Awards and recognition
Guitarist Lily Afshar, praised by the Washington Post as “remarkable, impeccable”, is the winner of the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist. Chosen as “Artistic Ambassador” for the United States Information Agency to Africa, she is the winner of the Tenth, Eleventh, and the Twelfth Annual “Premier Guitarist” awards respectively, awarded by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. Lily was awarded the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award, the 2000 Eminent Faculty Award, and the 1996 Distinguished Research Award at The University of Memphis. Other awards include the Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Music, the National Endowment for the Arts Recording Award, Top Prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, Grand Prize in the Aspen Music Festival Guitar Competition, and First Prizes in both the Music Teachers’ National Association and the American String Teachers’ Association Guitar Competitions.
Lily Afshar was among twelve international guitarists selected to play for Andrés Segovia in his master classes held at the University of Southern California, at which time Segovia predicted that “she will be a beautiful celebrity”. She then appeared in an interview on the NBC Nightly News.