“Jon Mendle is a beautiful talent and a sensitive musician. It is a joy to play with him!” Yo-Yo Ma
Since making his Carnegie Hall debut at age 19, classical guitarist Jon Mendle is rapidly building a career as a performer, teacher, arranger, and composer. He has since gone on tour with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and released his first album of solo guitar music, entitled “L’Infidele”, on In A Circle Records.
In 2005, as a second-year student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Jon was the only undergraduate selected by audition to perform at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in a concert presented by the Conservatory’s guitar department. Jon performed his own transcription of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, a piece originally written for organ, which Jim Tosone of Guitar Review Magazine called, “…a monumental work, performed with a great deal of poise.”
Jon began studying the guitar at the age of 12, and recently finished his graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory under the tutelage of renowned guitarist Sergio Assad, earning a Master of Music degree in Classical Guitar Performance.
Based in San Francisco, Jon has performed solo and ensemble works at venues throughout Northern California and Nevada. In 2008, at the Guitar Foundation of America’s annual convention, Jon played at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, in an ensemble conducted by guitarist David Tanenbaum, in the U.S. premiere of Sergio Assad’s “Trois Bresiliens a Saint Paul.” More recently, in 2009, he won the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s biennial Guitar Concerto Competition, playing Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra. He performed this work with the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra in May 2010.
Jon’s primary instrument is an 11-string Archguitar built in 2007 by Alan Perlman of San Francisco. The Archguitar is a hybrid of the Renaissance and Baroque lutes, 19th century guitar, and modern guitar, making it ideal for a large cross section of early music, as well as certain modern and impressionist works.
Jon’s solo repertoire includes works from periods ranging from the Renaissance to the contemporary era, with an emphasis on lesser-known baroque lute works. He has contributed to his instrument’s repertoire by arranging works by composers such as Kapsberger, Zamboni, and Falckenhagen, who are virtually unknown outside of the lute world, as well as more familiar works by Bach, Weiss, Ravel, Debussy, and Hovhaness.
Jon received a Bachelor of Music in classical guitar performance in 2007 from the Conservatory, where he studied with Lawrence Ferrara, Marc Teicholz, David Tanenbaum, and Dusan Bogdanovic. His first teacher was Matthew Grasso. He has participated in master classes given by guitarists James Kline, David Russell, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, William Kanengiser, Miroslav Tadic, and lutenist Nigel North. He has also studied the classical music of North India with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, Calif., and privately with sarod player Steve Oda. Outside of the classical guitar world, Jon enjoys playing the occasional punk rock show and practicing yoga.