The 15th New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes:

June 26 – July 1, 2015

William Kanengiser, Rene IzquierdoJorge Caballero, João Luiz, Newman & Oltman Guitar DuoMariano Aguirre, Elina Chekan, Ana María Rosado, James M. Day, Francisco Roldán, Carlo Valte, Duo Cantabile, many others

More details and registration coming soon!

Get hands-on classical guitar training at the 14th New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, June 24-29. The seminar, open to players of all ages and levels, includes master classes, performance classes, ensemble coaching, interactive forums, and concerts by participants and the faculty.

We have gathered some of our favorite guitarists—teachers at the world’s top schools, including Princeton University, Yale University, the Royal Academy of Music (London), The Juilliard School, Mannes College The New School for Music—for a week of intensive master classes, interactive workshops, along with faculty and participant concerts in the heart of New York City. See you in June!
— Michael Newman & Laura Oltman

Fábio Zanon performs Paulinho da Viola's "Itanhangá"

at the
2014 New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes
Americas Society Concert

William Kanengiser

Recognized as one of America’s finest classical guitarists, William Kanengiser won First Prize in the 1987 Concert Artists Guild International Competition as well as major guitar competitions in Toronto (1981) and Paris (1983).  He has recorded four solo CD’s for the GSP label, ranging from classical to jazz to Caribbean to Near Eastern styles, and he recently recorded two CD’s for the Suzuki Guitar Advanced Repertoire Series. In 2005 he released a live concert DVD, “Classical Guitar and Beyond”, for Mel Bay Recordings, which also features Mr. Kanengiser’s talents as a comedian/mimic in his infamous “GFA Imitation Show”. A member of the guitar faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music since 1983, he was a recipient of the “2011 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching”. He has given master classes around the world and produced two instructional videos, “Effortless Classical Guitar” and “Classical Guitar Mastery” for Hot Licks Video. The 2010-11 season was marked by special performances of Shingo Fujii’s “Concerto de Los Angeles” for solo guitar and guitar orchestra, which was written for Mr. Kanengiser and recorded in Kyoto in 2008. This piece was played with guitar students in seven US cities, as well as in Osaka and Shanghai. Featured recitals in 2012-13 include Spivey Hall near Atlanta and appearances with the Long Island, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Calgary and Indianapolis Guitar Socities.

As a founding member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Mr. Kanengiser has toured extensively throughout Asia, Europe and North America and recorded over a dozen CD’s.  LAGQ was awarded a GRAMMY® for Best Classical Crossover Recording in 2004. Their newest recording project “Interchange”, features concertos by Joaquin Rodrigo and Sergio Assad; it was released in March 2010 and received a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Classical Composition. In addition to three European tours this season, they recently completed their Australian debut tour, including three sold-out shows at the Sydney Opera House.

In addition to the many arrangements and compositions Mr. Kanengiser has written for LAGQ over the years, Mr. Kanengiser recently created the stage production “The Ingenious Don Quixote: Words and Music from the Time of Cervantes”, writing a one-hour script for John Cleese (of Monty Python) and arranging accompanying Spanish Renaissance music for guitar quartet.  This work is now being toured with comedian Phil Proctor of the Firesign Theater, and was recently released as a live DVD on Mel Bay Recordings.

Rene Izquierdo

Rene Izquierdo, a native from Cuba, graduated from the Guillermo Tomas, Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and Superior Institute of Art in Havana. In the United States, Mr. Izquierdo earned a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma degrees from the Yale University School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery. While at Yale he represented the university in an exchange program with the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse du Paris and worked with guitarists Olivie Chassain and Roland Dyens. Rene has appeared as a guest soloist and in chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Cuba and Europe. He has shared the stage with prestigious guitarists including Eliot Fisk, Benjamin Verdery and Jorge Morel, as well as renowned flutist Ransom Wilson, soprano Lucy Shelton, David Jolley and Paquito d’Rivera. Renowned composers such as Jorge Morel and Carlos R. Rivera have dedicated works to him.

Mr. Izquierdo is a recipient of numerous awards. He is a winner of JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition in 2004, Extremadura International Guitar Competition, Schadt String competition, Stotsenberg International Guitar Competition among others.

He is currently a professor of classical guitar at the Wisconsin State University in Milwaukee and an active solo performer and chamber musician. Rene has studied with Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Eli Kassner, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, David Starobin, Eduardo Fernandez, Jorge Morel, Robert Beaser and Anthony Newman among others.

