John McClellan and Kirk Hanser began performing together in 1996, each already being an
established solo artist in his own right. As a duo, they quickly became known for their
choice of entertaining programs, their technical and musical prowess, and their abilities for
connecting with audiences. Over the years, they have become recognized by critics and
audiences alike as one of the most highly respected chamber music groups in the U.S.
John McClellan’s playing has been described as “masterly...with a virtuous warm tone...fluid
phrasing and a strong sense of rhythm” (The Brisbane Courier Mail, Brisbane, Australia).
A master of many musical styles, John has been heard in concert and on recordings with
Luciano Pavarotti, Vince Gill, Tim Thompson, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), to name a few. As
a soloist, John has done major tours of the U.S. and Australia.
John is the author of the fastest selling books in the history of Mel Bay Publications, Chet
Atkins in Three Dimensions, Volumes 1 and 2 among many other book and DVD
publications. John serves as Professor of Guitar and the coordinator for guitar studies for
Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri, where the HMGD is ensemble-in-
Kirk Hanser “is a superb guitarist...possessing an authentic musical personality” writes
author and music critic Erik Eriksson (The DC Advocate, Door County, WI). Kirk has
performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan as soloist with orchestra, with various
chamber groups and on solo guitar. He has appeared on numerous recordings with a wide
range of artists and organizations, and is an author for Warner Brothers Publications and
Mel Bay Publications with numerous books in print ranging in style from classical to jazz,
rock to country.
The Hanser-McClellan Duo’s recordings have received awesome reviews both by music critics and by the public.
Their most recent feature recording, La Vida Breve, includes several exciting world premiere recordings - most of
which were written for or dedicated to the HMGD - by such award-winning composers as Jorge Morel, Rico Stover
and Jonas Mollberg. 2012's Slightly Above Below-Average, a tribute to the duo's friend, mentor, and multi-Grammy
winning guitarist/producer, Chet Atkins, finds Kirk and John performing with the likes of Tommy Emmanuel, Frank
Vignola, Grammy-award winners Janis Ian, the LAGQ, Vince Gill and many more.
Since 1996, the HMGD has performed throughout the US and Europe, including being the only outside duo invited to do
a teaching residency for the Paris Conservatory in the long history of the school. They have performed for such
diverse events as the Sheldon Classics Series (St. Louis, MO), the "Great Guitarists Concert Series" in Austin, TX, the
Kansas City Guitar Society, the South Bay Guitar Society (San Francisco), The Allegra Guitar Society (Fort Worth and
Dallas, TX), Chapelle du Solare in Bordeau, France, the International Guitar Foundation of America Conference (1999 &
again in 2005) and are standing, annual “special guests” at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Festival.
An award-winning teacher as well as performer, Kirk’s work with students - in and out of academe - have garnered several national
awards including “National Teacher of the Year” and (three-time) “Outstanding National Program” for his work in the Childbloom Guitar
Program. He serves as Executive Director for the St. Louis Guitar Consortium, Inc., an organization which focuses on providing guitar-
related opportunities (such as the Mid America Guitar Camps) for young musicians throughout the United States.
About the duo:
"...sheer swagger and verve...(their)
playing continually demands your
Classical Guitar Magazine (U.K.)
McClellan (lt.) and Hanser in concert in Paris, Feb. 2014
photo by Dreyfus & Assoc., St. Louis, MO
Springfield Gtr. Soc., 2006
photo by Job Conger
The HMGD perform and record
using D'Addario strings.
The HMGD perform and record using fine concert
classical guitars by master luthier Keith Adams.