Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple GRAMMY Award winner Sharon Isbin has been hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time”. She is also the winner of Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Classical Guitarist” award, the Madrid Queen Sofia and Toronto Competitions, and was the first guitarist ever to win the Munich Competition. She has given sold-out performances throughout the world in the greatest halls including New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’ Châtelet, Vienna’s Musikverein, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Madrid’s Teatro Real, and many others. She has served as Artistic Director/Soloist of festivals she created for Carnegie Hall and the Ordway Music Theatre (St. Paul), her own series at New York’s 92nd Street Y, and the acclaimed national radio series Guitarjam. She is a frequent guest on national radio programs including All Things Considered and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. She has been profiled on television throughout the world, including CBS Sunday Morning and the A&E Network, and was a featured guest on Showtime Television’s international hit seriesThe L Word. On September 11, 2002, Ms.Isbin performed at Ground Zero for the internationally televised memorial. In November 2009, she performed a concert at the White House by invitation of the President and First Lady. She performed as featured soloist in the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award winning film, The Departed. She has been profiled in periodicals fromPeople to Elle, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, as well as on the cover of 45 magazines. A documentary onSharon Isbin, produced by Susan Dangel, will be completed in 2012.
Ms. Isbin’s catalogue of over 25 recordings—from Baroque, Spanish/Latin and 20th Century to crossover and jazz-fusion—reflects remarkable versatility. Her latest recording, Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions (Sony) became a #1 bestseller on Amazon.com, and includes guest rock guitarists Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Nancy Wilson (Heart), jazz guitarists Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo, Brazilian artists Rosa Passos and Thiago de Mello, and saxophonist Paul Winter. Her 2010 GRAMMY Award winning CD, Journey to the New World includes guests Joan Baez, and Mark O’Connor in the world premiere of his folk-inspired suite for violin and guitar. Ranked as a #1 bestselling classical CD on Amazon.com and iTunes, it spent 63 consecutive weeks on the top Billboard charts. Her Dreams of a World soared onto top classical Billboard charts, edging out The 3 Tenors, and earned her a 2001 GRAMMY Award for “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance”, making her the first classical guitarist to receive aGRAMMY in 28 years. Her world premiere recording of concerti written for her by Christopher Rouse and Tan Dun debuted as #6 on the Billboard charts and received a 2002 GRAMMY Award, as well as Germany’s prestigious Echo Klassik Award. She received a 2005 Latin GRAMMY nomination for “Best Classical Album” and a 2006 GLAAD Media Award nomination for “Outstanding Music Artist” (alongside Melissa Etheridge) for her Billboard Top 10 Classical disc with the New York Philharmonic of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez,and concerti by Mexican composer Manuel Ponce and Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos. This marked the Philharmonic’s first-ever recording with guitar, and followed their Avery Fisher Hall performances with Ms. Isbin as their first guitar soloist in 26 years. Baroque Favorites for Guitar with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra remained on the BillboardTop 10 Classical Chart for over 16 weeks, and her Journey to the Amazon with Brazilian percussionist Thiago de Mello andsaxophonist Paul Winter, a Billboard best-seller in the U.S. and the U.K., received a 1999 GRAMMY nomination for “Best Classical Crossover Album”. She is also featured on Howard Shore’s 2008 GRAMMY nominated soundtrack CD for The Departed. Other CDs include Artist Profile, Wayfaring Stranger with mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, Greatest Hits (EMI/Virgin Classics), and Aaron Jay Kernis’ Double Concerto (Argo/Decca) with violinist Cho-Liang Lin and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) which received a 2000 GRAMMY nomination. Her eight best-selling titles for EMI/Virgin Classics include J.S. Bach Complete Lute Suites and concerti by Joaquin Rodrigo which the composer praised as “magnificent”. She is also featured on the GRAMMY Foundation’s Smart Symphonies™ CD distributed to over five million families. Her recordings have received many other awards, including “Critic’s Choice Recording of the Year” in both Gramophone and CD Review, “Recording of the Month” in Stereo Review, and “Album of the Year” in Guitar Player. Sharon Isbin has been acclaimed for expanding the guitar repertoire with some of the finest new works of the century. She has commissioned and premiered more concerti than any other guitarist, as well as numerous solo and chamber works. Her American Landscapes (EMI/Virgin Classics) with the SPCO conducted by Hugh Wolff is the first-ever recording of American guitar concerti and features works written for her by John Corigliano, Joseph Schwantner, and Lukas Foss. (In November 1995, it was launched in the space shuttle Atlantis and presented to Russian cosmonauts during a rendezvous with Mir.) She has also recorded the Schwantner with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony. In January 2000, she premiered the ninth concerto written for her: Concert de Gaudí by Christopher Rouse with Christoph Eschenbach and the NDR Symphony, followed by performances with Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony, and David Zinman at the Aspen Music Festival. Among the many other composers who have written for her are Joan Tower, David Diamond, Aaron Jay Kernis, Leo Brouwer, Howard Shore, Steve Vai, and Ned Rorem in whose documentary she is featured. In2003 she premiered John Duarte’s Joan Baez Suite, and in 2005 she premiered a duo by rock guitarist Steve Vai in their joint concert in Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet.
