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International Performing Artist Series

2023 – 2024 Season


PAST CONCERTS

Quartet Malamatina

(Canada, USA, Scotland, England)

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023 | 7:30 PM

St. Andrew’s Church
73 Simcoe St., Toronto

Lauded for their “immensely colourful, lyrical and expressive playing” (Laura Snowden), Quartet Malamatina is an international guitar quartet featuring Tim Beattie, Finlay Hay, Ross Morris, and Lenny Ranallo.

Details

Conveniently located next to St. Andrew’s subway station. Use Simcoe Street doors opposite Roy Thomson Hall in the Entertainment District.
Advance Tickets: $35 General | $30 Seniors | $15 Students
Subscription: $150 Members | $180 Non-members | $85 Students | $75 Student Members
At the door: $40 | $35 | $20

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.


Quartet Malamatina is the guitar quartet for the 21st century. 

First converging around Leo Brouwer’s Cuban Landscape with Rain for a performance with film at the 2021 UN Climate Conference, Quartet Malamatina is an international guitar quartet featuring Tim Beattie (Canada), Finlay Hay (Scotland), Ross Morris (England), and Lenny Ranallo (United States)

Equally comfortable on the concert stage as in the local community centre, Quartet Malamatina takes a socially-conscious approach to programming and presentation, sharing the expressive potential of concert music and forging new audiences in the process. 

Quartet Malamatina is building upon the culturally diverse and longstanding traditions of music for guitar ensemble through a wide range of commissioning, arranging, multidisciplinary collaboration, education, and community engagement activities. 

Lauded for their “immensely colourful, lyrical and expressive playing” (Laura Snowden), Quartet Malamatina have worked with some of the most exciting young filmmakers and composers in the UK, developing programmes that challenge conventions of genre classification and presentation. 

Quartet Malamatina’s 2023 UK Tour included a residency at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, an appearance on BBC Radio Scotland, and concerts at the Beacon Arts Centre (Greenock), Billiard Room Sessions (Govan), Carlisle Cathedral (Carlisle), Gatehouse Music Society (Dumfries), Festival Drayton Centre (Market Drayton), and Stevenson Hall (Glasgow). 

Amidst these performances, Malamatina gave world-premiere performances of newly-commissioned works by Marco Galvani and Erin Thomson, thanks to generous support from Creative Scotland and the PRS Foundation. The Quartet also worked with conductor-composer Martyn Brabbins in a performance of his piece, Sometimes You Can Hear the Birds Sing – the work’s first outing since 1984. 

www.quartetmalamatina.com 
www.youtube.com/@quartetmalamatina 
www.instagram.com/quartetmalamatina www.facebook.com/quartetmalamatina


Daniela Rossi

(Argentina)

Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023 | 7:30 PM
St. Andrew’s Church
73 Simcoe St., Toronto

“…It was immediately apparent that this performer had great strength of purpose that came from an internal, intuitive understanding of how the most subtle of expressions could be effectively portrayed.”
– Ely Standard, 2012, UK

Details

Conveniently located next to St. Andrew’s subway station. Use Simcoe Street doors opposite Roy Thomson Hall in the Entertainment District.
Advance Tickets: $35 General | $30 Seniors | $15 Students
Subscription: $150 Members | $180 Non-members | $85 Students | $75 Student Members
At the door: $40 | $35 | $20

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.


Described by the composer/guitarist Leo Brouwer as “…a performer with a very rare combination of energy, expression and perfect technique”, Daniela Rossi is an exciting classical guitarist from Bahía Blanca, Argentina, currently based in Cambridge, UK. She has studied with many leading guitarists and teachers worldwide, including Eduardo Isaac, Paolo Pegoraro, Adriano del Sal, and Graham Devine.

Daniela’s interest in the music of romantic composer Giulio Regondi has resulted in a CD featuring Regondi’s works, including the Ten Etudes. Daniela also enjoys collaborating with contemporary composers, and recently inspired a number of renowned composers to write for her, including  Dusan Bogdanovic, Vincent Lindsey-Clark and Jeffrey McFadden.

Her upcoming projects include two recordings with music for guitar and String Quartet, including premiere recordings and a solo CD Homage to John Duarte. She has won numerous performance awards across South America and Europe, including First Prize in the London International Guitar Competition (2015), Second Prize in the Heinsberg Guitar Competition and Festival in Germany (2017), and First Prize in the prestigious XXXVI Luis Sigall International Music Competition held in Viña del Mar, Chile (2009).


