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.”
For more information about the Concert Series, please contact Grand Canyon Guitar Society at (928) 213-0752 or info@CanyonGuitar.org.
Renowned for her flawless technique and innate musicality, Berta Rojas ranks among today’s foremost classical guitarists. She has been praised as “guitarist extraordinaire” by the Washington Post, and by Classical Guitar magazine as an “Ambassador of the classical guitar.” Her warmth and heart touching musical artistry delight audiences wherever she performs.
On the concert stage, Berta moves easily between classical and other musical genres. She continues to captivate audiences and critics from Carnegie Hall to the South Bank Centre in London, selling out performances at venues around the world including the Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York, the John F. Kennedy Center, the National Concert Hall in Ireland with the Irish Radio and Television Orchestra, and as soloist with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra for National Belgian Television. She opened the Summit of the First Ladies of the Americas, attended by then First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Berta maintains a busy schedule of CD recordings. Her Intimate Barrios is one of the most celebrated recordings of the great Paraguayan, glowing with the insight that only a Paraguayan compatriot could bring to his music. With Cielo Abierto and most recently, Terruño, Berta has continued, to great acclaim, to bring a fresh and exciting new repertoire to the guitar. She has also toured in duo with Carlos Barbosa Lima, a collaboration culminating in the CD Alma y Corazón.
In addition to continuously enriching her own musicianship, and her tireless touring, Berta Rojas is committed to furthering the growth of the classical guitar in the Americas with particular focus on supporting young performers. In the summer of 2009 she created the first online classical guitar competition, the Barrios WorldWideWeb Competition, which generated tremendous interest throughout the guitar world. She was artistic director of the Ibero-American Guitar Festival held at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. Berta also co-founded the young persons’ Beatty Music Scholarship Competition for Classical Guitar whose winners perform at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Berta Rojas is Professor of guitar at George Washington University, Washington DC. She studied with Abel Carlevaro and received a Bachelor of Music degree at the Escuela Universitaria de Musica in Uruguay where she was a student of Eduardo Fernandez. Later, she earned a Master’s Degree in Music from Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory where she studied under Manuel Barrueco. Berta was acknowledged for her artistic excellence by the Kennedy Center which named her a Kennedy Center Fellow of the Americas. Berta Rojas is Paraguay’s Ambassador of Tourism.
The Santa Fe Guitar Quartet (SFG4), from Santa Fe, Argentina, is an innovative guitar ensemble whose repertoire ranges from Baroque works to modern tangos. The group is strongly committed to the performance of Latin American music, having presented exciting new works to a large audience worldwide.
Their full sound is similar to a small string orchestra and was praised by the Washington Post as "big, warm, round and clear." The quartet's addition of the six-string contrabass along with the occasional use of other instruments and percussive effects broaden the range and sound palate of the typical guitar ensemble.
Combining the individual talents of two Argentineans and two North Americans, the group has been touring internationally since 1989, both in recital and with orchestra. The Santa Fe Guitar Quartet has performed for sold-out houses throughout North and South America including Lincoln Center and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
The Organization of American States, Partners of the Americas, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Community Concerts, Texas Commission for the Arts, and Allied Concerts have all sponsored the quartet in the United States. In 1997, the Argentinean Institute for Excellence (Instituto Argentino de la Excelencia) awarded the Santa Fe Guitar Quartet the prestigious First Prize of Excellence.
The ensemble's recordings continue to receive enthusiastic reviews throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Their latest recording, a collection of music representing the diverse expression of composers living throughout the Americas, further demonstrates that the Santa Fe Guitar Quartet is a living example of the merging of the Americas through music.
With a large array of prestigious awards and highly acclaimed performances on leading international festivals, Irina Kulikova is widely considered one of the most gifted musicians on classical guitar. She has the capacity of fully opening up to music, dragging audiences around the world with her into a most profound and enchanting experience.
Irina Kulikova was born in Chelyabinsk, the capital of South-Ural, Russia. Under the guidance of her mother –cellist Vinera Kulikova – she started developing her musicianship from the earliest age. At twelve, she was already traveling around Russia and abroad for gala-concerts and festivals. At fourteen, she was included in the book ‘The Classical Guitar, its evolution, players and personalities since 1800’ by Maurice Summerfield. Ever since this early recognition, Irina Kulikova has caught the attention of leading guitarists, critics and audiences around the world. Classical Guitar Magazine (UK) wrote about her: 'She has the potential to become a powerful presence on the guitar.’ And Soundboard Magazine (USA) in a CD review: ‘Some of the most sheerly beautiful playing I have ever heard, with gorgeous sounds and exquisitely balanced sonorities.'
Irina Kulikova has given concerts all over Europe, Russia and in North-America, performing as a soloist, in a variety of ensembles and with a number of orchestra’s. She performed in magnificent concert halls like the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Academic Capella in St. Petersburg and the Schloss Mirabel in Salzburg. She performed for various members of the royal and aristocratic families of Germany and Denmark.
