U.S. International Guitar Series Twentieth Anniversary Series in Portland
U.S. Classic Guitar founder and director William Jenks is excited to announce a concert series featuring six world-renowned masters of guitar beginning Thursday, November 16, 2023 and ending Thursday, June 6, 2024 at the appealing and neighborly Christ’s Church Episcopal Parish located in the heart of Lake Oswego. This upcoming 2023-2024 season will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of this unprecedented series where Portland Metro audiences have had the opportunity to hear the internationally famed classical guitarists of the world such as the Romeros, John Williams, David Russell, Sharon Isbin, and many more, as well as younger up-and-coming talent. A guitar series of this magnitude is normally only accessible in the biggest cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. These 2023-2024 concerts promise to be a high point in this historic series which will focus on a younger generation of artists many of whom rarely travel to Portland (and some of whom rarely travel to the United States). Four of these six virtuosos are female, and they have won multiple first prizes in the most prestigious classical guitar competitions of the world receiving the highest accolades from both critics and audiences alike.
Since 2004, U.S. Classic Guitar (formerly known as Portland Classic Guitar before converting to a non-profit organization in 2018), has presented over 175 concerts in a wide variety of venues across the Portland Metro ranging from small historic churches to much larger venues such as the Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin and the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Downtown Portland. Founder and director William Jenks is well known to the Lake Oswego area because he was on the music faculty at Marylhurst University as the guitar instructor and guitar ensemble director between 2015 and 2018 before its closure and prior to that he had a private teaching studio in West Linn. He also presented the guitar series concerts at Marylhurst University between 2011 and 2018, recorded four CDs and he has performed internationally across the United States, South America, and Europe. Jenks continues his commitment to music education by offering private guitar lessons in the Lake Oswego area, directing a community guitar ensemble, and scheduling master classes for each artist performing in the series which will also take place at Christ’s Church Episcopal Parish the day before each concert.
The guitar series will open on Thursday, November 16 with a young musical prodigy from Italy named Cristina Galietto who recently won first prize in the prestigious EuroStrings competition. This will be her first tour to the United States and she has just been granted an artist visa to perform here. Jenks discovered her incredible talent when he was performing a concert and judging a classical guitar competition in Mottola, Italy in July of 2022. Next will be the famed guitarist Irina Kulikova on Thursday, November 30 who is widely acclaimed for the rare beauty of her tone and her enchanting presence on stage, Irina Kulikova has established herself as one of today’s leading guitarists. She received over 30 awards for her artistry, including 1st prizes at the most prestigious international competitions.
The series will resume on Thursday, February 22 with Goran Krivokapic where Medici TV stated he is, “One of the most sought-after guitarists of today.” The Montenegrin guitarist won his first international competition in Belgrade at the age of fourteen and continued to win eighteen more including the first prize in the Guitar Foundation of America competition in Montreal, Canada in 2004 where Jenks witnessed his spellbinding performance firsthand. Next will be Croatian guitarist Lovro Peretić on Thursday, March 28 who has won over 30 prizes in international competitions with the most notable being first prize in the EuroStrings competition and first prize in the most recent Guitar Foundation of America competition. Today, he is regarded as one of the leading guitarists of the younger generation with his impressive catalogue of awards and performances, and he is invited to perform concerts at the most prestigious classical music festivals and organizations in the world.
To close this series will be two more female artists with the first being Ana Vidović on Thursday, April 25. Back by popular demand, she has performed more times in the series than any other artist. Ana Vidovic is an extraordinary talent with formidable gifts taking her place among the elite musicians of the world. She is known for her beautiful tone, precise technique, well-defined phrasing and thoughtful artistry and musicianship. Her international performance career includes frequent recitals, concerto engagements and festival appearances in most of Europe’s cultural destinations including Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, London, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Salzburg, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb. Her tours have also taken her to Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and across the United States. The last artist to perform will be guitarist Geneveive Leitner, on Thursday, June 6. With elegant virtuosity, guitarist Genevieve Leitner plays music from around the world and across time periods. She has performed in Chile, Germany, Mexico, Austria, Italy, Argentina and throughout the US. For six years, Genevieve lived in Santiago, Chile, where she delved into the music of Latin America, focusing on the composers and traditional rhythms from this region’s eclectic cultures. Her solo album, “Enamorada”, features Latin American dances and love songs.
All six concerts will be on Thursday evenings beginning at 7:30 PM with doors opening at 7:00 PM. Complimentary soft drinks, coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be served before the concert and during intermission and wine will be available for purchase. U.S. Classic Guitar staff works hard on creating a warm and friendly atmosphere where patrons can enjoy connecting with others and share a common love for music. Other community outreaches U.S. Classic Guitar will be involved in include scheduling master classes for each artist performing in the series on each Wednesday before the concerts from 7 PM to 9 PM. There will be up to four students taught live in front of a class of auditors and there will be time for questions and answers. The cost is $25 to audit each master class and $75 to perform in the master class.
Season Tickets for the series start at $275 which includes reserved seating, early entrance to the hall, and exclusive invitations to special events such as artist receptions. Individual tickets range from $29 to $65 per concert. Plenty of free parking is available. All events are held at Christ’s Episcopal Parish located at 1060 Chandler Rd., Lake Oswego, OR 97034. Most concerts will be held in the more intimate Miginnis Chapel which features excellent acoustics. Master classes will be held in the Guild Room. For tickets and more information Click Here or call 971-715-8097.