- The Castellani Andriaccio Duo
- Matthew Slotkin
- James Piorkowski
- Kenneth Meyer
- Nicholas Goluses
- Modal Kombat
- Emma Rush
- Orlay Alonso
- Eric Carlin
The Castellani Andriaccio Duo
Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio have enjoyed a celebrated career as one of the foremost guitars duos in the world. Having received numerous awards and distinctions from the very beginning of their duo days including two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships and a scholarship to the master classes of Andres Segovia in Spain, they have toured internationally as recitalists performing at the White House and the Kennedy Center and as concerto soloists with orchestras around the world. Sought after pedagogues as well, they have performed and taught at over one hundred colleges, universities and conservatories. Their collaboration with Grammy nominated composer, Roberto Sierra has resulted in two magnificent new concertos for two guitars and orchestra, Of Discoveries and the Fantasia Corelliana.
The Duo has recorded seven acclaimed cds, two named “Best of the Year” by Fanfare Magazine and American Record Guide. Critics around the globe from the New York Times to Gramophone Magazine have unanimously praised their, “elegance, style, poise and exquisite taste in interpretation”. Currently, Joanne and Michael are the CoDirectors of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition presented by WNED-FM and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Joanne also teaches on the music Faculty of SUNY at Buffalo while maintaining a full private teaching studio of traditional and Suzuki guitar students. Michael has recorded the acclaimed world premiere recording of Goyescana, concerto for Guitar and Orchestra by three-time Grammy and Ace award winning composer, Michael Colina, with the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.
For more information, please contact the Fleur de Son Classics at http://www.fleurdeson.com.
Matthew Slotkin is an acclaimed performer, teacher, avid post-modern enthusiast, water color collector,trappist, and scholar, and has appeared in leading venues throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He has achieved success in solo performance, chamber music, and as a soloist with orchestra. A commitment to the promulgation of new compositions has resulted in numerous premieres of works by composers including John Anthony Lennon, Scott Lindroth, John Orfe, and many others. Recent performances include tours of Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Greece, as well as concerts at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Walled City Music Festival, the Monadnock Music Festival, the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival, the Guitar Foundation of America, the Chautauqua Institution, and the World Saxophone Congresses in Scotland, Thailand and Slovenia. He has given performances with many prominent chamber ensembles including the Metropolis Ensemble, the Mallarmé Chamber Players, Duo Montagnard (with Joseph Murphy, saxophone), and Dez Cordas (with Craig Butterfield, double bass). American Record Guide praised Slotkin on his Centaur Records release, “Twentieth Century Music for Guitar,” for his “musical sensitivity and technical control,” and for giving “strong readings of this appealing music.” Soundboard magazine called him an “exceptional” player, and a recent concert review from the Classical Voice of North Carolina stated that “Slotkin performed brilliantly.” Summit Records released “Gone Away” in 2011, a recording with bassist Craig Butterfield, which American Record Guide called “a magnificent achievement…The concept of this program is brilliant.” The duo’s previous Centaur Records release, “Dances Songs Inventions,” was called “wonderful” by WRUV radio (Burlington, VT) and “very enjoyable” by Soundboard magazine. Slotkin directs the guitar program at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA, and has previously taught at Mansfield University, Buffalo State College, and Alfred University. He has given masterclasses at numerous institutions and festivals including the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, Victorian College of the Arts (Australia), ESMAE (Portugal), the Alexandria Guitar Festival, and many others. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts, Master of Music, and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied guitar with Nicholas Goluses and historical performance practice with Paul O’Dette.
James Piorkowski is a multi-faceted musician who performs as a soloist, is passionate about chamber music, actively composes, arranges, and records, all while serving as a professor of guitar studies at Fredonia State University.
He has performed repertoire that spans a wide historical and stylistic spectrum, from Renaissance lute works to world premieres of 21st Century compositions. His recitals have been heard in Venezuela, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Canada, and the United States, including various television and radio broadcasts.
As a composer, Piorkowski has written many pieces for guitar, both in solo and in chamber settings, including a large work, “The Greatest of These”, for mixed choir and guitar which received it’s premiere at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. His works have been published by Mel Bay Publications, Sergio Assad through Editions Henry Lemoine and Clear Note Publications. Of his writing style, Buffalo Magazine wrote, “His music evokes comparisons to jazz icons because of his refusal to adhere to idiomatic pigeon-holing.”
