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Stay up to date with all the latest happenings in the guitar world. On this blog, you'll find information about competitions, notable awards, obituaries, job openings and placements, and more. To submit an entry for Reverberations Live, please email


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Augustine Foundation To Fund Classical Guitar Programs in Ferguson Elementary Schools

Posted By Emma Markham, Tuesday, December 9, 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 5, 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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Cleveland Classical Guitar Society Showcase Concert

Posted By Connie Sheu, Friday, September 5, 2014
Cleveland, OH – The Cleveland Classic Guitar Society presents the Showcase Concert on September 27, 2014, featuring internationally-renowned guitarist Jason Vieaux.

Showcase Concert headliner Jason Vieaux performs in his hometown of Cleveland amid a tour that includes Lincoln Center as well as other stops in North America, South America, and Europe. His 12th CD “Bach: Vol. I, Works for Lute”, was a top 20 Classical Billboard CD, and Zapateado from his 13th CD, “PLAY” (2014) was chosen as one of NPR’s 50 Favorite Songs of 2014 (so far) on June 30, 2014. In 1992 he set a record which still stands as the youngest winner of the world’s largest guitar competition, the Guitar Foundation of America, and today he teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music and performs around the world. Also on the concert program are Youngstown State University’s professor of guitar Francois Fowler and nationally renowned guitarist Robert Gruca. The Showcase Concert is the first concert of the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s 2014-2015 International Series. A fun, popular and free event, this concert is the perfect introduction to the classical guitar.

The Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s International Series is presented with support from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the Ohio Arts Council, and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Other highlights of the six concerts of the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s 2014-2015 International Series include 3 Cleveland debuts and the first appearance of Grammy-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in over a decade. This season’s performers come from Spain, France, Italy, Poland, Bosnia, and the U.S.

In addition, the CCGS’ educational outreach initiative offers ongoing music classes to 100 students in Cleveland and Akron.

To learn more about the International Concert Series, master classes and educational programs, visit or call 216-905-9348.

The remaining 2014-2015 International Series concerts are:

October 18, 2014 - *Lukasz Kuropaczewski (Poland): $10-$20
November 15, 2014 - *Cavatina Duo (flute and guitar, Spain/ Bosnia): $15-$25
February 28, 2015 - Gaëlle Solal (France): $10-$20
March 21, 2015 – Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (USA) $20-$35
April 11, 2015 – *Aniello Desiderio (Italy) $10-$20
*Cleveland debuts

All International Series concerts are on Saturday nights at 7:30 PM at:
Plymouth Church UCC
2860 Coventry Road, Shaker Heights OH

To schedule interviews and media appearances with the CCGS or any of our guest artists or for more information, please contact:
Erik Mann
Executive Director, Cleveland Classical Guitar Society

Tags:  guitar societies 

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Book Release: The Techniques of Guitar Playing

Posted By Connie Sheu, Monday, August 25, 2014
This book, co-written by guitarist Seth F. Josel and composer Ming Tsao, provides a comprehensive survey of contemporary performance techniques on the classical guitar. It was inspired by a new generation of solo guitarists whose extraordinary technical and virtuosic skills have paved the way for a new understanding of instrumental performance practice. Detailed explanations are given for the instrument’s technical potential within the historical context of traditional guitar technique.

Composers will especially benefit from the research and elaborate analyses of contemporary guitar literature including many examples of the guitar in chamber and ensemble musical settings. Also shown are diverse ways in which contemporary music for the guitar has been notated.

The book contains four main chapters that explore the topics of various right and left hand techniques, harmonics, percussive techniques and the guitar’s relatives. Of particular interest will be extensive charts of multiphonics, bitones and percussive sounds. An accompanying CD will document a variety of the techniques illustrated in the book.

The book is published by Bärenreiter Press, and a more detailed overview can be found here:

Seth F. Josel (b. New York, NY) is among the leading figures in his generation in modern guitar performance and has taken part in the premiere of more than one hundred works as a soloist and ensemble member. A regular guest at Europe’s major contemporary music festivals, he has with such composers as Mauricio Kagel, Helmut Lachenmann, Tristan Murail and James Tenney, and he has played with such leading orchestras and ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Berlin. From 1991 till 2000 he was a permanent member of the Ensemble musikFabrik. In addition to a diverse array of solo CDs, he appears on numerous CD recordings with European ensembles and orchestras.

Ming Tsao (b. Berkeley, CA) is Professor of Composition at Göteborg University and holds a PhD in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego, an MA in Mathematics from the San Francisco State University, an MA in Ethnomusicology from Columbia University and a BM in Music Composition from the Berklee College of Music. Further studies have included logic and philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. His compositions have been performed by ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, ensemble recherche and the Stuttgart Opera. Music by Ming Tsao can be found on upcoming CD releases by Kairos as well as Mode Records. Books by Ming Tsao include Abstract Musical Intervals: Group Theory for Composition and Analysis. His music is published by Edition Peters.

Tags:  books 

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GFA Regional Symposium in New York City

Posted By Connie Sheu, Wednesday, August 20, 2014
NEW YORK, NY- The Guitar Foundation of America presents its second New York City-based Regional Symposium on Saturday, October 25th at the DiMenna Center at 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY 10018. Hosted by the New York City Classical Guitar Society, this one-day event builds a sense of community through workshops and the formation of a guitar orchestra, offers educational services through adjudicated performance opportunities for all ages, and provides community outreach through free concerts open to the public.

There will be two concerts open to the public and free of charge. The College Guitar Ensemble Showcase at 12:30pm will present professional-level students from university guitar programs across the Tri-State Area. The evening concert at 7pm will feature the GFA Regional Symposium Guitar Orchestra along with the New York City Guitar Orchestra and soloists selected through the morning’s performance auditions.

The Symposium will also feature interactive workshops given by Australian-born guitarist Simon Powis and recording artist and pedagogue Mariano Aguirre of the Mannes College of Music and Brooklyn Music School. All participants are encouraged to perform with the GFA Regional Symposium Guitar Orchestra under the direction of acclaimed Miami-based composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, whose most recent accomplishments include composing the soundtrack for the soon to be released film “A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES,” starring Liam Neeson.

The Guitar Foundation of America inspires artistry, builds community, and promotes the classical guitar internationally through excellence in performance, literature, education and research. Registration for participation in the Symposium is free for GFA members.
More information regarding this event can be found at:

Questions can be directed to Lynn McGrath, Director of Regional Symposia at (315) 244-4864 or

Tags:  gfa event  press release 

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