Studio Artist Teacher, Classical Guitar
MM, San Diego State University
BA, University of Texas, Dallas
Robert Wetzel has a vast experience (over 30 years) of teaching advanced guitarists.
Many of his former students became professional guitarists and music instructors at educational institutions internationally.
His guitar master mentors and master teachers during his early development years towards becoming a master guitarist himself during 1972-1985 were the legendary members of the Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar, Los Romeros: the father, Celedonio Romero and his three gifted sons, Celin Romero, Pepe Romero and Angel Romero.
Mr. Wetzel made his professional concert performance debut in 1977 as a member of Los Romeros Guitar Quartet, performing on the lute and guitar and sharing the concert stage with Celin, Pepe and Angel Romero at the August Moon Chamber Concert Series in Napa, California. The concert was a success and he played the lute and guitar parts of the grand patriarch of the Romero family, Celedonio Romero, who at the time was vacationing in Spain.
Earlier as a teenager during 1971-1972, Mr. Wetzel also participated as a performer in the guitar master classes of Christopher Parkening, Oscar Ghigla, Robert Guthrie and the guitar duo of Ako Ito and Henri Dorigny (who were both protégés of the legendary guitar duo of Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya).
During five consecutive years in the 1970’s, Robert Wetzel was a participating performer in the master classes of Pepe Romero on full scholarship. In 1978, on two separate occasions, he also participated as a performer with full scholarship for two rare master classes with two of the greatest Spanish composers for the classical guitar of the 20th century, Joaquin Rodrigo and Federico Moreno-Torroba. These two experiences offered the young Wetzel priceless insight into the performance style of Spanish music and confirmed to himself what he had already learned from Celedonio Romero and his three guitar genius sons.
Robert Wetzel performed concerts across the United States during the 1979-1980 concert season presented by Columbia Artists Management.
In 1981, Mr. Wetzel was chosen as one of 30 guitarists out of hundreds of guitarist who applied to be competitors in the Andres Segovia International Guitar Competition in October, 1981 held at Leeds Castle in Kent, Great Britain. The competition was recorded by the BBC and shown in many countries internationally. Among his fellow competitors were other well-known guitarist of the present day, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith, and David Tanenbaum, to name a few.
To this day, Robert Wetzel enjoys and continues performing solo and duo with various ensembles and he has performed in the United States, South America, Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain.
Since 1988, Mr. Wetzel has served as a guitar instructor for private instruction and guitar classes for beginning and advanced levels on the music faculties of Cuyamaca College, Grossmont College, Palomar College, Mesa College, Southwestern College, University of San Diego, University of California San Diego Extension, San Diego State University, and for the award-winning music program at Torrey Pines High School.
In 1991, Mr. Wetzel formed an award-winning guitar duo ensemble, the Odeum Guitar Duo with the brilliant guitarist, Fred Benedetti, who had studied with the legendary Spanish guitarist, Andres Segovia.
Robert Wetzel established his own independent record label, Concert Hall Records, in 2004, and he has released four titles of his performance recordings for solo and duo guitars on that label, all critically acclaimed and award-winning recordings. One of the CD titles, “Forgotten Romance”, was officially chosen by NASA in 2011 to fly aboard the final flight of the United States space shuttle, the ENDEAVOR, traveling 6.5 million miles in outer space to the International Space Station and back to earth…....A rare accomplishment in the classical music field!
FANFARE MAGAZINE: “...fine metrical discipline…truly magical and telling…revealing realization…insightfully arranged by Robert Wetzel, who provided all of this disc’s transcriptions…spritely and similarly ear-opening…enchanting…realized the piece’s inherent fire…enlightening…Wetzel’s perspicacity as a transcriber…delightful…
...clean voice-leading and projection of instrumental color…I HUNGRILY AWAIT THEIR NEXT DISC.”
~ William Zagorski, music critic for FANFARE MAGAZINE upon his review of “Forgotten Romance” by the Odeum Guitar Duo, Robert Wetzel & Fred Benedetti, guitars, Concert Hall Records