Lovro Peretić (Croatia)

GFA Winner Lovro Peretić

(Croatia)

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023 | 7:30 PM
St. Andrew’s Church
73 Simcoe St., Toronto

Lovro Peretić is regarded as one of the leading guitarists of the younger generation.

Lovro Peretić (Croatia)
Details

Conveniently located next to St. Andrew’s subway station. Use Simcoe Street doors opposite Roy Thomson Hall in the Entertainment District.
Advance Tickets: $35 General | $30 Seniors | $15 Students
At the door: $40 | $35 | $20

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.


Lovro Peretić is an internationally award winning classical guitarist from Zagreb, Croatia. He started studying guitar at a young age under the tuition of Xhevdet Sahatxhija, then graduated with distinction at the Music academy in Zagreb in the class of Darko Petrinjak, after spending one year in a student exchange program at L’École Supérieure Musique et Danse Hauts-de-France in Lille, France with Judicaël Perroy.  Later, he specialized in music performance in Geneva, Switzerland where he studied with Perroy at the Haute Ecole de Musique Genève.

He is regarded as an outstanding young guitarist, which is confirmed by results from various competitions such as Guitar Foundation of America, Eurostrings Guitar Competition, Changsha International Guitar Competition (China), and Andres Segovia Guitar Competition (Germany), among many others.

In 2020, he won the 3rd Eurostrings competition, which gave him an opportunity to perform numerous concerts and master classes throughout Europe in 2021/2022.  Last year, he won the 2022 International Concert Artist Competition at the GFA. As the winner, he is performing an extensive 50-concert tour throughout the USA and Canada in the 2023/2024 season. He recently recorded his debut album for Naxos which will be released this year.

In addition to his solo career, he regularly performs in various chamber music groups, among which is the guitar trio Evocación, who recently released their first album, self-titled  Evocación. As a soloist, he has collaborated with the Symphonic orchestra of Croatian Radio Television, Dubrovnik Symphonic Orchestra, as well as other solo and chamber groups in Zagreb.


Boyd Meets Girl

(Australia, USA)

Rupert Boyd, guitar & Laura Metcalf, cello

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024 | 7:30 PM
St. Andrew’s Church
73 Simcoe St., Toronto

“They play like one, with a harmony of purpose as sure as their intonation.”
– Gramophone

Details

Conveniently located next to St. Andrew’s subway station. Use Simcoe St. doors opposite Roy Thomson Hall in the Entertainment District.
Advance Tickets: $35 General | $30 Seniors | $15 Students
At the Door: $40 | $35 | $20

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.


Boyd Meets Girl pairs Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd with American cellist Laura Metcalf. The duo has toured the world sharing their eclectic mix of music from Debussy and Bach to Radiohead and Beyoncé, and their two studio albums have been streamed well over two million times on Spotify alone. Both acclaimed soloists in their own right, Boyd has been described as “truly evocative” by The Washington Post, and as “a player who deserves to be heard” by Classical Guitar Magazine, while Metcalf, also a member of the ensembles Break of Reality and The Overlook has been called “brilliant” by Gramophone. Boyd Meets Girl has toured throughout the US, India, Nepal, New Zealand, and Australia, including engagements at Caramoor, Newport Music Festival, Bargemusic, Moab Music Festival and many others.

The duo’s debut album, released in 2017 on the label Sono Luminus, reached #3 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart, and received praise in Gramophone: “They play like one, with a harmony of purpose as sure as their intonation.” Their sophomore album, Songs of Love and Despair (2022) was also praised in Gramophone as “Beguiling… fascinating… enchanting… their mutual understanding is manifest in every bar, not least the way they listen to each other.” Their music is regularly broadcast on radio stations around the world.

The duo arranges much of their own repertoire, drawing inspiration from all genres, and often speak from the stage about the works to create an engaging, conversational concert experience that breaks down boundaries not only between musical genres but between audience and performer.

The duo lives in New York City with their son Milo.

www.boydmeetsgirlduo.com


Pavel Steidl

(Czech Republic)

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 | 7:30 PM
St. Andrew’s Church
73 Simcoe St., Toronto

“Here was a guitarist who knew how to laugh with the music and share the joke with his audience. But behind the entertainer lies a serious artist… Never was a standing ovation more richly deserved. Pavel Steidl had won the hearts and minds of a capacity crowd.“
Classical Guitar magazine

Details

Conveniently located next to St. Andrew’s subway station. Use Simcoe St. doors opposite Roy Thomson Hall in the Entertainment District.
Advance Tickets Only: $35 General | $30 Seniors | $15 Students
At the door: $40 | $35 | $20

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.


Pavel Steidl was born in Rakovnik, Czech Republic. Since he won first prize at the Radio France International Competition in Paris in 1982, he has become one of the most widely celebrated soloists in the world. Among the members of the jury in that competition were such artists as Alexander Tansman, Antonio Lauro and Maria Luisa Anido.

Pavel Steidl studied with Milan Zelenka and Štěpán Rak in Prague.  In 1987 he emigrated to the Netherlands, where after years of studying and gaining inspiration from many different artists, he created his own style, incorporating an authentic way of interpretation of 19th-century guitar literature on periodic instruments.  In 2004 he moved back to the Czech Republic, and since 2015 has taught at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and the Conservatoire in The Hague .

Steidl has worked with such artists as Leo Brouwer, Carlo Domeniconi, Paolo Paolini, John Williams, Miroslav Vitouš, Karin Schaupp, Edin Karamazov and others. In 2012 he formed the European Guitar Quartet with Zoran Dukic, Reentko Dirks and Thomas Fellow. 

Pavel Steidl also composes, and his own compositions are often played in his concerts and in his recordings. He has played in more than 40 countries, including Canada, USA, China, India, Japan, Europe, South and Central America, and Australia. He was chosen as guitar player of the year (2004) by the readers of Italian Guitar Magazine Guitart. Pavel plays many instruments, but mainly Francisco Simplicio (1926), Walter Verreydt, Franz Butcher, Federico Sheppard; Romantic guitars include a copy of a J.G.Stauffer guitar made by B.Kresse, and original instruments from the beginning of the 19th century (Nikolaus G.Ries cca. 1830 and Johann Anton Stauffer cca 1840).

www.pavelsteidl.eu


Andrea De Vitis

(Italy)

Saturday, March 23, 2024 | 7:30 PM
St. Andrew’s Church
73 Simcoe St., Toronto

Andrea De Vitis is acclaimed for “the infinitely varied color palette he creates” (American Record Guide), the “absolute control over the details of the performance” (Silesia prezentuje) and for his “mature interpretations” (Musica) with “profound musicality” (Guitart).

DETAILS

Conveniently located next to St. Andrew’s subway station. Use Simcoe St. doors opposite Roy Thomson Hall in the Entertainment District.
Advance Tickets Only: $35 General | $30 Seniors | $15 Students
At the door: $40 | $35 | $20

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.


Andrea De Vitis was born in Rome in 1985, and has established himself as a guitarist able to win over audiences with his extraordinary talent.  His intense concert activity has included prestigious concert halls throughout Europe, USA, Mexico, China and Russia. Andrea frequently plays with orchestras including performances in Poland, Hungary, Russia, as well as with the Orchestra del Conservatorio Santa Cecilia and Orchestra Internazionale di Roma.  De Vitis teaches masterclasses in numerous festivals, academies and conservatoires, and gives lectures on classical guitar repertoire and musicology.  

In 2019 Naxos Records released his double CD “Alexandre Tansman Complete Works for Guitar”, which includes the world premiere of newly discovered pieces, and urtext versions of the other published compositions. Andrea was the first to perform “3 Dances from Suite in modo polonico” by Alexandre Tansman and to compare all his published works with the original manuscripts. “De Vitis carefully reinstates the composer’s original, even the movements considered by Segovia unsuitable for guitar. The result is sublime. His respect for the text of the music continues in his interpretation” (American Record Guide), “touching interpretations” (Amadeus, Italy), “a landmark recording” (SeiCorde, Italy), “refined expressivity” (Melomano, Spain), “important achievement for classical guitar world” (Gendai Guitar, Japan).

