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Parkening Interntional Guitar Competition 2015 - Judges Announced

Posted By Emma Markham, Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Parkening International Guitar Competition Announces Judges for 2015 Competition

January 13, 2015 Malibu, CA -- The judges for the fourth triennial Parkening International Guitar Competition, to be presented by Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, from Wednesday, May 27, to Saturday, May 30, 2015, have been announced.

Representing different areas of the classical music world, the five judges are Lynn Harrell, cello virtuoso and conductor; Lee Holdridge, Emmy Award-winning film composer; Charlotte Lee, senior vice president, IMG Artists; Angel Romero, guitar maestro, soloist, and conductor; and David Thomas, recording producer.

The competition, which debuted in 2006, offers the largest prize purse of any classical guitar competition in the world, with competitors vying for cash awards in excess of US$65,000. After three days of intense public performances, the winner of the Parkening International Guitar Competition receives a gold medal, the Jack Marshall Prize of US$30,000, and the most prestigious title in classical guitar.

The panel will judge 15 competitors, three of whom will advance to the final round to perform a concerto before a live audience with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. The gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be announced at the conclusion of the final round.

The Parkening Competition honors the distinguished career of the classical guitarist Christopher Parkening and his lifetime commitment to fostering musical excellence in young artists as demonstrated by his mentor, the great Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. Parkening is celebrated as one of the world's preeminent virtuosos of the classical guitar and serves as Distinguished Professor of Music at Pepperdine University. A two-time Grammy nominee and a featured soloist in some of the finest orchestras in the country, his concerts and recordings have received the highest worldwide acclaim, captivating audiences around the world, from New York to Tokyo.

"The creation of this competition was one of my lifelong dreams," says Parkening.  "It champions and rewards the traditions of musical excellence, and fulfills my vision for a world-class guitar competition equal to the great piano and violin competitions."

In addition to the Parkening International Guitar Competition, on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 26 and 27, 2015, the Parkening Young Guitarist Competition will be held at Pepperdine. This two-day event will help to identify outstanding young guitarists and encourage them to continue their performance careers and studies.

The 2015 Parkening Competition is made possible by a generous grant from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson.

For the first time in its history, the Parkening International Guitar Competition is now accepting applications online. The process is now faster and more accessible for potential competitors around the world.  Applications are due February 6, 2015.

Applications, more information about competition requirements and judging, and the competition schedule are available at:

Biographies of the Judges

Lynn Harrell is a renowned cellist whose presence is felt throughout the musical world. A consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor, and teacher, his work throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia has placed him in the highest echelon of today's performing artists. Mr. Harrell is a frequent guest of many leading orchestras including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, and the National Symphony. In Europe, he partners with the orchestras of London, Munich, Berlin, Tonhalle, and Israel. An important part of Lynn Harrell's life is summer music festivals, which include appearances at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Aspen and Grand Tetons festivals, and the Amelia Island Festival. With an extensive discography of more than 30 recordings, Mr. Harrell was awarded two Grammy Awards – in 1981 for the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio and in 1987 for the complete Beethoven Piano Trios (both Angel/EMI). In June 2010, along with his wife, violinist Helen Nightengale, he founded the HEARTbeats Foundation, a 501(c) charity. Based in Los Angeles, the HEARTbeats Foundation strives to help children in need harness the power of music to better cope with, and recover from, the extreme challenges of poverty and conflict.

Lee Holdridge has scored numerous film and TV hits, including films such as Splash, Big Business, Mr. Mom, Micki & Maude,16 Days Of Glory, The Other Side of the Mountain Pt. II, Mustang Country, The Beastmaster, Jeremy (Cannes Festival award winner), Sylvester, The Tuskegee Airmen, and El Pueblo Del Sol. TV shows include Moonlighting, Beauty and the Beast, the complete eight-hour remake of East of Eden, and many more. More recently, Mr. Holdridge scored the motion pictures Puerto Vallarta Squeeze; Unlikely Heroes; the Hollywood Film Festival Documentary award winner Beautiful Music; the PBS Emmy-nominated series American Family; and Saving Milly for CBS. Mr. Holdridge has received numerous awards and nominations during his career. Amongst these he received six Emmys for writing. He received both Emmy and Grammy nominations for his title song for Moonlighting, which he cowrote with Al Jarreau. Mr. Holdridge's extensive background in both the concert and theatre fields include coauthorship of the Joffrey Ballet standard Trinity, the one-act in-school operas The Prospector and The Magic Dream, and the one-act opera Journey to Cordoba, commissioned by the Los Angeles Music Center Opera.

