About Robert Burns

On the rugged Northern California coast, about 200 miles beyond San Franciso, lies the historic village of Mendocino.  In this famed artists’ community, you will discover Robert Burns, Master Classical Guitarist.

Burns, a native of Chicago, began his study of the classical guitar at the early age of 7, and went on to study with the legendary Andres Segovia and the revered Julian Bream. He also studied with other protégés of Segovia’s, including Aldo Minella of Milan and Oscar Ghiglia from Paris.

After teaching classical guitar and holding the position of Department Head at Wisconsin Conservatory, he relocated to California.  Here, he gave guitar instruction at Stanford University and other fine institutions, has maintained a private teaching practice, and has become well-loved and well-known by the many events for which he has provided glowing music.

Robert Burns gave his debut recital at the age of 12 with the Young Artists’ Program at Orchestra Hall in Chicago.  At only 14, he opened a concert by the great Louis Armstrong.  He gave many concerts for United Nations Diplomatic Corps events, and has performed for many individuals and institutions of great renown – Elizabeth Taylor, the Dali Lama, the Spanish Consulate, and even Presidential functions.

Today, Mr. Burns lives quietly on the beautiful Mendocino coast, bringing the grace of the classical guitar to weddings, winery events, private parties and corporate functions.  In recent years, he has increasingly devoted his efforts to original compositions, several of which can be heard on his recording, Saudade, featured on this web site. The word “Saudade” is very special in the Portuguese language, laden with atmosphere and emotion, and roughly translated means “nostalgia.”  Saudade is even more – the music of nostalgia evokes a sense of yearning, perhaps for something in the past, or yet for something to come.  Robert Burns calls this “longing Nostalgia for the Present.”

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