Do you know these guitarists?

by Dave Belcher

Here at CGC you all know Simon Powis. He is the founder and director of Classical Guitar Corner and he is the reason we are all here! He provides the vision for our community and shares his expertise as a world-class educator and musician with all of us here. And you all hear from me enough in these blogs and from time to time on our YouTube channel. But do you know the guitarists listed below?

Nicoletta Todesco, James Erickson, Sanja Plohl are all wonderful guitarists, and each has unique gifts as artists and teachers. And they are also all members of the CGC Team. These marvelous guitarists teach in our Coaching Calls, grade exams, host workshops and live events, and so much more at CGC Academy. I’d like to take just a couple minutes to introduce each one to you.

Nicoletta “Niki” Todesco

Niki is not only a Faculty member at CGC Academy but also our Publishing and Events Manager. If you have ever ordered one of our books or emailed with interest about our Summer School, then you’ve likely already received an email from Niki. She holds two master’s degrees in music performance, including from Yale University where she studied with Ben Verdery, and has decades of teaching experience. She is also the director of the New York City Classical Guitar Orchestra.

At CGC Academy she teaches lessons, including co-teaching our course on Renaissance Music, she is one of the coaches for the Coaching Calls, she leads open mics and other live workshops, and she does so much more behind the scenes as well. Niki is an integral part of our team and if you don’t know her you should! Check out Niki teaching in action in the video below:

Left Hand Finger Independence


James Erickson

James Erickson is both a classical and rock guitarist and educator and teaches throughout New York and Long Island. He is an instructor at Nassau Community College, LIU Post, and Suffolk County Community College, in addition to being a Faculty member at CGC Academy. James primarily helps out by teaching in our Coaching Calls and grading Grade Exams, but he has also hosted workshops on various topics for our annual Guitoberfest, and has been a guest artist at our Summer School.

James has a real gift for taking thorny topics, like complicated music theory, and distilling them into clear, easy-to-understand concepts. His workshops on fretboard navigation, intervals, and modes have been a huge hit with our community! So we’ve shared a full video below of James’s Fretboard Navigation workshop from our 2020 Guitoberfest. Here he deftly walks you through how to master the fretboard.

Sanja Plohl

A virtuoso musician and multiple competition winner (with more than 30 titles at some of the biggest competitions in the world!), Sanja Plohl teaches Guitar and World Music at Saint Louis University – Madrid campus as well as in a private studio. As a Faculty member at CGC Academy, she teaches in our Coaching Calls and is one of our examiners for the Grade Exams. But she has led masterclasses, taught technique workshops, and hosted seminars for our annual Guitoberfest. Sanja’s accolades are quite lengthy, but much more impressive actually is the quality of her musicianship as a performer and guitarist! Sanja has developed an expressive technique that allows her to play music of any genre with ease. She has developed a love for Latin American music and recently has taken a deep dive into Brazilian repertoire.

So we’d like to share with you a full recital Sanja gave on her own YouTube channel, featuring music of Bach, Ponce, Savio, Carvalho, Giacomino, Gnattali, and Lauro. We hope you enjoy!


CGC has such a wonderful team of gifted and generous individuals. We are so lucky to work alongside each one of them and we hope you’ll get the chance to get to know these guitarists in a workshop or lesson one day! If you’d like to learn more about CGC Academy, where each of these wonderful guitarists teach, check out more here.