Charlotte Lee is a senior vice president and artist manager at IMG Artists in New York. Her tenure at IMG Artists began in 1998 where she worked on the management teams for Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Evgeny Kissin, and Lang Lang. Promoted to become IMG Artists' youngest manager at age 25 and, in 2007, the agency's youngest vice president at age 30, Ms. Lee served for seven years as director of orchestral booking in overseeing the booking of IMG's roster of 75 conductors and instrumentalists with the major orchestras of North America. Now as a senior vice president she personally manages 10 internationally recognized artists including violinists Itzhak Perlman and Nicola Benedetti, pianist Simon Trpčeski, cellist Johannes Moser, and several conductors, including Cristian Măcelaru and Joana Carneiro. She holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (U-T), where she graduated cum laude in 1998 with a BA in music and a BA in Plan II, U-T's liberal arts honors program. She is a violinist and former concertmaster of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. While at U-T Austin, she served as assistant concertmaster of the U-T Symphony Orchestra, studied with Vincent Frittelli (a former Ivan Galamian pupil) and performed in master class for Dorothy DeLay.

Angel Romero's eminence in the music world as soloist and conductor is heralded by audiences and critics alike. Hailed for his superior artistry as the Spanish maestro of the guitar, Mr. Romero has appeared in the major cultural centers throughout the world and has appeared as soloist with such leading orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic. As conductor, he has led numerous orchestras worldwide including the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and the Royal Philharmonic, among many others. In February 2000 he was presented with the highest honor that the country of Spain has to offer, the Grand Cross of Isabel la Catolica and was knighted Sir Angel Romero in reverence of his astounding musical accomplishments. In 2007 Angel Romero was honored by the Recording Academy, producer of the Grammy Awards, with the Recording Academy President's Merit Award for his significant contributions to the music world and for his professional career achievements. For his work on the film Bienvenido-Welcome, Mr. Romero won the 1995 ARIEL (the "Academy Award" of Mexico) in the category of music written originally for film.

David Thomas has been involved in the music industry for nearly 25 years. Active in the recording industry, he produced the last nine Christopher Parkening recordings for EMI and Sony Classical. Mr. Thomas has also produced recordings with soprano Kathleen Battle, baritone Jubilant Sykes, guitarists Virginia Luque and Liona Boyd, the soundtrack for the movie Last Flight Out, as well as projects with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. His profession has taken him to such internationally acclaimed studios as Abbey Road in London, as well as Capitol and Sony/MGM studios in Los Angeles. He founded TYI/Concert Marketing, which coordinates venue marketing for many labels, including Universal, Sony, and Warner. Originally from the Napa, California, Mr. Thomas now resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with his wife, Joanna, and their two sons, Julian and Sebastian.

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AMS - Call for Performances

Posted By Emma Markham, Friday, December 19, 2014

The AMS Performance Committee invites proposals for concerts, lecture-recitals, and other performances and performance-related events during the 2015 Louisville Annual Meeting. We encourage proposals that demonstrate the Society’s diversity of interests, range of approaches, and geographic and chronological breadth inspired by or complementing new musicological finds that develop a point of view or offer a programmatic focus. Performances related to the meeting’s venue are especially welcome.

Freelance artists as well as performers and ensembles affiliated with colleges, universities, or conservatories are encouraged to submit proposals. Available presentation times include lunch hours, afternoons, and Thursday evening, 12 November 2015. 

