Juan Oscar Azaret
Executive Director, Performance Party Coordinator
A native of Cienfuegos Cuba, Oscar has also lived in Miami, East Tennessee, California, and Massachusetts. He holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a BSEE from the University of Tennessee. He is a contributing author to the Guild of American Luthiers and active member of the Acoustical Society of America. Oscar is on the staff at Northern Essex Community College where he lectures on engineering physics and electronics. As a professional luthier, Oscar builds concert quality classical guitars.
Oscar worked for over 3 decades in the Boston area for Bell Telephone Laboratories and subsequent spin-offs in the fields of communication systems and semiconductors where he held various design and management positions working with international teams. During this time, he also studied and honed the craft of lutherie, built his workshop and collected wood. Passionate for the sound, aesthetics, and science of the classical guitar, Oscar strives to go beyond the craft and explore the underlying physics and physiology which endow the classical guitar with its enduring human appeal. He has lectured extensively and published articles on these topics at various universities, conventions, and institutions
Charles Ewing holds an M.M. in classical guitar performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and a B.A. in music and economics from Tufts University. Active as a soloist and chamber musician, Charles has performed in several notable venues including NEC’s Jordan Hall and the Museum of Fine Arts. His former teachers include Eliot Fisk, Jérôme Mouffe, and Daniel Acsadi, and he has performed in the masterclasses of Grisha Goryachev and Roland Dyens, among many others.
Dr. Jérôme Mouffe
Dr. Jerome Mouffe is an active concertist, pedagogue, and community builder. Faculty at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Jerome Mouffe has toured throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. Highlight performances include the Celebrity Series of Boston, the OMNI Series in San Francisco, the Austin Classical Guitar International Series, the International Brussels Guitar Festival, the Festival del Noreste in Saltillo, Mexico, and the Newport Music Festival in Rhode Island, among others. Jerome Mouffe has toured with guitar phenomenon Grisha Goryachev and Pacific Symphony Orchestra principal flute, Benjamin Smolen. Jerome Mouffe has released two albums: Capriccio, on the VGo Recordings label in 2009, and more recently Bach to Beaser with flautist Benjamin Smolen. Jerome Mouffe holds degrees from the Royal Conservatory in Brussels and the Mozarteum Univertität Salzburg. He was the first guitarist to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. Jerome directed the Boston Classical Guitar Society during the ’17-18 and ’18-19 seasons. To find out more, please visit: www.jeromemouffe.com
Dr. Daniel Acsadi
Trustee, Co-Director of NEGEF
Through his acclaimed performances, arrangements, and teaching, Dan Acsadi is a passionate advocate for both the guitar and the music of his native Hungary. Dan’s arrangements encompass art and folk music of the 18th through 21st centuries, innovatively expanding the guitar’s repertoire. He is firmly committed to the guitar as a versatile chamber music instrument, performing regularly with voice, viola, violin, flute, string quartet, and guitar ensemble.
Beginning his musical studies at age six, Dan earned his D.M.A. and M.M. from New England Conservatory (NEC) and B.A. from Cornell University, where he double majored in music and economics. Dan studied with Eliot Fisk, Pablo Cohen and John Hall, and has performed in the masterclasses of Manuel Barrueco, Leo Brouwer, Eduardo Fernandez, and Adam Holzman. He maintains a teaching studio in the Boston area and is on the faculty of Longy School of Music of Bard College, Tufts University, and Powers Music School (Belmont).
Director of Hingham Guitar Series, Layout & Design, and Trustee
A long-time member and trustee of the Boston Classical Guitar Society, George Ward is a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston and works as a freelance book illustrator. He is an active board member and produces the BCGS quarterly newsletter and the Hingham Public Library Concert Series started in 1998. George and his wife Kit have two sons in college and live in the historic district of Lowell with their Blue Heelers, Tilly and Trevor.
Trustee, Co-Director of NEGEF
William Riley maintains an active schedule as guitarist and educator. Currently a lecturer and the director of classical guitar studies at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, he is also on the music faculty of New England Conservatory Preparatory School and teaches a large studio of young guitarists as Director of the Childbloom Guitar Program of Boston.
As a performer, Mr. Riley has won top prizes and been a finalist and semi-finalist in several national and international solo competitions. A frequent performer as both a soloist and chamber musician, William Riley has also recorded and premiered several new works for solo guitar, including Remembrances of Jerusalem by Israeli composer Lior Navok, for which he was praised for his “insightful playing” by Classical Net and called a “fine soloist” by American Record Guide. William Riley holds a Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Adam Holzman. He then received a scholarship to study with world-renowned virtuoso Eliot Fisk at New England Conservatory, where he received his Master of Music degree with honors.
Kim Perlak is the chair of the guitar department at Berklee College of Music. Kim’s versatile approach to the instrument embraces new music, education, and public service. Her performances of new classical works, original and improvised pieces, and collaborations with jazz and traditional players have been featured on National Public Radio, at the Yale Guitar Extravaganza, at Boston GuitarFest, and on five recordings. Kim’s curriculum development for Berklee includes the book Classical Technique for the Modern Guitarist (Berklee Press/ Hal Leonard 2016). Her guitar work in education and with American veterans has been honored by the PBS program “From the Top” as part of their Arts Leadership series, and was recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives. Kim holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (’08 DMA), Yale School of Music (’01 MM), and Stetson University (’98 BM). She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Guitar Foundation of America, and served as the Editor-in-Chief of Soundboard for GFA from 2010-2013.
Rocco grew up in Dorchester, part of a large Italian American family. He holds a BS in biology from Boston University and MA and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University in zoology and neurobiology. Rocco worked as a research neuroscientist at the Biophysics Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography doing neuroscience research on mammals and fish life. After a decade as a research scientist, Rocco joined Digital Equipment Corporation working in the field of computer operating systems. Having reinvented himself as a software engineer, Rocco then owned a business developing database applications for large corporations such as Fidelity Investments. Most recently, over the last 13 years, Rocco has built a financial advising business associated with Ameriprise Financial, which he then sold in 2016.
Rocco is married to Merle Bombardieri, a psychiatric social worker in private practice specializing in psychological stresses associated with infertility and adoption, as well as helping clients decide whether to have children. She is a specialist in behavioral medicine techniques such as hypnosis and is the author of The Baby Decision: How to Make the Most important Decision of Your Life. Merle is writing a novel on sister surrogacy. Rocco has two grown daughters – Marcella, an education analyst at the Center for American Progress, and Vanessa, a development operations specialist at Columbia University. Vanessa and her wife run an off-off Broadway theatre company in Manhattan’s White Horse Theatre. Soflyan, Marcella’s son, is Rocco’s only grandchild. Rocco lives with his wife, two cats, and three guitars in Stow, MA.
Rocco first came to the classical guitar at the age of 30, and since, it has been a rich part of his life. He has been privileged to study with such fine guitarists as Robert Ward, Berit Strong and Celin Romero. He is the proud owner of guitars by Kevim Aram, two by Robert Ruck, and is eagerly awaiting delivery of a custom short-scale Oscar Azaret guitar.
Michael Bester is a classical and jazz guitarist, as well as a professional web developer. He earned a B.A. in the Studio Music and Jazz program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music under the direction of Jazz guitarist and pedagogue, Randall Dollahon. In recent years, he dived into the classical guitar world, becoming an active member of the Boston Classical Guitar Society. Through his arranging and performance, he attempts to bridge the divide between classical and jazz guitar