Pavel Steidl

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Pavel Steidl (born June 24, 1961) is a classical guitarist who was born in Rakovnik, Czechoslovakia (now in the Czech Republic), but has lived in the Netherlands for many years.

Pavel Steidl playling at Hamburger Gitarrenfestival 2018


After winning first prize at the 1982 International Guitar Competition of Radio France in Paris, Steidl began his career as a professional musician.

"Here was a guitarist who knew how to laugh with the music and share the joke with his audience. But behind the entertainer lies a serious artist, whose extended composition in memory of Jana Obrovska proved fully capable of stirring emotions at the other end of the scale. Never was a standing ovation more richly deserved. Pavel Steidl had won the hearts and minds of a capacity crowd." (Classical guitar magazine)

Since he won first prize at the Radio France International Competition in Paris in 1982, he has become one of the most widely celebrated soloists of his generation. Among the members of the jury were such artists as Alexandre Tansman, Antonio Lauro and Maria Luisa Anido.

Before that he studied with such guitarist as Milan Zelenka and Štěpán Rak in Prague. In 1987 he decided to emigrate to the Netherlands where after years of studying and getting inspiration from many different artists he has created his own style which is not ignoring authentic way of interpretation 19th-century guitar literature on periodic instruments and going far to some world music elements. Pavel Steidl also composes himself and his own compositions are often played on his concerts. He played in more than 40 countries of the world from among Canada, USA, China, India, Japan, Europe, South and Central America and many others. On demand of Italian Guitar Magazine Guitart the readers decided to choose him as a guitar player of the year 2004 . Pavel Steidl plays many instruments, but mainly Francisco Simplicio (1926) and Franz Butcher (2008), romantic guitar: copies of J.G.Stauffer guitar made by B.Kresse and original instrument from the beginning of the 19th century Nikolaus G.Ries cca. 1830

In his teaching, Pavel's approach is encouraging but subtle. For, as he says, "the teacher is not allowed to say everything. [...] I let them play one piece. Each note twice, one staccato, one tenuto, to show what you can do. The possibilities: that's what I like very much. I don't like to write piano, forte, tenuto. I don't like metronomes."[1]

Steidl is known for using overtone singing in some works, such as Domeniconi's Hommage à Jimi Hendrix, op. 52.

Facial Gestures[edit]

Pavel Steidl often uses unique gestures during his performances (both facial gestures, and motions with hands and body).


Some people feel that Steidl's gestures give an additional dimension to his playing, e.g. showing his expressive involvement in the music, being a personal way of helping his phrasing become lyrical (with voice-gestures - using the guitar, but "expressing like a singer"), serving to underline certain melodies and their character, or hinting at crescendo in held chords (even though the strings' vibrations are getting softer), expressing fun/joy, entertaining, etc.

His face while performing is generally very expressive and during one of the sonatas [Scherzo] he played on this fact and animated himself to such a degree that a very respectful audience couldn't help but to laugh out loud. This had the effect of bringing the audience and performer together, in on the same joke if you like. This also served to further endear this extraordinary showman to an already impressed audience.

— Review[2]


Discography: Hudebni Mladi - Supraphone (1983) Tyden Nove Tvorby - Panton (1984) Pavel Steidl Debut - Panton (1985) Guitar / Music of the 18 th and 19 th centuries - Panton (1993) Masters of the Czech Classical Guitar - Pehy (1994) Kdyz mam nohy o mesic opreny - Panton (1994) Cantabile - Erasmus (1995) (with Jan Opsitos - violin) L. Legnani - 36 caprices op. 20, Fantasia op. 19 - Naxos (1998) N.COSTE - Guitar Music Vol.3 - Naxos (2000) N. Paganini - Sonate&Ghiribizzi for guitar – (Frame 2001) Italy J. K. Mertz - Bardeklange, (Frame 2003) Four Agreements – fast book (spoken word - Jaroslav Dusek), (Tympanum 2009)


  1. ^ Cooper, Colin (March 1997). "Pavel Steidl: Musician of the Border". Classical Guitar Magazine. p. 14.
  2. ^ Bell, Andrew (6 June 2008). "Pavel Steidl concert review". Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2008.



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