American guitarist Taso Comanescu has recently emerged on the classical music scene as a colorful performer full of subtle nuance and strong musicianship. His interesting programs present a variety of repertoire highlighted by a deep commitment to engage his audiences in a meaningful way. Comanescu’s debut recording Epitaphios (2011) features music from all over the world including a world premier recording by the young American composer Kyle Peter Rotolo (‘Le Crane A La Cigarette Qui Fume’).

taso1More recently, he released his follow up recording entitled Renaissance | Baroque (2015) featuring popular and lesser known transcriptions of works originally for lute, vihuela, theorbo and baroque guitar. The recording was described as “infused with a sense of artistry that is rarely found nowadays” (Tavi Jinariu, guitar virtuoso).  Engineer and producer Brandon Jones remarked that “Taso is an extraordinary artist. I have recorded dozens of guitarists over the years, and Taso’s technical mastery and musical sensitivity make him a joy to work with. His charisma and passion for music is obvious in every single note that he plays.”

During the 2013-2014 season, Comanescu gave his symphonic debut with the West Coast Symphony performing Vivaldi’s Lute Concerto in D. Recent engagements from the 2014-2015 season include a solo recital kicking off the tenth season of the Mount Cross Classical Concert Series and as a special guest on the nationwide tour promoting Drew Croon’s ‘Missa Andaluza’. Comanescu’s all Spanish program was described by critic Debra de Liso: “…I felt aware of the stillness of the audience. All eyes and ears were riveted on the young classical guitarist Taso Comanescu. His fervor and devotion were immediately clear for each musical phrase of his stunning performance from Tarrega’s soulful Lagrima to Isaac Albeniz’s Asturian, classical piece Leyenda. He was magical.”

In 2010, Comanescu began a collaboration with internationally acclaimed dramatic tenor Charles Castronovo. Their program, entitled Charles Castronovo’s Italian Songbook, consists of popular Neapolitan, Sicilian and Italian folk songs arranged by Comanescu and the ensemble Sweet Nectar. Recent engagements include Irvine’s Barclay Theater, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, New York City’s 54 Below and a critically acclaimed debut at Los Angeles’ Zipper Hall. Performing Arts Live raved of an “…extraordinary performance…. A grand program of famous arias and Neapolitan Songs…(Castronovo) was accompanied by an impressive five piece musical ensemble.” 2012 marked the release of the group’s debut recording, Dolce Napoli: The Neopolitan Songs. The great Placido Domingo states “The arrangements and the intimate approach to these songs is new and yet nostalgic at the same time”.

Comanescu’s various other musical pursuits include Greek folk music, collaborating frequently with the renowned Greek composer Dimitris Mann. He also is actively interested in contemporary popular music as well as music history. Taso has been a member of the music faulty at Pepperdine University since 2011. Mr. Comanescu received his degrees from Pepperdine University studying with Christopher Parkening and the University of Southern California under Scott Tennant.  Taso plays on a 1973 Jose Ramirez guitar.

Taso Comanescu is an exciting, young guitarist. His enthusiasm for the music and talent for performing shows in the way his audiences have received him. I wish him all the best in his career”. – Christopher Parkening, guitar virtuoso.


Renaissance | Baroque by Taso Comanescu

Taso’s latest solo recording project is titled Renaissance | Baroque, and it is now available at the GSI Store as well as on iTunes. This album features transcriptions (originally for lute, viheula, theorbo and baroque guitar), which showcase the breadth of delightful music across two of Western society’s most progressive periods of growth.

Of his latest album, Taso describes, “During my formative years playing the guitar, I considered the instrument to be inherently Spanish. As I learned more about my favorite guitarists, such as Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, John Williams, Pepe Romero, Christopher Parkening and David Russell, I found they had enriched the guitar’s core repertoire by commissioning new works and transcribing music originally written for other instruments. Bream, in particular, was devoted to early music and the plucked instruments of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The intent of this recording is to expose a new generation of listeners to the beautiful variety of music written for four significant predecessors to the modern guitar. While this recording is far from a complete sample, it does offer the listener a brief summary based on my own 21st-century perspective. Many thanks for listening!”


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2 Responses to “Player Spotlight: Taso Comanescu”

  1. Tavi Jinariu says:

    One of my favorite guitarists to listen to. Keep up the great work Taso!

  2. An artist of taste, elegance and virtuosity. A gentleman and a good friend. Bravo Taso!


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