Dallas: Sat Oct 15, 2022 2:30pm
Westminster Presbyterian Church
8200 Devonshire Dr, Dallas, TX 75209
Fort Worth: Sun Oct 16, 2022 2:30pm
Yameng Wang will perform music by Bach, Barrios, and Sergio Assad.
Christopher McGuire will perform an opening set with music by Sor, Tárrega, and Torroba.
Born in the coastal city of Qingdao, China, Yameng Wang fell in love with the classical guitar at a young age and began studying with the renowned guitar teacher, Chen Zhi, at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. At the age of 12, she surpassed contenders nearly three times her age by achieving the winning title of the Tokyo International Guitar Competition, becoming the youngest champion in its history. At the age of 14, the distinguished Classical Guitar Magazine praised her for already playing like a seasoned professional.
Yameng Wang moved to the States in 2006 to pursue graduate degrees at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. Encouraged by their professor, legendary guitarist Manuel Barrueco, she formed the widely acclaimed Beijing Guitar Duo with her longtime friend and classmate Meng Su. The duo made their international debut at Carnegie Hall in 2010. Their debut album “Maracaípe” received a Latin Grammy nomination for the titled piece, which was dedicated to the duo by prominent guitarist/composer Sergio Assad.
Being noted as “one of the most successful Chinese classical guitarists in the world” by China Daily, Yameng Wang continues to captivate audiences around the world with her stunning artistry and virtuosity. This season she will perform in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. with the duo and as a soloist.
Dallas: Sat Nov 5, 2022 2:30pm
Westminster Presbyterian Church
8200 Devonshire Dr, Dallas, TX 75209
Fort Worth: Sun Nov 6, 2022 2:30pm
Kimbell Art Museum –
Renzo Piano Pavilion Auditorium
3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Cuban-born René Izquierdo is a unique artist and passionate educator whose career has been dedicated to inspiring individuals and connecting communities. Whether passionately performing on stage, devotedly mentoring his students, fundraising, or leading community outreach, René’s multi-faceted approach endeavors to continue creating experiences that enrich people’s lives and add beauty to our world.
Through his “unforgettable versatility, sensitivity and sublime musicianship” (Classical Guitar magazine), René has firmly established himself as one of the world’s classical guitar virtuosos. He is celebrated for his ability to weave an unparalleled technical command of his instrument with his gift of storytelling, accomplishing an intimate musical experience with his audience.
Dallas: Sat Feb 11, 2023 7:30pm
“Meet the Artist” Feb 10, 7:00pm
Fort Worth: Sun Feb 12, 2023 2:30pm
There are very few true living legends in the world of classical music, few who have sustained greatness and grown throughout their lives. Pepe Romero is such an artist. He has been honored by kings, heads of state, and major institutions – the encomiums continue to pour in. But to Romero, his most important contribution has been reaching the common man. He has communicated the richness and beauty of the classical guitar to millions of people throughout the world. He has, indeed, become an ambassador of classical music, and, correspondingly, of the classical guitar.
But this gift did not just appear out of nowhere. Pepe is the second son of one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived—Celedonio Romero. And he is brother to two more musical phenoms—Celin and Angel Romero. But perhaps we should start at the beginning…
Pepe was born in Málaga, Spain, in 1944. In those days, following the devastating Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and during the Second World War, Spain was in desperate economic straits. Basic survival was the primary challenge. Yet, despite this, Celedonio Romero and his remarkable wife, Angelita, instilled in all three of their children a love of music that transcended the profound misery surrounding them.
By age seven, Pepe set foot on the concert stage for the first time, at the Teatro Lope de Vega in Sevilla. And now, more than sixty years later, he continues to mesmerize audiences throughout the world. During that time, he has given literally thousands of concerts worldwide, many with the remarkable Romero Quartet, and many as a solo instrumentalist. He has worked with almost every major conductor and has to his credit more than 60 recordings (among which are 20 concerto recordings with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, with both Neville Marriner and Iona Brown).
Pepe Romero has premiered works by some of the finest composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Lorenzo Palomo, Padre Francisco de Madina, Paul Chihara, Enrique Diemecke, Ernesto Cordero, and, most poignantly, Celedonio Romero, have written compositions for Pepe. Always a champion of music by composers in earlier periods of music history, he has also delved into rare archives to re-explore lost pieces by Fernando Sor (world premiere and recording of Fantasie in d minor), Mauro Giuliani (world premiere recordings of Concerto no.2 in A major and Concerto no.3 in F major and Variations and Polonaise, Op.65), Francesco Molino (world premiere recording of Guitar Concerto in E minor, Op.56), Ferdinando Carulli (world premiere recording of Guitar Concerto in E minor, Op.140), Johann Kaspar Mertz, Luigi Boccherini, (world premiere recording of all 8 guitar quintets) and others.
