Posts from ‘Artist Spotlight’
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.
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 the winner of Guitar Player magazine’s “Best Classical Guitarist” award, and the Toronto and Madrid Queen Sofia competitions, and was the first guitarist ever to win the Munich Competition. She has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras and has given sold-out performances in the world’s finest 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, the Ordway Music Theatre (St. Paul), New York’s 92nd Street Y, and the acclaimed national radio series Guitarjam. A frequent guest on NPR’s 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 A&E. She was a featured guest on Showtime Television’s hit series The L Word, and a soloist on the GRAMMY nominated soundtrack of Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning The Departed.
Composer-performers who write primarily for their own instruments have left great impressions in the past, and Nikita Koshkin is no exception. Paganini pushed back the technical limits of the violin, gaining for the instrument a new range of musical possibilities, Chopin’s music unleashed the expressive potential of the piano to the great profit of later composers, and now, the ambition of the Russian composer-guitarist Nikita Koshkin in writing music for the guitar has been twofold: to expand the vocabulary of effects on the guitar, and, more importantly, to develop means to incorporate these into musical expressions.
Hailed as “the Sultan of Duende” and already an international sensation, Spanish-born flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo won the Latin Grammy in 2001 for Best Flamenco Album for his BMG debut City of Ideas. Like Amigo’s first three albums, it has won him new fans in his homeland and across Europe, as well as in South America and Japan. Windham Hill/RCA introduced the guitarist to American audiences on August 6th with the first U.S. release of City of Ideas, an expansive East-meets-West affair that combines the solea rhythm of puro flamenco with elements of buleria, bolero, rumba, tango and alegria.
The Illinois Times wrote that guitarist Martha Masters “…is on a swift and certain trajectory to star territory.” Masters’ playing has been described as “seductive” (Ft. Worth Star Telegram), “intelligent and natural” (Guitar Review), and “refined and elegant” (American Record Guide). She is active as a solo recitalist, as a chamber musician, and as a soloist with orchestras. Recent concert seasons have included performances on concert series and at festivals in China, England, Denmark, Spain, Poland, Germany, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and throughout the United States.