Portland Classic Guitar (PCG) is proud to announce its 2015-16 Concert Season

Portland Classical Guitar (PCG) is proud to announce its 2015-16 concert season, once again bringing world-class guitarists to the greater Portland area. This year the focus is on education. In addition to PCG’s ongoing commitment to excellence in private guitar instruction, master classes will be given by each of our series artists—an invaluable opportunity for local guitarists to learn from modern masters. The exemplary lineup features two outstanding headliners: multi-GRAMMY-winners Sharon Isbin and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, both appearing for the first time in the PCG series. Isbin and the LAGQ will perform at the First Congregational Church in downtown Portland. Supporting headliners this season are Paul Galbraith, Berta Rojas, and Duo Deloro—all appearing in St. Anne’s Chapel on the campus of Marylhurst University. All other concerts will be in Wiegand Hall, also on the Marylhurst campus. Performances are at 8 PM on select Fridays throughout the season, and master classes will follow the next day at 11 AM, at Marylhurst.

 The series begins with Paul Galbraith (October 16), one of the most innovative guitarists in the world, and immediately recognizable for his unique playing posture, as well as for the custom instrument he uses—the eight-stringed “Brahms Guitar.” Galbraith’s recordings cover a variety of ground: from Brahms to Bach to Debussy to Couperin to folk music. A festival favorite, Galbraith has also been a featured soloist with many of the best orchestras in the world, including the Royal Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the BBC Philharmonic, the Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony, and many others.

 Next up is Edel Munoz (November 13), a Cuban-born guitarist who has won more than twenty international guitar competitions—including the Boston Guitar Fest, the Miguel Llobet International Competition in Barcelona, the Montreal International Guitar Competition, and the Havana International Guitar Competition. 

 Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, Minneapolis-born headliner Sharon Isbin (January 15) has been hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time,” and once received Guitar Player magazine’s coveted “Best Classical Guitarist” award. She has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras, and given sold-out performances in the world’s finest halls—including New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center. She once gave a concert at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. Isbin is a frequent guest on such well-loved national radio programs as All Things Considered and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and was recently the subject of a PBS documentary, Troubadour. Her catalogue of over 25 recordings showcases expertise in styles that range from Baroque to Spanish/Latin music to modernism to jazz-fusion and other crossover genres. She has earned two GRAMMYs, a “Critic’s Choice Recording of the Year” in both Gramophone and CD Review, a “Recording of the Month” in Stereo Review, and an “Album of the Year” in Guitar Player. She has collaborated with a who’s who of contemporary artists—including such luminaries as Steve Vai, Stanley Jordan, Joan Baez, Mark O’Connor, the Emerson String Quartet, Herb Ellis, Michael Hedges, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. She is also professor of guitar at Juilliard.

 2016 begins with the recent winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition, Ekachai Jearakul (January 29). A rising star who is also the first Asian to win this coveted prize, Jearakul has performed in over sixteen countries, garnering numerous awards along the way.

 The second supporting headliner, Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas (February 12), has twice been nominated for a Latin GRAMMY, and is renowned for her flawless technique and innate musicality. Rojas ranks among today’s foremost classical guitarists, and has performed all over the world. She has been praised as “guitarist extraordinaire” by the Washington Post; Classical Guitar Magazine has called her “ambassador of the classical guitar.” Rojas was the Artistic Director of the three editions of the Ibero-American Guitar Festival at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. In 2014, the news agency EFE named her one of the most influential women in the Hispanic world.

 The third supporting headliner, Duo Deloro (March 18), consists of Adam Del Monte, one of the leading flamenco and classical guitarist/composers of his generation, and Mak Grgic, an innovative player whose adventurousness has led him from the avant-garde to film music to more traditional works, including transcriptions of Brahms and Kreisler. Del Monte is well known as the flamenco guitarist in the Deutsche-Grammophon double GRAMMY winning recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s opera Ainadamar. Grgic has premiered numerous new pieces by composers as diverse as Nina Senk, David Crowell, Toby Twining, Michael Harrison, Christian Carey, Julia Adolphe, Thomas Kotcheff, Sven-David Sandström, Hakki Cengiz Eren, and William Harvey.

 Duo Deloro will be followed by Hilary Field (April 1), an international performing and recording artist whose playing is characterized by what the Seattle Times has called “fire and grace.” Field’s recordings and live performances have garnered numerous awards and critical acclaim, and have inspired several composers to write and dedicate music to her.

 The GRAMMY-award winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (April 29)—the second headliner for this series—is comprised of John Dearman, Matthew Greif, William Kanengiser, and Scott Tennant. These four musicians are formidable and compelling on their own, but taken together, they bring a truly incomparable energy to the stage. A typical LAGQ program might start with bluegrass and end with Bach, highlighting music from Africa, the Far East, and Latin America along the way. The LAGQ’s inventive, daring transcriptions of time-honored masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their commitment to new works helps introduce listeners to the best in contemporary composition. No wonder this group consistently plays to sold-out houses around the world. Audience favorites include their “Don Quixote” collaboration with Firesign Theater veteran, actor Philip Proctor; and the work “SHIKI: Seasons of Japan,” written for the LAGQ plus guitar orchestra by composer Shingo Fujii. Their master class will include an extended “pumping nylon” workshop.

 GRAMMY-nominated lutenist and composer Ronn McFarlane (May 13), has been noted for bringing the lute into the musical mainstream. McFarlane has been a member of the Baltimore Consort since 1979, and has toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe—both with that group and as a soloist.

 For the series finale, PCG Artistic Director William Jenks (June 24) will perform outdoors at Marylhurst University’s Lajos Balogh Performance Shell with other internationally renowned artists (more details coming soon). Jenks has recorded four CDs, and has recently toured internationally in countries such as Italy, Chile, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.