In 1992, Pepe Romero performed on a groundbreaking laser disc of the Concierto de Aranjuez with Neville Marriner and the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields. He played a prominent role in the major film documentary Shadows and Light: Joaquin Rodrigo at 90, which received numerous plaudits worldwide (including the Chicago International Film Festival, International Emmy Awards, and San Francisco International Film Festival). In 2005 the Romero Quartet recorded Concierto vasco para 4 guitarras y orquesta by Francisco de Madina (written for the Romeros) with the Basque National Orchestra on a Claves release (entitled Aita Madina). A prominent recording entitled The Romeros: Generations, features premieres of works by Jorge Morel (such as El Maestro, dedicated to Celedonio) and by Pepe himself, Recuerdos del pasado. In the spring of 2005, a solo recital release called Corazón Español became available on the CPA Hollywood Records label. Shortly thereafter, on the same label, came Classic Romero, another invaluable recital recording. In the summer of 2008, Pepe Romero recorded a splendid solo guitar-vocal work by Lorenzo Palomo, with internationally recognized Spanish soprano Maria Bayo. It includes the song cycles Mi jardín solitario (with texts by Celedonio Romero) and Madrigal and Five Sephardic Songs and was released on the NAXOS label in 2009 along with Palomo’s Concierto de Cienfuegos with the Romeros Quartet and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting the Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra. Celebrating their 50th anniversary and released in 2009 is a recording by the Romeros for Sony´s RCA Red Seal Label entitled Los Romeros: Celebration. In November 2011, Deutsche Grammophon released Christmas with Los Romeros featuring the Romeros and Christmas favorites. A new Spanish solo guitar CD Spanish Nights performed by Pepe Romero includes a premiere recording of Suite Madrileña No.1 by Celedonio Romero and was released in June 2012 by Deutsche Grammophon. In November 2012 Pepe Romero received a Latin Grammy Nomination for “Best Classical Album” for his recording of Concierto festivo by Ernesto Cordero. Celebrating his 70th birthday DECCA released an 11 CD set of recordings entitled “Pepe Romero: Master of the Guitar.” Recent recordings include a CD entitled Aloha España featuring guitar and ukulele performances with Daniel Ho. Released in October 2016 by Dacapo Records is a historic live performance DVD of Concierto de Aranjuez with his great life-long collaborator and friend, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducting the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Among his recent releases are Torroba: Guitar Concertos Vol I and Vol II, both CDs part a series of recordings (shared with guitarist Vicente Coves and conducted by Manuel Coves) for NAXOS of the complete guitar concertos by Federico Moreno Torroba.
Maestro Romero’s many accomplishments include: world premieres of Rodrigo´s Concierto andaluz (with the Romero Guitar Quartet), Concierto madrigal (with Angel Romero), and Concierto para una fiesta (written for Pepe Romero); Federico Moreno Torroba’s Diálogos entre guitarra y orquesta (Pepe was personally chosen by Torroba and Andrés Segovia for the world recording premiere of this work dedicated to Segovia with an extended guitar cadenza written especially for Pepe), Concierto Ibérico by Torroba (written for and performed by the Romeros), Concierto en flamenco by Torroba was premiered in Málaga (performed by Pepe with Angel Romero conducting); and Lorenzo Palomo’s Concierto de Cienfuegos (with the Romero Quartet) and Nocturnos de Andalucía (both released on the Naxos label). Of the many guitar concertos by his father, Celedonio Romero, Pepe has performed the world premieres of Concierto de Málaga, Fiesta Andaluza and El Cortijo de Don Sancho. Other premieres include Troubadour Music for four guitars and orchestra by Morton Gould, Concierto vasco and Concierto flamenco by Francisco de Madina, Concierto festivo by Ernesto Cordero, Christmas Suite for four guitars and chamber orchestra by Massimo Paris, Concierto a Celedonio by Enrique Diemecke, Concierto Mariachi by Michael Zearott and the guitar concerto, Zareh, by Loris Tjeknavorian. He also revived the great orchestral work Metamorfosi de concert by Xavier Montsalvatge, with Gianandrea Noseda, and premiered as well as recorded the Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra with Trumpet Obbligato by Paul Chihara, with Neville Marriner and the London Symphony. In April 2014 Pepe Romero performed the German premiere in the Berlin Philharmonic of a new work by Lorenzo Palomo – Fulgores – for violin, guitar and orchestra. Upcoming projects include premieres of new guitar concertos by the wonderful Italian composer, Massimo Paris and by the imminent Spanish composer, Jose Peris Lacasa.
