Roland Dyens, Classical Guitarist, Composer and Teacher

“Tango en Skai”–Watch on YouTube

Roland Dyens (October 19, 1955-October 29, 2016), a Tunisian-born French guitarist, is difficult to peg to a genre. He played jazz, tango, folk, pop and classical with equal mastery. In an interview with Classical Guitar, he admitted “I’m most complicated to define. But my ‘homeland’ is classical music.”

A performer, composer, transcriber and arranger, Dyens was also a teacher. He held the same teaching chair at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris that was once held by Alberto Ponce, the renowned Spanish guitarist with whom Dyens first studied at age 13.

Atypical for classical guitarists, Dyens would often begin performances with an improvisation. In his interview with Classical Guitar, he says it was once said of him that he was “a jazz musician in my head and a classical one in my hands.”

“Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 107” on Spotify