Faculty & Instructors
Atanas Tzvetkov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1972, a natural musician and performer. He settled on the guitar at age eleven, studying under a young and ambitious teacher who pushed Atanas to take his evident talent seriously. Atanas earned a place at Dobrin Petkov, an exclusive music high school. Upon completion of this intensive five-year program, Atanas was accepted to the Academy of Music in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, where he obtained his Master's degree in music pedagogy (1995). During this period, Atanas performed throughout the country in festivals, concerts, and solo recitals, absorbing the varied musical traditions of Bulgaria -a nexus for Eastern and Western influences and home to a distinguished classical music culture as well as a distinctive folk music.
In 1995 Atanas left Bulgaria for the United States to study with the renowned classical guitarist, Ernesto Bitetti, at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he earned a Performer's diploma (1996) a Master's degree (1999), and a Doctoral degree in guitar performance (2009). In 1999, Atanas won first prize in the Second Annual Competition in the Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America, sponsored by the Spanish Cultural Center and by the Indiana University Latin American Center. The competition was followed by recordings and by a series of concerts throughout the United States, in New York, Dallas, Chicago and other cities.
Atanas has devoted much of his time to communicating his musical insight to the younger generation. In addition to his college teaching, master classes, and private lessons, Atanas has greatly expanded the Pre-College Guitar Program at Indiana University. Under his direction and leadership this program has become a cornerstone of the Guitar Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In 2014, the Pre-College Program has expanded into the Jacobs Guitar Academy now offering classes, ensembles and individual lessons for adults as well as youth.
Nathan Dillon has the experience, understanding and enthusiasm that enable him to provide excellent musical skills to variety of students at all ages.
Born in Alabama and raised in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, Nathan grew up surrounded by a wide range of musical styles. “The house was filled with classical music and when I stepped out my door there was bluegrass, country, rock… It was a very special musical childhood.”
He attended the Jacobs School of Music studying Jazz and Classical guitar performance before leaving for the New York and Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2003 where he also focused on guitar. Working and touring with music acts, ranging from country and rock to chamber and world music, took him away from academia while forming him into an active music professional. As an active pedagogue, over the last decade Nathan has worked in some of the finest schools in the US including Bank Street Lab School in New York City as well as Catherine Cook School and Nettelhorst Elementary in Chicago. He is the Founder and Director of Everybody Rocks, which brings music classes to people of all walks of life throughout Chicago land and southern Indiana.
His experience in building vibrant musical communities makes him the perfect addition to the Jacobs Guitar Academy, as it endeavors to expand its musical offerings and broaden its musical outreach.
Espen Jensen was born in Norway in 1975. He began training on the classical guitar at the age of nine under guitar instructor Bengt Martinussen. Prior to entering the performance program at Agder College-Conservatory of Music in Kristiansand, Norway in 1994, Jensen spent three years at the Gymnasium-Dahlske Skole in Grimstad, Norway where he further dedicated his studies to music. he graduated from Agder College-Conservatory of Music in 1998 with the Candidatus Magistri degree in Performance, and was awarded a 1.00 on his final recital - "the highest grade ever given to a guitarist." Upon graduation, Jensen moved to the United States where he entered the Master of Music program at Indian University's Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington. There he was awarded a tuition scholarship and served as an Associate Instructor in the Guitar Department.
He received his master's degree in Guitar Performance in 2000, after having studied with Maestro Ernesto Bitetti for two years. He continued his graduate studies with Maestro Bitetti and is currently pursuing the Doctor of Music degree in Guitar Performance and Literature. In 2001, Jensen won first prize in both the string division of the Indianapolis Matinee Musical competition, and the 4th Annual Competition in Performance of Music from Latin America and Spain in Bloomington.
Charlie Jesseph is a Bloomington, Indiana native and the youngest of four children in a family of musicians. He lived music from the beginning, studying piano at the age of 4, drums at 6, and guitar at 12. His father, who studied classical guitar in college, was his first teacher.
In 2008 Charlie received the scholarship award of his high school class as “2008 Musician of the Year”. During college he took a one-semester hiatus and traveled through London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Rome, thriving as an acoustic duo with a percussionist Jade Prieboy.
He has performed as a singer and guitarist for professional and academic musical theatre productions. As member of larger formations, he widely expanded his musical experience being the founder and leader of a 7-piece soul band, Charlie & The Groove Factory, as well as singing in IU Soul Revue, performing in the IU Brazilian and Afro-Cuban percussion ensembles, and touring with Otaak Band as a guitarist and keyboardist. In addition he has attended improvisation workshops with Bobby McFerrin and Voicestra.r />Since the age of 11 Charlie has been attending the world/folk a cappella camp Ooolation and is currently teaching original choral arrangements as part of their staff.
Charlie radiates vibrant enthusiasm for music. He enjoys helping students learn about all the essential elements of music and how they work together in balance. One of his specially as a performer and teacher is providing a simple and clear approach to the complex concepts of music theory, while teaching the fundamentals of songwriting and performance in all styles of contemporary guitar such as pop, jazz, folk, and soul/R&B.
