2007-2008 Concert Season
For the presentation of the 2007-08 Grand Canyon Guitar Society season at the Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff Cultural Partners (FCP) is partnering with the Grand Canyon Guitar Society (GCGS). The series brings well-traveled and widely acclaimed classical guitarists to Flagstaff, beginning September 29, 2007.
The Series mixes diverse performers from all over the world with a couple of local gems. Xuefei Yang, a highly respected Chinese classical guitarist, has been drawing rave reviews from critics and audiences throughout the globe. Thomas Viloteau, from Paris, comes to Flagstaff as the winner of the Guitar Foundation of America's International Competition. Also featured is Flagstaff's own Tom Sheeley, who has been a popular performer in Northern Arizona for thirty years.
The full schedule of concerts is:
GCGS and FCP partner with the express purpose of bringing these performers to a quality performance setting that would match their art form. The Coconino Center for the Arts fits the bill.
"In the intimate setting of the theater at the Coconino Center for the Arts," says John Tannous, Executive Director for Flagstaff Cultural Partners and the CCA, "these performers will truly shine. There is a magic here when artist and performer can connect so closely."
Two of the first three concerts in the series begin immediately following receptions for new art exhibitions at the Coconino Center for the Arts. Craig Yarbrough's September 29th concert opens following the Opening Reception for The Splendor of Chaos (6:00 - 8:00pm). And Tom Sheeley's November 17th concert opens following the Opening Reception for the popular annual program, It's Elemental (6:00 - 8:00pm). Details can be found at www.culturalpartners.org.
GCGS and FCP are opening ticket sales early for the Concert Series. Season Passes are available at discounted rates now, through a special, online-only sale at www.culturalpartners.org. Patrons can see as much as a 25% discount on ticket face value by purchasing Season Passes in advance. Tickets for individual shows will go on sale beginning September 1, 2007, at various outlets in Flagstaff. Tickets will also be available by phone at (928) 779-2300.
For more information about the Concert Series, please contact Flagstaff Cultural Partners at (928) 779-2300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about each artist is listed below in this document. High quality PHOTOS of artists available upon request.
2007-2008 Photo Gallery
Born and raised in the Cajun Country of South Louisiana, Craig moved to New Orleans to pursue a degree in classical guitar performance studying with John Rankin at University of New Orleans and Elias Barriero at Tulane University. After completing his undergraduate studies, Craig moved to Arizona to study with Frank Koonce at Arizona State University. Earning a Master's of Musical Arts in 1997, Craig came to Flagstaff to be closer to the Grand Canyon.
In 2003 Craig founded the Grand Canyon Guitar Society, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to fostering classical guitar activities in Northern Arizona through an annual concert and masterclass series, which he continues to work for as President and Artistic Director.
Craig currently teaches guitar privately and at Coconino Community College, and can be found in performance around Northern Arizona.
The artistic rise of guitarist Jorge Caballero as one of the most prominent musicians of his generation became evident in 1996 when Jorge, then nineteen years of age, was awarded First Prize at the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Competition, one of the most coveted awards in classical music and, according to the New York Times, "the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize" for musicians. He thus became the only guitarist and the youngest musician to receive this award in Naumburg's long history of excellence. In the wake of this achievement, he was asked to appear as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke's, New York Chamber Symphony and many orchestras in the United States and abroad. As a recitalist, Jorge has also made appearances at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Great Performers series at the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and others. He is also the recipient of top prizes at the Tokyo International Competition, the Luis Sigall Competition, and the First Latin American Guitar Competition.
Guitar Review has said that "when the word 'prodigy' is used in regard to Jorge Caballero, it is an understatement". The numerous laudatory reviews of Jorge Caballero's performances have predominantly focused on a dichotomy rarely found in musicians: Jorge's ability to create the most subtle, expressive, lyrical moments, while at the same time showing awe inspiring virtuosic ease. Throughout his twenties, it was said that Jorge's musical understanding reached "far beyond his years". Of a recital in Seattle, a critic said "I have seen the future of the guitar, and its name is 'Caballero'."
Jorge Caballero recently completed his second full-length solo recording, in which he recorded a transcription for solo guitar of Antonin Dvorak's "New World" Symphony, having thus reached an unprecedented peak in guitar history. His first recording, where he plays his own transcriptions of Bach's Cello Suites has elicited praise from the critics, who compared Jorge to musicians like Rostropovich, Richter and Segovia.
Plans in the immediate future for Jorge involve performances in San Francisco and New York, including a collaborative recital with soprano Theresa Santiago at Carnegie Hall's recital hall, as well as a new recording. In addition to this, he is a founding member of Axis, a string quintet which adds to the conventional string quartet the sensual sounds of a guitar, and thus explores new options of sound.