Required application materials include: 1) an application cover sheet (available from the AMS office or via this link); 2) a proposed program listing repertory, performer(s), and the duration of each work; 3) a list of audio-visual and performance needs; 4) a short (100-word) biography of each participant named in the proposal; 5) for concerts, a one-page explanation of the significance of the program or manner of performance; for lecture-recitals, a description (two pages maximum) explaining the significance of the program or manner of performance, and a summary of the lecture component, including information pertaining to the underlying research, its methodology, and conclusions; 6) representative audio or visual materials pertaining to the program and performers (twenty minutes maximum). An individual may not present both a paper and a performance (or lecture-recital) at the meeting. If an individual’s proposals to the Program and Performance Committee are both selected, the applicant will be given an early opportunity to decide which invitation to accept and which to decline. Though the AMS is unable to offer a fee to artists, modest subsidies are occasionally available for performance-related expenses. Please see the application cover sheet for proposal submission details. Materials must arrive at the AMS office no later than 5 p.m. EST, 15 January 2015. Exceptions cannot be made to this deadline, so please plan accordingly. Receipts will be sent to those who have submitted proposals by the deadline, and the committee will communicate its decisions by 15 April, 2015. 

—David Dolata 
    Performance Committee Chair

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Master's degree with Oscar Ghiglia and Elena Papandreou in Greece

Posted By Emma Markham, Monday, December 15, 2014

The Master's program in the University of Macedonia, in Thessaloniki, Greece, will start in just 2 months (February 2015)! To get more information on studying for a Master's degree with Oscar Ghiglia and Elena Papandreou please visit UoM online here:

Click on "Call for application" on the top left of the page for a detailed guide, audition information, application form, and fees. For more information you may contact Elena Papandreou directly at

English speaking students are welcome, Greek is not a prerequisite!

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Augustine Foundation To Fund Classical Guitar Programs in Ferguson Elementary Schools

Posted By Emma Markham, Tuesday, December 09, 2014
The St. Louis Classical Guitar Society is pleased to announce that The Augustine Foundation of New York City is donating $20,000 to the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society to launch Phase One of the Guitar Society’s Ferguson Guitar Initiative, providing funding for high quality classical guitars; additional compensation for participating classroom teachers from the Ferguson--Florissant School District; and educational specialists provided to the classrooms provided by the Guitar Society. Participating Schools are Central Elementary School and Johnson Wabash Elementary School, both in the community of Ferguson, Missouri. Fifth and sixth grade students at both schools will meet twice weekly to learn to play the classical guitar, in groups of up to fifteen, learning to perform beautiful music in ensemble classes with their peers.
“We know that music motivates and prepares students for higher achievement,” said Lawrence W. Larrew, acting superintendent of the Ferguson-Florissant School District.  “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students.” 
A new on-line curriculum developed by Austin Classical Guitar, which may be seen at, will be utilized in the classes. Phase One of the Initiative is scheduled to begin in January, 2015, and continue through the fall. Professional Development sessions on the curriculum will also be offered to other interested teachers from the Ferguson--Florissant School District for future expansion of the Initiative. Additional funding is being sought to continue the program into spring 2016, and to expand the reach of the Initiative into six additional Ferguson--Florissant schools. For additional information contact St. Louis Classical Guitar Society President William Ash at 314 569-3299

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2014 Grammy Nominations

Posted By Connie Sheu, Friday, December 05, 2014

Guitar virtuoso Jason Vieaux’s solo album Play has been nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category. Released on Azica Records in January 2014, the album celebrates Jason Vieaux’s 20th anniversary as a performer by featuring the Spanish, Mexican, South American, Cuban, French, and American classics that Vieaux has found to be universal audience favorites over the past two decades. The music includes showpieces by Barrios, Sagreras, Bustamante, and Sainz De La Maza, Tárrega’s classics Recuerdos de la Alhambra and Capricho Arabe, Vieaux’s own in-demand arrangement of Duke Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood, and Andrew York’s popular Sunburst

Guitarist and producer David Starobin received a Grammy nomination in the category of Producer of the Year, Classical. Starobin has produced numerous award-winning classical albums, including:

All The Things You Are (Leon Fleisher)
Complete Crumb Edition, Vol. 16 (Ann Crumb, Patrick Mason, James Freeman & Orchestra 2001)
Game Of Attrition - Arlene Sierra, Vol. 2 (Jac Van Steen & BBC National Orchestra Of Wales)
Haydn, Beethoven & Schubert (Gilbert Kalish)
Mozart: Piano Concertos, No. 12, K. 414 & No. 23, K. 488 (Marianna Shirinyan, Scott Yoo & Odense Symphony Orchestra)
Music Of Peter Lieberson, Vol. 3 (Scott Yoo, Roberto Diaz, Steven Beck & Odense Symphony Orchestra)
Rochberg, Chihara & Rorem (Jerome Lowenthal)
Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Op. 18 & Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 23 (Joyce Yang, Alexander Lazarev & Odense Symphony Orchestra) 

Lutenist and conductor Paul O'Dette was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Opera Recording for his conducting in the album Charpentier: La Descente D'Orphée Aux Enfers.  