Ms. Isbin performs 60-100 concerts a season, and recent highlights have included tours with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Tonkünstler Orchestra throughout Austria including Vienna’s Musikverein, recitals in New York’s 92nd St Y and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, a week of concerto and recital performances presented by the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, Filarmonica Toscanini in Milan, and the MIDEM Classical Awards in Cannes. Ms. Isbin has appeared as soloist with over 160 orchestras, including in the United States the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Dallas,Pittsburgh, Minnesota, St. Louis, Nashville, New Jersey, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Utah, Memphis, and Honolulu Symphonies, the Rochester, Brooklyn, and Buffalo Philharmonics, as well as the St. Paul, New York, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras. Ms. Isbin has toured Europe annually since she was seventeen, and has also toured Canada, Japan and the Far East, New Zealand, South America, Mexico and Israel appearing in recital and as soloist with such orchestras as the Zurich, Scottish and Lausanne Chamber Orchestras, the London Symphony, Orchestre National de France, BBC Scottish, Lisbon, Gulbenkian, Prague, Milan Verdi, Mexico City, Jerusalem, and Tokyo Symphonies. Festival appearances include Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Interlochen, Santa Fe, Mexico City, Bermuda, Hong Kong, Montreux, Strasbourg, Paris, Athens, Istanbul, Prague, Ravenna and Budapest International Festivals.
As a chamber musician, Ms. Isbin has performed with Mark O’Connor, Steve Vai, Nigel Kennedy, Denyce Graves, Susanne Mentzer, the Emerson String Quartet, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, among others. She performed a “Guitar Summit” tour with jazz greats Herb Ellis, Stanley Jordan, and Michael Hedges; she made trio recordings with Larry Coryell and Laurindo Almeida, and duo recordings with Carlos Barbosa-Lima. She collaborated with Antonio Carlos Jobim and has shared the stage with luminaries from Aretha Franklin to Muhammad Ali.
Born in Minneapolis, Sharon Isbin began her guitar studies at age nine in Italy, and later studied with Andrès Segovia and Oscar Ghiglia. A former student of Rosalyn Tureck, Ms. Isbin collaborated with the noted keyboardist in preparing the first performance editions of the Bach lute suites for guitar (published by G. Schirmer). She received a B.A. cum laude from Yale University and a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music. She is the author of the Classical Guitar Answer Book, and is Director of guitar departments at the Aspen Music Festival and The Juilliard School (which she created in l989 becoming the first and only guitar instructor in the institution’s 100-year history).
In her spare time, Ms. Isbin enjoys trekking in the jungles of Latin America, motorcycling through Greek islands, cross-country skiing, snorkeling and backpacking. Visit her on the Internet at http://sharonisbin.com
Acclaimed Internationally as one of the world’s leading guitar masters, ZOHO recording artist Carlos Barbosa-Lima’s career spans over fifty years. Barbosa-Lima is now recognized throughout the world for his extraordinary skills as a performer and arranger of a wide variety of music for the guitar. His most recent recordings, “Frenesi”, “Siboney,” and “O’Boto,” featuring the rich cultural heritage of Latin American music and Barbosa-Lima’s stunning arrangements, have met critical acclaim.
Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Barbosa-Lima began playing the guitar at age seven. He recorded his first album, "Ten Magic Fingers,” when he was 12. He has studied with Isaias Savio and the legendary Andres Segovia. Many distinguished composers including Mignone, Santórsola, Cordero, Scott, and Yasui have written pieces for him including Alberto Ginastera who composed Sonataop.47, a war horse in the classic guitar canon, specifically for Barbosa-Lima.
In 2010 Carlos Barbosa-Lima celebrated his 50th recording Merengue on the world’s premiere recital stage, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Barbosa-Lima’s imaginative concert programs have broken down the worn-out dichotomy between popular and classical music thus single handedly redefining the role of the classical guitar for the 21st century.
