Brian Head


Brian Head enjoys a multi-faceted career as a guitarist, composer and teacher, performing and recording with numerous chamber and symphonic groups including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and Los Angeles Opera, and new music series such as Green Umbrella, Jacaranda, MicroFest, and Hear Now. He has appeared as soloist on the stages of Disney Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the Hollywood Bowl.  Brian has worked with a number of eminent conductors including Esa Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, Matthias Pintscher, Heiichiro Ohyama, James Conlon and Gustavo Dudamel.  His recordings include The Falcon’s Eye (solo), En la Tierra (concertos) both on Doberman-Yppan Records, Jeffrey Holmes: May the Bridges I Burn Light My Way on Microfest Records, and a number of new music collaborations for composers William Kraft (Albany), Stephen Hartke (New World), Frank Zappa (Zappa Records) and Louis Andriessen (Deutsche Grammophon).

His own compositions are published by Doberman-Yppan, Guitar Solo Publications and Alfred Music, have been recorded on many labels including Telarc, Delos, Denon, and GSP by artists such as William Kanengiser, Scott Tennant, and Shinichi Fukuda, and have been performed on six continents and throughout the United States in venues including Carnegie Hall, the Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles and the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.  His homage to John McLaughlin called We Know You Know, was part of the Grammy Award-winning Guitar Heroes album by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

Born in Washington D.C., Brian received degrees in music and mathematics at the University of Maryland and a Master of Music degree in classical guitar and composition at the University of Southern California (USC) where he was chosen as the Outstanding Thornton School Graduate.  He has subsequently received several honors as a teacher including the Thornton School’s highest faculty honor, the Simon Ramo Faculty Award.  He is currently professor of classical guitar and composition at the USC Thornton School of Music where he also serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.   He is a frequent adjudicator and masterclass teacher having given recent concerts, classes and presentations in Zagreb, Croatia, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Guimaraes, Portugal, Veracruz, Mexico, Vancouver, Canada, and throughout the U.S.  Brian previously directed the classical guitar program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and since 2004 he has been President and now Artistic Director of the Guitar Foundation of America.