Schaeffer Guitar Competition

For Undergraduate Students

Sponsored by the Leonard and David Schaeffer Memorial Endowment, this competition honors the memories of Leonard and David, and their father, Albert Schaeffer, by showcasing the exemplary talents of the University of Arizona guitar studio.

Albert M. Schaeffer practiced law in Chicago and Tucson, and was a Chicago jazz pianist, a five-year combat captain in World War II, and a military judge in Germany following the war. His wife, Clare, was the daughter of Aaron Kritz, a famous Chicago cantor. She was raised in a distinguished musical family and appeared in Vaudeville as a young child. She is a master therapeutic recreation specialist, and garnered national attention for her groundbreaking work in music therapy with the residents of Handmaker home for the aging. Clare's brother, Robert Kritz, is a noted composer of classical music, her sister Brina Roden is a published poet, and her sister Judith Perkins was an accomplished pianist. Their support and guidance helped to establish the University of Arizona Guitar Studies Program as one of this country's finest.

The Leonard and David Schaeffer Memorial Endowment serves to promote and reward excellence in guitar performance. It is an endowed fund, the income of which will provide awards for the winners of the annual competition and will continue to advance further objectives of the School of Music at The University of Arizona. 

Past winners of this competition, open to all undergraduate guitar performance majors at the University of Arizona, have gone on to win top prizes in international guitar competitions. 


Schaeffer Competition Guidelines:

Semi-Final Round: 10 minutes of free-choice repertoire


Final Round: 15 minutes of free-choice repertoire*


*Any piece may be repeated from the semi-final round to the final


1989: Ray Sandoval

1990: Jorge Hernández

1991: Danny Arias

1992: Ken Price

1993: Celso Cano

1994: William Mericle

1995: Alieksey Vianna

1996: Brad Ford

1997: Evan Hirschelman

1998: Rick Hill

1999: Evan Hirschelman

2000: Dieter Hennings Yeomans

2001: Dieter Hennings Yeomans

2002: Cale Hoeflicker

2003: Rick Hill

2004: Cale Hoeflicker

2005: Eric Singh

2006: David Talamante

2007: Alvaro Mendizabal

2008: Daniel Vildosola

2009: Misael Barraza-Diaz

2010: Misael Barraza-Diaz

2011: Misael Barraza-Diaz & Steven Lerman

2012: Misael Barraza-Diaz

2013: Steven Lerman

2014: Kathy Acosta & Zachary Empkey

2015: Ignacio Mondaca

2016: Ignacio Mondaca

2017: Ignacio Mondaca

2018: Ignacio Mondaca

2019: Grace Sheppard

2021: Yihui Wang

2022: Dante Olita