Classical guitarist James Flegel is known for his exquisite artistry and depth of expression. He has won praise for his passion, his ability to project a wide range of tone colors and dynamics, and his insight and sensitivity to the dramatic character of different musical eras and styles. He has performed in recital and as a concerto soloist throughout the United States, often accompanies choirs, and performs chamber music in duos with flute and with voice. James also performs with his wife, pianist Emilia Flegel, with whom he has arranged concerti by Rodrigo, Giuliani, Vivaldi, and Ponce, as well as chamber works by Bach and Falla.
His principal guitar teachers have been Robert Guthrie and Jeffrey Van. In addition to classical guitar, he has studied renaissance lute, and has performed as a flamenco guitarist. His musical education also includes studies in counterpoint, composition, and orchestration with Paul Fetler and Dominick Argento.
James received his Doctorate in Guitar Performance and Master’s degrees in Guitar and in Composition from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelors degree, with majors in both Music and Psychology, from St. Olaf College. He has taught, performed, and adjudicated at festivals and colleges across North America, and has served on the faculties of Carleton College, Macalester College, and the University of Minnesota School of Music. Additionally, James currently teaches at the University of Minnesota-Morris.