Main menu

CD Release: Brasil Guitar Duo Plays Leo Brouwer

Americas Society

February 19, 2016
SHARE:

Events

Brasil Guitar Duo. (Image: Gal Oppido)

In collaboration with:

Pre-registration for this event is now closed; box office will open at 6:15 PM.

Admission: FREE for AS and YPA Members; $20 for non-members. No additional fees will be charged when purchasing online. $10 tickets will be available for purchase at the door for students and seniors with ID.

Not yet a member? Learn how to become an AS member or a YPA member to access this event.

Brasil Guitar Duo, a 2006 winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, releases their Naxos CD of Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s (b. 1939) complete works for two guitars at Music of the Americas. Hailed by Classical Guitar magazine for its "maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity," the duo is equally at home on a classical or a world-music series. Its innovative programming features a seamless blend of traditional and Brazilian works, resulting in a full global touring schedule and a growing catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings. They have appeared internationally on major concert series and at festivals in Cuba, Germany, England, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil, Austria, Panama, Poland, and Bermuda. Committed to performing new chamber music employing the guitar, the duo joined cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto in the October 2014 world premiere of El arco y la lira, a work for two cellos and two guitars also composed by Brouwer. On the same program—a highlight of the sixth annual Festival Leo Brouwer in Havana—the Duo gave the Cuban premiere of Brouwer’s Sonata de Los Viajeros

The evening will be hosted by Terrance McKnight.

Program

J.P. Rameau Les cyclopes (arr. João Luiz)
M.C. Tedesco Prelude and Fugue no. 17 (C# minor)
E. Gismonti Selections (arr. João Luiz)
A. Piazzolla Zita
Leo Brouwer Sonata de los Viajeros
Marco Pereira Bate-Coxa (dedicated to BGD)

 

This performance is part of the Composers Now Festival.

Read more in the printed program for the concert (PDF).

About the composer

Composer, guitarist and music director Leo Brouwer was born in Havana in 1939. He studied composition with Isaac Nicola and completed his studies at the Julliard School of Music and at The Hartt School. In 1987 he was selected, along with Isaac Stern and Alan Danielou, to be honorable member of UNESCO in recognition for his music career. Brouwer has conducted orchestras around the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Scottish National Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Mexico National Symphony Orchestra. He has been heard as composer and classical guitarist at many major international music events, and his discography comprises over a hundred commercial recordings. His works have been recorded by John Williams, Julian Bream, Franz Bruggen, and Harry Sparnay as well as The Toronto Festival, the London Sinfonietta, and Festival Liège. He served as general manager of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra for ten years and since 1992 has conducted the Córdoba Orchestra in Spain. In 1998, Brouwer was awarded the Manuel de Falla prize and in 1999 the national music prize for Cuba. In recent years, Brouwer has continued his unique series of guitar concertos (Concierto No.7 "La Habana," Concierto No.8 "Concierto Cantata de Perugia," and "Concierto de Benicassim"), as well as written for a rich variety of other ensembles, most notably his horn trio of 2002, Picture of Another Exhibition. Leo Brouwer lives in Havana.

About the artists

Brasil Guitar Duo, a 2006 winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and hailed by Classical Guitar magazine for its "maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity," is equally at home on a classical or a world-music series. Its innovative programming features a seamless blend of traditional and Brazilian works, resulting in a full global touring schedule and a growing catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings. The duo has appeared internationally on major concert series and at festivals in Cuba, Germany, England, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil, Austria, Panama, Poland, and Bermuda. Recent and upcoming U.S. engagements include recitals in such major venues as New York, Santa Barbara, Miami, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, St. Louis, Tucson, Portland, Nashville, San Jose, and Oakland. Committed to performing new chamber music employing the guitar, the duo joined cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto in the October 2014 world premiere of El arco y la lira, a work for two cellos and two guitars by the esteemed Cuban composer Leo Brouwer. On the same program—a highlight of the sixth annual Festival Leo Brouwer in Havana—the duo gave the Cuban premiere of Brouwer’s Sonata de Los Viajeros, which they had presented in its U.S. premiere the previous month and recorded for a Naxos CD of Brouwer’s complete works for two guitars, scheduled for release in 2015. 