His recording, Freedom Flight: Guitar Music by Ortiz and Piorkowski, features original compositions for solo guitar, duo guitar, guitar and flute and guitar and voice. The compositions of Ortiz openly display the roots and influences of Puerto Rican culture while the works of Piorkowski are “inspired by Shakespeare, Venezuela, and religious imagery when he sets out to work his magic” -El Nuevo Dia (San Juan). The CD has been summed up as “Great music and wonderful musicians” -American Record Guide.
His most recent recording, Sentient Music, features seventeen original solo guitar compositions, including his increasingly popular Sentient Preludes. Critics have called the recording, “an absolutely engrossing collection.”- Buffalo News, “Charming”, -American Record Guide, while the esteemed French guitarist/composer Roland Dyens wrote, “Bravo for the CD! You do have your very own world, man – it’s great!”
For eighteen years, Piorkowski was a member of the world renowned Buffalo Guitar Quartet, which disbanded in 2000. With the BGQ, he performed in Europe, Russia, South and North America and the Caribbean. The Buffalo Guitar Quartet released four highly acclaimed recordings. One of Piorkowski’s compositions, The Struggle of Jacob, was featured on the BGQ’s CD, New Music for Four Guitars (New World Records). Guitar Player Magazine wrote that the Buffalo Guitar Quartet was ” one of the world’s premiere classical guitar ensembles.”
James Piorkowski is a Professor of Music at the Fredonia School of Music, State University of New York, where he has headed the guitar studies program since 1983. In 2006, Piorkowski was the recipient of both the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Robert W. Kasling Award for Scholarly and Creative Excellence. He was the recipient of the University’s William T. Hagan Young Scholar/Artist Award in 1998.
Kenneth Meyer, the national first-prize winner at the Music Teacher’s National Association Collegiate Artist Competition, is regarded by the Washington Post as “A thinking man’s guitarist – he focuses on the inner structure of a piece…and plays with impressive gravity and power.” The Buffalo News has called him “Impeccably articulate with superb technique.”
Since his professional concert debut at the Teatro de la Opera de Maracay, Mr. Meyer continues to appear in recital, as a chamber musician, and soloist with orchestra in venues throughout North America, South America, and Europe. Highlights include concerts in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall (New York City), Wolf Trap (Virginia), the Skirbal Cultural Center (Los Angeles), the historic Basilica di San Clemente (Italy), the Museo de Barquisimeto, Museo del Teclado, the Sala José Felix Ribas, the Teatro de Teresa Carreño (Venezuela), Liviu Rebreanu, Gheorghe Dima Music Academy, the National College of Art Ion Vidu (Romania), the Fészek Muvészklub (Hungary), and the Ford Center for the Performing Arts (Canada). In addition to live concerts, his performances have been featured on film, radio and most recently, on the Albany records label.
Frequently in demand as a guest artist at colleges and universities across the country, Mr. Meyer has given concerts and lectures at, among others, the Eastman School of Music, the State University of New York College at Fredonia, Syracuse University, Cornell University, the University of Southern Mississippi, North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Hochstein School of Music, Delta College, Canisius College, Finger Lakes and Saint Joseph’s Community Colleges and the University of Caracas in Venezuela. In addition, he is an active performer and teacher at music festivals and has been featured at the Rome, Alexandria, Eastman Guitar Summerfest, and the Alirio Diaz Guitar Festivals.
Mr. Meyer’s commitment to the cultivation and performance of new music has led to awards from the Barlow Endowment, the Argosy Foundation, and the Eastman School’s Hanson Institute for American Music, interpretive instruction from Milton Babbitt, and premiere performances of compositions by, among others, Leslie Basset, Edward Green, Gregory Mertl, Edie Hill, Kevin Ernste, Nicolas Scherzinger, Jesse Benjamin Jones, Donald J. Sparr, James Piorkowski, and Canadian composer Robert Baker. His diversity as a musician has led to performances on mandolin, banjo and electric guitar with among others, the Syracuse Opera, the Syracuse Society for New Music and the Broadway touring production of the Who’s rock opera Tommy. Most recently, Meyer was the featured soloist in a concerto for Electric Guitar and Wind Ensemble composed by Evan Hause.