In the United States, he has appeared with leading symphony orchestras in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles, as well as with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble and Boston Pops. European ensembles with which he has appeared include the Academy of St-Martins-in-the-Fields, Dresden Philharmonic, London Symphony, la Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, I Musici, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Hungarica, Solisti di Zagreb, Hungarian State Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, Spanish National Radio Television Orchestra, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Hamburg Philharmoniker, L’Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, New Moscow Chamber Orchestra, American Sinfonietta, and Bournemouth Symphony—among many others.
In addition, he has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Sir Neville Marriner, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jesús López-Cobos, Eugene Ormandy, Antoni Ros-Marbà, Josep Pons, Arthur Fiedler, Lawrence Foster, Enrique Jordá, Andre Kostelanetz, Leonard Slatkin, Phillipe Entremont, Odón Alonso, Morton Gould, Michael Palmer, Guillermo Figueroa, Michael Zearrot, Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, Pedro Halffter, and Christoph Eschenbach.
Pepe Romero has always felt, along with his father and brothers, that the sharing of one’s art is a personal responsibility. Mr. Romero has served as Professor of Guitar at the University of Southern California, University of California at San Diego, Southern Methodist University, and the University of San Diego. Every summer at the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute, currently held at Oklahoma City University, the Romeros conduct an intensive guitar workshop including master classes, private lessons, student concerts and a final concert featuring the students performing with the Romeros. Pepe has conducted master classes at the Salzburg Summer Academy, Córdoba Guitar Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. In 2004 he was appointed Distinguished Artist in Residence at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. His newly revised guitar method “La Guitarra” was published and released by Tuscany Publications in 2012. Currently he is finalizing a teaching video that discloses the principles of the Pepe Romero guitar technique.
Pepe Romero holds honorary doctorates in music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of Victoria, British Columbia. In June 1996, he received the “Premio Andalucía de la Música,” the highest recognition given by his native land for his contribution to the arts. In addition, His Majesty, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, has knighted Pepe and his brothers into the Order of “Isabel la Católica.”
In June 2018 he received the Medalla de Honor from the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Granada for his lifelong achievement in performance and pedagogy.
A biographical documentary about the Romeros appeared on PBS in 2001 entitled “Los Romeros, the Royal Family of the Guitar.” Following this production, German television released another brilliant documentary about the Romeros entitled ¨Los Romeros, the Dynasty of the Guitar.” In 2007, the Romeros received the President’s Merit Award from the Recording Academy, producers of the Grammy Awards, for their significant contributions to the music world and professional career achievements.
Dallas: Sat Apr 29, 2023 7:30pm
St. Monica Catholic Church
9933 Midway Rd, Dallas, TX 75220
Fort Worth: Sun Apr 30, 2023 2:30pm
Kimbell Art Museum –
Renzo Piano Pavilion Auditorium
3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Touted as a “gifted young guitarist” by the New York Times, and “a guitarist to keep an eye on” by the Washington Post, Grammy®- nominated artist Mak Grgić [GER-gich] is a star on the worldwide stage. An expansive and adventurous repertoire attests to his versatility and wide-ranging interests. From the ethnic music of his native Balkans to extreme avant-garde and microtonal music, his roles as soloist, collaborator, and Grammy-nominated recording artist are fueled by curiosity, imagination, and boundless energy. As a testament to his versatility and wide-ranging appeal, in 2018 Mak was invited by legendary singer-songwriter k.d. lang to perform as the opening act for the North American leg of her Ingénue Redux Tour.
An avid new music proponent, Mak has commissioned a multitude of new works for solo guitar and guitar with ensemble. Some of these include works by Michael Gordon, Julia Adolphe, Nina Senk, Leon First and Cengiz Eren, to name a few. In fall 2022 he will premiere and tour a newly commissioned guitar concerto by Michael Abels, composer for the Oscar-winning motion picture Get Out.
As both soloist and collaborator, Mak averages eighty-five performances a year — nearly two bookings per week. He is a founding member and active performer in two duos—the Flamenco-style “Duo Deloro” with Adam Del Monte, and the new music-focused “FretX Duo” with Daniel Lippel, guitarist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). As Young Artist in Residence with the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, he founded “DC8,” an octet declared “an inspiring addition to the contemporary music landscape in Los Angeles [Los Angeles Times].” Other ongoing collaborations include the JACK Quartet, The Assad Brothers, violinists Augustin Hadelich, Martin Chalifour and Chee Yun, and cellists Jay Campbell, Joshua Roman, John Sant’Ambrogio, and Clive Greensmith, formerly of the Tokyo String Quartet, as well as a residency with the Slovenian Philharmonic.
