Music Degree: State Conservatory of Pilsen, Czechslovakia
B.M., San Diego State University
M.M., San Diego State University
Born in Cheb, Czechoslovakia and now residing in San Diego, California, Mr. Svoboda studied guitar and history of music at the State Conservatory of Music in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music at San Diego State University in 1996 and his Master’s Degree in Music at San Diego State University in 1998.
Guitarist George Svoboda was praised by San Diego Tribune staff writer Bob Corbett as “a first-class musician, top-drawer stuff . . . his fingers seem to fly effortlessly across the guitar strings. The music that results is full of life. It’s happy.” First place winner in the Guitar Competition of the City of Kromeriz, Czechoslovakia Mr. Svoboda has been heard in recital in his native Czechoslovakia as well as England, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Austria, Mexico, the Far East, Canada, and the United States.
Mr. Svoboda has gained recognition not only as an immaculate and entertaining performer, but also as a composer and arranger of music for solo guitar, small ensembles, and full orchestra. His music is rooted in the folk traditions of Eastern Europe and his transcriptions have won him consistent praise from musicians and critics alike. As a co-founder of the Benedetti/Svoboda Guitar Duo and member of the well-known Second Avenue Klezmer Ensemble, he has performed throughout the U.S.A., Canada, Taiwan, Hawaiian Islands, Mexico, and Europe. Mr. Svoboda has performed for President and Mrs. Clinton at the world-renowned Hotel Del Coronado. He co-wrote and performed music for the Old Globe’s production of Much Ado About Nothing under the direction of Tony award winning director, Jack O’Brien. He has also performed with the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Ballet, Young Artists Symphony, and San Diego Opera. In September 2006, Mr. Svoboda performed in a star-studded world premiere of Primal Twang: The Legacy of the Guitar, the first definitive theatrical journey through the guitar’s colorful 3500-year history.
Mr. Svoboda has been performing and recording for nearly thirty-five years. His compact discs, entitled Scirocco-Desert Wind, Zephyr, Maestrale, Gypsy Road, Fiesta Gitana, Solano, and Wind and Sea were recorded between 1994-2011 with guitarist Fred Benedetti on the SBE label and features classical, original, Flamenco, and East European music. In 2014, Mr. Svoboda also recorded a solo album entitled Five Baroque Suites by Dietrich Stoeffken. His other three compact discs, entitled Flamenco Dreams, Spanish Gardens, and Echoes of Spain were recorded also with Fred Benedetti on the DOMO Music Group, Inc. label and released worldwide in 1998, 1999, and 2002. Mr. Svoboda has also been actively involved in teaching for over twenty-five years. In his native Czechoslovakia, he taught guitar and music theory in Public Schools of Art. He has also taught in the San Diego City Schools as an Artist-in-Residence, and has taught as a guitar instructor at San Diego State University in CA. He has published a number of instructional books on guitar technique including his book Rhythmic Exercises.
As a Professor of Music for the Music Department of San Diego Mesa College, he runs the Applied Music Program (A.M.P.), teaches classical guitar lessons, guitar class, and directs the Classical Guitar Ensemble.