofanidis. A primary goal of Spera’s creative work is to expand the guitar repertoire. He is committed to commissioning substantial works that explore unprecedented ways of writing for guitar. MORE


Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli—better known worldwide as SoloDuo—are permanent visiting artists as part of the Ritter Family Classical Guitar Program. The duo spends up to two weeks in Boulder every semester, working with individuals and ensembles on both graduate and undergraduate levels, and performing with students and faculty. MORE

Both SoloDuo’s residency and the CU Boulder Guitar Festival reflect our program vision and our efforts to bring the finest classical guitarists in the world to CU Boulder and our broader community; and to expose young people directly to great artistry and music-making.