James Lorusso

Degrees & Studies

B. M., Mercy College


Classical Guitar

Music Conservatory of Westchester

Faculty since 1973

Born In

New Rochelle, NY

Performances & Distinctions

James Lorusso is a graduate of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, through its collaboration with Mercy College, where he was the recipient of a Conservatory scholarship as well as a scholarship from the Epstein Fine Arts Fund. He studied guitar with Leo Brouwer, Alirio Diaz, Angel Romero, Manuel Barrueco and musical interpretation with renowned pianist Bruce Hungerford. Mr. Lorusso made his New York Debut at CAMI Hall in 1984, and was a top prize winner in the 1983 international guitar competition at the Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Puerto Rico. Mr. Lorusso has served on the Conservatory faculty for over 30 years and is also a faculty member at Manhattanville College and Westchester Community College. He has also taught at Marymount College and the American Institute of Guitar. He has studied in Spain with guitarists Narciso Yepes and Jose-Luis Lopategui.

Teaching Philosophy

Of his approach to teaching, Mr. Lorusso says, “Ï try to treat students as individuals and learn as much as I can about their musical tastes so I can help them fulfill their musical dreams. Instead of following traditional rules of pedagogy I like to use whatever works for each student. Each person has a system of thinking that is unique and as a teacher, I need to understand that system.”Mr. Lorusso identifies each student’s strong and weak points. “For example, some people have naturally good technique but can’t read well, while others excel at reading but struggle with the physical aspects of playing. I first try to build up what is weak because what they do naturally will always get stronger. It’s important to let students know what their strong points are because sometimes people aren’t aware of their own gifts. I try to mix this with a sound foundation of technical training on the instrument starting with things that I believe to be essential.”