2015-16 Artist Series

2015-16 Artist Series

All events except the New England Guitar Ensembles Festival (NEGEF) are located at First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116. MapParking optionsPublic transportation: Green Line Copley or Arlington stations. NEGEF takes place at Longy School of Music of Bard College, 27 and 33 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Map. Parking optionsSeason tickets are available!  Experience all of our amazing artists at discounted rates by visiting our online box office.

Kazuhito Yamashita

Friday, September 25, 2015 – 7:30 PM

yamashitaTickets: $35 / 30 / 25 Legendary Japanese guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita is one of the most acclaimed, and daring artistic visionaries of our time. His first visit to Boston in decades promises to be a recital of epic proportions. Yamashita began to study the guitar at the age of eight with his father, Toru Yamashita. In 1972, aged eleven, he won the Kyushu Guitar Competition. In 1977, he won three important international competitions – the Ramirez in Spain, the Alessandria in Italy, and Paris Radio France Competition, the youngest winner ever recorded. 

In 1978, Yamashita made his debut in Japan and, in the following year, traveled to Europe. While still in his twenties, he made his first appearances in Canada’s Toronto International Guitar Festival and gave a solo recital in the Musikverein (Grosser Saal) in Vienna, he also performed in the US and UK. He gave solo recitals in concert halls around the world such as the Lincoln Center and has performed with a variety of orchestras and conductors in Europe, North America and Asia. In 1989, the Casals Hall in Tokyo, considered to be one of the finest auditoriums in the world, presented a series called The World of Kazuhito Yamashita, comprising seven concerts in 12 months. The high point of the concerts was Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s 24 Caprichos de Goya in a single performance. The series concluded with Bach’s six sonatas and partitas over two consecutive nights; a recital series was continued in 1994 and 1999.

In addition to solo performances, Yamashita also plays duo, as well as with chamber music ensembles, orchestras and internationally acclaimed artists, such as Leonard Slatkin with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Antoni Ros Marbà, Garcia Navaro, Pedro Halffter, Hiroyuki Iwaki, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta de la RTVE, Claudio Scimone e I Solisti Veneti, James Galway (flute), Gary Karr (double bass), Michala Petri (recorder), The Tokyo String Quartet etc. In the 4th Santo Tirso International Guitar Festival, held in 1997, he played four guitar concertos in one night with the Cordoba orchestra, conducted by Leo Brouwer.

Yamashita has made almost 80 recordings and numerous original arrangements of such works as Mussorgski’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Stravinsky’s Firebird, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scherezade and Dvořák’s Symphony from the New World. He has recorded for BMG (RCA), Crown Classics, Japan Victor, King Records and Alfa Records. His recordings include 16 CDs with the complete works of Fernando Sor, and a collection of 5 CDs containing J.S. Bach’s sonatas and partitas for violin, cello, lute and flute (BWV 995-1013), all which he himself transcribed for the guitar. His recording of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, released in 1981, was awarded the Deutsche Grammophon Award.

Gaëlle Solal

Friday, November 13, 2015 – 7:30 PM

Gaelle SolalTickets: $25 / 20 / 15 Gaëlle Solal is an exciting rising star of the classical guitar world. She is the first prize winner at four major guitar competitions and regularly tours internationally. Gaëlle has performed in concert with the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Reims, the Berkeley Symphony, the Garde Républicaine Orchestra and the Philharmonic Turin Orchestra. She has toured in more than 30 countries including Germany, Myanmar, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Israel, Spain, France, Gabon, India, Iceland, Italy, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, Mexico, Palestine, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland, Tunisia, USA, and Japan.

With a passion for contemporary music, Gaëlle premiered Concerto by Maurice Ohana, the Double Concerto by Naomi Sekiya with Kent Nagano in Berkeley and three new compositions at the Cordoba Guitar Festival 2006. Gaëlle’s eclectic passions have led her to combine her commitment as a performer with teaching as well as dance and theater experiences. She has created two solo recital projects “Sol*” where she travels around the borders of classical and popular music and “Açaï,” totally dedicated to Brazilian music.

She has studied with Alberto Ponce at Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Roberto Aussel at Musikhochscule Köln and Alvaro Pierri at Université du Québec à Montréal. She has enjoyed participating in masterclasses with legendary guitarists including Antigoni Goni, Pepe Romero, Roland Dyens, Oscar Ghiglia, Leo Brouwer, Alvaro Pierri and Joaquin Clerch.


