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Brazilian-born brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad have set the benchmark for all other guitarists by creating a new standard of guitar innovation, ingenuity and expression. Their exceptional artistry and uncanny ensemble playing come from both a family rich in Brazilian musical tradition and from studies with the guitar/lutenist Monina Távora (1921-2011), a disciple of Andrés Segovia. In addition to setting new performance standards, the Assads have played a major role in creating and introducing new music for two guitars. Their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers to write for them including Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Radamés Gnattali, Marlos Nobre, Nikita Koshkin, Roland Dyens, and Jorge Morel. Now Sérgio Assad is adding to their repertoire by composing music for the duo and for various musical partners both with Symphony Orchestra and in recitals. They have worked extensively with such renowned artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Fernando Suarez Paz, and Paquito D’Rivera.
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 chamber ensemble of world renown. Through their groundbreaking new music-commissioning program, Newman & Oltman have built a unique repertoire of works for two guitars. Their artistry has also been captured on nearly a dozen other acclaimed recordings and has been recognized by grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America and ASCAP, among others. Newman and Oltman’s concert tours have taken them to world cultural capitals and premiere venues across five continents, the Caribbean, and South Pacific. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, aboard the Queen Elizabeth II, at Caramoor and at the Grand Canyon.
Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a Grammy-nominated composer, pianist, and vocalist of musical depth and ability. Carefully crafted textures permeate her musical world, which embraces a wide variety of styles, including her own original concepts. Assad has received acclaim for her performances of both original compositions and her own arrangements of popular Brazilian songs, world music and jazz standards. She has performed at venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, Doha, Qatar, Caramoor International Jazz Festival, Carnegie hall, Concertgebow in Amsterdam, San Francisco Jazz, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall in Chicago, Le Casino de Paris in Paris and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, Belgium. Assad’s music is represented on Cedille Records and SONY Masterworks labels. Her works are published in France, Germany, Criadores do Brasil and independently by Virtual Artists Collective Publishing, (VACP) a publishing company co-founded with poet and philosopher Steve Schroeder.
Duo Montes - Kircher
"Mariano Aguirre's sensitive guitar playing shines as a picture-perfect example of emotional power"
- Classical Guitar Magazine
Mariano Aguirre is an international concert artist, music professor, arts promoter and arts administrator. He is currently on faculty of Mannes College, Hunter College and The Brooklyn Music School in New York City. He is also the Festival Director and Coordinator of the annual New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes.
Mr. Aguirre is a winner of the Artist International Award and the Greorgy Award for Excellence in Performance. He has performed extensively in the United States and Latin America, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, The Noon Concert Series at Trinity Church, The National University in Mexico City, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Conservatorio de las Rosas, among many other venues. In addition, Mr. Aguirre performs regularly with Duo Cantabile for voice and guitar and is a cofounder of the Six Hands Guitar Trio. Recordings on the Vienna Modern Masters label.
Mariano. Aguirre is a strongly committed guitar and music theory professor. His students have won 1st prizes at major guitar competitions and have been awarded full scholarships at prestigious conservatories. He has taught master classes and workshops at many festivals and universities and he has been invited to be in the jury panel of several international competitions.
“You helped make me understand that there is a story behind every
piece; that there is something far far beyond the black dots on the score.."
- John Bogan - Former student Mannes College - 1st Prize winner at the 2014 GFA Youth International Competition Senior Division