 Jorge Caballero

Guitarist and composer Jorge Caballero is the youngest musician and the only guitarist to win the Naumburg International Competition Award, one of the most prestigious and coveted awards given to performers of any instrument, and comparable to the Pulitzer Prize for musicians. He is known for his dazzling virtuosity, his intense musicality and his spellbinding performances. Widely regarded as one of the finest guitarists of his generation, Allan Kozzinn of the New York Times called him a "superb young guitarist" and praised his rare combination of "a deft, powerful technique and a soft-spoken interpretive persona."  

Mr. Caballero has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York Chamber Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic and the Presidential Symphony of Ankara, Turkey, among others. His recital appearances include performances at New York's Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress in Washington (in the historic Great Performers Series), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles and other venues in the United States and internationally. Recent performances include recitals at the Santo Tirso Guitar Festival in Portugal, as well as concerts in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico. 

Mr. Caballero was featured as the center artist for the production of "Austin Pictures," one of the largest events ever produced featuring a solo classical guitar. The production took place at the Austin City Limits Live Theater and it involved visual arts, film, and Mr. Caballero's performance of Modest Mussorgsky's iconic work "Pictures at an Exhibition." The show was broadcasted live on National Public Radio (KUT 90.5 FM Austin), and on KLRU (PBS) National Television later.

In 2009, Mr. Caballero was called at the last minute to replace John Williams at the 18th edition of the Iserlohn Guitar Symposium, one of the most important guitar festivals in Europe.  Reviews of the concert state that "From the first note, [Mr. Caballero] revealed a perfect mastery of guitar and music." Another critic said: "If I had not shaken hands with him, I would not have had the certainty of having seen a human being... The guitar proved to be a universal instrument with unlimited possibilities of orchestration and better than any other instrument."

Mr. Caballero recorded Antonin Dvorak's "New World" Symphony transcribed for solo guitar, a work that he is one of only two guitarists in the world to perform. His Musical Heritage CD of Bach Cello Suites, recorded in 2000, was highly praised by critics, drawing comparisons to Casals, Rostropovich and Segovia. He recently recorded "Alba," a one-movement work by American Composer Mark N. Grant, released last year on Albany Records. A recording of Bach keyboard works is in the planning stages, as well as a recording of Alban Berg's Piano Sonata Op. 1, also arranged by Mr. Caballero, and arguably one of the most important works ever arranged for the guitar. Earlier this year, Mr. Caballero was featured playing a 1940 Hauser I guitar (formerly played by Julian Bream) in three videos produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A native of Lima, Peru, Mr. Caballero comes from a musical family. His mother is a well-known singer in Peru and as a child he spent many evenings sitting backstage at her concerts. He learned to play guitar from his father, but he had already absorbed much knowledge about the instrument from listening to his father give lessons. Growing up at a time when terrorists in Peru bombed electrical stations, he became an expert at practicing in the dark. 

He began his professional training at the National Conservatory in Lima, studying with Oscar Zamora. He later studied in the United States, where he attended the Manhattan School of Music. He is the recipient of top prizes at the Tokyo International Guitar Competition, the Luis Sigall Competition, and the First Latin American Guitar Competition, in addition to the Naumburg, which he won in 1996 at age 19.  

 Mr. Caballero's repertoire is notable for its breadth and scope: When he applied to the conservatory, his teacher suggested that perhaps he should list the pieces that he did not play, since there were so few of them. It ranges from Bach to Ginastera, from Paganini to Ponce, from Scarlatti and Dowland to Giuliani and Legnani, from Renaissance pieces for the vihuela to modern composers like Carter, Berio and Ferneyhough. 

Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo

Hailed as a “revelation to hear” by The Washington Post, the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo’s phenomenal musicianship places them solidly at the top of their field. Their innovative programming, matchless technique and ensemble precision, combined with their commitment to expanding the repertoire for guitar duo make them a stand-out chamber ensemble in every way.

Newman and Oltman’s concert tours have taken them to world cultural capitals and premiere venues across five continents. Recent highlights include performances in the United States and Asia, major capitals of Europe, South America, South Africa, Canada, the Caribbean and the South Pacific, with performances at Carnegie Hall, aboard the Queen Elizabeth II, at Caramoor and at the Grand Canyon, among other locales. The Duo has demonstrated extraordinary stylistic breadth in their collaborations with such diverse artists as author Frank McCourt (“Angela’s Ashes”), composer/conductor Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, violinist Arnold Steinhardt, fiddler Eileen Ivers, and numerous string quartets including ETHEL, Calder, Daedalus and Turtle Island. 

Upcoming performances for 2010 will include collaborations with violinist Timothy Fain at the Raritan River Music Festival, flutist Clare Hoffman and bandoneon virtuoso Daniel Binelli at the Grand Canyon Music Festival, and the New York premiere of Repentance by Sofia Gubaidulina (for three guitars, cello and bass) at the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes. The Duo will also perform concerts and master classes at the Iserlohn International Festival in Germany and at the International Music Festival F. Sor in Bogota, Colombia.