He has two albums with DotGuitar: Colloquio with Andrés Segovia (2015), which includes music by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Andrés Segovia, Angelo Gilardino and Ponce and Villa-Lobos (2020), which includes the famous Suite Populaire Brésilienne in its original version (1928).  In 2022 Naxos released Greeting cards featuring music by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

De Vitis has won more than 40 prizes in various international competitions.  A supporter of new repertoire for guitar, he has numerous pieces dedicated to him, including “Sonatine en souvenir de Marcel Proust” and “Into the rose-garden – in memory of Julian Bream” by composer Angelo Gilardino.  He has published his transcriptions of pieces such as Chaconne from Partita BWV 1004, Suite BWV 823 and Fantasia BWV 917 by Johann Sebastian Bach (Les Productions d’Oz).

www.andreadevitis.com


2024 Toronto Guitar Weekend
featuring Manuel Barrueco

A CELEBRATION OF ELI AND ANN KASSNER
with Fabio Zanon, Laura Young, Celso Machado, Vincea McClelland, and Brian Katz

Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28, 2024

St. Andrew’s Church
73 Simcoe Street, Toronto

Concerts • Guitar Orchestra • Open Mic • Luthier/Vendor Fair • Lectures • Masterclass • Brunch with the Artists

Hall of Fame presentation to Norbert Kraft

2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of our founder, Eli Kassner. We are proud to dedicate the 2024 Toronto Guitar Weekend to a celebration of Eli and Ann, and of Eli’s enormous contributions to the classical guitar in Toronto, Canada, and the world.

Note: Brunch registration closes April 25th

Guitar Weekend Poster - Click for Printable PDF
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Listen to Manuel Barrueco’s interview with Mark Wigmore on Classical 96.3 FM
Weekend Summary

Friday, April 26, 2024

The weekend opens on Friday evening with a tribute concert featuring a lineup of world-class artists, among them several of Eli’s most prominent students. On the program are Fabio Zanon, the renowned Brazilian soloist, conductor and prize winner at our Guitar ’87 Festival; the legendary and multi-talented Celso Machado; Laura Young, international performer and professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, who began lessons with Eli at age 9; Brian Katz, a long-time student of Eli and an acclaimed guitarist, pianist, improviser, composer, and professor at the University of Toronto; and Vincea McClelland, also a student of Eli, who has performed world-wide for many years as a soloist and in duo with her husband Raymond Cousté.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Saturday is dedicated to Eli’s legacy as a teacher and performer, with presentations by Dr. Jack Silver, Guitar Society archivist and Eli’s biographer, on Eli as a performer, highlighted by rare audio and video, and by Dr. Laura Young, who will share her insights on Eli as a legendary teacher and inspiration. Saturday also includes a mini festival of film and video, including the Rhombus Media film Guitar, a captivating panorama of Guitar ’87; the 1967 Telescope episode on luthier Patt Lister, centred on the Eli Kassner Guitar Academy; Eli’s Order of Canada award ceremony; and a short documentary on Eli’s 80th birthday tribute. Saturday’s program will once again feature a luthier fair and showcase, as well as an open mic hour. 

Saturday evening, we will present the world-famous Manuel Barrueco, a prize winner at the first International Toronto Guitar Festival, whose electrifying performances triggered the beginning of his illustrious career.

Also at this concert, the inaugural Classical Guitar Canada Hall of Fame Award will be presented to Norbert Kraft.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Sunday will feature the traditional brunch with the artists, followed by master classes by Fabio Zanon and Laura Young.
Note: Brunch registration closes April 25th

Full Weekend Schedule & Details

Friday, April 26

7:00 pm Tribute Concert
Including several of Eli’s students, as well as guest artists Fabio Zanon, Celso Machado, Laura Young, Vincea McClelland and Brian Katz.

Saturday, April 27

9:30 am – 5:00 pm | Luthier Fair (free)

9:30 – 11:00 am | PRESENTATION: Jack Silver
Eli Kassner as a performer – lecture, recordings and videos.
Featuring excerpts of video of Eli rehearsing with Malka and Joso and Leo Brouwer, Eli’s 1957 lesson with Segovia, excerpts of recordings/CBC broadcasts of Eli performing solo and accompanying Isabelita Alonso and Malka, interspersed with a brief account of his performing career. In addition, there are commercial recordings of Malka and Joso where Eli and Rafael Nunez accompanied the singers.