Mr. Del Casale has been performing as a soloist and chamber musician since 1983 as demonstrated on his CD, Zenobia. Mr. Del Casale’s love for the ensemble format has afforded him the opportunity to work with a variety of distinguished artists over the years. The New York Times and other industry periodicals have praised Mr. Del Casale’s artistry and musicianship. Since 2003 he has assisted the Brazilian guitar virtuoso Maestro Carlos Barbosa-Lima in concert as the Maestro’s duo partner. It is this collaboration that Mr. Del Casale is most recognized. In 2012 Barbosa-Lima and Del Casale recorded the Micropiezas by Leo Brouwer for an upcoming ZOHO record label release. Both guitarists also performed in New York, France, and Italy.
In 2011 Mr. Del Casale collaborated and recorded with legendary Brazilian percussionist Duduka da Fonseca and Carlos Barbosa-Lima in creating a video for Savarez strings.
In 2010 Barbosa-Lima and Del Casale were guest performers on WNYC Sound check, hosted by John Schaefer, and appeared for a third time at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 2008 Mr. Del Casale was the featured soloist at the New York Guitar Seminar at the Mannes College The New School for Music where he was an invited to perform a set of solo guitar compositions by Ernesto Cordero. The New York Times praised Mr. Del Casale’s interpretations.
Mr. Del Casale is a graduate of Mannes College The New School for Music, where he studied under the eminent Albert Valdes-Blain and guitar virtuoso Michael Newman.
"Mr. Del Casale is a solid, musicianly player who performs eloquently.” The New York Times
Eliot Fisk is one of the most exciting and creative musicians before the public today. Known world wide for his adventurous repertoire and willingness to take art music into unusual venues (including schools, senior centers, and even logging camps and prisons!) he belongs as his great mentor Andres Segovia once wrote, “at the top line of our artistic world.”
Eliot Fisk has transformed the repertoire of the classical guitar through his ground breaking transcriptions (including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Paganini, Albeniz etc.) through countless works dedicated to him by composers as varied as Luciano Berio, Leonardo Balada, Robert Beaser, Nicholas Maw, George Rochberg and Kurt Schwertsik, and through his countless creative collaborations with other musicians in classical, flamenco, jazz and world music styles.
Eliot Fisk’s numerous recordings, many of which have even entered the Billboard charts as best sellers, have introduced much of this repertoire to an international audience and have elicited unqualified praise from musicians, critics and the public at large. His two most recent CDs, released at the end of 2010 by Wildner Records to international acclaim, include “The Red Guitar”, featuring new works written for and arranged by Eliot Fisk by Corigliano, Raffman, Beaser and Rochberg, and “Ein Kleines Requiem”, which features the world premiere recording of a new masterpiece by Austrian composer Kurt Schwertsik “written for and with Eliot Fisk”.
In June 2006, by order of King Juan Carlos of Spain, Eliot was awarded the “Cruz de Isabel la Catolica” for his service to the cause of Spanish music. Earlier recipients of this rarely bestowed honor have included Andres Segovia and Yehudi Menuhin.
Eliot Fisk’s 2008-2009 season included the premieres of two groundbreaking new works: Robert Beaser’s monumental “Guitar Concerto” (premiered at Zankel Hall in the Carnegie Hall complex in New York with the American Composer’s Orchestra under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies) and his transcription for guitar of John Corigliano’s “Red Violin Caprices” (described by the composer as a “tour de force”). Further performances of both are planned around the world. He also continues new chamber music collaborations with guitar legend, Angel Romero; virtuoso clarinetist, Richard Stoltzman; and jazz guitar great, Bill Frisell. Eliot’s first joint concert with Bill Frisell in January, 2011 at Denver University’s distinguished Newman Center was a complete sell out with stage sets added to accommodate the capacity crowd. Eliot’s 2011-2012 season includes numerous solo recitals, performances of the Beaser Guitar Concerto on 3 continents, duo recitals with Richard Stoltzman and Bill Frisell as well as duo appearances in recital and with orchestra with his wife, celebrated guitarist, Zaira Meneses.
In addition to his performing career, Eliot Fisk is Founder and Director of Boston Guitar Fest, an annual cross disciplinary and cross cultural extravaganza co-sponsored by the New England Conservatory and Northeastern University. The Festival has received warm encouragement from U.S. Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, and the late Edward Kennedy, as well as from Congressman Barney Frank and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The theme of Boston Guitar Fest VI, which will run from June 15 – 19, 2011, is “Bell’Italia” with special guest Oscar Ghiglia. (Please see www.bostonguitarfest.org for more information).
Eliot Fisk was the last direct pupil of Andres Segovia and also studied interpretation with the legendary harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick at Yale University, from which he graduated “summa cum laude” in 1976.
Described by one New York Times headline as a “Fiery Missionary to the Unconverted”, Eliot Fisk devotes considerable energy to teaching. He is Professor at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he teaches in 5 languages, and in Boston at the New England Conservatory where in 2010 he was awarded the Krasner Prize as “teacher of the year”. His students have come from all corners of the earth. Many have gone on to become world famous performers and teachers.
