Iranian Guitarist Lily Afshar in Concert February 17

Iranian Guitarist Lily Afshar in Concert February 17

Portland Classic Guitar’s artistic director William Jenks is proud to present internationally renowned Iranian guitarist Lily Afshar, live in concert on Friday, February 17, in Marylhurst University’s St. Anne’s Chapel. The music will begin at 8 p.m. that evening, with a master class to follow on Saturday, February 18, at 11 a.m. in Marylhurst’s Wiegand Hall. Please note: William Jenks, Portland Classic Guitar, and Marylhurst University all remain committed to presenting artists from many diverse backgrounds. We value each and every student, and each and every faculty, staff, and audience member—no matter your race, religion, sexual orientation, or country of origin.

Born in Iran to a musical family, Ms. Afshar’s artistry has been broadly celebrated. She won a top prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the Grand Prize in the Aspen Music Festival Guitar Competition, the Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist, and a National Endowment for the Arts Recording Award. She was also chosen as an “Artistic Ambassador” to Africa for the United States Information Agency.

Ms. Afshar’s wide-ranging musicality has led her beyond the traditional guitar repertoire. She is well-known for drawing from Persian and Azerbaijani folk music traditions—this concert will feature a number of ballads from both regions—and has inspired commissions by such contemporary classical composers as Carlo Domeniconi, John Baur, Reza Vali, Garry Eister, Gerard Drozd, Loris Chobanian, Arne Mellnas, Kamran Ince, Barbara Kolb, Marilyn Ziffrin, David Kechley, and Salvador Brotons. But she is also hailed for her performances of canonical composers, like Niccolo Paganini, Astor Piazzolla, and J.S. Bach. In addition, Ms. Afshar has been a pioneer of multimedia concerts for classical guitar, with performances involving narration and images along with the music. And although she is mostly known for her work on guitar, she has also performed on the sehtar, a traditional Persian string instrument.

Ms. Afshar is very active in the world of music education. She has degrees from the Boston Conservatory, the New England Conservatory of Music, and Florida State University, where she became the first woman to earn a Doctorate of Music in guitar performance. She pursued further studies at the Banff Centre for the Fine Arts, the Aspen Music Festival, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and the University of Southern California, where she took master classes with Andrés Segovia. Since becoming a tenured professor and head of the guitar program at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, Afshar has received the Eminent Faculty Award. In 2011 she was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Boston Conservatory. She conducts master classes worldwide and has released numerous educational DVDs.

A true citizen of the world, Afshar’s concert touring has taken her to solo, chamber music, and orchestral performance venues in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. From Wigmore Hall in London to the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, she has played before a wide range of audiences, and learned to bridge gaps of culture and distance through her music.

Complimentary appetizers, coffee, tea, and water will be provided in the lobby of St. Anne’s Chapel beginning at 7:15 p.m., and at intermission. Beer, wine and soft drinks will also be available for purchase. Marylhurst University is located at 17600 Pacific Highway, Marylhurst, OR (97036). To order tickets, call 503-830-1417, or visit