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Richard Todd

Adjunct Associate Professor of Guitar

A native of Nashville, Richard Todd began classical guitar studies in his youth with Joe Rea Phillips. Subsequently, he received the Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas. He also received the Diploma di Merito from the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, under the guidance of Oscar Gighlia. Additionally, he studied extensively with world-renowned guitarist Matteo Mela in Cremona, Italy. In these formative years he earned a number of awards, including First Prize in both the Music Teachers’ National Association Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition.

Over the years, Todd has maintained an active performing career, having played at numerous national and international festivals throughout the U.S., Italy, Slovenia and Canada. Soundboard Magazine has described his playing as “subtly brilliant,” displaying “rich tone, effortless phrasing and a masterful use of silence.” The Fort Worth Star-Telegram noted his playing for its “considerable energy and impressive virtuosity.” His CD recording in duo with Atlanta guitarist John Huston, Pura Vida (, was described by Soundboard as “powerful and dramatic.” 

In addition to his teaching duties at Vanderbilt, Todd is Associate Professor of Music at Tennessee State University, where he serves as Coordinator of both the String and Music Theory areas. He also serves as President of the Middle Tennessee Guitar Alliance (, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering guitar artistry, outreach and education in the Greater Nashville area.