Eager advocates for both traditional and new concerti for two guitars and orchestra, the duo premiered a Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra by Brazilian composer Paulo Bellinati with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in June 2012 under the direction of Giancarlo Guerrero, and gave the work its U.S. premiere in April 2013. Recent concerto engagements include concerts with the Dallas and Houston symphony orchestras, Dayton Philharmonic (Ohio), Lancaster Symphony Orchestra (PA), the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (NYC), and the Heartland Festival Orchestra (Illinois). The duo's debut album, Bom Partido (CAG Records, 2007), featured all Brazilian repertoire and prompted Classical Guitar to write: "The maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity displayed on this debut recording by João Luiz and Douglas Lora is simply outstanding...The original compositions by Douglas Lora comfortably stand alongside the 'big names' on the rest of the programme and are well crafted and very appealing new works."

Two critically acclaimed CDs on the Naxos label, released in 2008 and 2009, feature the complete two-guitar works by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. The duo has also won praise for its recent Avie release, a collaboration with flutist Marina Piccinini that features all of J.S. Bach's sonatas for flute and harpsichord, arranged by the duo for flute and two guitars. Brasil Guitar Duo actively strives to expand the repertoire for two guitars, with Lora contributing works of his own and Luiz arranging both classical and Brazilian music. Appearing frequently in nontraditional spaces, the duo brings a broad repertoire of classical guitar duos (Bach, Sor, Scarlatti, Debussy, etc.) combined with such traditional Brazilian dance forms as choro, samba, maxixe, and baião. Duo members João Luiz and Douglas Lora met in São Paulo as teenagers and have been performing together for more than 15 years. The duo's primary studies were with Henrique Pinto, Fabio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Sergio Abreu, and Alice Artz. Douglas Lora earned his master's degree at the University of Miami as a student of Dr. Rene Gonzalez. João Luiz received his master’s from Mannes College the New School for Music under Michael Newman; with sponsorship from the Augustine Guitar Scholarship Fund, he is pursuing a doctorate at Manhattan School of Music as a student of David Leisner. He is head of the guitar department at the State University of New York-Purchase, and also teaches guitar at New Jersey City University.

About the host

Terrance McKnight is the weekday evening host on WQXR, where he also hosted the Saturday evening program, All Ears with Terrance McKnight, a show about musical discovery, which was honored with an ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award in 2010. McKnight’s musical experiences — from glee club soloist and accomplished pianist, to professor at Morehouse College, and finally as producer and host of several music programs for public radio — have consistently juxtaposed the European Classical tradition with American classic traditions, such as jazz, gospel, African American spirituals and other musical genres McKnight has hosted and produced several specials for WQXR including “I, Too, Sing America: Music in the Life of Langston Hughes”; “A Musical Journey in the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.”; “A Musical Biography of Pioneering Pianist Hazel Scott” and “A Musical Biography of Florence Beatrice Price.” Other activities for McKnight include appearances as a panelist or speaker with Chamber Music America, the Mellon Foundation, American Opera Projects and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s concert and lecture series.

About Composers Now Festival

The Composers Now Festival celebrates living composers, the diversity of their voices and the significance of their musical contributions to our society. During the month of February, the Festival brings together dozens of performances presented by venues, ensembles, orchestras, opera companies, dance companies and many other innovative events throughout New York City. Experience the sounds and get to know the creators behind the music. From jazz to indie, from classical to electronic and beyond, join us on a sonic journey through the landscape of the arts of our time. Find out more on the festival website.

Brasil Guitar Duo premieres Brouwer's Sonata de los viajeros in Cuba.