Posts from ‘Artist Spotlight’
Göran Söllscher (born 31 December 1955) is a Swedish award-winning virtuoso classical guitarist known for his broad range of musical interpretations, ranging from Bach to the Beatles. Söllscher’s international career began during his years of education at the Royal Conservatory of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark when at the age of 23, he won the Concours International de Guitare in Paris, 1978. He was signed by German record label Deutsche Grammophon, the largest label featuring classical guitarists. As of 2005, Söllscher had released 19 records, which altogether have sold over a million copies.
David Leisner is an extraordinarily versatile musician with a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher.
Guitarist Eliot Fisk is known worldwide as a charismatic performer famed for his adventurous and virtuosic repertoire. He is also celebrated for his willingness to take art music into unusual venues (including schools, senior centers, logging camps and prisons). After 45 years before the public he remains, as his mentor Andrés Segovia once wrote, “at the top line of our artistic world.”
Artistic director of 92nd Street Y’s Art of the Guitar series since 2006, chair of the guitar department at the Yale University School of Music and artistic director of the bi-annual Yale Guitar Extravaganza since 1985, Benjamin Verdery is hailed for his innovative and eclectic musical career.
John Dearman is one of the most recognized figures in the classical guitar world today. As a member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, he has concertized world-wide for more than thirty years, appearing in the major concert halls and international festivals. His work with the quartet has resulted in more than a dozen recordings including the Grammy Award winning “LAGQ’s Guitar Heroes” in 2007. Concert appearances with LAGQ include: Alice Tulley Hall; Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; the Hollywood Bowl; Orchestra Hall, Chicago; Herbst Theater, San Francisco; Tokyo Opera City; Queen Elizabeth Hall, London; the Concertgebow, Amsterdam; the Kleine Philharmonie, Berlin; Auditorio Nacional, Spain; National Concert Hall, Beijing; House of Music, Moscow; and International arts festivals in Singapore, Istanbul, Mexico and Hong Kong.
Peter Fletcher began guitar study at the age of seven under classical guitar instructor, John Sutherland. In 1980, classical guitarist José Tomás, teaching assistant of Andrés Segovia in Spain, held a week long Master Class in Atlanta, GA; Peter Fletcher was the youngest student to perform in the class, playing music by Bach and Carcassi. In December, 1983, he made his formal debut at the age of fifteen under the auspices of The Brasstown Concert Association in North Carolina. Wrote the critic of The Cherokee Scout, “He has technical facility but what one remembers about his playing is the nuances, the poetical phrasing, dynamic and tonal changes, his harmonics, his cadences.”
Presti was born Yvette Montagnon in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris, France, to a French father and Sicilian mother. Her father, Claude Montagnon, was her first guitar teacher, and he thought that ‘Ida Presti’ sounded better than ‘Yvette Montagnon’ (Presti came from her mother’s name, Olga-Gracia Lo Presti). She also studied harmony and music theory with guitarist and luthier Mario Maccaferri. Presti played in public for the first time when she was eight, and gave her first full-length concert at the age of ten, on April 28, 1935 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Lauded for her prodigious talent by her teachers and contemporaries, she recorded for the French arm of the HMV record label in 1937. While still under twelve, she played at the Pasdeloup concerts and the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire for two consecutive years.
Sabicas (Agustín Castellón Campos) was a flamenco guitarist, of Romani origin, who was born on March 16, 1912 in Pamplona, Spain and died on April 14, 1990 in New York City, New York.
For more than twenty years, Adam Holzman, recording artist, concert performer, soloist and educator, has been at the forefront of a generation of guitarists. Born in New York City in 1960, Holzman began playing the guitar at the age of 7 as a student of his older brother, Bruce Holzman, and continued his private study with Albert Valdes Blain and Eliot Fisk. He returned to work with his older brother Bruce at Florida State University where he received his musical degrees. In addition, he studied in the master classes of Oscar Ghiglia in Siena at the Academia Musicale de Chigiana and at the Aspen Music Festival. Twice he was chosen to perform in the historic master classes of the legendary Andrés Segovia.
Born of an artistic family in which both his father and grandfather were famed painters and his mother an accomplished pianist, Oscar Ghiglia had to choose between a path strewn with brushes and colors and a world cut into harmony and melody.
Though his early choice of life as a painter produced a few hundred water colors and a number of oil paintings, Ghiglia soon realized music was his way. For this decision he thanks his father, who one day made him pose for a painting showing a guitarist. For this he had to hold his father’s guitar, a companion to his artistic musings, in front of his forming works. This painting was the start to a lifetime of disciplined dedication to music for Ghiglia.