[ Concerts ]

Guitarist Simon Powis Gives Recital Oct.10

September 18, 2013


The Yale School of Music presents the guitarist Simon Powis in a Doctor of Musical Arts recital on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 8 pm. Powis has garnered attention as a talented soloist, chamber musician, and innovator. Growing up in Sydney, Australia, Powis began his studies as the age of five on the cornet. He took up the guitar at age eleven, beging an enduring pursuit that would lead to performances throughout Europe, Australia, and the Americas.

The program will begin with Armand Coeck’s Constellations, a famously challenging piece for the classical guitarist. Next, Mr. Powis will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Ciaconna (from the Partita in D minor for solo violin, BWV 1004) that Powis transcribed for guitar. Violinist Joshua Bell has said that the Ciaconna is “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievement of any man in history. It’s a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect.” The first half will conclude with William Walton’s Five Bagatelles.

The second half of the concert will open with Fernando Sor’s Fantaisie Élégiaque, Op. 59. Leo Brouwer’s Sonata for solo guitar will follow. Brouwer, an Afro-Cuban composer, has influenced classical guitar music immensely; his compositions reflect classical, Afro-Cuban, jazz, and avant-garde influences. The recital will conclude with three pieces by Isaac Albéniz: Granada, Córdoba, and Sevilla.

The recital is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu.


About Simon Powis

After completing his studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Raffaele Agostino in 2004, Simon Powis traveled extensively throughout Europe to study with some of the world’s most renowned virtuosos. Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, Pavel Steidl and Aniello Desiderio have had a great impact on the musical style and technical foundation that Powis possesses. In 2006 Powis was invited to undertake a Masters of Music at Yale University on a full scholarship and upon completing this degree he was accepted as the first guitarist in over two decades to undertake doctoral studies at Yale. During his time at Yale, the professor of guitar, Ben Verdery, offered instruction, support and guidance that readied him for a career as a professional musician.

Powis has toured extensively as a soloist with performances in the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Australia House (London), and the Banff Center for the Arts (Canada). A strong passion for chamber music has resulted in international collaborations ranging from traditional groups such as the Modigliani String Quartet and Ian Swenson (violin) to less common performances with double bass, electronics, and even the tuba. Powis’s openness to innovation is exhibited by his devotion to performing new works. In the past years he has collaborated with a variety of composers to premiere over thirty new works on the concert stage.

As a teacher Powis has instructed masterclasses in Lima, Mexico City and New York, and at Yale he was employed as both a guitar instructor at the school of music and a teaching fellow in the department of music. With a growing interest in pedagogy he decided to undertake research in sight reading for his doctoral thesis. Insights and encouragement from Jerry Willard, David Leisner, John Williams and Ben Verdery have helped develop sight reading seminars that Powis has given in music schools, guitar societies and guitar festivals around the world.