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CLASSICAL GUITARISTS ADAM LEVIN, MATTHEW ROHDE, SCOTT BORG ANNOUNCE THE KITHARA PROJECT, A NEW NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION DEVOTED TO BRING GUITAR TO NEW AUDIENCES, YOUTH, AND UNCONVENTIONAL SPACES

Posted By Emma Markham, Friday, May 15, 2015

BOSTON, MA – Acclaimed classical guitarists Adam Levin, Matthew Rohde, and Scott Borg proudly announce the founding of The Kithara Project, a new entrepreneurial non-profit organization based in Boston devoted to bringing classical guitar to communities with otherwise limited access to live music and music education.   The Kithara Project is a collective of guitarists working to promote the guitar and with it, to create, perform, educate, engage, and empower in socially responsible ways.

 

The founders of the organization, all internationally-acclaimed performers and teachers, will work both domestically and internationally to organize performances, collaborations, workshops, and longer-term residencies in non-traditional settings. Through its performances, The Kithara Project brings all the richness of the classical guitar to those places where live music is seldom heard. The founders write, “The word itself -- kithara -- is the etymological root not just of the word guitar, but also of sitar and zither, to name two. Down to the very name then, the guitar, as an ‘instrument’ of cultural diplomacy and education alike, taps into a powerful wellspring of common heritage.”

 

The new organization has already received endorsements of support from internationally renowned guitarists Eliot Fisk and Benjamin Verdery.  Fisk says, “New ideas must be tried out, not within the safety net of academia’s protecting walls, but out in the real world, under actual conditions. This is exactly what the Kithara Project proposes to do.” Verdery states, “The Kithara Project will have a profound positive artistic and emotional impact on all who are fortunate enough to encounter it.”

 

The Kithara Project will offer music education and outreach programs for both musicians and non-musicians of all ages. The goals of its outreach program are: to provide quality musical experiences for young people; partner with public, private and charter schools to supplement current music programs; expand collaborations with community organizations to reach greater numbers of disadvantaged people, particularly in inner-city communities and communities without access to live arts experiences; encourage long-term concert attendance by young people; provide world-class instruction for emerging instrumental students; and provide inspiring role models for people of all ages and backgrounds.

 

Current programs available include a Master Guitar-in-Residence, one‐week residency each year by a well‐established guitarist with top performing credentials and experience teaching at the major conservatory level. This residency will focus solely upon those elementary, middle and high schools that already have established guitar or string ensemble programs, using the proven combination of lecture‐demonstration and coaching. Webcast Student Concertsavailable to schools at no charge, will feature a series of contrasting concerts, performed in front of a live audience and webcast live. Kithara’s In-School Visiting Artists program will feature visits to schools during four one‐week residencies by artists and ensembles that provide well-designed introductory music lecture‐demonstration programs. These programs will focus upon general school populations, mostly at the elementary and middle school levels, providing a live performance experience as well as carefully designed instruction in musical and related non‐musical topics. Introductory Musical Programs by teaching artists will introduce students to classical music and promote the development of pre‐literacy, language and communication skills through active listening.

 

The Kithara Project kicks off its inaugural 2015-2016 season of programming with residencies and concerts in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and New York City. 

 

For an introductory video about The Kithara Project, visit https://youtu.be/o870F30WIyc

 

ABOUT THE FOUNDERS

 

Naxos Recording Artist Adam Levin has performed the world over in settings across the United States and Europe. The recipient of numerous top prizes, he has been recognized by national and international competitions.  As an ambassador for the guitar, Mr. Levin is dedicated to sharing the guitar’s vibrant and comprehensive repertoire in underserved areas and unconventional spaces.  In 2007-08 he was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for innovative community work in the Boston area.  In 2008, Levin was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to research and perform 20th and 21st century contemporary Spanish guitar repertoire abroad in Madrid, Spain. In 2009, he was also the recipient of the Program for Cultural Cooperation Fellowship to perform both American and Spanish music programs.  Subsequently, Levin was awarded the grand prize of the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship and Competition to support the commission and premiere of new Spanish guitar works.  In fall 2012, he began recording the first of four volumes with Naxos, cataloguing the 30 new works he commissioned during his residency in Madrid, Spain. “21st Century Spanish Guitar, Volume 1” was released in 2013 to great critical acclaim; Volume 2 is planned for release in 2016.  A native of Chicago’s North Shore, Adam holds bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University in Music Performance, Psychology, and Pre-Med. Under the tutelage of Eliot Fisk, Levin completed his master’s degree in guitar performance at New England Conservatory in Boston. His esteemed teachers have included Oscar Ghiglia, Gabriel Estarellas, Anne Waller, Mark Maxwell, and Paul Henry. Adam is currently the co-director of the annual Boston Guitarfest Young Guitarists Workshop and teaches guitar at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Middlesex College.

 

Matthew Rohde has performed and taught all over North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has received grants from US embassies in Israel/Palestine, Ecuador, and Mexico to make solo tours throughout each of those countries. He once spent more than a year teaching music in Palestine, and through the support of the Qattan Foundation Matthew conducted Arabic language guitar classes in the Gaza Strip – via live videoconference! (It was also in Palestine that Matthew, an avid dancer of the Argentine tango, organized the first-ever tango workshop and social dance in the history of the country.) Matthew also spent part of 2011 working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; there, he spearheaded an initiative to expose refugee children to jazz and classical music. Matthew’s past students have been awarded scholarships at the San Francisco Conservatory and the Angers Conservatory, in France.  Matthew completed his studies at Yale College, the Yale School of Music, the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique et Danse in Paris, and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. His teachers have included maestros Benjamin Verdery, Oscar Ghiglia, and Roland Dyens. Matthew also holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po, in France. He is conversant in French, Spanish, Italian, and Arabic.

 

Praised as having “enormous facility on the guitar, a fluent technique, who plays with total confidence and professional expertise, panache and artful spontaneity”, Scott Borg performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, and is known for his refined and daring performances.  Performances have taken him throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe, including prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Ateneo de Madrid. Passionate about musical outreach and expanding the role of the guitar in our society, Borg has embarked on a number of residencies including “Under the Southern Cross”, a program approved by the Queensland and New South Wales Board of Education, that reached over 3,000 students, and he has raised funds for various organizations including the Leprosy Mission in Bangladesh. Additionally, he is conductor of the Boston Guitar Orchestra, and the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society Orchestra, groups dedicated to providing an inclusive environment for amateur musicians to explore their talents in a challenging yet friendly environment. Currently a candidate in the Doctorate of Musical Arts program at New England Conservatory, he previously received degrees from Yale University, The Juilliard School, and the University of Wollongong.  Borg is currently on faculty at the Levine School of Music in Washington D.C., and at Montgomery College. His debut CD “Phases” is on the Odradek Label.

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