October 6, Engelman Recital Hall, 8:00 pm
Internationally renowned classical guitarist David Leisner inaugurates a concert series of chamber music with guitar, teaming up with a new generation of star performers. In the opening concert, series Artistic Director Leisner is joined by two dazzling young string players, violinist Soovin Kim and violist Hsin-Yun Huang. The program includes a virtuosic Tarantella by Paganini, an unknown masterpiece, Grand Trio, by the little-known Wenzeslaus Matiegka (1773-1830), whom Leisner calls "the Beethoven of the guitar", two short contemporary premieres - A Final Glance by Steve Mackey and Falling by David Leisner - and the rousing Histoire du Tango by the great Argentine, Astor Piazzolla.
Leisner: "An exhilarating display of artistic intelligence and control" Cleveland Plain Dealer
Kim: "A superb musician with a fine tone...assured and imaginative" Washington Post
Huang: "Brilliance, lyricism and expressivity" Berliner Morgenpost
December 2, Engelman Recital Hall, 8:00 pm
The Guitar Plus chamber music series with guitar continues with the world-class Cavatina Duo. Artistic Director David Leisner has invited the husband and wife team, Denis Azabagic, guitar, and Eugenia Moliner, flute, to play the second concert of the series. The program features music from their Balkan Music Project, commissioned works that are based on Balkan folk tunes. Carlos Rivera's Vranjanski cocek and Alan Thomas' Shepherd's Song and Sivi Grivi are New York premieres, and Clarice Assad's Ratchenista and Kalajdzisko Oro completes the set. Also on the program are Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas by Astor Piazzolla, Acrobats by David Leisner and an arrangement of the popular Carmen Fantasy by François Borne.
"Style, sympathy and technical aplomb...It's doubtful that the Cavatina's sophisticated and artistic playing could be surpassed." Fanfare
April 28, Engelman Recital Hall, 8:00 pm
The final concert of the season for the Guitar Plus chamber music series with guitar features music for the voice. Two extraordinary young singers, soprano Courtenay Budd and tenor William Ferguson, join Artistic Director and guitarist, David Leisner, in a program of great variety and substance. Dominick Argento's masterwork, Letters from Composers, features real letters from great composers of the past as the texts, while David Leisner's Heaven's River receives its New York premiere, with lyrics by Rabindranath Tagore. Also on the program are exquisite arrangements of Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 by Villa-Lobos (arranged for the guitar by the composer), Lua Descolorida by Osvaldo Golijov (Leisner's guitar arrangement receives its world premiere here), Schubert Songs (arranged for the guitar during his lifetime) and Gershwin Songs (arranged by John Duarte).
Budd: "...sang straight from the heart, and her soaring high notes were enough to melt even the frostiest soul." Charleston City Paper
Ferguson: "Mr. Ferguson, a lovely, light tenor, has stage presence to burn." New York Times
Leisner: "Make no mistake, David Leisner is a conspicuously gifted guitarist." Los Angeles Times