Posts from ‘Artist Spotlight’
When Scott Tennant came by to play some of the Cleveland Collection guitars late last year he more or less fell in love with the 1969 Ramirez that Segovia had owned and played from 1969 to 1980. When he told us he was about to record a CD of Segovia’s compositions we all had a Eureka moment and realized he had to record the CD using this guitar. The CD will be produced by the Guitar CoOp in Brazil (which is headed by our friend Marcelo Kayath) but we will record it here in Santa Monica.
Eduardo Fernández is recognized as one of today’s leading guitarists. Born in 1952 in Uruguay, he began his studies of guitar at age 7. His principal teachers were Abel Carlevaro, Guido Santórsola and Héctor Tosar. After being prized in several international competitions, the most notable being the 1972 Porto Alegre (Brazil) and 1975 Radio France (Paris) competitions, he won the first prize of the 1975 Andrés Segovia Competition in Mallorca (Spain). His New York debut in 1977 won critical accolades, being described as “A top guitarist…Rarely has this reviewer heard a more impressive debut recital on any instrument” (Donal Henahan, The New York Times). Fernández has returned to the U.S.A. almost every season since then, playing with prestigious orchestras as well as giving recitals, always to great acclaim from critics and audiences. His London debut, in Wigmore Hall (1983), had also a great impact, and resulted in his signing an exclusive recording contract with Decca, a label for which he made 18 recordings (solos, and with the English Chamber Orchestra and the London Philharmonic), that cover a wide section of the repertoire, from Bach to the contemporary.
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.