Tom Sheeley has been a regular performer in Flagstaff since the mid 1970's. He began teaching the guitar at Northern Arizona University in 1974 and has since then performed hundreds of concerts locally as well as nationally and internationally as a soloist and with groups such as The Flagstaff Symphony; The Redlands Summer Festival Orchestra; The Sinfonica Nacional de Ecuador; The Blair Quartet and The St. Petersburg Quartet. He was first place winner in the first ever "Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Manuel M. Ponce"--an event organized to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the composer that Andres Segovia claimed was the finest composer for guitar. He currently teaches guitar and music literature at Northern Arizona University.
Born in Paris in 1985, Thomas Viloteau began his musical education at age twelve in Port St. Louis (France). In 1998, he entered the Escuela de Música Juan Pedro Carrero in Barcelona, Spain, where he also participated in numerous masterclasses with Alvaro Pierri. Two years later, he entered the Consrvatorio Superior de Música de Barcelona where he studied with Joan Furio.
In 2001, Thomas received a scholarship of the Fondation Zigmund Zaleski to study under the direction of Alberto Ponce at the Ecole Normale in Paris, where he graduated with a Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste in 2004. Entering the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris that same year, Thomas studied in Roland Dyens' class while also working with Judicaël Perroy and participating in masterclasses with Rolf Lislevand and Manuel Gonzales.
Thomas Viloteau has placed first in several competitions, including the Salou guitar competition (Spain), the Segovia international competition in Linares (Spain), the Ville d'Antony international competition in Paris, the Mottola competition held in Italy, and most recently he received first prize in the 2006 Guitar Foundation of America competition.
Thomas Viloteau has performed in Italy, Spain, Sweeden, France, and Germany. As the winner of the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, in September of 2007 he will embark on a seven month concert tour of over fifty cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The internationally acclaimed guitarist, Xuefei Yang, has been a pioneering spirit since childhood. As the first guitarist in China to enter a music school and graduate from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with a BA degree, she was the first guitarist from her country to study classical guitar in the west. The first Chinese student ever to receive an international scholarship from the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music, Xuefei came to England for her postgraduate study at The Royal Academy of Music.
Born in Beijing, Xuefei began playing the guitar at the age of seven, taking formal tuition at ten from Chen Zhi. Soon after, she made her first public appearance at the First China International Guitar Festival. Immediately she gained such acclaim that the Spanish Ambassador in China presented her with a handmade concert guitar. During her school years, she played extensively in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Spain and Australia and gave concert tours in Taiwan, Japan and Portugal.
At only eleven, she won 2nd prize in the Beijing Senior Guitar competition being the only child competitor. When playing in Tokyo the following year, she was given a special award by the Guitar Alliance of Japan and the celebrated Japanese luthier Masaru Kohno presented her with one of his concert guitars. The composer Rodrigo attended her debut concert in Madrid when she was fourteen. In 1995 John Williams came to Beijing. He was so impressed with her playing that he gave two of his own Smallman guitars to her Conservatory especially for her and other top students to play.
Since 2000, she has been in England and has studied with Michael Lewin, John Mills and Timothy Walker at the Royal Academy of Music (from where she graduated with distinction). She won the Dorothy Grinstead Prize and received the Principal's prize for exceptional all-round studentship achieving a Recital Diploma. Xuefei was awarded the Dip.RAM - the highest performance award conferred by the Royal Academy of Music. In 2005, her outstanding achievements helped her earn the "Associate" title granted by the Academy.
Xuefei Yang has given concerts throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States. Her success has led her to be invited to many prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London as well as the Philharmonie Berlin, Musikhalle Hamburg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Herbst Theatre San Francisco. In Asia she has appeared at the National Concert Hall Taipai, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Esplanade Singapore, Guangzhou XingHai Concert Hall and the Beijing Concert Hall. In 2003 she performed 54 concerts for the "Night of the Proms" Tour, appearing in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany to an estimated total audience of over 800,000. In 2006 she embarks on recital tours of the USA, UK, Europe and Mexico and performs concertos with the Toledo Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic and Macao orchestras.
Xuefei Yang's second CD album 'Si Ji', inspired by music from her homeland, was released in 2005 by GSP. Later that year she signed an exclusive international contract with EMI Classics and her EMI debut album "Romance de Amor" was released in April 2006.
Duo Caputo Pompilio
After winning the first prize at the 11th International Competition for Guitar Duos in Montelimar (France), the duo Giuseppe Caputo and Luciano Pompilio have received international recognition, imposing themselves on the attention of the press and the music experts.
Duo Caputo-Pompilio, born in 1994 with the clear aim to search and go into the original repertoire for two guitars of 1800 and 1900, has recorded three CDs: "Works for guitar duo" dedicated to the repertoire of 1900; "Petit déjeuner" dedicated to the age transcriptions of 1800 for two guitars; and "Spanish Atmospheres" in cooperation with the English Soprano Anita Biltoo.
GCGS is proud to present Duo Caputo-Pompilio in their first Northern Arizona appearance.