The 57th Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 8, 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Tags:  grammys 

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Italian Mechanical Industry Collaborates with Enea Leone

Posted By Connie Sheu, Thursday, November 20, 2014
GESSATE, ITALY-The Italian pump manufacturer Gruppo Aturia S.p.A. released a new corporate video developed in collaboration with the classical guitar player Enea Leone. Italian guitarist Enea Leone has been described by Oscar Ghiglia “a very talented guitarist with unlimited technical competence." This is the first time that a company in the mechanical industry has collaborated with a classical guitarist.

Enea is Professor at the Conservatory of Cagliari and the Conservatory of Vibo Valentia, Italy. He began his music studies at the age of 6 and graduated summa cum laude at the Conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi” of Milan (Italy) studying with Lena Kokkaliari, Ruggero Chiesa and Paolo Chierici. He completed his studies with Emanuele Segre, Alirio Diaz and Oscar Ghiglia receiving diplomas at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana di Siena on 2002, 2003 and 2004. On 2005 he received the “Solistendiplom” at the Musik-Akademie of Basilea, Switzerland.

Please find below the link to “Fuoco” by Roland Dyens played by Enea Leone (Gruppo Aturia corporate video soundtrack):
and the link to Gruppo Aturia corporate video, classical guitar based:

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13th Annual Laguna Beach Music Festival Festival Artists Announced: Los Angeles Guitar Quartet & New Festival Director Appointed

Posted By Connie Sheu, Thursday, October 16, 2014

LAGUNA BEACH, CA—The annual Laguna Beach Music Festival is pleased to announce its 2015 Festival artist mentors, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and the appointment of new Festival Director, Laura Ricker. Based in Laguna Beach, the Festival has historically been and continues to be a platform for the discovery of up-and-coming artists with its presentations of world-class musicians in intimate venues. The 2015 Festival, taking place February 12-15 at a variety of venues in Laguna Beach, will also include special appearances by friends of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, including the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet (LAPQ), Janelle DeStefano, Phil Proctor and L.A. Flamenco.

“Every year the Festival brings premier artists to Laguna Beach and our mission is to share this artistic talent and exploration with our community and beyond,” says Ms. Ricker. “This year, the Festival includes Valentine’s Day weekend so it’s only fitting that LA Guitar Quartet and friends will explore Spanish romance, Flamenco dance, Don Quixote and a dynamic repertoire they have developed. Through concerts, free outreach events, student discounts, the new Thursday Taste of the Festival and discounts being offered for Valentine’s Day dinners, Laguna Beach Music Festival is excited to offer a wonderful Festival weekend in Laguna Beach.”

The 2015 Laguna Beach Music Festival features three concert performances taking place throughout the weekend, with its Opening Night concert on Friday, February 13. The Opening concert brings the first-ever collaboration between the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and the Los
Angeles Percussion Quartet and will be a night of discovery, with two of America’s most dynamic chamber groups coming together to explore new and exciting music. The highlight of the evening will be the world premiere of a new work, “Ymir,” commissioned by Laguna Beach Music Festival and written especially for the occasion by celebrated composer Jeffrey Holmes. For the Festival, Holmes felt compelled to compose a piece inspired by the sea and derived the work from his Scandinavian heritage exploring the origin of the ocean through the first primordial being in Nordic religion, a Frost Giant. The concert will also feature moving and energetic works by John Cage, Steve Reich and Carlos Rivera, among others. More details on the other concerts to be announced.

Thirty years young in 2010-11, the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is one of the most multifaceted groups in any genre. The LAGQ is comprised of four uniquely accomplished musicians bringing new energy to the concert stage with programs ranging from bluegrass to Bach. Consistently playing to sold-out houses worldwide, their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground.