In 2009 at the age of 22, Mak made his professional debut in Russia, performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Lande. He now makes two regular tours to Asia each season and performs in Europe every other month. Recent engagements include performances and residencies at the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus in Vienna; the Konzerthuset in Stockholm; several venues in Portugal; Teatro Cervantes de Bejar in Castilla-Leon/Spain; the Sarajevo Music Academy; several venues in Slovenia; the Paris Guitar Foundation; Zurich University of the Arts; Taipei National Theater; Shanghai Grand Theater; and the Hong Kong International Guitar Festival.
In North America, he has performed at Austin Classical Guitar; Beyond Microtonal Music Festival/Pittsburgh; the Dallas Opera for performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’s The Lighthouse; Dumbarton Concerts/Washington, D.C.; The Kennedy Center/Washington, D.C.; Mainly Mozart/San Diego; the National Gallery of Art; NAMM Show/California; Strathmore Hall/Maryland; the New York Classical Guitar Society; the Pacific Symphony; Triangle Guitar Society/North Carolina; Walt Disney Hall/Los Angeles; and numerous other venues and guitar societies across the globe.
An enthusiastic recording artist, Mak’s albums capture a probing and continuous exploration of the world of guitar and all its possibilities. His latest recordings, “Balkanisms” for Naxos Music plus “MAKrotonal” and Grammy®- nominated “Mak|Bach” for MicroFest Records, explore a vast repertoire spanning ethnic music, microtonal, new music and early music on re-fretted instruments, such as a “zig-zag fretted Bach prototype guitar” that allows him to create a “well- tempered guitar” for “Mak|Bach.” Mak is also featured on another Naxos release, “La Buena Vida” with flamenco guitarist Adam del Monte. Other albums in progress include an homage to Ligeti, spotlighting gamelan-inspired guitar arrangements; “Peaceful Guitar” on Symphonic, Mak’s first recording of his own compositions; and on the Avie label, an all-concerto recording including Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” and “Balkan Suite of Dances,” a new concerto based on music from “Balkanisms.”
Also an active entrepreneur and educator, Mak is a member of the leadership teams of several organizations including the European Guitar Festival Collaborative (EuroStrings), the Zagreb Guitar Festival, and the Connecticut Guitar Festival. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles, and director of Elemental Guitar in Santa Monica, a program designed especially for young people. This year, he founded “Notey’s World” and the company Notey Inc, to develop a unique game for tablets and smart phones intended to popularize music learning and make it more fun. As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, he founded the Virtual Guitar Orchestra, gathering more than 1500 guitarists from more than 50 countries to date. VGO is a community-oriented project, recognized by the Library of Congress for its cultural contributions, and has also formed collaborations with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the Augustine Educational Foundation, to help ensembles be active virtually.
Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1987, Mak studied guitar in Zagreb with the revered Ante Cagalj at the Elly Basic Music Academy. By the age of 14, he was balancing his world champion status in karate with his love for the guitar. Throughout his high school years, he concertized in Ljubljana and Zagreb, splitting his weeks between the two cities, as well as competing in professional martial arts contests across Europe and Asia. Following an injury to his left thumb, he made the decision to focus solely on a career in music, going on to complete a bachelor’s degree with Alvaro Pierri at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Pursuing advanced studies in the U.S., Mak was one of the first students to apply for USC Thornton’s new Arts Leadership graduate program, which he incorporated into his doctoral studies in guitar. He has been a student of William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, in addition to Brian Head, artistic director of Guitar Foundation of America. In the fall of 2017, he began the Artist Diploma program at USC, the first guitarist in the university’s history to be admitted to this elite program.
Mak plays and endorses an array of outstanding concert guitars made by diverse craftsmen, including German luthier Antonius Müller, the Chinese master Hanson Yao, Bosnian Slavko Mrdalj, Slovenian Samo Sali, Polish Rafal Turkowiak, a 1966 José Ramírez, as well as other re-fretted and remodeled guitars.
Mak Grgić is also proud to be involved with the Bosana Foundation, an organization that raises money for Bosnian youth. He also regularly awards education-furthering scholarships to select students across South America.
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“a superb, finely detailed reading that showed Grgic is a guitarist to keep an eye on.”