The experts’ appreciation of her interpretations is underlined by numerous awards on prestigious international guitar competitions, culminating with five 1st prizes in 2008: Michele Pittaluga in Italy, Guitarra Alhambra in Spain, Forum Gitarre Wien in Austria, the International Guitar competition Iserlohn in Germany and the ‘Twents Gitaarfestival’ in the Netherlands. In the same year, she was awarded the Young talent, Culture and Podium prize in the Netherlands.
Irina Kulikova graduated with distinction at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg (Austria), the Gnessins Academy in Moscow (Russia) and the Conservatoire of Maastricht (The Netherlands). Since 2007, she lives and teaches in the Netherlands.
The Swedish guitarist and composer Johannes Möller has captivated audiences throughout the world with charismatic and soulful performances. After playing his first public concerts at the age of 13, his performances now total over 500 and span Europe, Asia, South and North America. In 2010 he was awarded first prize in the GFA Concert Artist Competition, considered by many to be the most prestigious guitar competition in the world, resulting in a 50-concert tour and a recording with the Naxos label.
As a performer, Johannes’s artistry has reached well beyond the usual guitar circles. This was confirmed in 2008 when he won the Dutch Vriendenkrans Concours where he was competing against performers in all instrumental categories. As a part of this award his name has been engraved on a metal plate that can be seen in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Critics have also noted his special qualities, writing of his playing "Guitarist Johannes Möller achieved miracles with his lucid, spacious playing" (London Evening Standard).
At the age of 12 as a self-taught composer Johannes experienced an outburst of creativity that resulted in a large quantity of pieces that were performed and recorded with great critical acclaim. A selection of these works was recorded on a CD with some of the top instrumentalists in Sweden when he was 14 years old. In his later teenage years, Johannes continued composing, experimenting with various compositional styles and techniques. Doberman-Yppan has published a number of his works and his pieces are now being performed by such groups as the Eden-Stell Duo.
Johannes has earned a Bachelor’s of Music with Honors from the Royal College of Music in London where he studied guitar with Gary Ryan and Carlos Bonell and composition with William Mival. He has received a master’s degree from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague where he studied with Zoran Dukic. He also received a scholarship from the Royal Conservatoire that allowed him to study privately with Pavel Steidl in the Czech Republic as well as composition lessons with Dusan Bogdanovic in the USA. He completed a second Masters degree at the Conservatoire in Amsterdam where he studied guitar with Lex Eisenhardt and composition with Richard Ayers.
Máximo Diego Pujol was born in 1957 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Everything started when he discovers a “guitar in a closet” at home. That discovery, along with his father´s wish of listening that old guitar again, pushes eight year old Máximo to guitar lessons with Gaspar Navarro, a fine tango and milonga player with whom all the kids in the neighborhood learned. Months later he decides to surprise his mother on her birthday with his own composition, a Zamba written especially for her. The complicity of his father and the deep emotion of his mother makes the guitar a part of Maximo´s life for ever.
These experiences begin to define his musical vocation. With an endless desire of writing his own compositions, he enters the Buenos Aires Conservatory of Music on with parallel studies in harmony and composition with Leonídas Arnedo. He tours playing tango and milongas all around Buenos Aires night clubs, sometimes playing alone and sometimes accompanying singers. From his first steps to these days as a professional, Pujol searches and works deeply in the fusion of traditional Argentine Tango and formal academic thinking.
Pujol has performed throughout Argentina and at various guitar festivals in the United States, Europe and Australia. His guitar compositions have won awards at competitions in South America and Europe, and in 1989 he was awarded the Argentine Composers’ Union prize as Best Composer of Classical Music. Máximo Diego Pujol is one of the most important Latin American guitar composers of the 20th century, and his works are often performed by world renowned musicians and guitarists. He makes his Arizona Concert debut in Flagstaff on February 18, 2012.
Canadian-born Dale Kavanagh is acclaimed as one of the guitar world´s most gifted interpreters. Between 1986 and 1988 Ms. Kavanagh was a top prize-winner in Spain’s “Segovia Competition,” Italy’s “Gargnano Competition,” Switzerland’s “Neuchatel Competition,” and First and Special Prize winner in Finland’s “Scandinavian International Guitar Competition.”
Dale Kavanagh studied at Acadia University, Dalhousie University, the University of Toronto, and the Banff Center in Canada, then completed her graduate studies with the Solisten Diplom at the Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel with Oscar Ghiglia, in Switzerland.
Dale Kavanagh performs internationally as a soloist, and in concertos with orchestra. She also is part of the Amadeus Guitar Duo with German guitarist Thomas Kirchhoff. She has given over one thousand recitals in more than forty countries, and is a regular recitalist and teacher in music festivals throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia.
