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Meet the Faculty

Photo of Christopher Parkening

Christopher Parkening

Distinguished Professor of Music
Chair in Classical Guitar

Division: Fine Arts Division
Office: Music Building (MB) 243
Phone: (310) 506-4462
E-mail: christopher.parkening@pepperdine.edu

  • Honorary Doctor of Music, Montana State University, 1983
  • Founded the Guitar Department, University of Southern California, 1968


  • Private Guitar Instruction
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Performance Skills
  • All Student Classical Guitar Classes
  • Group Guitar Class
  • Public Master Class

Key Awards/Affiliations:

  • La Guitarra California Lifetime Achievement Award presented biannually to "an acclaimed musician whose accomplishments have greatly increased the world-wide appreciation of classical guitar", 2017
  • St. Louis Guitar Society's Musical Excellence Award "in recognition of your lifetime of musical excellence in the classical guitar," 2013
  • Guitar Foundation of American Hall of Fame's Artistic Achievement Award "for monumental contributions to the development of the art and life of the classical guitar," 2012
  • Artistic Director, Parkening International Guitar Competition, founded 2006, Pepperdine University
  • Distinguished Artist Award, 2003, University of Michigan Musical Society, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Gibson Award, "Best Classical Guitarist," 2000
  • Sacred Music USA magazine's "Instrumentalist of the Year," 1996
  • American Academy of Achievement Award, 1993
  • Board of Directors, Grace To You (nationally syndicated radio and tape ministry of Grace Community Church), 1992-present
  • Guitar Player magazine's readers' poll winner, "Best Classical Guitarist," (retired into Hall of Fame, 1991, for numerous wins in category)
  • Grammy® nomination for Pleasures of Their Company, "Best Classical Album, "1986
  • Frets magazine's "Gallery of the Greats," 1988, based on numerous wins for "Best Classical Guitar"
  • IMG Artists, Inc, 1994-2010
  • Columbia Artists Management Company, Inc., 1969-1994
  • Grammy® nomination for Parkening and the Guitar, "Album of the Year, Classical," 1977
  • National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1969-present
  • Local 47 Musicians' Union, 1969-present

Academic Interests:

  • Guide my students toward a goal of concert performance while equipping them with a broad-based knowledge of academics and the music industry.
  • Mentor my students with an emphasis on their commitment to personal excellence in their lives and with the music they play.
  • Pass on to my students the legacy taught me by the great guitarist, Andrés Segovia, who moved millions with his poetic, lyrical phrasing, beautiful sound, and romantic, beautiful spirit.

Selected Works:

  • Christopher Parkening: Solo Pieces, 2008. Hal Leonard Corporation HL00690939.
  • Christopher Parkening: Duets & Concertos, 2008. Hal Leonard Corporation HL00690938.
  • Virtuoso Performances (DVD), 2008. Hal Leonard Corporation HL00320506.
  • Jubilation(with Jubilant Sykes), 2007. EMI/Angel Records 00946-3-56421-2-4.
  • Grace Like a River (an autobiography), 2006. Tyndale House Publications 978-1-4143-0046-7.
  • Grace Like a River, 2006. EMI/Angel Records 00946-3-56418-2-0.
  • Bernstein: Concerto for the Guitar, 2000. EMI/Angel Records 7243-5-56859-2-6.
  • Stepmom (solo, movie soundtrack), 1998. Sony Classical SK 61649.
  • Christopher Parkening Celebrates Segovia, 1998. EMI/Angel Records 07243-5-56730-0-8.
  • The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Volume 1 (in collaboration with Jack Marshall and David Brandon), 1998. Hal Leonard Corporation HL695228.
  • The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method, Volume 2 (in collaboration with David Brandon), 1998. Hal Leonard Corporation HL695229.
  • Parkening Plays Bach, 1997. Hal Leonard Corporation HL699104.
  • Romanza, 1997. Hal Leonard Corporation HL699103.
  • Parkening and the Guitar, Volume 1, 1997. Hal Leonard Corporation, HL699105.
  • Parkening and the Guitar, Volume 2, 1997. Hal Leonard Corporation, HL699106.
  • Sacred Music for the Guitar, Volume 1, 1997. Hal Leonard Corporation, HL699095.
  • Sacred Music for the Guitar, Volume 2, 1997. Hal Leonard Corporation, HL699100.
  • Angels' Glory (with Kathleen Battle), 1996. Sony Classical SK 62723.
  • Christopher Parkening Plays Vivaldi, 1994. EMI/Angel Records 7243-5-55052-2-4.
  • Joaquín Rodrigo and William Walton Concertos, 1993. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-54665-2-2.
  • The Artistry of Christopher Parkening, 1993. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-54853-2-5.
  • The Great Recordings, 1993. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-54905-2-7.
  • A Tribute to Segovia, 1991. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-49404-2-9.
  • The Sounds of Christmas (with Julie Andrews and the London Symphony Orchestra), 1990. Hallmark Cards, Inc. 620XPR9707.
  • Virtuoso Duets (with David Brandon), 1990. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-49406-2-7.
  • In the Spanish Style, 1986. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-47194-2-1.
  • Pleasures of Their Company (with Kathleen Battle), 1986. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-47196-2-9.
  • Parkening Plays Bach, 1985. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-47191-2-4.
  • A Bach Celebration, 1985. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-47195-2-0.
  • Simple Gifts, 1982. EMI/Angel Records 0777-7-47525-2-7.

Selected Links: