TORONTO GUITAR DAY
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Gala Online Concert
Showcasing Canadian artists from Coast to Coast
Saturday, April 24, 2021 | 7pm
SUGGESTED DONATION (can be made during Registration):
$20 per person to help pay the Artists’ Fees
ARTIST DETAILS (Click names to view biographies)
Derek Charke (flutes) and Eugene Cormier (guitar) formed the Charke ~ Cormier Duo in 2014 culminating in a debut recital at the KC Irving Centre in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Both performers are highly accomplished musicians who are on the teaching faculty at Acadia University’s School of Music. This sonorous union of flute and guitar continues to charm audiences across the Maritimes. Their repertoire includes many of the most important works for this pairing of instruments, and creates a sonic journey for audiences from the street corners of Argentina to the halls of Europe, as well as introducing fresh new works created today.
Their critically acclaimed debut CD, Ex Tempore, was released in 2018 through Leaf Music, Halifax. Here they curate a charming program that includes an original composition by Charke and arrangements of Scarlatti and Peter Maxwell Davies by Cormier paired with works by Debussy, Handel and Brazilian-Canadian composer Celso Machado. Ex Tempore (the composition) won the 2019 ECMA award for Classical Composition of the Year, and the album was nominated for the 2019 ECMA Award for Classical Album of the Year.
Derek often writes music for the duo. So far he has composed three works: Ex Tempore, The Equation of Time, and Bathymetric Terrains—an exciting multi-media work for soundscape, multi-tracked flutes and guitars. Eugene has arranged various works by Scarlatti, Davies, and Haydn. In 2018 the duo began a publishing agreement with Doberman-Yppan in Québec to release their sheet music under the Charke ~ Cormier Duo Collection. The Scarlatti Sonatas and the work Ex Tempore have since been released. They have received funding from Arts Nova Scotia and Acadia University.
Beyond his candid and joyful attitude, classical guitarist Thierry Begin-Lamontagne is known for his outstanding interpretations. He reveals his artful personality through his instrument in a bold, passionate and expert manner. His unique musical style offers an authentic performance full of vivacity and boldness, creating musical moments rich in colour and humour.
Mr. Begin-Lamontagne has won more than twenty music competitions, including eight international ones in Spain, France, Belgium and Canada. He also received prizes in South Korea, Thailand, United States, Mexico and Austria. He has been invited to perform worldwide in various foreign countries that include Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Finland and the United States.
In 2016, he received a scholarship from the Fondation Sylva Gelber for music and a second one from the Conseil des Arts du Québec, allowing him to study in France for an entire year.
In February 2015, he released his first CD album, Aquarelle, showcasing various songs from different countries.
Thierry Begin-Lamontagne completed his master’s degree in 2013 at the University Laval, Quebec City, Canada. He plays a guitar by Quebec-based luthier Jean Rompré.
Tariq Harb has quickly established himself as a leading classical guitarist, winning top prizes in several international competitions.
“In record time, Tariq Harb’s masterful command of melody and emotion shot him into the upper ranks of classical guitarists.” (TED)
Chosen as CBC Radio’s NEXT! guitarist in 2013, he was celebrated as “Canada’s next classical guitar superstar” and was showcased performing at the Glenn Gould studios in Canada, which helped propel his career worldwide.
Harb’s past concert appearances in North America, Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Asia, are highlighted by performances in prestigious halls such as the Bunka Kaikan concert hall in Tokyo, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Cairo Opera House, and New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Future notable engagements include a concerto performance with Montreal’s Orchestre Symphonique de l’Isle performing the Concierto de Aranjuez, and a solo tour of Atlantic Canada with Debut Atlantic in March 2022.
Harb holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree from the University of Toronto and joined Concordia University’s Music Department as a faculty member in the fall of 2015. Aside from his performing and teaching duties, Harb is also an arranger and a composer, and has recently published his composition “Spirit” – a work in five movements for solo guitar – with Les Productions d’Oz. Tariq Harb is sponsored by Hill Guitar Company, Savarez, and LaBella Strings.
“A established player to be reckoned with.”
– Classical Guitar Magazine
Bahar Ossareh is an Iranian-Canadian classical guitarist who is committed to bringing the beauty of guitar music to the attention of her audiences. She is admired for her warm sound, soulful performances, accomplished stage presence, and innovative repertoire choice. Canadian guitarist and composer William Beauvais praised her as: “A player of tremendous expressive range, who enchants listeners” and has dedicated his new composition “Bhagom” to her. Ossareh often performs pieces from around the world including, Canada, US, Turkey, Spain, and Latin America. Particularly, she is rapidly emerging as an ambassador of Persian music for the classical guitar. In 2016 Bahar moved to Canada and, to date, has performed as both a soloist and chamber musician with established organizations and orchestras. Among these are: the Guitar Society of Toronto, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, Austin Classical Guitar, and Brock University Guitar Orchestra. As a performer and lecturer, Ossareh is invited to many international festivals. Ossareh is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Toronto after receiving her Master of Music Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from University of Art, Tehran. She is an active artist and instructor of tonebase which is the world’s largest community of classical guitarists.
Hailed as “one of the great players of our time,” Iliana Matos has firmly established herself as a masterful performer, critically acclaimed recording artist, dutiful mentor, and inspiration to guitarists around the world.
Over the last 3 decades, Matos has shared her passion and virtuosity with audiences around the world, including extensive touring in Latin America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Her decorated competition career includes eleven prizes, including 1st place in the Andrés Segovia in Palma de Mallorca, Luys Milán, and Manuel Ponce International Guitar Competitions. She is the first woman to win the prestigious S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina International Guitar Competition, and the only person to win the special prize for Best Interpretation of Spanish Music in TWO consecutive years, 1995 and 1996.
Throughout her career, Matos has maintained a commitment to fostering a new generation of young guitarists. For over 20 years, she nurtured rising Spanish guitarists while teaching at the Conservatory of the Balearics, the Conservatory of Salamanca, and the Royal Music Conservatory of Madrid.
Today, she serves as the Head of Guitar Studies at the University of Lethbridge, while continuing to teach master classes around the world.
A multi-faceted musician, Anna Pietrzak is a versatile guitarist, recording artist, pedagogue, adjudicator, artistic director of Poland’s GITAROMANIA Festival, and founder of the Vancouver Guitar Orchestra.
Anna is a laureate of over a dozen guitar competitions in Europe. She has performed solo recitals and as a soloist with chamber music ensembles and orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
She graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Piraeus, Greece, and received her PhD from the Academy of Music in Wroclaw. She has over 20 years of teaching experience, working with students of every level of proficiency on the guitar. Currently she is on the faculty of the British Columbia Conservatory of Music.
Jeffrey McFadden has established a place among the most admired guitarists of his generation. Since his debut at the legendary ‘Guitar ’87’ festival he has performed across North and South America, and Europe.
His debut recording followed a GFA silver medal and was the first in the Laureate Series on Naxos. He has made 10 highly acclaimed recordings since then exploring the works of Sor, Coste, Barrios and others.
Jeffrey McFadden‘s doctoral dissertation formed the basis of his groundbreaking book, Fretboard Harmony: Common-Practice Harmony on the Guitar, which is used world-wide.
He is Chair of Guitar Studies at the University of Toronto, one of the top 20 universities in the world. He was recognized as the 2018 ‘Teacher of Distinction’ by the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is also founder and artistic director of the Sauble Beach Guitar Festival.
Online Masterclass with Louis Trepanier (Ottawa, Ontario)
Saturday, April 24, 2021
2:00 – 4:00pm
SUGGESTED DONATION (can be made during Registration):
$20 per person to help pay the Artist’s Fee
Over a career that is now well into its third decade, Louis Trépanier has shown himself to be a seasoned chamber musician, occasional soloist, experienced pedagogue, composer and arranger, always with his customary energy and sensitivity.
He is a founding member of the Canadian Guitar Quartet, as well as Trio Tangere. With these two ensembles, as well as through various other collaborations, he has performed on three continents and judged competitions on the national and international levels.
He completed his formal musical education in 1998 at the Conservatoire de Musique de Hull with Patrick Roux; Louis also furthered himself by working with leading musicians in masterclasses or in collaboration projects.
Since 2002, he has been teaching at the University of Ottawa’s School of Music, where he is the Coordinator of the Guitar Sector.
Past 2020 – 2021 Concerts
Tim Beattie (Canada)
Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 | 7PM
“…Beattie’s guitar dazzles… captures a range of sounds and dispositions…”
Born in Toronto in 1997, Tim Beattie is studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on full-scholarship in the MMus programme with Allan Neave and Matthew McAllister. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, studying with Gabriel Bianco, where he graduated with the distinction ‘cum laude’. Prior to moving to Europe, Tim studied in the pre-college school at the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) with maestro Robert Hamilton, and then completed a year of undergraduate studies with GRAMMY Award-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux at the Cleveland Institute of Music where he received the 2016 Ablan Honors Award in Guitar.
Through international competition, Tim has won over 40 awards. Most recently, this includes 1st prize honours at the 2020 GuitarFest West competition. He was named the “Most Promising Youth” by the City of Barrie (his hometown) at the City’s 2016 Arts Awards Ceremony.
Tim has performed in chamber music settings with Rosanne Philippens, the CvA Score Collective under the direction of Ed Spanjaard (Nieuw Ensemble), and others. Though his primary focus is the classical guitar, Tim has studied other genres including jazz, blues, rock, and percussive acoustic guitar. Tim has an active professional schedule, performing regularly in major concert venues throughout North America and Europe. He was a featured performer at the 2014 Montréal International Guitar Festival; more highlights include solo performances for Chamber Music Orillia, Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival, and a live-televised performance at the Barrie Arts and Culture Awards.
Austin Wahl (USA)
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 | 7PM
Austin Wahl is a native of Minnesota who has won prizes at a dozen competitions in the US and Canada, and has performed in a range of prestigious masterclasses for legendary guitarists such as Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Sharon Isbin, Lorenzo Micheli, and Roland Dyens, among others.
He began studying classical guitar at the age of 5 with Alan Johnston, a founding member of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, and subsequently earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester NY where he is currently completing his Doctoral Degree in music performance.
In addition to his classical guitar playing, Austin enjoys many other styles of music. He won the 2009 youth division of the Minnesota State Fair Bluegrass Flatpicking competition and has performed in a bluegrass band masterclass for internationally known banjoist Bela Fleck. At age 14, he built a fully functional electric guitar (dubbed the ”Wahl-o-caster” with a body of solid purpleheart, which weighed in at nearly fifteen pounds! In addition to his guitar prowess, Austin has led the bass section of the Mount Hope World Singers in Rochester.
Johan Smith (Switzerland)
Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 | 7PM
“Having reached a level of excellence, Johan Smith plays with disconcerting ease, a perfectly mastered technique, and a musicality whose refinement compels the admiration of the public.“
Voix du Jura (St-Claude, FR)
Winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) competition in 2019 and defined as the “Classical Guitar Revelation 2017” by French “Guitar Classical Magazine”, Johan Smith has been invited to perform in renowned festivals across the world. He is currently preparing the recording of his second album (Naxos, 2020), as well as a tour that spans from China, to the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
His particular interest in contemporary music has led him to collaborate with several composers, including Josquin Schwizgebel and Arnaud Fillion who dedicated to him his “Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra”, created in Budapest in 2019.
Born in 1990 in Geneva, Johan obtained a Bachelor in 2015 and a “Master of Arts in Instrumental Pedagogy” in 2017 at the University of Music of Lausanne, in the class of Dagoberto Linhares. In addition to his activity as a guitar teacher at the Conservatoire of Morges, he also obtained in 2019 the most important academic title in the field of musical performance in Switzerland: the “Master of Arts specializing in Music Performance Soloist”, awarded by the highest grade.
In a completely different approach, he is the founder, composer, performer and graphic designer in the extreme metal band “Stortregn”, with whom he has already recorded four albums and played on three continents since 2005.
Adam Levin (USA)
Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 | 7pm
“Levin is an utterly brilliant player, whose ability to assimilate such a wealth of music is inspiring…”
– Al Kunze
Praised for his “visceral and imaginative performances” by the Washington Post, top prize winning classical guitaristand recording artist Adam Levin has performed on four continents across the globe. Levin has performed extensively across the United States at renowned venues such as the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago; Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts; repeat appearances at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City; and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. In Europe, Levin has performed in some of the finest venues in Spain, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.
