2016-2017 Sundin Hall Concert Series

Our concert season is co-sponsored by Sundin Music Hall at Hamline University.  Matching funds have been provided by General Mills, AT&T, and Excel Energy.

Lily Afshar

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, 8:00 pm— Sundin Hall

Lily Afshar has grounded her career on a strong foundation of excellent formal education. With a bachelor's degree from The Boston Conservatory, she earned her Master of Music at The New England Conservatory and went on to study at Florida State University, where she became the first woman in the world to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Music in guitar performance. She conducts master classes worldwide and has released many acclaimed recordings and instructional DVD's for guitar. As a performing guitarist, she has won a top prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, 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, among others, and she was chosen as an "Artistic Ambassador" to Africa for the United States Information Agency. 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.

Iliana Matos

Saturday Oct. 22, 2016, 8:00 pm—Sundin Hall

Hailed as a "Guitar Guru", (E. Veritas, University of Miami), Cuban born Iliana Matos has won many prestigious awards, including first prizes in the Andrés Segovia in Palma de Mallorca, Luys Milán, and Manuel Ponce International Guitar Competitions. She made history by becoming the first woman to win the prestigious S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina International Guitar Competition, and the only guitarist to win the special prize for Best Interpretation of Spanish Music in two consecutive years, 1995 and 1996. Her highly acclaimed GSP CD "Angels in The Street" has earned universal acclaim from critics: "Her name deserves to go down in guitar history as one of the great players of our time." (Classical Guitar Magazine); "a match-made-in-heaven recording that is about as perfect as guitar records get... she simply, radiantly shines, a virtuoso in service to the music" (American Record Guide). With her love of contemporary music and desire to develop the guitar repertoire, Iliana Matos has premiered works by numerous composers, including Eduardo Morales, Tomás Marco, Zulema de la Cruz, and many others. As well, she has performed extensively throughout Latin American, USA, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Dean Magraw

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016—Sundin Hall

Dean Magraw's life as a guitarist, composer, arranger, and producer reveals an artist uniquely consistent in his ability to rise to the highest level of musical expression in a dazzling array of contexts. Dean's passion transcends all perceived musical boundaries, yet the vital essence of his distinctive style is ever present, whether he's performing and recording as a solo artist, leading his own ensembles such as the experimental jam band Eight Head, or collaborating with such notables as Japanese shamisen prodigy Nitta Masahiro, classical violinist Nigel Kennedy, South Indian vocalist and vina virtuoso Nirmala Rajasheker, epic songstress and storyteller Ruth MacKenzie, Irish supergroup Altan, radio and film celebrity Garrison Keillor, jazz bassist Anthony Cox, and countless others. Once the listener gets beyond the history and into the mystery, Dean the musician takes over: with tone and taste, unveiling soulful melodic grooves intricately designed to heal the broken dancer, confuse the boldest mathematician, and eradicate ennui in our lifetime.

"Dean Magraw… so liquid, lyrical and effortless it's like listening to a dancer." -Steve Tibbets

GFA winner Thibaut Garcia

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, 8:00 pm—Sundin Hall

Born in Toulouse, France, Thibaut Garcia began to play the guitar at the age of seven. Garcia credits his Spanish origins as a primary influence on his way of thinking. He studied in Toulouse where he received his chamber music diploma and his guitar diploma, with academic honors. At sixteen, Garcia entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, where he would complete his Bachelor's, with academic superlatives, with Olivier Chassain. He currently studies privately with Judicaël Perroy. At twenty-one, Garcia has already won several international competition prizes including first prize at the Guitar Foundation of America in Oklahoma City in 2015. Garcia has already begun an international concert career, having performed in France, Spain, England, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Canada, United States, Brazil, Greece, Argentina, Mexico, Russia, and China. In his native France, Garcia was recently featured on La Boîte à Musique (The Music Box) where he was invited to perform on national television by Jean-François Zygel. Garcia was also recently awarded the distinction of "filleul" (Godson) by the Académie Charles Cross, a cultural organization that acts as an intermediary between goverment policy makers and professional musicians in France.

All Strings Considered - Guitarathon

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, 8:00 pm—Sundin Hall

Join us for a delightful evening of music played by Minnesota musicians on instruments from the guitar family.