Eliot Fisk lives in Boston and whenever possible in his beloved Granada, Spain, with his wife, acclaimed guitarist Zaira Meneses, and their ten year old daughter Raquel.
As a performing artist Antigoni Goni enjoys a truly international career, performing extensively in Europe, Russian, North and South America and the Far East, both as a recitalist and soloist. Goni’s career blossomed in the mid-90s when she added the first prize of the Guitar Foundation of America Competition to her long list of competition prizes. She is the first and only Greek to ever win it. Her victory resulted in some 65 concerts in North America and a contract with Naxos Records, for whom she has recorded three highly successful CDs, praised for being "expressively poetic and technically exciting."
Goni regularly performs in concert halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Covent Garden and the Wigmore Hall in London, Gasteig Hall in Munich, the Athens Megaron and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Acropolis (Athens), the Philharmonic and the Cappella Sale in St. Petersburg, and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. In the United States she plays annually at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard Theater in New York City, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. Having studied with great masters such as Sharon Isbin, Evangelos Assimakopoulos, John Mills, Julian Bream, and Oscar Ghiglia, Goni brings her internationally acclaimed expertise to universities and music academies around the world through regular seminars and master classes, and is a regular jury member to prestigious international competitions.
Composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, Sergio Assad, Stanley Silverman, Ernesto Cordero, Tulio Peramo, Calliope Tsoupaki, John Magnussen, Atanas Ourkouzounov, and Dusan Borgdanovic have composed and dedicated works to her.
A active chamber music player, Goni performs regularly in concert with American Flutist Laura Gilbert. Their album for Koch records, “Songs and Dances From the New Village”, has been received with great enthusiasm by the International Musical community. Goni has performed in concert with artists such as Sharon Isbin, Oscar Ghiglia, Kevin Gallagher (with whom she has recorded Evocation under Willow shade records), Raphaella Smits, Elena Papandreou, Sophie Deshayes (flute), Thiago de Mello (percussion).
A Professor of Guitar at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels since 2004, as well as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London (ARAM), Goni was the founder and chair of the Guitar Department at the Juilliard Pre-College Division (where she also taught for 10 years). An adjunct professor at the Columbia University as well as Artist in Residence with the San Francisco Performances where for five years she gave semi-annual performances, master classes, and workshops for a diverse group of students and audiences.
Since 2007 she is the founder and artistic director of Volterra Project, Summer Guitar Institute, a summer guitar workshop that every summer brings together in Italy, international students and professionals of the highest caliber for 10 days of intense study and inspired performances in the Tuscan territory.
Antigoni Goni performs and records exclusively on Galli Genius Strings.
Laura Gilbert, Flute
“Her tone is deep, smoothly rounded and alluring, and her manipulation of dynamics and timbre imposed an unusually compelling dramatic shape … her Prokofiev was a picture of sensuousness, and Debussy’s ‘Epigraphes Antiques’ had a gentle introspective glow.” - New York Times
Flutist Laura Gilbert has performed around the world as chamber musician, soloist, and recitalist. She has also travelled extensively as a guest lecturer. In addition to Aureole, a trio comprised of flute, viola, and harp, of which Gilbert is a founding member, she has performed and toured with Musicians from Marlboro, Alexander Schneider's Brandenburg Ensemble, The Brentano and Saint Lawrence String Quartets, Chamber Music at the 92nd Street "Y", Saint Luke's Ensemble and Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, and Speculum Musicae.
Ms. Gilbert also performs frequently in a duo with the Greek guitarist Antigoni Goni. As advocates of folk-inspired classical music, the duo has commissioned numerous new works, many of which are included on their debut solo disc “Songs and Dances From the New Village”, released in late 2007, by Koch International Classics. Gilbert's extensive discography includes two solo recordings: The Flute Music of Serge Prokofiev (which received rave reviews from Gramophone, Fanfare, and American Record Guide); and the Flute Music of Toru Takemitsu - both released by Koch International. In addition to her solo recordings, Aureole has released nine discs on Koch International, the first of which was short-listed for numerous Grammy awards. Gilbert is a member of the ensemble on Dawn Upshaw's Grammy award winning disc, "The Girl with the Orange Lips".
Ms. Gilbert has served on the flute and chamber music faculties of Peabody Conservatory, Mannes College of Music, Harid Conservatory, Purchase College, The Aaron Copland School at Queens College, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and Saint Ann's School. Since 2007, Gilbert has been one of the Music Directors of Monadnock Music.