Mr. Meyer holds degrees in music composition and performance from the State University of New York at Fredonia and master of music and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music. He has served on the faculties of East Carolina University, SUNY at Fredonia, and the Eastman School of Music and currently directs a thriving guitar studies program at the Syracuse University Setnor School of Music.
Dr. Meyer resides in Geneva, N.Y. with his wife and two young sons.
“Wit, charm, virtuosity, and depth of feeling, adding up to the humanity to which all artists should aspire. A model of virtuosic display. Goluses was dazzling,” wrote the New Jersey Star Ledger about Nicholas Goluses, one of America’s most sought-after guitarists. The New York Times wrote: “Goluses produced an elegant sound. And the finales, taken dangerously fast, were accurate, transparent, and impressively articulated. Mr. Goluses gave persuasive, energetic readings.” The Generalanzeiber (Bonn, Germany), acclaimed: “Goluses reached the highest levels of instrumental virtuosity.”
One of America’s most sought-after guitarists, Nicholas Goluses is Professor of Guitar and director of the guitar programs at the Eastman School of Music, widely recognized as one of the world’s premier conservatories and a leading center for guitar study. At Eastman, he received the Eisenhart Award for Excellence, and is currently CoChair of the string department. Mr. Goluses has held the Andrés Segovia Faculty Chair at the Manhattan School of Music, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree, and was the recipient of both the Pablo Casals Award “for Musical Accomplishment and Human Endeavor” and the Faculty Award of Distinguished Merit. Mr. Goluses is in great demand for master classes at major colleges, universities and conservatories throughout the world. His students have won top prizes in major international guitar competitions such as Darwin (Australia), Allentown, GFA, D’Addario, MTNA, Appalachian, Taxco (Mexico), Rantucci, Rosario, Stotsenburg, Paracho (Mexico), and the Aaron Brock Memorial International Competition (Canada). They have won university positions throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Australia and Mexico.
Nicholas Goluses appears in solo performance, as chamber music player and as soloist with orchestras across North and South America, Europe, Australia and the Far East to critical acclaim. He has been a featured artist at numerous international festivals, where Twentieth Century Guitar wrote: “Nicholas Goluses is a true American master.”
Mr. Goluses has recorded for NAXOS, Albany and BMG, and has received wide critical and audience acclaim for his solo CDs of Sonatas of Johann Sebastian Bach and late solo guitar works of Fernando Sor. He enjoys an active association with flutist Bonita Boyd, and their widely praised debut CD for Albany Records features contemporary American music by Joan Tower, Augusta Read Thomas, Katherine Hoover and Roberto Sierra. He has just completed a new recording for Albany with violist George Taylor of works for viola and guitar.
Committed to performing new music for guitar, Goluses has given world premiere performances of Concertos for guitar and orchestra including those by Samuel Adler, Augusta Read Thomas, Giampaolo Bracali, Blas Galindo, Roberto Sierra, Mark Di Palma, Dinos Constantinides, Elias Tanenbaum and Bill Dobbins. In addition, he has given premieres of over 100 solo and chamber music works by many of today’s leading composers.
Modal Kombat, The first ever guitar – controlled video game battle, has arrived. Formed by Yale School of Music graduates David Hindman and Evan Drummond, this forward-thinking ensemble has developed technology that allows classical-electric guitars to control the characters in console video games. Modal Kombat lies at the intersection between music, visual arts, and digital media that results in the defining of a new genre of audio-visual performance: the public guitar-controlled video game battle. Modal Kombat delivers an interdisciplinary performance concerned with the mediums of modern classical performance, emerging technologies, and popular culture, by having its foundation in fields ranging from composition, performance, lighting design, computer programming, and circuit design. This modern – day dueling banjos raises the bar for performers, composers, interface designers, and competitive gamers, while delivering an engaging combination of music and classic video game competition.
Canadian guitarist Emma Rush was involved with music from an early age and played many instruments before discovering a love for the guitar. After initial studies, Emma Rush moved to Nova Scotia to complete an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During her years in Halifax, she was active in playing solo and chamber music concerts and performing to great acclaim in numerous masterclasses. She quickly became known for her warm sound and expressive playing.
From 2002-2006 Emma Rush lived in Dortmund, Germany. She completed post-graduate studies with world-renowned guitarist Dale Kavanagh at the Hochschule fur Musik in Detmold (February 2006). She graduated at the top of her class. The years in Germany offered her many opportunities to refine her skills in masterclasses with David Russell, Roland Dyens, Carlo Marchione, and Tilman Hoppstock, among others. In addition to many solo concerts in Germany and beyond, she played regularly as a duo with Turkish guitarist Tuba Akkaya.