Through their groundbreaking New Music Commissioning Program, Newman & Oltman have built a unique repertoire of works for two guitars by leading and emerging composers such as Paul Moravec, Augusta Reed Thomas, Lowell Liebermann, Dušan Bogdanović and Roberto Sierra. The duo’s latest CD, Music from Raritan River (MSR Classics 1298), which was hailed by Fanfare Magazine as “top notch” and “a winner all around”, features a collection of world premieres commissioned by the duo over the past decade. 

Their artistry has also been captured on nearly a dozen other acclaimed recordings, including Songs of Spain (BMG), Laments and Dances: Music from the Folk Traditions (Music Masters) with the Turtle Island Quartet, Sally Rogers and Jay Unger, Tango Suite! Romance for Two Guitars (Music Masters) and Christmas Pastorale: 600 Years of Carols, Chorales, Preludes and Pastorales on Two Guitars (Musical Heritage Society). Their recordings uniformly garner critical praise: “A reference standard” (Billboard), “Their duet recordings reveal a finely blended sound and true unity of timbre and style” (The New York Times), “…beautifully realized performances” (Guitar Player Magazine).

Newman & Oltman’s contributions to the world of music have been recognized by grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and other national and international organizations, including the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

The Duo has served as ensemble-in-residence at New York’s Mannes College of Music since 1987, and has recently been featured artists-in-residence at Cornell University, University of Puerto Rico, and Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. Michael and Laura are founders and artistic directors of the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, which takes place every summer in New York City ( They also are founders and music directors of New Jersey’s Raritan River Concerts and the Raritan River Music Festival (

Michael Newman serves on the faculty of Mannes College. Laura Oltman serves on the faculties of Princeton University and Lafayette College.

Mariano Aguirre

Mariano Aguirre has performed in the United States and Mexico. Past engagements include performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, The Noon Concert Series at Trinity Church, Music from Good Shepherd, and Music in Chelsea. He has appeared at many festivals, including the Young Artist Series at the Aspen Music Festival, Bach and the Baroque Festival, and the Warwick Music Festival in the United States. He has toured in Mexico performing at the National University, Centro Nacional de las Artes, and the Conservatorio de las Rosas. Mr. Aguirre performs with Duo Cantabile for voice and guitar and is a co-founder of the Six Hands Guitar Trio. Recordings of his work appear on the Vienna Modern Masters label. Mr. Aguirre is on faculty at Mannes College and the Brooklyn Music School.

Elina Chekan

Elina (Ella) Chekan is currently teaching classical guitar at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she also directs the Suzuki and Pre-College Guitar Program.

A native of Minsk, Belarus, Ella began studying guitar at the age of 13 with Valeriy Gromov. She graduated from Minsk Music College in 1994, and the Belarus Academy of Music in 1999 under Eugene Gridiushko with a degree in Classical Guitar Performance, Orchestral Conducting, and Guitar Pedagogy.

In the year 2000 Ella entered Yale University where she received the Louis and Anne Rosoff award and graduated with a degree in Classical Guitar Performance with professor Ben Verdery.

Combining active performance and teaching careers, Ella has appeared as a soloist, and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad.

Some of this year's appearances include Chamber Music Milwaukee Series, Brussels Royal Museum of Musical Instrument in Belgium, Tucson Classical Guitar Society, Mannes College Guitar Festival in New York.

In her teaching Ella believes in the individualized approach to every student with tailored instruction based on student needs. Mrs. Chekan has extensive knowledge of guitar pedagogy and repertoire, and has experienced first hand different guitar schools of thought. Ella is also a certified Suzuki instructor registered with the Suzuki Association of Americas. All this experience allows her to find unique approaches and repertoire for each of her students, giving them a solid foundation in technique and musicianship at an early stage.

Along with conducting Ella has arranged a wide variety of music for solo and chamber music. Since 2005, Ella is on the faculty at "Usdan Center for the Performing Arts" in Long Island, NY. In addition to teaching and performing at USDAN, she conducts the guitar orchestra with up to sixty performers.

In her quest for present-day student repertoire, Ella comissioned composer Jorge Morel to write a series of student repertoire solo and ensemble pieces that is published by Mel Bay. In her believe that young players are our future, Ella is working with musicians and composers encouraging them to write appealing and musically interesting pieces for the young generation of guitarists.

Renowned Argentinean Composer Jorge Morel dedicated to Ms. Chekan his composition "Campañas" published by Mell Bay in "The Magnificent Guitar of Jorge Morel".

Ella Chekan performs on a John Price guitar and uses Savarez strings.