In July, 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina, the renowned American classical guitarist Christopher Parkening was inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) ]Hall of Fame and given the Artistic Achievement Award. This prestigious award is given to "performers who have made monumental contributions to the development of the art and
life of the classical guitar."
Mr Parkening also used this occasion to make this notable announcement: "As I am gathered with you to celebrate the classical guitar, I have chosen this time and place to share with you what for me is a rather difficult announcement. After nearly five decades as a concert guitarist, the time has come for me to step away from the concert stage.
"Some of you know that for these past few years I have had some physical issues resulting in numerous back surgeries. At this point in my life, I would like to focus more on my family and on my commitment to teaching my students at Pepperdine University and in master classes throughout the country, sharing my insights and experiences- both musical
and personal- as I mentor young artists.
"I am grateful to all of those who have had important roles in my life and career. Through the years I have tried to play my guitar for the purpose as defined by J. S. Bach who
said, 'Soli Deo Gloria,' 'To God alone the glory.'"