Gilbert studied with Samuel Baron, Julius Baker, and Thomas Nyfenger, and received her Bachelor degrees from Sarah Lawrence College, and New England Conservatory of Music, her diploma and Master of Music, from The Juilliard School, and her Doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook, where she was Samuel Baron’s assistant.
Zaira Meneses is among the most exciting performers on the international classical guitar circuit. Her musicality and charisma have delighted audiences on 3 continents in a wide variety of programs ranging from solo recitals to chamber music to highly acclaimed performances as soloist with orchestra. Recent achievements include a special prize from Italy's prestigious Academia Chigiana and the recording of several solo CDs available at her website www.zairameneses.com. She has also aroused considerable interest through postings of live performances on Youtube.
Zaira Meneses was born in Xalapa, Mexico. From an early age she showed great talent for music, studying both classical guitar and voice and appearing frequently in a wide variety of venues both as a guitarist and singer. She traveled widely, performing as well with the famed Orquesta de Guitarras founded by Maestro Alfonso Moreno. At the age of 17 and as the youngest contestant, she won first prize in an important national concerto competition in the legendary guitar mecca of Paracho. This success led to performances of Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez and Concierto Madrigal for two guitars throughout Mexico.
Since moving to the USA in 2001, Meneses has built a stellar reputation for her warm sound, limpid technique and superb natural musicality performing in many of the great concert halls of the world including Boston's Jordan Hall, New York City's YMHA, Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center and Salzburg's Wiener Saal.
An unusual aspect of her work in chamber music have been collaborations with eminent pianists such as Jon Kimura Parker and Virginia Eskin, with whom she has often appears in lecture recital format. Meneses has served as artist in residence at prestigious universities throughout the United States and recently began a long term association with Syracuse University. Zaira Meneses lives in Boston with her husband, internationally acclaimed guitarist, Eliot Fisk, and their 10-year-old daughter Raquel. She is Director of Community Outreach and Student Affairs for the international festival Boston Guitar Fest and Artistic Director of the new cross-disciplinary cultural initiative “Guitar and Friends” for which she was awarded a special grant by the Albert Augustine Foundation.
In both of these positions she continues to enliven the cultural life of the city of Boston through outreach activities in schools, churches, museums and hospitals while maintaining a demanding touring schedule in the Americas and Europe.
Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio have enjoyed a celebrated career as one of the foremost guitars duos in the world. The Duo has recorded two DVDs and eight acclaimed CDs, two of which were named “Best of the Year” by Fanfare Magazine and American Record Guide, including two world premier recordings of works by Roberto Sierra with the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Critics around the globe from the New York Times to Gramophone Magazine have unanimously praised their “elegance, style, poise, and exquisite taste in interpretation, and...a singleness of mind that both illuminates and delights”. The Duo has performed at such prestigious venues as the White House (upon the invitation of President Bill Clinton), the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Recital Hall, the Casals Festival, the Smithsonian Institution, and many others including appearances at over one hundred colleges, universities, and conservatories around the world.
Currently, Joanne and Michael are the Artistic Directors of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition presented by WNED-FM and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Joanne has served as Executive Director of Competitions for the Guitar Foundation of America and maintains a full, private teaching studio of traditional and Suzuki students. Michael’s newly released world premiere recording with the London Symphony Orchestra of “Goyescana”, Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra by three-time Grammy and Ace award winning composer Michael Colina is garnering unanimous international critical acclaim.
Joanne and Michael are founders and directors of Fleur de Son Classics, a record label devoted to the highest standards in recorded chamber and orchestral music with over one hundred titles. The roster includes the Israel Chamber Orchestra, The New Arts Trio, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and numerous Grammy Award winners and nominees. It is distributed worldwide by Naxos of America, Inc.
RICHARD PATTERSON enjoys an active musical career as a collaborative artist and has performed with his groups in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. As a student, Mr. Patterson lived in Spain, studying the guitar with maestro Jose Tomas. Returning to the United States, he was signed by the world’s largest classical music management, Columbia Artists, for six seasons of national tours as a member of the Ware-Patterson Duo. Under the auspices of David Lieberman Artists he touredinternationally with the Russian virtuoso Emmanuel Sheynkman. He is a founding member of the Festival of Four. He is also an active recording artist and has been a featured performer on more than twenty-five recordings. Mr. Patterson studied composition with Pulitzer Prize winners John Adams and Wayne Peterson and currently is Professor of Guitar at Notre Dame de Namur University. He directed the Guitar Foundation of America Conference in 2008 and is the founding director of the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts in San Francisco. Recently he appeared in the filming of “Five Year Engagement” starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segel, released in April, 2012.
