Duration ca. 20'
Full version:
Reduced version: perc./str

Available in piano reduction


Commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Co-commissioned by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic and Orquestra Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias.

Premiered by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop, soloist Manuel Barrueco, January 9 and 12, 2014.

Other performances: Orquestra Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias conducted by Andrew Grams, soloist Manuel Barrueco, Asturias, Spain, May 1-2, 2014; Nashville Symphony Orchestra conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, soloist Manuel Barrueco, October 2-3, 2015; Reno Philharmonic conducted by Laura Jackson, soloist Manuel Barrueco, November 8 & 10, 2015; Nashville Symphony Orchestra conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, soloist Jason Vieaux, Nashville, TN April 27-28, 2018.

Jason Vieaux discusses Jonathan Leshnoff's Guitar Concerto, which he calls an exquisite and virtuosic addition to the repertoire.


One of the greatest additions to the guitar and orchestra repertoire in recent years.

—Giancarlo Guerrero, Music Director of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra 

Still, as dazzling and exhilarating as the framing “Maestoso” and “Finale” movements are, it's the moving “Adagio” that speaks most powerfully on behalf of the composer. Performed at a stately tempo, its material exudes tenderness, the combination of strings and guitar here providing moments of exquisite pleasure.

Textura, June 2019

The guitar concerto is a work of beauty and virtuosity, the lyrical writing and imitative exchanges between the guitar and orchestra are complimented with elegant orchestration…intense musical lines along with the elegant nature of the writing, especially in the rhythmic third movement.

—Bradford Werner, This is Classical Guitar, May 15, 2019

The concerto is charming, lyrical and beautifully performed on this new Naxos release.

—James Jolly, The Listening Room by Gramophone, May 3, 2019

Leshnoff’s orchestration was immensely colorful but also appropriately light and transparent, allowing it to support but not overwhelm the acoustic guitar. The writing for the solo instrument was fantastic—lyrical, virtuosic, tender, and passionate all at once.

—John Pitcher, American Record Guide, July/August 2018

In this introspective Adagio the guitar's gently questioning melodic lines emerge against alternately shimmering and aching chords. It's an exquisite reverie, and it inspired beautiful playing on Thursday from both soloist Manuel Barrueco—the concerto's dedicatee—and the ensemble. The outer movements deliver rewards as well. The opening one grabs attention with its initial, arcing phrase, which gets a vigorous, colorful workout from guitar and ensemble alike... the concerto makes a worthy, welcome entry into the repertoire. It reconfirms that Leshnoff... with a presence far beyond Baltimore, is an assured composer who has a lot to say and a directly communicative way of saying it.

—Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, January 10, 2014