“His musicianship skills are multifaceted, he is remarkably intuitive and I consider Charlie a great asset… He is a sensitive communicator who is able to translate his musical knowledge effectively”
Bob Stoloff, 25-year chair of the Berklee School of Music voice department
Andrew Laszlo, a Bloomington native, Andrew Laszlo has been involved in his musical community for over a decade. He grew up in a music-rich household and gained an appreciation for multiple music styles and genres. Andrew began his guitar studies at age 8 through the IU Pre-College Guitar program under the direction of the venerable Atanas Tzvetkov.
During the 12 year period in the program (now the Jacobs Guitar Academy) he has actively participated in: Jacobs Guitar Academy Festival and Ensemble Workshop 2014, Indiana International Guitar Festival and Competition 2011-2013, multiple solo and ensemble showcases at Jacobs School of Music concert halls and the Music Arts Center (MAC) community volunteer and fundraising performances as a soloist and a leading guitarist in Jacobs Guitar Academy Ensemble.
In addition to his performance experience, Andrew has participated in various master classes held by esteemed guitarists such as Maestro Vito Nicola Paradiso, Aniello Desiderio, Martha Masters and Eduardo Catemario.
Throughout the past few years, Andrew has expanded his artistic endeavors as a multi-instrumentalist actively being involved in various musical projects ranging from classical to jazz and rock. Currently, he is pursuing a Bachelor degree in guitar performance through the Jacobs School of Music as well as a Bachelor degree in Informatics. After growing through all the levels of Jacobs Guitar Academy and emerging as one of the upraising guitar professionals with truly distinguished skills and knowledge, Andrew is exited to join the team of instructors at the Academy and further the education of aspiring guitarists.
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Nemanja Ostojic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and is considered to be one of the finest guitarists of his generation. He graduated from the Belgrade Academy of Music, in the class of prof. Srdjan Tosic, receiving his Bachelor Degree in Music. Currently he is studying at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington, under Ernesto Bitetti. He attended master-classes with Carlo Marchione, Leo Brouwer, Costas Cotsiolis, Pavel Steidl, Eduardo Isaak , among others.
Guitar Art Competition in Belgrade (2001,2003)
Both Serbian and Yugoslavian State competitions for young musicians (2000, 2003)
Festival of Classical Guitar Sinaya, Romania
Volos Guitar Festival, Greece
Competition for young guitarist "Anna Amalia" Weimar,Germany
Guitar festival "Niccolo Paganini" Parma, Italy
Finalist of the 2005 Jeunesse Musicales, Belgrade, Serbia
2nd prize at "Il de Re competition", France
4th prize Iserlohn Symposium, Germany
1st prize at GAF in Herceg Novi, Montenegro
1st prize at GAF in Herceg Novi, Montenegro
1st prize at 11th "Competition in performance of music from Spain and Latin America" , held at the IU. Jacobs School of Music
1st prize at 2008 Schadt String Competition in Allentown, PA
1st prize at 7th Texas Guitar Competition
Ostojic has performed in Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Germany, USA, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, France, Russia, Turkey and USA. He performed as soloist with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Athens chamber orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, Saint George Strings, performing with conductors such as Petar Ivanovic, Daragana Jovanovic, Bujor Hoinic and with Maestro Leo Brouwer, performing "Concierto de Aranjuez" at the 5th GAF in Belgrade. Nemanja had the honor to substitute for the great John Williams in this very special performance, and to perform with Maestro Brouwer himself. Nemanja has particular interest in Latin American music.
Press: "Nemanja's chords led him to victory" -Glas Javnosti, Belgrade, Serbia
"Showing some pluck" -The Morning Call, Allentown,PA
Milena Petkovic was born in Prizren, Serbia. She began playing classical guitar at the age of eleven. After Primary school she enrolled High Music School in Belgrade majoring in Classical Guitar and Music Theory. At the same school she had the opportunity to become acquainted with Early music and got a diploma for Lute as well. In 2006 Milena was accepted to the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia. During her studies she participated in numerous national and international music festivals as a master class student, performer, competitor or a member of the organizational teams. Among the awards Milena has received for her work are the second prize for guitar performance at the International Guitar Festival, Kyustendil, Bulgaria (2006), the first prize at Guitar Open Festival, in Subotica, Serbia (2010), and the second prize at Naissus Guitar Festival in Niš, Serbia (2010). In 2012 she continued her studies at Indiana University where she graduated with a Performer Diploma in Guitar Performance under the guidance of Maestro Ernesto Bitetti. She is currently working toward a Master of Music degree from the IU Jacobs School of Music.
In Serbia, Milena performed her solo concerts, chamber concerts (guitar duo, and guitar and violin) as well as with the Guitar Orchestra of Academy of Arts. As a member of “Anonymus 2” Lute Ensemble, Milena went to a music tour in Tuscany, Italy, which included concerts in Florance, Siena and San Gimignano. In 2010, as winner of the first prize at Guitar Open Festival, Milena played a solo concert in Szeged, Hungary
She is also interested in Pedagogy and music teaching. Milena’s pedagogical work includes three internships in music schools in Serbia and Associate Guitar Instructor position at IU Jacobs School of Music. In Serbia she taught individual lessons to children ages 7 - 14 at Primary music schools while attending Academy in Novi Sad. Besides this work with children she has acquired a different experience by working with students and teaching group classes as well as individual students at Jacobs School of Music.