Giacomo Fiore came to the U.S. from Genoa, Italy, for a Masters Degree at San Francisco Conservatory, got it, and heads back to Italy on July 16th. Recipient of numerous awards and magna cum laude graduate of Nashville’s Belmont University, Giacomo has studied with some of the world’s top players in Europe and the U.S.
Ray Zhou’s many performances have taken him from San Francisco to New York, earning him top prizes in numerous competitions and the respect of top guitarists across the country. He recently completed a year at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, winning high praise from SFCM’s superb faculty. Ray is on the faculty of the National Guitar Workshop this summer and will return to SFCM to study with Sergio Assad in the fall.
George England completed his B.M. in classical guitar at California State University, Northridge, where he graduated Cum Laude in 2007. While at CSUN, George was awarded the prestigious Andrés Segovia Memorial Endowment and was invited to perform for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet at the Grammy Pro-Sessions in Beverly Hills. This fall he will perform his final Master’s Recital at CSU, Sacramento with a variety of works for guitar and lute, including Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. George is currently on staff at the Young Artists Conservatory of Music in Vacaville and David Lubin Elementary School in Sacramento.
A place to practice away from the house turned up when the Back Wine Bar began serving lunches this summer. About the easiest setup ever - I walk in, sit down, open up the case and start playing acoustic for 90 minutes, and it's close enough to walk to. Lots of people are finding out about the place by word of mouth and making Thursday lunches there a repeating treat. Francesaca and I warmed up for the concert there in July. The day after the concert she wrote me, "My friend Mary took me out to eat afterwards and we decided to try the Back Wine Bar. The food and service were both fantastic."
One of the high points of the summer was hosting three fine classical guitarists at our home in Folsom, CA on behalf of the Sacramento Guitar Society. All three have set out on paths of concert performing careers and teaching, and at my age, the term "Young Lions" fit well, since these younger performers had each passed tests that required courage, poise, skill and artistry.
We rented chairs and had 35 in the audience, and the intimate nature of the classical guitar was served perfectly. I put them on for their half hour sets in the order of their academic progress. Ray Zhou ("Joe") has completed a year at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and went first; George England is closing in on his masters' degree at CSU Sacramento and went second; Giacomo Fiore just completed his masters' degree at SFCM, and will pursue a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at CSU Santa Cruz after returning from Italy. There was a long intermission between each performer and more conversation after the concert. The concert was recorded, and each player received a copy of his set.
There is much to putting together a career in music, and these three artists all have what it takes to persevere and thrive in a life in the arts. It was a great night, and all who were present were glad.
SACRAMENTO GUITAR SOCIETY PRESENTS
YOUNG LIONS OF THE GUITAR
July 11, 2009
Hosted by Daniel and Alison Roest
Sevillana - Joaquin Turina
Fantasie 1a - John Dowland
El Decameron Negro - Leo Brouwer
La Catedral III - Agustín Barrios Mangoré
Mauro Giuliani, Sonata Opus. 15
I) Allegro spiritoso
II) Adagio con grand espressione
III) Finale, allegro vivace
Etude No. 12
Prelude No. 5
Stefania - Pasquale Taraffo
Ricercare IV - Francesco Canova da Milano
Fantasia XXXIII - Francesco Canova da Milano
Yesterday - Lennon/McCartney
Embers in the Fireplace - Giacomo Fiore
Genteel - Giacomo Fiore
Sakura Variations - Yuquijiro Yocoh
Farewell to Stromness - Peter Maxwell Davies
After hosting a concert with three rising guitarists, I had to buckle down for my own concert just two weeks later. I accepted an invitation for another concert at the Folsom Public Library after having a grand success there last October. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to showcase the talents of my flute and guitar duet partner Francesca Anderson. With every seat in the library's meeting room taken and an encore requested, we had a fine time running through some of our favorite repertoire. I asked, "How many of you have been to a flute and guitar recital in the last five years?" and very few hands went up - so we were able to introduce a wide variety of styles, periods and moods to the audience, and showcase the great combination of these two instruments. Our next formal concert will be October 17th in Novato at GuitarWork,
Flute and Guitar Delight Library Audience
1. Musette / March
(Notebook of Anna Magdalena Bach)
2. Sleepers Wake (Cantata 140)
3. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Cantata 147)
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
4. The Swan (from Carnival of the Animals)
Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
5. Pavane for a Dead Princess
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
6. Syrinx (Solo Flute) 1913
Claude Debussey (1862-1918)
7. Irlandaise (1975, from Suite for Flute &
Claude Bolling (b. 1930)
8. Gymnodie No. 1
Eric Satie (1866-1925)
9. Sicillienne (from Pellèas et Mélisande)
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
10. Little Italian Song (Album for the Young, Op. 39)
The Sacramento Guitar Society hosts a calendar of guitar concerts, workshops and festivals - click into the Master Calendar for the latest listings.
The work I did last year developing an Expressive Playing Workshop continues to pay dividends - a number of columns for publishing giant Mel Bay resulted, the 2009 Musical Expression workshop for youth and an invitation to teach the seminar at the 2009 Sierra Nevada Guitar Festival. I will perform in a solo concert and judge the contestants in the guitar competition - one with an amazing $3000 First Prize. The events will be in Reno at the same time as Reno's famous annual Hot August Nights Festival. We're looking at this as a "working vacation."
Also coming up is a solo concert for the South Bay Guitar Society on January 7th. I will perform at the glass and steel rotunda of San Jose's City Hall. Details at the SBGS website.
More on the Horizon
Gratuitous non-music proud parent boast: Our son Craig won the fencing competition at the end of his summer Fencing Camp - 7-0. At First Prize Winner, he was presented with an authentic fencing foil. We beamed.
Pictured above are students holding certificates of completion at the 2009 Musical Expression Workshop sponsored by a Microgrant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission with support from the City and County of Sacramento and Folsom Public Library. Joining me in the back row is my guest artist and presenter, Francesca Anderson. After we shared our favorite parameters of musical expression (dynamics, tempo, tone, etc.) we demonstrated putting it all together with two pieces from our concert program.
Summer Musical Expression Workshop for Youth, July 29-31