Classical guitarist John Patykula is a 1973 graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with the renowned Mexican guitarist, Jesùs Silva. During the summers of 1971 and 1972, he studied in Siena, Italy, at L’Accademia Chigiana, one of Europe’s most famous music conservatories. In 1972 and 1975, he performed in master classes conducted by the Spanish master, Andrès Segovia.
Patykula was a North Carolina Visiting-Artist-in-Residence from 1973-74. He was the instructor of guitar at Wake Forest University from 1975-79. In 1979 he came to VCU to teach and to complete his Master of Music degree. He is currently assistant chair and coordinator of the guitar program in the Department of Music at VCU with the rank of associate professor.
In 1987 Patykula and soprano Teresa Radomski gave their New York debut in “An Evening of Spanish Song” at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
In 1988, Patykula received a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts for the publication of his “Music for Flute and Guitar.” In 1993, he received a VCU Faculty Grant-in-Aid to organize and direct the 1993 VCU Guitar Symposium. The success of this symposium led to the establishment of the VCU Guitar and Other Strings Series, which annually features internationally and nationally known guitarists and string musicians.
Patykula has founded several instrumental ensemble groups, including the VCU Community Guitar Ensemble. This ensemble, which consists of 20 talented non-professional guitarists, has become the resident ensemble for the VCU Guitar and Other Strings Series, and has been featured on several television and radio programs. The VCU Community Guitar Ensemble celebrated its 20th anniversary with a concert on July 23, 2006.
Patykula performs regularly with classical banjoist John Bullard and is featured on two CDs that have earned national and international recognition. In 1995, Patykula attended the Bath International Guitar Festival, held in Bath, England. In 1997, he was invited to perform several concerts in Peru under the auspices of VCU and the Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano.
Patykula’s “Music for Flute and Guitar” was published by Mel Bay Publications in 2001. Most recently, Patykula and VCU alum Frank Mullen III had their transcriptions of Manuel M. Ponce’s “Twenty Easy Pieces for Two Guitars” published by Peer Music. In addition, Patykula is a frequent contributor to GuitarraMagazine.com.