The recipient of numerous top prizes, Adam Levin has been recognized by the Society of American Musicians, the Lake Forest Concerto Competition, Minnesota’s Schubert Competition, Boston GuitarFest, Concurso Internacional de les Corts para Jóvenes Intérpretes in Barcelona, Concurso Internazionale Di Gargnano, and Certamen Internacional Luys Milan de Guitarra in Valencia.
As an ambassador of the guitar, Mr Levin is dedicated to sharing the guitar in underserved and unconventional spaces. He was director of the Concert for Gulf Coast Aid for Hurricane Katrina victims, which raised $10,000. He was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship to conduct 200 hours of innovative community work in Boston public schools, prisons, and rehabilitation centers. Demonstrating his long-term commitment to music advocacy, Levin is a founding member of Kithara Project (www.kitharaproject.org), an organization whose mission it is to improve the lives of children and youth through the classical guitar. They currently run three year-round guitar education programs in Boston, Albuquerque, and Mexico City.
Daniela Rossi (Argentina)
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 | 7pm
Known for her energy, expression and technique, Daniela Rossi is an exciting classical guitarist from Argentina. She graduated from the Conservatory of Bahia Blance in her hometown in 2006 and has worked with many leading guitarists and teachers worldwide. Daniela has a deep understanding of the music of her native country, which she plays on the CD “Invierno Porteno” with her duet partner, Argentinian guitarist Sebastian Pompilio.
Her orchestral debut was at the age of 21 in Mexico and she has gone on to win numerous performance awards and prizes across South America and Europe. She has performed in solo recitals, duets, small ensembles and as a guest artist at many important festivals around the world. Daniela has attracted the attention of important composers such as Jeffrey McFadden and Vincent Lindsey-Clarke, who have dedicated works to her. In addition to this honour, she has worked on several new pieces commissioned by the International Guitar Foundation such as Graham Lynch’s “Orpheus” for guitar and orchestra.
Daniela enjoys performing works from all periods including works by contemporary composers written for guitar. She is particularly interested in the works of Giulio Regondi and has just recorded a CD of his works.
Daniela combines her exciting performing career with an equally successful teaching career, working with all levels and ages to extend their musicality and technical competence.
Andrea De Vitis (Italy)
Saturday, March 20, 2021| 7pm
“Andrea De Vitis is one of those artists who conquers audiences and juries alike, thanks to the high definition and sharpness of his playing, his extraordinary control of dynamics, and the clarity with which he asserts his interpretation, whilst also translating the intent of the composer.“
(Il Fronimo, 2016)
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. He graduated from the Conservatory “Morlacchi” (Perugia, Italy), and continued his studies at “Segovia Guitar Academy” (Pordenone, Italy). His teachers include Leonardo De Angelis, Paolo Pegoraro, Adriano Del Sal, Arturo Tallini, Oscar Ghiglia, Carlo Marchione, Frédéric Zigante, and Pavel Steidl. Andrea has won more than 40 prizes in international competitions, including first prizes at Guitar Masters 2016 in Wroclaw, Certamen Internacional “Julian Arcas” de Almerìa, among others. He won Silver at the Guitar Foundation of America (2016), and in 2013 he received the “Golden guitar award” for the best up-and-coming guitarist at the 18th Pittaluga International Competition and Convention in Alessandria.
Andrea De Vitis has performed in prestigious concert halls all over the world, both as soloist and with orchestra, and is frequently in demand to teach masterclasses; his recitals are acclaimed by audience and press alike. His 2015 debut album “Colloquio with Andrés Segovia” (Conversation with Andrés Segovia), gained great success with both critics and audience, and received the “Golden Guitar award for best cd of the year” at the 22nd PIttaluga Convention. His 2019 Naxos Recording (double cd) “Alexandre Tansman: Complete Works for Guitar” includes the world premiere of newly discovered pieces and urtext versions of the other published compositions. About this recording: “everything his sound transmits isn’t limited to the category of lovely and pleasant, but constantly strives to trace forms that are drawn with extreme clarity. Thus, his ability not only occupies the transient moment but instead extends throughout the entire piece, creating a small construction in which every acoustic object has its own place and a precise function in motion”. (Angelo Gilardino, Suonare news, 2020).
Andrea De Vitis has been a D’Addario Artist since 2014.