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Yasha Kofman, the founder and director of the Classical Guitar School of New York, had been, for over twenty years, the head of classical guitar studies at the legendary American Institute of Guitar, “the oasis for classical guitar in New York City.” (Guitar Player Magazine)

Yasha Kofman was born in Kiev, the heart of the Russian instrumental tradition. At the age of eleven he began playing the guitar and soon developed sufficient skill to attract the attention of the renowned Konstantin Smaga, who became his mentor. In his late teens he was given the special privilege of attending the prestigious Gnessin School of Music, which boasted the Soviet Union’s finest guitar department. After graduating with honors, Kofman became a concert guitarist, touring widely throughout the Soviet Union with performances in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other major cities. Kofman has said of these years, “not only did these early performances allow me to express the best of the Western guitar tradition, but also to bring to my music the powerful sounds and spirits of the great Russian people.”

Mr. Kofman emigrated to the U.S. with his wife, Yelena. Upon coming to New York, he soon became a teacher at the American Institute of Guitar where he developed a friendship with many of the world’s leading guitarists, including such giants as Mario Escudero, Sabicas, and Jorge Morel. As a result, Kofman broadened his repertoire to include the vibrant flamenco tradition, as well as his own potent interpretation of the classical Spanish composers.

He is also a graduate of the Mannes College of Music and, as a soloist, has performed widely: the NBC “Today Show”, WQXR, WNYC, and many other venues.


Classical Guitar School of New York   244 W. 54th St., 10th fl., NYC 10019   718-897-0991  yashakofman@classicalguitarny.com