[ Concerts ]
About the performers for the Guitar Extravaganza
Since they first met in 2000, Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli have shared a number of ideas, musical projects, and travels all over the world. In 2003 they formed a duo that has already performed throughout Europe, Asia and North America, and has been acclaimed everywhere – from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Vienna’s Konzerthaus – as one of the best ensembles ever heard. About one of their performances, The Washington Post wrote: “Extraordinarily sensitive, with effortless command and an almost unbearable delicacy of touch, the duo’s playing was nothing less than rapturous – profound and unforgettable musicianship of the highest order.”
In addition to classic, romantic and modern repertoire, Matteo and Lorenzo – joined by lutenist Massimo Lonardi – enjoy exploring the early literature for baroque guitar and theorbo. Together, Matteo and Lorenzo have recorded François de Fossa’s Three Quartets, op. 19 (Stradivarius), a CD of 17th century Italian music for baroque guitar, archlute and theorbo (La Suave Melodia, Stradivarius), Solaria, an anthology of 20th century masterpieces for two guitars (Pomegranate), the Duos Concertants by Antoine De Lhoyer (Naxos), a collection of chamber works by Mauro Giuliani (Amadeus), and a collection of 19th century pieces for two guitars (Noesis, Pomegranate), as well as a dozen solo recordings on the labels Naxos, Brilliant Records, Kookaburra, Mel Bay, and Stradivarius.
» SoloDuo will perform at 8 pm on March 24.
Zaira Meneses & Kim Perlak
Zaira Meneses is among the most exciting performers on the international classical guitar circuit. Her musicality and charisma have delighted audiences on three continents. Recent achievements include a special prize from Italy’s prestigious Academia Chigiana and the recording of several solo CDs available at her website. She has also aroused considerable interest through postings of live performances on Youtube. Zaira Meneses was born in Xalapa, Mexico. From an early age she showed great talent for music, studying both classical guitar and voice. She traveled widely, performing as well with the famed Orquesta de Guitarras. At the age of 17 and as the youngest contestant, she won first prize in an important national concerto competition. This success led to performances of Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Concierto Madrigal for two guitars throughout Mexico.
Since moving to the USA in 2001, Meneses has built a stellar reputation for her warm sound, limpid technique, and superb natural musicality, performing in many of the great concert halls of the world, including Boston’s Jordan Hall, New York City’s Alice Tully Hall, and Salzburg’s Wiener Saal. An unusual aspect of her work in chamber music have been collaborations with eminent pianists such as Jon Kimura Parker and Virginia Eskin, with whom she has often appears in lecture-recital format. Meneses has served as artist in residence at prestigious universities throughout the United States and recently began a long-term association with Syracuse University. Zaira Meneses is Director of Community Outreach and Student Affairs for the Boston Guitar Fest and Artistic Director of the new cross-disciplinary cultural initiative Guitar and Friends, for which she was awarded a grant by the Albert Augustine Foundation. In both of these positions she continues to enliven the cultural life of the city of Boston through outreach activities while maintaining a demanding touring schedule in the Americas and Europe.
Kim Perlak’s versatile and inclusive approach to guitar performance embraces new composition, scholarship, and public service. An American music specialist, Kim’s performance of classical works and her collaborations with jazz and traditional players have been featured at the National Guitar Workshop, the Yale Guitar Extravaganza, on CBS Sunday Morning, and in concert halls across the nation. Her commitment to new music has resulted in a recent premiere of a work by guitarist/composer Benjamin Verdery and the broadcast of her guitar, flute, and cello recording of works by Andrew York and Bryan Johanson on NPR.
Kim’s work combining performance, scholarship, and outreach has been funded through grants from the Carolina Institute for Leadership and Engagement in Music, the Center for African American Southern Music, and the Yale alumniVentures program. Her project “Music-History-Service,” which encourages professional and student musicians to make a difference through their art, was honored by the PBS program “From the Top” as part of their Arts Leadership Series. Perlak directs the programs in guitar and American music at Concordia University (Texas) and is on the faculty of Austin Community College and the National Guitar Workshop. She holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (DMA ’08), Yale School of Music (MM ’01), and Stetson University (BM ’98). She has studied with Adam Holzman, Benjamin Verdery, and Stephen Robinson. Kim Perlak plays guitars by Thomas Humphrey and endorses D’Addario strings.
» Zaira Meneses and Kim Perlak will perform music of the Americas at 6 pm on March 24.
Dither Guitar Quartet
DITHER, a New York based electric guitar quartet, is dedicated to an eclectic mix of experimental repertoire which spans composed music, improvisation, and electronic manipulation. Formed in 2007, the quartet has performed in the United States and abroad, presenting new commissions, original compositions,
improvisations, multimedia works, and large guitar ensemble pieces. With sounds ranging from clean pop textures to heavily processed noise, from tight rhythmic unity to cacophonous sound mass, all of Dither’s music wholeheartedly embraces the beautiful, engulfing, and often gloriously loud sound of electric guitars.
The quartet’s members are Taylor Levine, David Linaburg, Joshua Lopes, and James Moore. Dither’s recent collaborators include downtown bagpiper Matthew Welch, composers Eve Beglarian and David Lang, and guitarist/composers Bryce Dessner, Nick Didkovsky, Marco Cappelli, Elliott Sharp, and Mark Stewart. In Fall of 2008, the quartet traveled to Hong Kong to premiere an evening-length theatrical work by Samson Young, Hong Kong Explodes! funded by the Hong Kong Council for the Arts. Recent performances in New York include the Performa Biennial, The MATA Festival Interval Series, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Bang on a Can Marathon, at which they performed a monstrous rendition of Eric km Clark’s exPAT, a Dither commission for hearing-deprived guitar orchestra. Dither’s debut album was released on Henceforth Records in June 2010.
» DITHER will perform at 2 pm on March 24.
Heritage High School Guitar Ensemble
Kevin Vigil, director
David Madsen founded what is now the Hartt School’s Suzuki Guitar Program in 1990. He is the chair of the guitar and harp department of the Community Division at the Hartt School of Music. David graduated with a BM degree in guitar performance from the University of Connecticut and has since studied with David Leisner and Pepe Romero. His Suzuki studies have been with Bill Kossler and Frank Longay. He became a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas in 2000, and has conducted courses throughout North America and in Singapore, Peru, and Argentina. Mr. Madsen is a member of the SAA Guitar Committee. In the fall of 2008, David began teaching the Suzuki Pedagogy courses for the country’s first long-term training program for Suzuki guitar at the University of Hartford. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Kevin Vigil holds degrees from Shenandoah University (DMA), Yale University (MM), and the University of Memphis (BM). Since moving to Northern Virginia, he has been on the faculties of the Washington Conservatory, Levine School of Music, and Northern Virginia Community College. His interest in secondary guitar programs began when he met John Graham (Lake Braddock Secondary School, Fairfax County) in 1991. Over the years, he has performed for, coached, and traveled with John’s students. Their book, Guitar 101, has been published by Clear Note Publications. Kevin has been a clinician/performer for several festivals. He is on the faculty of Heritage High School in Leesburg, Virginia.
» The Hartt School Suzuki Guitar Ensemble & the Heritage High School Guitar Ensemble will open the Guitar Extravaganza with a concert at 10 am on Saturday, March 24.
The Yale Guitar Extravaganza is supported by the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts.