JESSICA PAPKOFF began taking guitar lessons at age six, made her solo classical guitar recital debut at age sixteen and her concerto debut two years later in the San Francisco Bay Area as winner of the Contra Costa Symphony's Young Musician's Award performing Joaquin Rodrigo's Fantasia para un Gentilhombre. Jessica received a B.A. in Music from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Music degree from the Yale University School of Music. Jessica has studied guitar privately and in master classes with George Sakellariou, Michael Lorimer, Eliot Fisk, Robert Guthrie, Abel Carlevaro, Pepe Romero, Oscar Ghiglia, and Sharon Isbin.
Jessica has performed solo, duo and chamber music concerts on the East and West coasts including performances at the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, the Trinity Church Guitar Concert Series in New York City, the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, CT, U.C. Berkeley's Hertz Hall, the Educational Cultural Complex in San Diego, California and at numerous colleges and venues throughout Washington state including the Bumbershoot Arts Festival, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Experience Music Project Sky Church for the NW Recording Academy Showcase, and the Northwest Folklife Festival. She has been featured on KPFA radio in Berkeley, KDVS in Davis and on local television in Aspen, Colorado.
Jessica has been the recipient of many scholarships and music awards including scholarships to the Aspen Music School, Banff School of Fine Arts, Yale University, the U.C. Davis Stein Award for Excellence in Musical Performance, First Place in Seattle's 200+1 Club Music Competition and the Washington State Artist Trust Music Fellowship in 1993. Most recently, Jessica was the only American woman selected to participate in the prestigious 1999 Stotsenberg International Classical Guitar Competition at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and she was also awarded 2nd Place in the 1999 Northwest Classical Guitar Festival Competition.
In addition to her work as a classical guitarist, Jessica was also an accomplished french horn player performing in numerous ensembles and orchestras including the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor and musicologist, Professor D. Kern Holoman, and also as a member of the University of Washington Symphony under the direction of Abraham Kaplan. As a musician with diversified tastes and talents, Jessica has many years experience as a lead guitarist, songwriter and co-producer for several award-winning Seattle folk-pop groups and is also a published freelance music writer. Jessica works fulltime in the software industry and is the founder of Fretgirl Records which released her debut solo classical guitar recording in May of 2002. This recording was recently selected as one of the winners of Acoustic Guitar Magazine's 2003 Homegrown CD Award.