Emma Rush is now based Hamilton where she maintains a busy teaching studio in additional to faculty appointments at Redeemer University and Mohawk College. She performs throughout North America and Europe and appears regularly at international guitar festivals (Iserlohn, Acadia, Sauble Beach). Emma Rush is the founder and artistic director of the successful Guitar Hamilton concert series and the Hamilton International Guitar Festival. In 2011 she was a top prize winner at the International Guitar Competition in Columbus, Georgia and the Great Lakes Guitar Competition in Rochester, NY, and the winner of the 2011 City of Hamilton Arts Award for Music. Recent engagements include the 20th International Guitar Festival in Iserlohn, Germany, the Guitar Fort Worth Masters Series, Texas, the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Sociaety, and a tour of the eastern provinces of Canada. Upcoming appearances include concerts in Canada, the United Staes, Germany, Spain, Mexico and Turkey.
Pianist Orlay Alonso is gaining widespread recognition as a versatile performing artist throughout the United States. With his communicative gifts Mr. Alonso has captivated audiences at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Sprague Memorial Hall at Yale University, Steinway Hall, Rockwell Hall at Buffalo Sate University, Tishman Hall of the New School University, The Spanish Institute, Lefrak Hall at Queens College, Rosch Recital Hall at SUNY Fredonia, Elebash Hall at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Trinity Church, and the Liederkrantz among others.
Both his personable style in addressing the audience and his projective performances go beyond his career as a recitalist; his orchestral appearances as a soloist have been lauded for keeping “the listener’s imagination stimulated at all times” and for being “capable of fine gradations and subtleties” – The New York Concert Review. Mr. Alonso has performed with the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, Ossia Symphony Orchestra, and the Bronx Arts Ensemble Orchestra and worked with acclaimed conductors such as Maestro Jonathan Strasser, David Gilbert and Orlando Alonso.
Mr. Alonso has garnered top prizes in numerous piano competitions such as Kingsville International Piano Competition, Artists International Young Artists Piano Award, Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Competition, Queens College Cultural Heritage Competition, The Young Bronx Artists Competition, Yale School of Music Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition and Isabel Scionti International Piano Competition.
Mr. Alonso’s impressive array of teachers includes Lilian Kallir and Claude Frank, fellow Cuban- American Horacio Gutierrez and Juana Zayas. In addition he has participated in master classes with distinguished artists including Richard Goode, Jerome Rose, Vladimir Feltsman, Philippe Bianconi, Boris Berman, Nelita True, Pavlina Dokovska, Jorge Luis Pratz, Peter Frankl and Pamela Frank.
Considerable intelligence and intense emotions drove Mr. Alonso’s musicianship from the National School of Arts in his native Cuba to F. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York City, where he was awarded the Ann-Marie McDermott Memorial Scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division with Ubaldo Díaz-Acosta. Mr. Alonso graduated from the Mannes College of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and later continued his graduate studies at Yale University where he received his Master of Music degree. The thirst for excellence in his performances continued as he received his Professional Studies degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
For the past several years Mr. Alonso has taught private piano lessons to a diverse group of pupils of all ages and levels. He has served on the staff of Lincoln Bassett School in New Haven, CT, Saint David’s School in NYC, The Spence School in NYC, as a Teaching Assistant at Yale School of Music in CT, and Our Lady of the Assumption School in Bronx, NY. He has been sought after not only as a performing artist but also as an educator by Buffalo State University and The Fredonia School of Music of the State University of New York, where he has given master classes and lectures.
Eric Carlin is a Mansfield University Alumni where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar in 2005 under the direction of Dr. Matthew Slotkin. Mr. Carlin is currently a candidate for the prestigious Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music where he completed his Master of Music degree in 2008. He is also a faculty member at Nazareth College and the Nazareth Community Music Program where he teaches classical guitar to all ages and levels as well as Guitar Methods. Previous teaching experience includes the Eastman Community Music School and secondary guitar instruction at the Eastman School of Music. A native of Hornell, NY, Carlin enjoys songwriting as well as singing and playing popular music. As an eclectic musician Carlin also enjoys performing electric blues and country. Eric resides in Rochester, NY with his wife Jodie.