2018-19 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. Map. Parking options. Public 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 options. Season tickets are available! Experience all of our amazing artists at discounted rates by visiting our online box office.

Ana Vidovic

Saturday, September 29, 2018 – 7:30 PM

Tickets: $30 / 25 / 20

Ana Vidovic is an extraordinary talent with formidable gifts taking her place amongst the elite musicians of the world today. Ms. Vidovic has given over one thousand public performances since first taking the stage in 1988. Her international performance career includes recitals in New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Salzburg, Rome, Budapest, Warsaw, Tel Aviv, Oslo, Copenhagen, Toronto, Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston, Austin, Dallas, St. Louis and beyond. Mel Bay Publications released Ana Vidovic’s most recent DVD in 2009 entitled “Guitar Artistry in Concert,” a journey through the music of Torroba, Piazzolla and Pierre Bensusan, Sergio Assad, Stanley Myers, Villa-Lobos and Agustin Barrios Mangoré. “Guitar Virtuoso,” Ana’s performance of works by Bach, Torroba, Paganini and Walton, was released on DVD by the Mel Bay label in 2006.

Ms. Vidovic has won an impressive number of prizes and international competitions including first prizes in the Albert Augustine International Competition in Bath, England, the Fernando Sor competition in Rome, Italy and the Francisco Tarrega competition in Benicasim, Spain. Ana Vidovic comes from the small town of Karlovac near Zagreb, Croatia, and started playing guitar at the age of 5, and by 7 had given her first public performance. At the age of 11 she was performing internationally, and at 13 became the youngest student to attend the prestigious National Musical Academy in Zagreb where she studied with Professor Istvan Romer. Ana’s reputation in Europe led to an invitation to study with Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory where she graduated in 2005.

Kazuhito Yamashita

Saturday, November 3, 2018 – 7:30 PM 

Tickets: $40 / 35 / 30

Legendary Japanese guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita is one of the most acclaimed and daring artistic visionaries of our time. His international career began after victories in three of the most important guitar competitions, and he has since recorded almost 80 albums. His stunningly original arrangements, including Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition  and Dvorak’s Symphony from the New World  have revolutionized what is possible on solo guitar.

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.

Following his 1987 Boston Symphony Hall debut recital with iconic flutist Sir James Galway, the Boston Globe wrote: “Yamashita is a phenomenally gifted artist, who, one imagines, could turn the most mundane exercise into a fascinating musical excursion.”

The Great Necks

Scott Borg, Adam Levin and Matthew Rohde

Friday, February 8, 2019 – 7:30 PM

Tickets: $30 / 25 / 20

The Greak Necks

Lauded by Eliot Fisk as “charismatic, entertaining, and spontaneous young masters”, The Great Necks (Scott Borg, Adam Levin, and Matthew Rohde) lie at the intersection of performance and arts advocacy. They have ravished audiences with their ambitious arrangements and whimsical, interactive, and daring performances. As soloists, they have distinguished careers of their own, marked by regular festival and concert appearances across five continents and a growing solo discography on the Naxos, Odradek, and Tresona labels.

The Great Necks recent appearances include New Mexico’s ‘Chatter’, the Austonian, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Mid-Maryland Guitar Festival, Rhode Island Guitar Festival, Trinity-By-The-Cove, and the Aguado Guitar Series. Their ground-breaking debut album will be released on the Sony/Frameworks label during the 2018/19 season, which showcases dazzling arrangements including virtuoso orchestral, piano and organ works by Bach, Sibelius, Albeniz, Scriabin, Villa-Lobos, and Marquez. A second album is already under-way with works by Holst, Beethoven, Wagner, Bernstein, Adams, Villa-Lobos and Bach.

Together, Borg, Levin, and Rohde also co-founded Kithara Project, Inc, a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting widespread and equitable access to the classical guitar worldwide, particularly in the US and Latin America.

Borg completed his studies at the Juilliard School, the Yale School of Music, and New England Conservatory; Levin, at Northwestern University and New England Conservatory; and Rohde, at Yale College, the Yale School of Music, and the Paris Conservatory. Borg and Levin are Augustine and D’Addario Artists, respectively. The trio performs on a set of guitars — ‘Aranda,’ ‘Hope,’ and  ‘Helios’ — by Stephan Connor.


New England Guitar Ensembles Festival Featuring Pavel Steidl

Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24, 2019.
Hosted by Longy School of Music of Bard College

Festival Pass: $45 (2-day) / $ 35 (1-day).
Sunday Concert Tickets $30 / 25 / 20.

Two full days of workshops, classes, and concerts focus on the guitar as an ensemble instrument. This year, we are particularly excited to announce the premiere of a new commission by one of the most significant composers today: Pavel Steidl.

Pavel Steidl was born in Rakovnik (Czech Republic). Since he won first prize at the Radio France International Competition in Paris in 1982 he has become one of the most widely celebrated soloists of his generation. Before that he studied with such guitarists as Milan Zelenka and Stephan Rak in Prague. In 1987 he decided to emigrate to the Netherlands where after years of studying and getting inspiration from many different artists he has created his own style, which incorporates authentic ways of interpreting 19th-century guitar literature on period instruments and going far to some world music elements. Pavel Steidl also composes himself and his own compositions are often played on his concerts.

He has played in more than 40 countries of the world from among Canada, USA, China, India, Japan, Europe, South and Central America and many others. Italian Guitar Magazine Guitart readers voted him as guitar player of the year 2004. Pavel Steidl plays many instruments, but mainly Francisco Simplico (1926) and Franz Butcher (2008), romantic guitar: copies of JG Stauffer guitar made by B. Kresse and original instrument from the beginning of the 19th century Nikolaus G. Ries cca. 1830.

If you are interested in bringing your ensemble (any level) to the festival, please contact us.

For more information, please visit the festival page.

Rene Izquierdo

Friday, April 26, 2019 – 7:30 PM

 Tickets: $30 / 25 / 20

Rene Izquierdo

Rene Izquierdo, a native from Cuba, graduated from the Guillermo Tomas, Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and Superior Institute of Art in Havana. In the United States, Mr. Izquierdo earned a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma degrees from the Yale University School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery. While at Yale he represented the university in an exchange program with the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse du Paris and worked with guitarists Olivie Chassain and Roland Dyens. Rene has appeared as a guest soloist and in chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Cuba and Europe. He has shared the stage with prestigious guitarists including Eliot Fisk, Benjamin Verdery and Jorge Morel, as well as renowned flutist Ransom Wilson, soprano Lucy Shelton, David Jolley and Paquito d’Rivera. Renowned composers such as Jorge Morel and Carlos R. Rivera have dedicated works to him.

Mr. Izquierdo is a recipient of numerous awards. He is a winner of JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition in 2004, Extremadura International Guitar Competition, Schadt String competition, Stotsenberg International Guitar Competition among others.

He is currently a professor of classical guitar at the Wisconsin State University in Milwaukee and an active solo performer and chamber musician. Rene has studied with Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Eli Kassner, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, David Starobin, Eduardo Fernandez, Jorge Morel, Robert Beaser and Anthony Newman among others.