Adam Levin: “I’m a ‘Guitar Hustler’ and I Like to Work to the Max”
Head of Guitar Studies at University of Florida.
Adam Levin, a dynamic classical guitarist, reflects on the challenges brought by the pandemic and its impact on his professional and personal life. Describing himself as a “guitar hustler,” Levin discusses the abrupt loss of live performances, teaching opportunities, and the interactive experiences that defined his career. Despite these setbacks, he embraced the meditative aspect of the situation, utilizing the time to reflect, rebalance, and reimagine his path.
Levin shares insights into his multifaceted projects, such as commissioning and recording new Spanish repertoire, founding the nonprofit Kithara Project, and collaborating with Israeli mandolinist Jacob Reuven in Duo Mantar. He emphasizes the importance of cultivating a personal voice and the interpretive skills necessary to convey cultural and historical context in musical performances.
Addressing upcoming projects, Levin mentions an all-Avner Dorman album with Duo Mantar, a Brazilian music project with violinist William Knuth, and the Great Necks Guitar Trio’s exploration of Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn. Levin also reflects on his teaching experiences, highlighting the significance of in-person instruction for fostering a student’s personal voice on the guitar.
In offering advice to young guitarists embarking on a performing career, Levin emphasizes the necessity of a genuine passion for music, relentless practice, and persistence. He underscores the importance of cultivating an artistic voice, navigating the challenges of a fluctuating career, and making conscious choices to shape one’s musical journey.
Levin concludes by discussing his preferences for guitar materials, recording environments, and shares his love for Madrid, Spain. Despite his intense dedication to music, he acknowledges the need for balance and the importance of taking breaks to refresh and grow artistically.