“Richard Patterson projects a deep understanding of and admiration for the music he performs. His attention to color and dynamics is remarkable and he displays a prodigious technique. Patterson plays with style, taste and elegance.” The Times , San Mateo, CA.
Laura Oltman and Michael Newman, guitars
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 duos, make them a standout chamber ensemble in every way.
Newman and Oltman’s concert tours have taken them to world cultural capitals and premier venues across five continents. Recent highlights include performances in the United States, 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 pair have demonstrated extraordinary stylistic breadth in their collaborations with diverse artists such as composer-conductor Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops, violinist Arnold Steinhardt, fiddler Eileen Ivers, and numerous string quartets, including ETHEL, Calder, Daedalus, and Turtle Island.
Highlights of this season include the world premiere of “Concierto Buenos Aires” composed for the duo by Nuevo Tango master Daniel Binelli with l’Orchestre de l’Opéra de Reims in France and with the Virginia Symphony (JoAnn Falletta, music director). Also this season, Newman & Oltman will join forces with the dynamic violinist Tim Fain—featured performer in the hit film Black Swan—for a program of works by classical and contemporary composers. The multitalented Grammy Award-nominated Clarice Assad joined Newman & Oltman at the Raritan River Music Festival, in May 2011.
Through their groundbreaking New Music Commissioning Program, Newman & Oltman have built a unique repertoire of works for two guitars created 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 byFanfareas “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); ones made 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); “ T heir duet recordings reveal a finely blended sound and true unity of timbre and style” (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 The New School for Music since 1987, and has recently been featured artists-in-residence at Cornell University, University of Puerto Rico, and Lafayette College, in Pennsylvania. Newman and Oltman are founders and artistic directors of the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, which takes place every summer in New York City (www.mannes.edu/guitar). They also are founders and music directors of New Jersey’s Raritan River Concerts and the Raritan River Music Festival (www.RaritanRiverMusic.org).
Michael Newman serves on the faculty of Mannes College. Laura Oltman serves on the faculties of Princeton University and Lafayette College. For m ore information, including the latest on the duo’s schedule of appearances, visit their website, www.guitarduo.com
Laura Oltman graduated with honors from Florida State University. She studied with Bruce Holzman, Oscar Ghiglia, Luisa Sanchez de Fuentes, and Andrés Segovia. Michael Newman is a graduate of The Mannes College of Music. His teachers were Thomas Anthony, Alberto Valdes Blain, and Oscar Ghiglia. In between concert tours, Michael and Laura are restoring their 19th-century house on the Delaware River in New Jersey, where they live with their numerous cats.
Newman Oltman play Thomas Humphrey Pre-Millennium guitars (1978,1981) with D’Addario EXP46C Composite Coated and Titanium Treble High Tension strings.
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 the 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.
Colombian-born guitarist Francisco Roldán has performed in Russia, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay. He has played throughout the United States in venues such as Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, CAMI Hall, Gracie Mansion, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; Harmony Hall in Maryland; St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Milwaukee; and for the Philadelphia Guitar Society, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the Puffin Gallery, the Colombian Consulates in New York and Boston, the Smithsonian Library in Washington, D.C., the Round Top Music Festival, the Spanish Institute, the Americas Society, and various universities and libraries.
Roldán long career of performing and recording has garnered great acclaim. In 1999, he was invited to perform Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez in two performances with the Celebrate! orchestra under the direction of Laurine Fox, which received public and critical acclaim. In the 2000 season, Roldán played a solo recital at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, under the auspices of the Aranjuez Guitar Strings Series. His first CD of solo music, titled Latin Guitar (in which he interprets the music of Barrios, Lauro, and which contains the world premiere recording of the Dominican composer Rafael Landestoy's complete works for guitar), was released in 2003. In 2005, he released his second CD, titled Almost All Bach, in which he interprets the music of Bach and Scarlatti. (They can both be heard and purchased at cdbaby.com.)
During the summer of 2006, Mr. Roldán played a recital in Bogotá at the Fernando Sor School of Music and was immediately invited back to teach in their annual Guitar Festival in November, 2006, and to perform another recital. In the summer of 2007, he participated in a recital as an Invited artist at the Interpretation of Spanish Song Festival in Granada, Spain. In 2008, he was invited back to the festival as a guest artist to teach and play a concert and was invited to play a solo recital in the southern Spanish town of Berja. Roldán also played a concert at the Mannes 2008 Guitar Festival in New York City with his quartet, Zigzag. He has played various concerti and has participated in numerous chamber music recitals with choruses, singers, and instrumentalists. He accompanied acclaimed flamenco dancer Pilar Rioja at the Repertorio Español theater in New York City for eight seasons.