Mobius Trio

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, 8:00 pm —Sundin Hall

Described by the eminent Sergio Assad as "the most inventive and exciting young guitar ensemble today," Mobius Trio has made it its mission to fully integrate the classical guitar into the 21st century's adventurous musical lexicon. The Trio exclusively performs music that they have commissioned; they seek to expand the guitar ensemble's repertoire to encompass all of the myriad currents passing through contemporary art music. Mobius Trio has commissioned over three dozen composers in their first few years of existence, and that pace isn't slowing. Recent commissions include Sergio Assad, Luciano Chessa, and Ryan Brown, with more pieces and collaborations on the way. Mobius Trio was formed in 2010 by guitarists Robert Nance, Mason Fish, and Matthew Holmes-Linder while studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. They started things off with a bang, commissioning and learning five pieces within the span of a couple of months, and performing many of those pieces at Washington, DC's Kennedy Center the following April. Matt, Rob, and Mason are all accomplished, competition-winning guitarists in their own right, and they all live and work in San Francisco. When not rehearsing, the group enjoys home brewing, BBQ, hacky sack, and nature documentaries.

Vladimir Gorbach (replacing Emanuele Buone, see Nov/Dec 2016 Newsletter)

Saturday, Mar. 25, 2017, 8:00 pm—Sundin Hall

Vladimir Gorbach, whose last concert in Minnesota, as part of a GFA tour during our 2012-13 season, nearly sold out. In addition to his performance at Sundin Music Hall on March 25, he will offer a masterclass at MacPhail on Sunday March 26, 2:00-4:00. Since his last visit, Vladimir's career has continued to grow and flourish. In 2013 he took on �new duties to lead the guitar program at California State University, Fullerton, and became the firstInternational Artist Fellow in Music at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music to pursue his Doctoral of Musical Arts (DMA) studies. (USC's most elite graduate fellowship, nick-named the "Rhodes Scholarship" for the Arts, which is granted annually to only one fellow in each of six arts schools at USC).

He has performed in recital and as soloist with chamber ensembles of Orchestra de Las Beiras, the Orchestra de Aveiro (Portugal), the Russian Academic Chamber Orchestra Musica Viva, the Symphony Orchestra of New Russia, and Junge Philharmonie Köln , as well as appearances at the Moscow Philharmonic Concert Series, Koblenz International Guitar Festival (Germany), Guitar Art Festival Belgrade (Serbia), Vienna Guitar Forum (Austria), Nantes Summer Guitar Academy (France), Vondelpark Festival (The Netherlands), and Sydney Crows Nest Concert Cycle (Australia), in addition to giving master-classes at numerous festivals.

In 2015 Vladimir started his appointment as Head of Guitar at The University of Sydney, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Raphaella Smits

Saturday, Apr. 22, 2017, 8:00 pm—Sundin Hall

Raphaella Smits plays worldwide on eight-string guitars and historical instruments. Recognized as 'an uncommonly musical guitarist' (Tim Page, New York Times), she always commits to the soul of the music. Her solo recitals as well as her performances with distinguished colleagues always meet enthusiastic audiences and press. She has made 20 recordings, many of them listed as indispensable to refined music lovers. Raphaella Smits is internationally praised as an inspiring teacher for both guitar and chamber music. In addition to her chair at the Lemmens Institute in Belgium, she regularly gives master classes in West and East Europe, in North and South America and in Japan. Raphaella studied classical music at the Royal Conservatories of Antwerp and Brussels. She also went to José Tomàs to perfect her playing at the "Catedra Andrès Segovia" in Spain. In 1986 she was the first woman to win the first prize of the "XX Certamen Internacional de Guitarra Francisco Tarrega", the famous international guitar competition in Benicasim, Spain. Chairmen Andrès Segovia and Narciso Yepes, both expressed their admiration for Raphaella's musicality and put prophetic confidence in her future achievements.

Classical Guitarathon

Saturday, June 3, 2017—Sundin Hall

The annual Classical Guitarathon is always an exciting season finale, an opportunity to see some of our favorite local guitarists alongside new and emerging talents, all on the beautiful Sundin Hall stage.