Guitarist Lily Afshar, hailed by the Washington Post as "remarkable, impeccable," is the winner of the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist. Chosen as "Artistic Ambassador" for the United States Information Agency to Africa, she is the winner of the Tenth, Eleventh, and the Twelfth Annual "Premier Guitarist"awards respectively, awarded by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.
Lily is the Head of the Guitar Program at the University of Memphis where she was awarded the 2000 Eminent Faculty Award. Other awards include the Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Music, the National Endowment for the Arts Recording Award, Top Prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, Grand Prize in the Aspen Music Festival Guitar Competition, and First Prizes in both the Music Teachers' National Association and the American String Teachers' Association Guitar Competitions.
Lily Afshar was among the twelve international guitarists selected to play for Maestro Andres Segovia in his master classes held at the University of Southern California at which time Maestro Segovia predicted that "she will be a beautiful celebrity." She then appeared in an interview on the NBC Nightly News.
Her interest in contemporary music has led to premiers of new works by Loris Chobanian, Arne Mellnas, Kamran Ince, Barbara Kolb, Marilyn Ziffrin, Salvador Brotons, among others. She has given numerous concerts in the US, England, Canada, France, Iran, Italy, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and South America. She has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Banff School of Fine Arts, the Menton Music Festival in the South of France, and the American Academy in Rome.
Lily Afshar's articles on "Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Goya" are published multi-lingually by Gitarre & Laute, Guitar Review, and Il "Fronimo".
Born in Tehran, Dr. Afshar holds degrees in Guitar Performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, and Florida State University. She has studied at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts and the Aspen Music Festival. She received the Diplomas of Merit from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.
Lily Afshar's recordings of 24 Caprichos de Goya by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and A Jug of Wine and Thou are available on Summit Records (CDs #167and #236). Her Five Popular Persian Ballads are published by Mel Bay Editions, INC. Her latest CD Possession, is available on Archer Records.