Richard Larsen is a classical guitar builder, performer, and instructor with over 20 years of experience. Ric instructs classical guitar lessons and classes at Aurora University and teaches privately throughout the western suburbs of Chicago. He began playing piano at age five, making the switch to guitar at age 13 and moving toward the classical guitar in college. After studying with James McGuire at Minnesota State University, Ric pursued a master's degree at Elmhurst College and studied with Denis Azabagic, world-renowned performing artist and professor at Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. He is a former board member of the Chicago Classical Guitar Society, has served as a guest judge at numerous competitions and evaluated recitals, and has performed for a variety of festivals, competitions, and recital series.
Ric's love for building guitars began on his apartment porch during his graduate school days when he constructed a replacement soundboard for a guitar that was delivered broken. He honed his craft by working as a guitar technician in Mankato, MN, where he specialized in setup and fret work, and by taking classes from the Chicago School of Guitar Making in Chicago, IL. Ric has been working to perfect his guitar designs and methods through collaborations with performers such as award-winning virtuoso Rene Izquierdo, Gigmaster's "Top National Guitarist" Jim Perona, and both Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes of progressive metal band Animals as Leaders, and plans to officially begin business as Richard Larsen Guitars, LLC, in late 2023.
The exhibition, Sound Carvings, displayed at the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University during the Fall semester of 2022, visually portrayed Ric's process of creating handmade guitars, from the selection of distinct woods to carving and assembling core parts of the instrument to assiduously polishing the finished product.