Friday, February 19, 2016 – 7:30 PM

SoloDuoTickets: $25 / 20 / 15
As SoloDuo, Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli have performed throughout Europe, Asia, the USA, Canada and Latin America, and have been acclaimed everywhere – from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Seoul’s Sejong Chamber Hall, from Kiev’s Hall of Columns to Vienna’s Konzerthaus – as one of the best ensembles ever heard. About one of their performances, “The Washington Post” wrote: “the duo’s playing was nothing less than rapturous – profound and unforgettable musicianship of the highest order.”

In addition to classic, romantic and modern repertoire, Matteo and Lorenzo – joined by lutenist Massimo Lonardi – have extensively explored Italian music from the XVII and XVIII century for baroque guitar and theorbo. Together, Matteo and Lorenzo have recorded François de Fossa’s Three Quartets, op. 19 (2004), a CD of 17th Century Italian music for baroque guitar, archlute and theorbo (“La Suave Melodia” with Massimo Lonardi, 2008), a CD of Arias and Cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti (“Clori, ninfa e amante”, 2013), an anthology of 20th Century masterpieces for two guitars (“Solaria”, 2007), the Duos Concertants by Antoine De Lhoyer (2007), a collection of chamber works by Mauro Giuliani (2008), a collection of 19th Century pieces for two guitars (“Noesis”, 2009), the Sonatas of Ferdinand Rebay (2010), the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (2012), and the album “Metamorphoses” (2014), as well as a dozen solo recordings on the labels Naxos, Brilliant, Contrastes, Kookaburra, Mel Bay, and Stradivarius.

They are the Editors of the “SoloDuo Collection” for the Canadian publisher Productions d’Oz.

Matteo resides in Geneva, Switzerland, where he teaches at the Conservatoire Populaire. Lorenzo lives in Milan, Italy, and teaches at the University School of Music in Lugano, Switzerland. Since 2015, they are Artists in Residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.

New England Guitar Ensembles Festival

Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, 2016. Hosted by Longy School of Music of Bard College

Keene State College at NEGEF
Keene State College at NEGEF

Festival Pass: $40; Headlining Concert Tickets: $25 / 20 / 15 We are delighted to announce that NEGEF 2016 will be hosted by the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA. This move allows us to expand our festival offerings and schedule to two days. Furthermore, our main events will take place in beautiful Pickman Hall. We are still in the process of finalizing our headlining artist and schedule, but we enthusiastically welcome the participation of guitar ensembles and individuals of all ages and experience levels. The program will include concerts, ensemble workshops, and technique sessions in a supportive and friendly environment.

For more information, please visit the festival page.

Yamandu Costa

Friday, April 8, 2016 – 7:30 PM

YamandubyClaudioGadoti300Tickets: $35 / 30 / 25 Yamandu Costa, 7-string guitar virtuoso, was born in Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where he began his guitar studies with his father Algacir Costa, band leader of “Os Fronteiriços,” when he was 7 years old. Later, he perfected his technique with Lúcio Yanel, Argentine virtuoso who was then settled in Brazil. 

Until the age of 15, Yamandu´s only music school was the folk music from the south of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Nevertheless, after he heard Radamés Gnatalli´s work, he decided to get in contact with the music of other renowned Brazilian musicians, such as Baden Powell, Tom Jobim, Raphael Rabello, among others. When he was 17, he played for the first time in São Paulo at “Circuito Cultural Banco do Brasil” (BB Cultural Tour). The event was produced by “Estúdio Tom Brazil” (Tom Brazil studio), and from then on he was recognized as one of the most gifted guitar players of Brazil. 

Yamandu has created his very particular style of compositions, somewhere between the typical music from the south of Brazil, Choro and Samba with finger acrobatic like passages, high tempo and yet very delicate and melodious pieces. For the audience his music is somewhere between breathtaking and breathholding, accompanied by Yamandu´s way of melting with his instrument and being one for the duration of the concert.

Yamandu is embracing the range of root-Latinamerican music with a clear basis on Southbrazilian swing. One of the greatest geniuses of Brazilian music of all times, Yamandu deserves the highest praise. Whenever he is on stage, he fills with joy the most select audience since his impressive performance shows the deep intimacy between Yamandu and his guitar. The recognition he has earned throughout the years reveals what he can offer the audience – recreation of the magic of music – once from his fingers the music he plays travels through his body and soul and is almost miraculously transformed. 

Yamandu is a guitar player, composer and arranger that does not fit into a single music style, yet he creates his own when he combines all of them playing his 7-string guitar. Yamandu fully deserves his beautiful name which in “tupi-guarani”, the native language of Brazilian indians, means “the precursor of the waters of the world.” 

Besides numerous concerts throughout Brazil, Yamandu has toured in France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Slovenia, Russia, Lithuania, Serbia, Greece, Macedonia, Israel, Cyprus, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Zimbabwe, Cape Verde, United Arab Emirates, Australia, USA, Canada, Ecuador, Cuba, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.