International Performing Artist Series

David Leisner (USA)

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 | 8PM
Church of St. Simon the Apostle, 525 Bloor St. E. MAP
Advance Tickets: $30 General | $25 Seniors & Students
At the Door: $35 | $30

TICKETS & SUBSCRIPTIONS

Subscriptions and Advance Tickets available through Eventbrite at above link. Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded after purchase unless the event is cancelled. In that case, a refund will be issued within 60 days.

David Leisner

David Leisner (USA)

David Leisner is an extraordinarily versatile musician with a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher. “Among the finest guitarists of all time”, according to American Record Guide, Leisner is a featured recording artist for the Azica label, with 9 highly acclaimed solo CDs, including the most recent, Arpeggione, with cellist Zuill Bailey. Other recordings are on the Naxos, Telarc and Koch labels, with a concert DVD published by Mel Bay. David Leisner’s recent seasons have taken him around the US, a major tour of Australia and New Zealand, and debuts and reappearances in China, Japan, the Philippines, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, the U.K., Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico.

He is currently Artistic Director of Guitar Plus, a New York series devoted to chamber music with the guitar. Celebrated for expanding the guitar repertoire, David Leisner has premiered and commissioned works by many important composers, including David Del Tredici, Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Philip Glass, Richard Rodney Bennett, Peter Sculthorpe and Osvaldo Golijov, while spearheading the revival of neglected 19th-century composers J.K. Mertz and Wenzeslaus Matiegka. He has performed at the Santa Fe, Rockport, Vail Valley, Bargemusic, Bay Chamber, Cape Cod and Islands, Maui, Portland, Sitka and Angel Fire chamber music festivals. David also performed in an innovative three-concert series at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall which included the first all-Bach guitar recital in New York’s history.

Mr. Leisner is a highly-respected composer, noted for the emotional and dramatic power of his music. Fanfare magazine described it as “rich in invention and melody, emotionally direct, and beautiful”. His music has been performed worldwide by such eminent artists as David Starobin, Benjamin Verdery, St. Lawrence Quartet, Enso Quartet, Rubens Quartet, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Cavatina Duo, Arc Duo, Brasil Guitar Duo, Pearl and Gray Duo, Saturday Brass Quintet, the Eastman, Oberlin and New England Conservatory Ensembles, as well as orchestras around the US. An extensive discography includes the much-praised Cedille CD, Acrobats, performed by the Cavatina Duo.

Leisner is currently co-chairman of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music. www.davidleisner.com


Henderson Kolk Duo (Canada)

Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 | 8PM
Church of St. Simon the Apostle, 525 Bloor St. E. MAP
Advance Tickets: $30 General | $25 Seniors & Students
At the Door: $35 | $30

TICKETS

Advance Tickets available through Eventbrite at above link. Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded after purchase unless the event is cancelled. In that case, a refund will be issued within 60 days.

Henderson Kolk Duo (Canada)

Henderson Kolk Duo (Canada)

Since forming in 2004, the Henderson-Kolk Duo have established themselves as one of North America’s premier classical guitar duos. Drew Henderson and Michael Kolk met at the University of Toronto where they studied with Jeffrey McFadden, and quickly cultivated a musical chemistry that resulted in a dynamic and exciting performance style. As combined soloists, they have achieved nine international competition prizes. As a duo, they have performed throughout Canada and the United States and made their international debut at the Mediterranean Guitar Festival in Cervo, Italy in 2006. In 2011 they performed and adjudicated at the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America convention in Columbus Georgia.

Much of the duo’s energy has been directed towards arranging music for two guitars. The added range of Drew’s 8 string guitar has opened possibilities not normally available to guitar duos, and has resulted in arrangements of Mozart, Bach, and Schubert, among others. Some of these arrangements can be heard on the duo’s two albums, which have received airplay on CBC Radio 2 in Canada, as well as the Classical Guitar Alive! radio programme broadcast throughout the US. As well as receiving numerous glowing reviews, their second album “Henderson Kolk Duo play Bach, Ravel, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, and Lhoyer” was featured on Classical Guitar Alive! as a Best New Release.

The duo is currently preparing a selection of their arrangements for publication through Productions d’Oz, and is planning the recording of their next album, which will feature music of Mozart never before heard on guitar. www.hkguitarduo.com


GFA Winner – Xavier Jara (USA)

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 | 8PM
Church of St. Simon the Apostle, 525 Bloor St. E. MAP
Advance Tickets: $30 General | $25 Seniors & Students
At the Door: $35 | $30

TICKETS

Advance Tickets available through Eventbrite at above link. Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded after purchase unless the event is cancelled. In that case, a refund will be issued within 60 days.

Xavier Jara

Xavier Jara

Xavier Jara is an American classical guitarist born in 1993, and the winner of the 2016 GFA International Concert Artist Competition. A native of Minnesota, Jara was a student of Alan Johnston at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. His passion for classical guitar led him to Paris in 2011 where he studied with Judicael Perroy.