Roldán has been entertaining audiences since his early years at the Mannes College of Music. He received annual scholarships and received a master's degree in Performance from the Mannes College of Music. Mr. Roldán subsequently supplemented his studies by playing in master classes for Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, David Russell, and Paul Odette. In the spring of 1993, he gave a solo New York debut recital at the Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, that launched his career as a soloist.
Roldán is currently on the faculty of the Mannes College of Music Extension and Preparatory Divisions and at Lehman College, City University of New York.
2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition winner and recording artist Celil Refik Kaya has received accolades for his myriad accomplishments at an early age.
Mr. Kaya was born in Kadikoy, Istanbul in 1991. Because of his great passion for music, at the age of six he began classical guitar studies with his father Dr. Mehmet Refik Kaya and later with Yusuf Doğan Büyüköğüt. Throughout his career, Mr. Kaya also studied advanced interpretation with Raffi Arslanyan and gave his first concert in the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul when he was six years old. Celil went on to perform for numerous live television and radio programs in Turkey.
Celil Refik Kaya was a 2012 GFA (Guitar Foundation of America) International Concert Artist Competition prizewinner and a finalist for the 2012 Concert Artist Guild. Additionally, Celil was top prizewinner in numerous international competitions including the 2012 Pearl and Julius Rising Young Stars Music Competition 2012 Queens Symphony Young Soloist Competition, 2012 Louisville Guitar Competition, 2011 Columbus State University Guitar Competition and Symposium, 2009 Sofia Bulgaria Young Virtuosos Competition, 2008 Naxos 30th International Classical Guitar Competion, 2008 Istanbul Pera Guitar Festival and Competition and 2004 Forum Gitarre Wien.
Mr Kaya has attended numerous masterclasses by David Russell, Tilman Hoppstock, Thomas Muller Pering, Hubert Kappell, Gerald Garcia, Costas Cotsiolis, Tadashi Sasaki, Roland Dyens. Mr. Kaya has presented the New York premiere of Roberto Sierra’s “Folias” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the World Premiere of both Derwyn Holder’s Guitar Concerto with the New Jersey Baroque Orchestra and Turkish composer Suleyman Alnitemiz’s Guitar Concerto with Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra . Celil was soloist with many other symphony orchestras including the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory Symphony Orchestra.
"The clean precision of Kaya’s playing, against the rushing sea of the orchestra, was spectacular and beautiful. It was a privilege to have been there." - Sheila Abrahams, NJArtsMaven.com
In 2011, Celil graduated from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory with the Highest Honor Degree and ranked first in the entire conservatory that year. While at Mimar Sinan, he studied guitar with Soner Egesel, chamber music with Vieri Bottazzini and composition with Mehmet Nemutlu. While attending the Mimar Sinan Conservatory Celil was granted the “Excellence” Scholarship from the Turkish Foundation of Education.
“Young genius of the guitar” - J. Zenamon, Composer
Currently a scholarship student of Michael Newman (the disciple of Andrés Segovia’s students Oscar Ghiglia and Albert Valdes Blain) in the Graduate Program at Mannes College The New School For Music in New York City and studies privately with multiple grammy award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin.
Celil Refik Kaya is poised to lead his generation as an artist in the tradition of his masters.
For 2013, Celil will perform his Carnegie Hall debut as a featured artist in the D'Addario Founation Concert Series, the Round Top Music Fesival in Texas, Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina and the Nevada County Guitar Festival in California. Mr. Kaya will also perform as a solist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Brevard Symphony, Lake Placid Symphony and Bilkent Symphony.
Carlo Valte serves on the faculties of Queensborough Community College (CUNY), Mannes College The New School for Music, and the New York Collegium. His own education in classical guitar began with Michael Dadap. He later went on to receive his Bachelor of Science and Master of Music degrees at the Mannes College of Music, where he was a scholarship student of Frederic Hand. Carlo's interest in research and interpretation of early and Middle Eastern music led him to study Arabic lute ('oud) and guitar with Simon Shaheen.
Carlo Valte is active as a soloist, ensemble player, and educator in New York and abroad. His acclaimed performances include ones at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the United Nations, and the Providence Civic Center. He is also a founder of the Six Hands Guitar Trio, which has performed extensively around Mexico and northeastern United States. Carlo has conducted workshops and educational programs with Sendebar (www.Sendebar.org), as ’oudist, at Queens College (CUNY), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many public and private schools in New York City and Connecticut. Carlo records with the Vienna Concert Masters and Onesoul Records labels.