11:00 am – 12:30 pm | Luthier room browsing and lunch break

12:30 – 1:15 pm | Luthier Showcase (free)

1:45 – 2:45 pm | FILM FESTIVAL: Celebrating Eli Kassner
Mini film festival of several documentaries involving Eli will be shown, among them a special showing of the Rhombus Media film “Guitar,” a captivating panorama of Guitar ’87; the 1967 “Telescope” episode on the luthier Patt Lister, centred on the Eli Kassner Guitar Academy; the award ceremony of Eli being awarded the Order of Canada; and a short documentary on Ann and Eli made by Jeff Cipin for the 2004 celebration of Eli’s 80th birthday.

2:45 – 4:15 pm | PRESENTATION: Laura Young
A lecture on Eli Kassner as a teacher, his methods and approaches to the art, and with video clips of Eli teaching.

4:15 pm | Open Mic and Guitar Society Orchestra

7:30 pm | CONCERT: Manuel Barrueco
Hall of Fame Award presentation to Norbert Kraft.

Sunday, April 28

10:00 am | Brunch with the artists 10:00am
Note: Brunch registration closes April 25th

1:00 – 4:00 pm | MASTER CLASSES with Fabio Zanon and Laura Young

Manuel Barrueco – Biography

Legendary guitarist Manuel Barrueco is internationally recognized as one of the most important guitarists of our time. His unique artistry has been continually described as that of a superb instrumentalist and a superior and elegant musician, possessing a seductive sound and uncommon lyrical gifts.

His career has been dedicated to bringing the guitar to the main musical centres of the world, and his commitment to contemporary music and to the expansion of the guitar repertoire has led him to collaborations with many distinguished composers.

Manuel Barrueco has appeared on a wide array of television programs including “CBS Sunday Morning,” A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts,” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He was featured in a Lexus car commercial, and his work in music inspired Michael Lawrence’sbiographical documentary: “Manuel Barrueco: A Gift and a Life.”

Barrueco’s recording of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with conductor and tenor Plácido Domingo was cited as the best recording of that piece in Classic CD Magazine. He received a Grammy nomination for “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance” for his Solo Piazzolla, the first recording to be released on Tonar Music. Sounds of the Americas in collaboration with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano received a Latin Grammy Award for “Inca Dances” by Gabriela Lena Frank. Tárrega! and Medea, which includes Barrueco’s arrangement of the ballet by flamenco guitarist Manolo Sanlúcar, both received a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Album.” His latest release is Music from Cuba and Spain.

Manuel Barrueco began playing the guitar at the age of eight in his native Cuba and he immigrated with his family to the United States in 1967 as a political refugee. He completed his advanced studies at the Peabody Conservatory, where he now shares his love for music with a small number of exceptionally gifted young guitarists from all over the world.

Manuel Barrueco is the recipient of the United States Artist Fontanals Fellowship for Artistic Excellence.

Norbert Kraft, Recipient of Hall of Fame Award

From his early triumphs at prestigious competitions, to commanding the world’s most renowned stages, Norbert Kraft’s career is a testament to unparalleled talent and unwavering dedication.

As the first North American to claim victory at the revered Andrés Segovia International Guitar Competition in 1985, Kraft’s ascent to international acclaim was swift and resounding. His virtuosic performances captivated audiences from Los Angeles to Prague, leaving an indelible mark on the classical music landscape. Collaborations with esteemed orchestras and iconic solo performances solidified his status as a trailblazer in the classical guitar world.

Yet, Kraft’s contributions extend far beyond the concert stage. As an educator and pedagogue, his students have gone on to achieve international success and hold important professorships. His graded classical guitar repertoire, the first of its kind in North America, was published by Frederick Harris in1978 as Classical Guitar Editions, and officially adopted as exam repertoire by the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1980.

As a visionary recording engineer, his meticulous attention to detail and technical prowess led to a Grammy Award for his work on the Ligeti String Quartets album in 2011, showcasing his mastery both in front of and behind the mixing console.  Other awards include a 2021 Juno; his CDs Guitar Works of the 20th Century and Romantic Works for Guitar earned Juno nominations, and the first was selected as Gramophone Magazine “Critic’s Choice for 1989”

We are honoured to present Mr. Kraft with the inaugural Classical Guitar Canada Hall of Fame award for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of classical guitar within Canada and around the world

Guitar Society of Toronto