In addition to building classical guitars, Richard Larsen also instructs private classical guitar lessons, music appreciation and music business classes at Aurora University, and co-operates the Legato Lesson Studio in Warrenville, IL, with his wife, Lisa Larsen.
Once a more active performer, Ric can still be seen performing occasional recitals and playing private and public events, both solo and in ensemble settings, most recently in duos with guitarist Ron Stark as well as oboist Lisa Larsen.
Ric attended Minnesota State University, where he studied with James McGuire and received his Bachelor’s degree, and went on to receive his Master’s degree from Elmhurst College. Ric has also studied with Denis Azabagic, world-renowned performing artist and professor at Chicago Center of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University, and Jason Vieaux, winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America competition and professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Ric is a former board member of the Chicago Classical Guitar Society, and has served as guest judge at numerous evaluated recitals and performed for a variety of guitar festivals and competitions including the Society of American Musician’s Competition in Chicago, the Columbus State Classical Guitar Competition in Columbus, Georgia, and the Southern Guitar Festival and Competition in Columbia, South Carolina.
Ric has carried a passion for building (and disassembling) things since he was a young child, with the help of his engineer father and his teachers in accelerated educational programs in school. During his undergraduate years in Mankato, MN, he worked as a guitar technician at a local music store where he specialized in guitar setup, fretwork and repairs.
His first excursion into lutherie was in his early graduate school days, when he fabricated a replacement soundboard for a guitar that arrived damaged in shipping. This was enough to pique his interest in guitar construction methods and theories behind various bracing patterns and acoustic physics, which led to much studying and tinkering, with the ultimate goal of blending innovation with tradition to improve the dynamic and tonal capabilities of the instrument.
For over 20 years Ric has performed all setup, fretwork and repairs on his own guitars as well as those of his students. He made the decision to begin seriously building in 2017, when he made multiple visits to the shop of Richard and Marshall Bruné and attended classes at the Chicago School of Guitar Making, where he studied under Ian Schneller.
The first guitar Ric built was debuted in concert by himself in March of 2018 and will soon be featured on a recording of music by James McGuire. He continues to build regularly for students and other clients, as well as for prizes at festivals, including the Chicago Guitar Festival and Southern Guitar Festival in Columbus, South Carolina. The inaugural Chicago Guitar Festival featured concerts by Denis Azabagic and Rene Izquierdo, who both performed with Richard Larsen guitars.
Richard Larsen Guitars will soon be carried at Hix Bros. Music in Aurora, IL.