BUFFALO, NY – Ten top international guitarists representing six nations have been chosen to participate in the third biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, set for June 9-13 at Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall. The public is invited to meet these gifted artists and enjoy their performances, both in competition and at free “Guitar Days” community events (see fallettacompetition.org).
Founded in 2004 and organized by WNED and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO), the competition is one of the foremost musical events in the world and the first concerto competition for classical guitarists. It is named in honor of the BPO’s music director.
Competition performances occur over three nights, all at 7:30 pm. Five semifinalists perform solo on June 10 and 11 (tickets cost $19.50 for one night or $39 for both nights). For the first time, the semifinals will be broadcast live on WNED Classical 94.5/HD1 radio and online at wned.org.
On June 13, the top three contestants perform with the BPO, conducted by JoAnn Falletta (tickets cost $24.50-$74.50; student/senior discounts are available).
“I am proud to be part of an event that helps to identify and encourage talented young classical guitarists and help them on their musical journeys,” said Falletta, who also is a classical guitarist.
“Once again, WNED and the BPO are making plans to welcome distinguished musicians from around the globe,” said Donald K. Boswell, WNED President and CEO. “Area audiences will experience remarkable performances by highly talented and dedicated guitarists.”
As a group, 2008’s Top 10 semifinalists have already distinguished themselves on the international classical music scene. They’ve won top prizes in competitions around the world and are alumni and/or students at some of the most renowned schools of music. (See attached biographies.)
The contestants vie for a prize package that includes cash, a recording contract, national and international broadcast exposure, a concert guitar, an engagement with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra where Falletta also serves as conductor and a return engagement with the BPO.
BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart said that having eminent music professionals and educators as judges “greatly enhances the world class status of this competition.”
Buffalo-based Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio, a well known international chamber ensemble duo, are the Competition’s artistic directors. They helped select the Top 10 semifinalists, along with Classical 94.5/WNED-FM program host John Landis and David Dusman, founder and president of Dusman Audio, Inc.
The live competitions will be judged by renowned virtuoso guitarist and composer David Leisner; producer and host of NPR’s “Classical Guitar Alive” Tony Morris; Spanish virtuoso guitarist Enrique Muñoz Teruel; one of today’s leading international guitarists Eduardo Fernandez; and president of the Guitar Foundation of America Brian Head in addition to Castellani, Andriaccio and Landis.
Financial support for the Competition is provided by: HSBC Bank, NOCO Energy Corporation, Clover Management, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Robertson & Bach Fine Jewelry, Monaco Violin & Music Centre, Mercedes Benz of Buffalo, Western Regional Off-Track Betting, Fichte Endl & Elmer Eye Associates, Keyser-Cadillac, Fleur de Son Classics and Savarez. The Competition has also received support from the Adam’s Mark, GSP and Editions Orphee.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit fallettacompetition.org or call the BPO Box Office at (716) 885-5000.
Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright Lifelong Learning, Classical 94.5/WNED-FM and WNED-AM 970 The Information Station, the member-supported Western New York Public Broadcasting Association provides high quality programming and services that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate our communities.
Currently in its 72nd season, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is an internationally recognized symphony of the highest artistic caliber and an indispensable part of the Western New York community’s quality of life.
-List of Competition Events follows-
-Bios of 2008 Competitors follow-
JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition
Meliset Abreau, USA
Soundboard Magazine described Meliset Abreau’s playing as “confident, daring and amazingly accurate.” A resident of Hoboken, N.J., Abreau performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician. As a founding member of Stretto (a trio of oboe, violin and classical guitar) she has extended the repertoire for the guitar in ensemble, transcribing the works of Bach, Schumann, de Falla, Stravinsky and other composers.
Benjamin Beirs, USA
A native of the Philadelphia area, Benjamin Beirs recently released his debut recording, Distant Places & Different Times, a varied and colorful collection of his favorite guitar music. He maintains a busy performance schedule, frequently traveling to France to perform as the American half of “Duo Transatlantique.” The duo also features Beirs’ Peabody colleague, renowned French guitarist Maud Laforest.
Gonzalo Gallardo, Peru
An international musician from Lima, Peru, Gonzalo Gallardo has performed in his native Peru and in the United States. He performed Roberto Sierra’s Concierto Barroco with the Peruvian National Symphony Orchestra in Lima. Gallardo is now pursuing a master’s degree in guitar performance at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he is a teaching assistant in World Music.
David Gálvez, Peru
Currently guitar professor at the Long Island (New York) Conservatory of Music, David Gálvez performs solo and as a member of the Manhattan Guitar Quartet. His performances throughout the United States and South America include have included solo appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru in Lima. He’s also the guitarist on acclaimed opera tenor Juan Diego Flórez’s Sentimiento Latino CD.
Chad Ibison, USA
Currently a full-scholarship student at Columbus (Georgia) State University, Chad Ibison was selected to perform as a concerto soloist with the University’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Along with acclaimed violinist Boris Abramov, Ibison also was selected by the Music in Columbus Foundation to take part in a recording project highlighting outstanding music of the city of Columbus.
Laura U. Klemke, Germany
A graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar, Germany, Laura U. Klemke has demonstrated her talent through 500 performances, including radio and television appearances all over the world. She has performed concerts solo and with orchestras as well as chamber music. Her debut solo CD, Paganini, Bach, Ponce, Searle, was released in 2006.
Krzysztof Meisinger, Poland
Krzysztof Meisinger has performed in Poland and abroad, including Cologne, Paris and London. He toured twice in Germany with the Jeunesses Musicales Orchestra. In addition to contributing his talents to three CDs, he has given concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio “amadeus,” Chamber Orchestra of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw and the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev.
Anna Mnich, Poland
As a member of the popular Silesian Guitar Octet from 2001 to 2004, Anna Mnich performed concerts throughout Poland and abroad. She also has recorded with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Polish Radio. Mnich started learning to play the guitar at age 10. She was recently accepted to the Manhattan (New York) School of Music, where she plans to continue her musical education.
Guido Sánchez, Costa Rica
Since 1995, Guido Sánchez has been the first guitar of the Guitar Orchestra of Costa Rica, with which he has recorded five CDs and toured around the world. He is the co-owner of the Escuela Superior de Guitarra in Costa Rica where he has served as a teacher and director. He is currently pursuing his doctorate at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
Marco Sartor, Uruguay
Marco Sartor has given master classes, performed live and appeared on radio and television across three continents, in Europe and the Americas. Sartor’s recording projects include collaborations with his former mentor, guitarist Marc Regnier, and counter-tenor José Lemos. He also started the guitar programs at the Charleston (South Carolina) Academy of Music and the Carnegie Mellon Music Preparatory School in Pittsburgh.