Annalisa started playing classical guitar when she was 10. Two years later, she began lessons at the famed Guitar Shop in Washington, D.C. And, at 14, she was noticed by the classical guitar great Sophocles Papas, who took her on as his protg. Papas and the Guitar Shop exposed Annalisa to great players like Andrs Segovia, who made a point of stopping in and paying homage to Papas when they performed in the DC area.
Inspired by the passion of a flamenco troupe, Annalisa decided to forgo classical guitar competitions and exams and instead to seek out the best teachers she could find. Her guitar skills took flight as she sought out and studied with the versatile, talented Karl Herreshoff, and then world-renowned classical guitarist Turan-Mirza Kamal.
For the past nineteen years, Annalisa has been learning from the internationally sought-after master teacher and lutenist Patrick O’Brien. Along the way, she learned to play the Baroque guitar, cittern and theorbo. She also earned her B.A. in classical guitar performance at Bard College.
Annalisa has developed a repertoire of music that spans more than 400 years, from early (800-1800) and baroque music to contemporary classics. In her performances, she shares insights with the audience -- providing the cultural and historical context for her selections. Examples include the music of the sixteenth-century, knife-wielding Jacaras and the lascivious music of the baroque era.
Annalisa sets the scene for her exquisite versions of popular guitar classics, as well as pieces that had been lost to time. She is embraced by fans of rock, blues, bluegrass and other mainstream genres because she bridges the historical gap and conveys the common roots of the music. As with all great music, her listeners are transported and caught up in their own imagery, thoughts and feelings – becoming co-authors of the experience.
Annalisa has won rave reviews for her gifted playing and her unique approach of placing the music ahead of the performer. She brings forth the true soul of musical compositions to reach directly into the heart. She is a favorite at numerous music festivals, having performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, Santa Barbara Bach Festival, Laurel Festival, and Manitou Festival. She continues the tradition of teaching individually to a select group of dedicated students in her Sono Guitar Studio located in Norwalk, Connecticut.