As a guest soloist with Orchestra, Ms. Kavanagh has performed on many occasions with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, Würtemberger Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestras of Ankara, Izmir and Antalya, the Edmonton Symphony, Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha, to mention a few.
Dale Kavanagh is Professor of Guitar at the Musikhochschule in Detmold, Germany. She held the appointment of “Musician in Residence” at Acadia University between 2003-2010, and is currently on Faculty at the “Koblenz International Guitar Academy.”
Being an exclusive artist with (Hänssler Classic) since 1999 has enabled Dale to make sixteen (16) CDs to date. She has received superlative reviews in many international magazines including Acoustic Guitar, Classical Guitar Magazine, Fono-Forum, Hi-Fi-Vision, Gendai Guitar, Gitarre & Laute, La Cahir de la Guitare, Musikblatt, Staccato, Soundboard Magazine, Gitar och Luta.
Many composers have written works for Dale Kavanagh such as Christian Jost Harald Genzmer, Carlo Domeniconi, Roland Dyens, Jaime M. Zenamon, Stephen Dodgson, Stephen Funk-Pearson, and Bruce Shavers.
Dale Kavanagh plays D’Addario strings.
Classical Guitar Magazine exclaims: “The maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity …is simply outstanding.” in describing the Brasil Guitar Duo, winner of the 2006 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Equally at home on a Classical or a World Music series, the Duo’s innovative programming features a seamless blend of traditional and Brazilian works, resulting in a full global touring schedule and numerous critically acclaimed recordings.
The Brasil Guitar Duo’s 2010-11 US tours include recitals in 15 states across the country, and just some of the highlights include a return engagement with the New York City Classical Guitar Society at Baruch College, and debut performances for San Francisco’s Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts, Guitar Houston, the Macon Concert Association and at Strathmore Performing Arts Center in Maryland. International highlights include the Gliwice International Guitar Festival in Poland.
A favorite of summer festivals, the Brasil Guitar Duo made its debut at the Aspen Festival in July 2010, in a special collaborative program with CAG alumnae flutist Marina Piccinini. Previous summers have included concerts at New York’s River to River Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Chautauqua Institution, Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival, Stowe Summer Music Festival (VT), Lancaster Festival (OH), and abroad, the Bermuda Guitar Festival, Two Moors Festival (OK), Tirol’s Outreach Festival (Austria) and Sao Paulo’s Campos do Jordão International Festival (Brazil).
In the recording studio, the Brasil Guitar Duo’s debut for the Naxos label features two CDs of the complete works for two guitars by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, the first of which was released in 2008 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the composer’s death, and the latest was released in June 2009. Just one of many stellar reviews includes the American Record Guide, which said: “It would be hard to imagine a better performance...This is wonderful music played at the highest interpretive level.” Previously, the Duo’s first CD of all-Brazilian repertoire, Bom Partido, was released in August 2007 on CAG Records and is now in its third printing. Their latest release features the complete Bach Flute Sonatas with flutist Marina Piccinini (Avie).
Eager advocates for both traditional and new concerti for two guitars and orchestra, the Duo’s recent concerto performances include with the Dallas and Houston Symphony Orchestras, Dayton Philharmonic, Lancaster Symphony (OH) and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre.
Recent featured New York City recital engagements include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, NY Guitar Seminar at Mannes College, Symphony Space and Joe’s Pub. In addition, they have performed for the Orange County (CA) Performing Arts Center, Lied Center (University of Kansas), Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Chicago, Spivey Hall, Montalvo Center for the Arts, Purdue University Convocations, Daytona Beach International Festival, Virginia Arts Festival, CityFolk Festival in Dayton, OH, the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Guitar Festival and for Miami Guitar Festival and the Asociacion Nacional de Conciertos in Panama City and the Classical Guitar Societies of St. Louis, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tucson and Upstate New York.
The Duo appears frequently in conjunction with CAG’s highly regarded New Music/New Places initiative, performing in diverse non-traditional spaces. Just some of the venues who have hosted the duo are: BAMcafé and Barbés Bar and Performance Space in Brooklyn; Long Island’s Cinema Arts Centre; Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs; and Philadelphia’s World Café Live. The Brasil Guitar Duo is perfectly suited for these non-traditional venues, having established a broad repertoire of classical guitar duos (Bach, Sor, Scarlatti, etc.) combined with the traditional music of its native land (choro samba, maxixe and baião).
João Luiz and Douglas Lora met in São Paulo as teenage guitar students and have been performing together for more than ten years, perfecting a sublime synchronicity and effortless performance style. The ensemble’s primary studies were with Henrique Pinto along with Fabio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Sergio Abreu and Alice Artz. Douglas Lora earned his Master’s degree at the University of Miami as a student of Dr. Rene Gonzalez. João Luiz is pursuing his Master’s degree at New York’s Mannes College of Music studying with Michael Newman.