Since 2009, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet has forged a distinct identity as a world-class contemporary chamber music ensemble that is dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works for percussion quartets. Originally, members Nick Terry, Matt Cook, Justin DeHart, and Cory Hills joined together to create a classical percussion ensemble that would champion the important contributions of 20th-century West Coast composers while collaborating with local artists to continue the tradition of innovation and exploration. Today, the group continues this mission while broadening creative output through recordings, performances, and educational outreach.

Recently appointed Festival Director Laura Ricker comes to the Festival from the Western Arts Alliance, a membership association based in Portland, Oregon, of touring and performing arts professionals where she worked for the past nine years as a senior level manager. Ms. Ricker is
an Orange County transplant who has more than 16 years of experience in conference planning, musical performances, special events and festival management. With a background predominantly in event and conference management, she also previously served as the Oregon Symphony’s Director of Events and has a proven ability to develop and strengthen the organizations she manages in order to maximize profitability and efficiency while exploring creativity and inspiration. She received her undergraduate degree from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has since built her professional career spanning New York City, Portland, and Orange County.

The Laguna Beach Music Festival is a presentation of Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. Tickets for the 2015 Laguna Beach Music Festival are now on sale and can be purchased at

Tags:  festivals 

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Remembering John Sutherland

Posted By Connie Sheu, Friday, October 10, 2014

By Nic Deuson 

On a day cut like a diamond, the sky a robin's egg blue, hemmed in by clouds hammered soft white in a light clear as fast water, we took the news of Maestro John Sutherland. Charismatic, iconic, and ferociously passionate about the development of the guitar, he left a legacy of thousands of students when he passed away early October 4th, 2014. He was a man of wit, intelligence, great musicality, emotional sensitivity and tremendous kindness, who cared enough for his students to demand of them their full potential, and was fearless in doing so. Beyond their musical development, his investment in their personal development rings just as true and poignant.

Maestro Sutherland taught throughout the state of Georgia, was declared the “Dean of Guitarists” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and was central to the canonization of the guitar in the Southeastern United States, as well as beyond. His formation came much in the way the guitar did in the US, with a series of prestigious masterclasses and private studies; studying with Andrés Segovia, Christopher Parkening, John Marlow, José Tomás, and Evangelos Assimakopoulous. He later internalized and professed these learnings into a distinct and refined pedagogy. After retiring from the stage, Maestro Sutherland taught at Georgia’s flagship school, The University of Georgia, for forty years, where, at the time of his passing, he was an emeritus professor. He was a lion in the teaching studio, passionate and animated, ranging a full compass of emotions and advice through stories, proverbs, and truisms that have, and will continue to, nurture his students. In his teaching there was a clear distillation of the ideal: that just beyond our human vessel, our human failings, there was a music that could shape our best intentions - the sincere, the profound, the divine. That through the guitar, music could be the color of the day of his passing; clear, inspiring, transcendent. But most importantly, through the guitar, his students might grasp the ideal of the their own personal cultivation: a capacity for kindness, patience, equanimity, and a willingness to pay the price we must all pay to bestow compassion, to name but a few.

Thank you, John, and “may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Tags:  Obituary 

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Results of "Ruggero Chiesa - Citta di Camogli" Guitar Competition

Posted By Connie Sheu, Monday, September 29, 2014

The “Ruggero Chiesa – Città di Camogli” was held in San Prospero and Santa Caterina Church in Camogli, Italy on Sept 21, 2014. Christian El Khouri was awarded First Prize at the international classical guitar competition along with the special prize for the best interpretation of a ‘800 composition.' He also received a special prize “Premio del pubblico” voted by the audience.

The First Prize was awarded “ex aequo” to Marko Topchii of Ukraine. Third Prize was awarded to Davide Tomasi Italia.

Dr. Fabrizio Rovati
Communication office M° Christian El Khouri

Tags:  competitions 

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Barrueco and Rojas Receive Latin Grammy Nominations

Posted By Connie Sheu, Friday, September 26, 2014

Guitarists Manuel Barrueco and Berta Rojas have received nominations for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Classical Album.

Barrueco receives the nomination for his latest album, Tárrega!, produced by Martin Compton and Asgerdur Sigurdardottir, while Rojas receives the nomination for her album Salsa Roja, which she produced herself.

The Latin Grammy awards will be broadcast on November 10, 2014. 

Tags:  latin grammys 

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