Peruvian-born entrepreneur, artist manager and artistic consultant, Alvaro Mendizabal is a professionally trained classical guitarist with international experience in the classical music industry. At IMG Artists (one of the global leaders in arts management) he oversaw 150 US orchestras; negotiated and liaised engagements for high-profile artists, and extended ties with the most prestigious concert venues in South America. Founder and Artist Manager at PR Concert Artists, he created one of the first classical guitar artist management agencies in the world, achieving career-making debuts for his artists in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Tchaikovsky Hall, Palau de la Musica (Valencia), Munich Philharmonie, St.Petersburg Philharmonie, Gran Teatro Nacional (Peru) and Konzerthaus Wien (Austria). Alvaro holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the world renowned McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona (#2 in the US – Business Week) as well as a B.M. in Classical Guitar Performance.
In 2010, Michael began his career as the Executive Director of the Fort Lee School of Music where he teaches the fundamentals of music and provides a platform for musicians to build careers. Teaching an innovative open-source music theory course earned Michael a fellowship at the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. As a faculty member of the 13th annual New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes, Michael developed a workshop on building a career in the arts; giving young guitarist the resources needed to establish successful careers.
As founder of the Common Grain music ensemble, Michael uses an interdisciplinary approach to recreate traditional folk music, the music of the common people. Common Grain is an ensemble that modernizes ancient songs, and blends multinational instruments.
Michael’s career has spanned throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Central America. Notable performances include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.; Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia; Teatro Nacional, Casco Viejo, Panama; Camerata Hall, Paju, South Korea; Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada; and The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Brannen-Cooper Foundation have sponsored Michael’s projects. The New York Times, SBS Radio, New Jersey Record, Villa-Lobos Magazine and the Jersey City Independent have all published articles recognizing his work. Michael has been a featured guest of the Classical Guitar Insider with Bret Williams and Music Manumit Podcasts.
Michael holds a Masters Degree and Bachelors Degree in guitar performance from Mannes College the New School for Music in New York City.
International performer and Sony Classical recording artist Ms. Yen Lee has earned recognition as a classical guitarist with great promise. A native of South Korea, Ms. Lee had been an active member in the guitar competition circuit winning top prizes and appearing in many major concert venues and music festivals including Seoul Art Center, Sejong Art Center, Hoam Art Hall, Jeju Guitar Festival, and Busan Guitar Festival. Yen has also appeared in concert with international artists that include Anders Clemens Øien and Gabriele Natilla. In 2007, a music management company scouted Yen for the 1st guitar part of Botticelli Guitar Quartet, which toured throughout Korea and recorded Vivaldi's The Four Seasons for Sony Classical.
In 2010, Ms. Lee moved to New York City to study with Michael Newman and has been an enthusiastic performer having appeared in concerts at the Upstate New York Guitar Festival, New England Guitar Festival, Morgan Library & Museum, Liszt Festival at Mannes, and GFA regional symposium concert.
Yen Lee is now pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Manhattan School of Music, studying with David Starobin. Yen holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University and a Master of Music degree from Mannes College The New School for Music.
A native of Peru, young guitarist Pierre Ferreyra-Mansilla was the grand prize winner of the 2011 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society Competition and a recipient of the Peter M. Gross grant for performance. Highlights of his recent performances include concerts in Philadelphia, New England, Oneonta, and Wall Classical Guitar Society Festival. He is also a frequent performer at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, the Americas Society, and the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City.
Pierre is currently a student of Sharon Isbin at the Juilliard School, where he is pursuing his Master of Music degree in guitar performance. In 2012, Pierre completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Mannes College with Michael Newman, and has pursued studies with Christopher Kenniff and Tiberio Nascinento. He has been a scholarship student at the Aspen Music Festival with Sharon Isbin since 2010 and has performed in masterclasses with Fabio Zanon, Eduardo Fernandez, the Newman and Oltman Guitar Duo, Aldo Minella, Scott Tenant, the Romeros, Frederic Hand, among other prominent names.
Rex Benincasa has been a freelancing drummer and world music percussionist in New York since 1978. Along with hundreds of television/radio commercial recordings, he has performed with the New Music Consort, Apollo's Fire, Ensemble Caprice, Alba Consort, Flamenco Latino, Carlota Santana Spanish Dance, Zorongo Flamenco Dance, Pilar Rioja, the Grammy Orchestra, Amanecer Flamenco Progressivo, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. He has recorded CDs and/or movie soundtracks for Karen Mason, Andrea Marcovicci, Darynn Zimmer, Craig Rubano, Jamie deRoy, Foday Musa Suso, Douglas Cuomo, Philip Glass, Sesame Street, NFL Films, and the Ivory Consort to name but a few. Broadway appearances include Fosse, The Full Monty, Flower Drum Song, Man Of LaMancha, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Color Purple, Shrek, In The Heights, Billy Elliot and Peter And The Starcatcher. Rex likes all kinds of music.