Over Jara’s six consecutive years of study with Perroy, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris where he also studied with French guitarist Olivier Chassain and lute master Eric Bellocq. Jara went on to place first in a number of international competitions, including the Boston Guitarfest (2014), the Gargnano, Italy Competition (2015) and the Tokyo International Competition (2016). In 2016, Jara returned home to the United States to win the Guitar Foundation of America’s Rose Augustine Grand Prize.


Thibaut Garcia (France)

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 | 8PM
Church of St. Simon the Apostle, 525 Bloor St. E. MAP
Advance Tickets: $30 General | $25 Seniors & Students
At the Door: $35 | $30

TICKETS

Advance Tickets available through Eventbrite at above link. Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded after purchase unless the event is cancelled. In that case, a refund will be issued within 60 days.

Thibaut Garcia (France)

Thibaut Garcia (France)

Thibaut Garcia, the Franco-Spanish guitarist, was born in 1994 in Toulouse, where he began learning the guitar at the age of seven. At the age of 16, he was admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, in Olivier Chassain’s class, while at the same time benefiting from the guidance of Judicaël Perroy. In 2015, he was named sponsee of the Académie Charles Cros.

At the age of 16, he was awarded the First Prize at the Ana Amalia competition in Weimar,

Germany. Since then, he has won the first prize in several international competitions, such as: The Guitar Foundation of America at Oklahoma City, USA in 2015, the José Tomas at Petrer, Spain in 2014, and the International Competition of Seville, Spain, in 2013. He has since been asked to sit on their juries and to give master-classes.

Thibaut Garcia is now being invited to the greatest guitar festivals worldwide: Australia, Canada, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Montenegro, Chili, New-Caledonia, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Romania.

Since September 2016 he has been on tour in the USA and Canada, where he gave over 60 recitals during the entire season. He also performs recitals at the Festival Radio France Montpellier, the Festival Toulouse d’Eté, the Auditorium de Bordeaux, the Konzerthaus Vienna, the Centre de Musique de Chambre de Paris Salle Cortot, the Auditorium of the Musée d’Orsay, and the Grands Interprètes of Toulouse.

In 2016, Thibaut Garcia made his concerto debut with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. He will be appearing in other noteworthy concertos over the next few months: Baden-Baden Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre de Cannes PACA, and the Orchestre de Dijon-Bourgogne.

When it comes to chamber music, Thibaut Garcia has played with Edgar Moreau, Raphaël Sévère, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, Antoine Morinière, Boris Grelier, Anaïs Constans, and will soon be appearing with the La Marca brothers and the Quatuor Arod.

In 2015, Thibaut Garcia appeared in Jean-François Zygel’s TV-programme “La boîte à musique” on France 2 and on France Musique with Gaëlle Le Gallic.

In 2016, he signed exclusively with Warner classics Erato for his recording projects, with a first release Leyendas (in February 2017). www.thibautgarcia-guitarist.com

 


Beijing Duo (China)

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 | 8PM
Church of St. Simon the Apostle, 525 Bloor St. E. MAP
Advance Tickets: $30 General | $25 Seniors & Students
At the Door: $35 | $30

TICKETS

Advance Tickets available through Eventbrite at above link. Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded after purchase unless the event is cancelled. In that case, a refund will be issued within 60 days.

Beijing Duo (China)

Beijing Duo (China)

Composed of guitarist Meng Su and Yameng Wang, the Beijing Guitar Duo has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. This past season took them to countries such as Germany, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Poland, China, Panama, and the United States. The duo has toured extensively with their mentor Manuel Barrueco, appearing in such countries as Germany, Finland, Spain, Russia, as well as the United States.

The Beijing Guitar Duo’s performances and recordings have impressed the public with “an ability and artistry that exceeds their years.” Their debut CD, Maracaípe, received a Latin-GRAMMY nomination for the titled piece, which was dedicated to them by renowned guitarist/composer Sergio Assad. Their second CD, Bach to Tan Dun, has been widely noted for the world-premiere recording of Tan Dun’s Eight Memories in Watercolor, specially arranged for the duo by Manuel Barrueco. A recording in trio, China West, with Maestro Barrueco was released in May 2014.

Meng Su and Yameng Wang were both born in the coastal city of Qingdao, China. They came to the partnership with exceptional credentials, including a string of individual competition awards. Ms. Su’s honours include victories at the Vienna Youth Guitar Competition and the Christopher Parkening Young Guitarist Competition, while Ms. Wang was the youngest guitarist to win the Tokyo International Guitar Competition at the age of 12 and was invited by Radio France to perform at the prestigious Paris International Guitar Art Week at age 14. Before forming their duo, both young artists made solo recordings and have given solo recitals in China and abroad.

In addition to concertizing, the members of the duo express their love for teaching by hosting master classes at major conservatories as well as judging competitions around the globe. Since 2011 they have been artists-in-residence for the San Francisco Performances. This four-year residency program brings them to the Bay Area every year for community outreach, performances, and master classes in public schools as well as for the San Francisco Conservatory.

The Beijing Guitar Duo is proudly supported by the Maryland State Art Council’s Touring Artists Grant program since 2014. www.beijingguitarduo.com


David Russell (Scotland)

Saturday, March 24, 2018 | 8PM
Glenn Gould Studio, CBC Building, 250 Front St. West.
Advance Tickets: $70 General | $50 Students with student ID

Reserved seating for this concert. Tickets available now with Season Subscriptions through first concert link on Eventbrite. (Subscribers can also reserve up to 3 more tickets). Single-event tickets on sale starting October 2 at this link.

Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded after purchase unless the event is cancelled. In that case, a refund will be issued within 60 days.

David Russell (Scotland)

David Russell (Scotland)

Classical guitarist David Russell is world renowned for his superb musicianship and inspired artistry, having earned the highest praise from audiences and critics alike. In recognition of his great talent and his international career, he was named a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Music in London in 1997.

In May 2003, he was bestowed the great honor of being made “adopted son” of Es Migjorn, the town in Minorca where he grew up. Later the town named a street after him, “Avinguda David Russell”. In November of that year he was given the Medal of Honour of the Conservatory of the Balearics.

David Russell has had an exclusive recording contract with Telarc International since 1995, and has recorded sixteen CDs up to now; among them is Aire Latino, which received a Grammy in 2005 in the category of best instrumental soloist in classical music. After winning the Grammy award, the Spanish town of Nigrán (where he currently resides) held an emotional ceremony and gave him the silver medal of the town – a very high honour.

During his studies at the Royal Academy, David Russell twice won the Julian Bream Guitar Prize. Later he won numerous international competitions, including the Andrés Segovia Competition, the José Ramírez Competition and Spain’s prestigious Francisco Tárrega Competition.

David Russell spends his time touring the world and appearing regularly at prestigious halls in main cities such as New York, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Madrid, Toronto and Rome. Concert-goers everywhere are in awe of his musical genius and inspired by his captivating stage presence. His love of his craft resonates through his flawless and seemingly effortless performance. The attention to detail and provocative lyrical phrasing suggest an innate understanding of what each individual composer was working to achieve, bringing a sense of adventure to each piece.

In May of 2005 he received an homage from the music conservatory of Vigo, culminating with the opening of the new Auditorium to which they gave the name “Auditorio David Russell”.

 


TORONTO GUITAR WEEKEND

Friday, April 20 – Sunday April 22, 2018
Featuring Máximo Diego Pujol (Argentina)

Máximo Pujol

Máximo Pujol (b. 1957) is a composer, performer and teacher whose work is inspired by the musical heritage of his native Argentina. He draws on the music of the region around the Río de la Plata, as well as from the different musical forms found in other parts of Argentina. His compositions fuse these elements with more formal European arrangements.

Pujol’s extensive output is widely acknowledged to have enriched the repertoire for guitar. His compositions are published by important publishers in Europe, Canada and the US, and have been performed and recorded by guitarists, chamber groups and orchestras worldwide.

It all started when Máximo discovered a guitar in the closet of his parents’ home, in a quiet suburb of Buenos Aires. It was almost inevitable in a place where tango was constantly floating in the air. The guitar was a memento of his father’s youthful career as a professional tango singer, an activity with which he continued to delight relatives and the patients at his dentistry practice. Eight year old Máximo began to take lessons, and at the tender age of nine performed at his first concert. A few months later surprised his mother on her birthday with a zamba of his own composition, written especially for her. The depth of his parents’ emotional reaction ensured that Máximo and his guitar became inseparable.

These experiences defined Máximo’s musical calling and gave rise to his irrepressible desire to express his personal experiences through his own compositions. He went on to study with Alfredo Vicente Gascón, and participated – alongside his teacher – in a study group led by Abel Carlevaro.

Upon graduating from secondary school, Máximo was faced with the dilemma of whether to pursue his musical calling or embark on a more traditional career. At first he did both, but after strenuous years of studying mathematics and guitar, the latter won out.

At the Buenos Aires Conservatory of Music “Juan José Castro”, Máximo studied harmony and composition with Leonídas Arnedo. Those were difficult days as, in addition to studying, he was working every day to earn enough money to survive. Nonetheless a life in music was, without a doubt, the right choice. One of his first pieces, “Sonatina”, won first prize in prestigious competitions in Argentina, and was also awarded first prize by a jury that included Leo Brouwer at the Carrefour Mondial de la Guitare in Martinique.

Máximo honed his skills as a performer by playing at Buenos Aires night clubs, playing solo and in a number of duos, trios and quartets, immersing himself fully in every aspect of tango music. His experiences were enriched by performing alongside well-known tango stars such as José Colángelo, Héctor Stamponi, Horacio Ferrer, Jorge Sobral, Ruben Juárez, Mariquela Monti, Néstor Marconi, and Roberto Goyeneche. He also studied the great traditional tango composers like Juan Carlos Cobián, Osvaldo Pugliese, Julián Plaza, Horacio Salgán and vanguard tango composers like Astor Piazzolla.

Pujol has constantly strived for an ever-closer fusion of traditional Argentine Tango and formal academic concepts. This musical quest stems from a thorough and almost obsessive study of the works of Heitor Villa-Lobos and Leo Brouwer, who revolutionized guitar music by incorporating the instrument and its particular musical vocabulary in their own works.

Today Máximo Diego Pujol’s compositions are performed and recorded throughout the world. www.maximopujol.com