Sam Desmet


Praised for his "poetic and sensible playing", award winning European Guitarist Dr. Sam Desmet performed in Taiwan, the United States, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany interpreting nineteenth and twentieth century repertoire.

With his first CD “study < > study”, European guitarist Dr. Desmet promoted and recorded guitar etudes and compositions of renowned composers such as Leo Brouwer, Angelo Gilardino and Simone Iannarelli, who praise the cd as an example of his refined musical personality.

"Listened. It’s good – you have quite the musical insight. Thank you."

— Angelo Gilardino, Musicologist, Composer


As a soloist and chamber music enthusiast, Dr. Desmet has performed in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Taiwan and the United States. Together with his wife, pianist Dr. Elizabeth Hsieh he formed ‘La Folia’ duo to promote guitar-piano chamber music.

He assisted, reviewed and proofread Concerto pour Guitare et Petit Orchestre opus 155 by Belgian composer Jean Absil which was published in 2009 under Italian label Berben upon request of musicologist Angelo Gilardino. Together with Dr. Gonzalo Gallardo, Mr. Desmet translated and published Solfėges and Vocalises Op. 195 by Ferdinando Carulli based on manuscripts of 1822-6. It may still be the only tutor intended for guitarists to read, sing and play two lines of music simultaneously. The edition is published in 2012 by the Canadian label Production d’Oz.

Dr. Desmet studied music performance and music pedagogy at the Royal Conservatory in his home country Belgium and graduated with highest distinction for guitar. Over the years, Sam had additional training through Master classes and individual lessons with Leo Brouwer, Alvaro Pierri, David Tanenbaum, Denis Azabagic and Thomas Johnson. Other major teachers include Yves Storms, Bruce Holzman Johan Fostier and Filip Rathé.

"Your playing is beautiful, full of sensibility, I have no important advice about your interpretation, I really love your work."

— Simone Iannarelli, Guitarist, Composer

register as a fan for free
Register as a fan of "Sam Desmet" and get the latest news via E-Mail.
register as a fan
After sending your data you will get an E-Mail where you can accept your subscription.

Short Profile

NameDesmet, Sam
Date of Birth1981-04-23
Born inBelgium, Europe
Home LocationMiami, United States
Main languageEnglish
Additional languages Dutch; Flemish,  French 
attended UniversitiesFlorida State University / Royal Conservatory Ghent (Belgium)
""...Although this is clearly (contemporary) composed music, the sophisticated performance of Sam Desmet makes you wonder at times whether the guitarist improvises or if the score imposes this. Typically for etudes, almost all pieces are of short duration. Only the compositions of Gilardino - a renowned musicologist - and Cuban composer Leo Brouwer make an exception. Everything else is short and powerful: a must-have for those who are not too much into contemporary composed music, but are open to it. The sensitive performance of Sam Desmet convinces those who are doubtful." (translated from Dutch)"
(Rinus van der Heijden)
share on facebook
  CD booklet,
""Listened. It's good - you have quite a musical insight. Thank you." "
(Angelo Gilardino)
share on facebook
 CD booklet,
""Your playing is beautiful, full of sensibility, I have no important advice about your interpretation, I really love your work.""
(Simone Iannarelli)
share on facebook
""At his graduation recital, he has proved to possess technical mastery, but above all a poetic sensibility and a candid intellectual integrity.""
(Tom Pauwels, guitarist, Royal Conservatory Ghent, member of ICTUS Ensemble)
share on facebook
""At a masterclass in Ghent, Belgium in October 2008 given by Maestro Leo Brouwer, Mr. Desmet played 'hika' and received nothing but praise from the Maestro. I have a strong belief in his perseverance, his organizational skills and his ability to seek out the best musical and technical solutions in his quest for beauty.""
(Yves Storms,Head of Guitar Department at Royal Conservatory Ghent)
share on facebook
""He has always shown an extremely opened and interested attitude, a huge motivation, a real passion for his instrument and a respectful approach to music and styles, which enabled him to progress constantly in terms of technical abilities, musicianship and interpretation. His best quality is probably his refined musical personality""
(Johan Fostier, guitarist, mentor, GFA 2001 winner)
share on facebook