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Phillip Hii

Guitarist Philip Hii has performed extensively in the United States, Mexico, Germany, and New Zealand. His Bach CD received rave reviews from critics in Germany, England, Japan and the US. It was chosen as one of Guitar Player Magazine's picks of the month which says, "His passionate rubato and penetrating tone contribute to a thrilling performance." The Washington Post calls the CD "exciting" and "dazzling." and Acoustic Guitar Magazine calls him "the Heifetz of the classical guitar."

A native of Malaysia, Philip Hii started the guitar at age ten. After winning a national competition in Malaysia, he left for New Zealand to study law. Hii won the New Zealand National Cup and appeared on national television. He furthered his studies in England and Germany before coming to the United States in 1983. Philip Hii holds a B. Mus degree from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand as well as a jazz arranging diploma from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas. 

Philip Hii has published numerous articles in SoundboardGuitar InternationalGitarre und Laute, and American String Teacher and is a former Guitar Forum Editor for the AST. Six of his Bach transcriptions have been published by Guitar Solo Publications. His second CD, Stream of Consciousness, is a compilation of originals arranged for solo guitar and synthesizers. In 2004, he released his third CD, a compilation of eleven Chopin nocturnes transcribed for guitar. He is also a member of the New York City Classical Guitar Society Artistic Advisory Board. His most recent project is a series of books called The Art of Virtuosity.

Press comments

·  ”Nobody plays the guitar like Philip Hii; he's a Heifetz of the classical guitar. Hii's Allegro is the best I've ever heard and the Toccata and Fugue is downright scary. This is must listening for classical guitar buffs who want to blow a few fuses. ”

Diane Gordon Acoustic Guitar

·  ”With impeccable technique and outstanding interpretative gifts, Hii succeeds in making these pieces - originally for violin or organ - sound joyfully at home on nylon-string guitar. His passionate rubato and penetrating tone contribute to a thrilling performance that adds a new dimension to the Bach repertoire. ”

James Rotondi Guitar Player

·  ”An even more exciting disc - because it faces more serious challenges and meets them brilliantly - is J. S. Bach: New Transcriptions for Guitar". Hii makes it sound as if it had been composed for his own instrument - no small accomplishment. ”

Joseph McLellan Washington Post

·  ”Fortunately for music lovers, there can never be a definitive Bach, but Philip Hii's New Transcriptions for Guitar must certainly join the ranks of the great performances and will undoubtedly give up-and-coming contenders an exciting goal to strive for. ”

Michael Wright Audio Magazine

·  ”...astonishing technique, abundant ideation and liquid expression...elegant sense of timing, his genuine interpretation and superb phrasing, the result being a completely satisfying Bach recital that borders on revelation. Yes, two roads diverged in a wood and Hii - he took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ”

John Schneider Soundboard

·  ”The affect of the Nocturnes selected for this disc are fully maintained in Hii's guitar versions, and he navigates the delicate lines with an ease achieved only through deep thought and reflection. Op.48, No.1 is the first piece to fully explore Hii's range of talents, challenging the guitarist with quick chromatic lines interwoven into a complex polyphony. Equally memorable is Hii's performance of Op.55, No.1, in which he captures the essence of the many beautiful moments in this composition. ”

Timothy Smith, Minor 7th

·  ”This uncommonly beautiful solo guitar music - 11 of Chopin's 21 Nocturnes arranged and exquisitely performed by Hii’s a gift to the spirit. Without knowing otherwise, one might think Chopin wrote for guitar rather than piano. ”

Chris Dodge, Utne

·  "Hii often puts the music first, over bravura technical display, and the result can be remarkably affecting. He has a great sense for the introverted expressive world of these pieces; and his interpretations are carefully considered, tasteful, and even moving. His scale technique is as fast as anyone's, and he plays many of these runs with a lightness of touch that few could achieve.”

Rings, American Record Guide

·  ”In his all-new transcriptions of eleven 'Nocturnes', Philip Hii emerges as a forceful and engaging performer, whose penchant for surges of dynamic energy ensure no listener drifts in to a slumber, nocturnal or otherwise. ...the performances remain controlled and compelling, Hii's remarkable capacity to sustain a single-string trill against dauntingly intricate accompaniments coming into its own on several occasions. ”

Paul Fowles, Classical Guitar Magazine

·  “He has an exceptional feel for the romantic style, and his playing will win over the hardest of hearts. He gets inside the music, at once making you feel that he is speaking from his heart and that this music was written expressly for the guitar.”

Tom Chandler, Rasputin Manifesto


"Aaron Shearer: An Interview." American String Teacher 41-1(Winter 1991): 77-79

"Bach's Method of Transcription." Soundboard 17(Spring 1990): 28-33

"Bachs Transkriptionsmethode." Gitarre und Laute 14-2 (March/April): 40-44

"The Gran Sonata Eroica; the Case for Its Authenticity." American String Teacher 40-4 (Autumn 1990): 75-79

"Mauro Giulianis Gran Sonata Eroica-authentisch oder nicht?" Gitarre und Laute 13-2 (September/Oktober): 12-16

Guitar Basics. Self-published textbook for teaching beginning guitar. Revised, 1990

"Projection on the Guitar." American String Teacher 41-4(Autumn 1991): 71-73

"Slurring Practices in Baroque Guitar and Lute Music" Soundboard (1987-88: 252-255

"Teaching Classical Guitar at the College level." American String Teacher 42-1

Johann Sebastian Bach. New Transcriptions for Guitar, Compact disc. GSP 1012CD released 1995