[ Concerts ]

Guitarist/composer Van Stiefel performs with Sergio Sorrentino Feb. 22

Classical and modernist electronic mavericks join frets
February 12, 2014
Van Stiefel

Van Stiefel

Guitarist and composer Van Stiefel ’88 BA, ’90 MM will perform on Saturday, February 22 as part of the Yale Guitar Extravaganza. Stiefel will perform with Italian guitarist Sergio Sorrentino.

The concert features the world premiere of Stiefel’s Splitting (2014) for electric guitar and video projection, performed by Sorrentino.

Also on the program are Stiefel’s Smoke and Mirrors for electric guitar and violin, and Cinema Castaneda for classical guitar quartet. 

The performance takes place at 2 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street.

Van Stiefel received his B.A. and M.M. from Yale and his P.h.D. in composition from Princeton, where he then joined the faculty. Italian classical guitarist and composer Sergio Sorrentino has been called “one of the most important new Italian contemporary guitarists” (Radio Rai Tre).  The pair has previously collaborated on compositions, writing and performing pieces specifically for each other.

Tickets are $12, $8 with student ID. Passes to the Guitar Extravaganza are also available. For more information, visit music.yale.edu/guitar-extravaganza or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About The Performers

Composer and guitarist Van Stiefel continues to chase a “subversive lyricism” in the original music that he composes for often unusual instrumental combinations including electric guitar ensembles, laptop orchestras, and turntables. Stiefel was recently commissioned by the American Composers Forum to compose Wyeth Songs for electric guitar and children’s chorus. Trained as a classical guitarist from age six, his music for classical guitar has been performed or recorded by some the nation’s leading classical guitarists, including Benjamin Verdery, Eliot Fisk, and Daniel Lippel. In 2012, his quartet for laptops, Jargo’s Table, was featured at the very first International Symposium for Laptop Orchestras and Ensembles at LSU. Stiefel has been a featured speaker at TEDx Phoenixville and a visiting artist with PLOrk (the Princeton Laptop Orchestra). The Philadelphia Museum of Art presented already seen, an interactive music and dance collaboration with the Miller-Rothlein Company (MIRO) of Philadelphia. An all-Stiefel CD, Solaris was released in 2011 on New Focus Recordings and is distributed by Naxos. Stiefel has received grants/commissions from the Georgia Council for the Arts, Mid-Atlantic Arts Fellowship, Met-Life Composer Connections, Art in Odd Places (Atlanta Olympic Festival), and the American Composers’ Forum. His music has been featured on various festivals including: the Arts Festival of Atlanta, New York Guitar Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the Filament Festival. He has been on the faculties of Princeton and McGill Universities and is presently Associate Professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.  WEBSITE 


Sergio Sorrentino

Sergio Sorrentino promotes the classical and electric guitar contemporary repertory. As a composer and improviser his music is based on sonic research and combines elements of contemporary classical music, minimalism, avant-garde, ambient, experimental. He obtained his Guitar Diploma at the Avellino Conservatory, and in 2010 he obtained the Academic Guitar Diploma with Honors at the Novara Conservatory, with a thesis on Italian avant-garde guitar music. Sorrentino has recorded for Rai Trade, Vdm records, Silta Records, Carish, Curci, Sinfonica, Aton Records, Fratto9, Setola di Maiale. He has premiered many new compositions, and composers including Luca Lombardi, Giorgio Colombo Taccani, and Van Stiefel have written pieces for him. He is a member of the Sorrentino-Telandro-Sigurtà Trio, a project based on electro-acoustic free improvisation. As a composer, Sorrentino has won the First Edition of the International Competition of Guitar Composition “Goffredo Petrassi” of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome. He has also written several chapters of the Guitar History Handbook by Bèrben Editions. Sorrentino graduated from the University of Salerno with a degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and holds a professorship in classical and electric guitar at the Music Institute F.A. Vallotti in Vercelli, Italy. WEBSITE