Athens Guitar Duo
September, 22 2018 @ 7:30pm
Chattanooga State - HUmanities Auditorium
Whether it is for a large audience in Beijing, China, or an intimate in-home concert for a collection of enthusiasts in Monterrey, California, the Athens Guitar Duo (AG²) is becoming known for leaving “a deep impression on the audience with their passionate, meticulous, and masterful artistry.” They have opened up the world of the guitar to new audiences and have promoted the works of both modern and traditional composers with a youthfulness and freshness that makes the music of those composers come alive. And, after a busy inaugural year, the AG² is continuing to push the boundaries of the guitar on concert stages throughout the world.
Dusty Woodruff and Matthew Anderson met while studying at the University of Georgia with renowned teacher and Segovia student, John Sutherland. Formerly a part of the Athens Guitar Trio, Woodruff and Anderson have performed together for nearly a decade. Each member plays a guitar built by master luthier, Kenny Hill; these include an extremely rare 11-string guitar that extends the ensemble’s range. With this unique combination, the AG² explores the expressive capabilities of their instruments through diverse repertoire selections and creative and entertaining arrangements—some of which can be found on their debut CD, Magellan’s Playlist, Volume 1, on the Claudio Records label. This recording has received many positive reviews, and it has been featured on NPR’s “Classical Guitar Alive!,” BBC Radio’s “Late Junction with Nick Luscombe,” as well as other radio stations throughout the world. They will be returning to Brighton, England, in May 2015 to record volume 2.
The Athens Guitar Duo has performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe, and the People’s Republic of China. They have also been invited to perform for an impressive list of distinguished guests. These include former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter; the Pulitzer-Prize winning composer, William Bolcom; Simone Fontanelli of the Mozarteum in Salzburg; and the world-renowned guitarist, Christopher Parkening. The AG²’s explorations into the depth and wealth of the guitar repertoire, along with their increased flexibility and dedication to producing great performances, will open to new audiences the joys to be found in this music. In the words of St. John Brown, of MeridianFM (in the UK): "I'm not really a great fan of the guitar, but I thought [their CD] was wonderful, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it!"
Robby Gibson, guitar - Rachel Nozny, Flute
November 10th, 2018 @7:30 PM
Chattanooga State Community College
Flutist Rachel Nozny and guitarist Robert Gibson formed R2Duo in the spring of 2014. In addition to performing the standard flute and guitar repertoire, R2Duo also specializes in contemporary literature and enjoys working with living composers on the creation of new works. The mission of R2Duo is to be a versatile and creative ensemble that brings a high level of artistry and musicianship to many styles of music. Rachel Nozny and Robert Gibson are both faculty members in the John M. Long School of Music at Troy University and each enjoy active careers as educators and performers in South Alabama and its surrounding areas. R2Duo performs all over the South Eastern Unite States and were recently selected to perform at the 2016 National Flute Association conference in San Diego.
Rachel Nozny is currently piccoloist with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, an Adjunct Instructor at Troy University and flute instructor at the Montgomery School of Music. She holds degrees in flute performance from Mercer University and the University of Kentucky. Former teachers include flutists Kathy Farmer, Kelly Via, Gordon Cole, and world-renowned soloist Carol Wincenc.
Nozny’s previous engagements include Principal Flutist of the Bismarck-Mandan Wind Ensemble and Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra from 2009-2012, with whom she was a featured soloist in 2012. She currently plays with several symphonies including the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (Niceville, FL), Albany Symphony Orchestra (Albany, GA), and Macon Symphony (Macon, GA).
Dr. Robert Gibson began studying classical guitar in high school with Jennifer Whatley, continuing on to earn a Bachelor of Music in guitar performance under the direction of Dr. Matthew Dunne at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and both Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Texas at Austin with Adam Holzman. During this time, Gibson also pursued composition and arranging, studying with notable composers such as Donald Grantham, David Heuser, and James Balentine. In the summer of 2006, Gibson completed his fourth year of studies with the legendary guitarist and teacher Oscar Ghiglia at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.
Before teaching full time at Troy University, Dr. Gibson was on faculty at Faulkner University and also taught award winning high school and middle school programs for a combined six years. As a performer, Gibson has been a featured artist with several orchestras including the San Antonio Symphony, and toured as both a soloist and chamber musician around the United States, Mexico and Italy. As a promoter of new music, Gibson has collaborated with several composers on the creation of new works for the guitar has and performed world premieres of new works by composers Donald Grantham, James Norman, Traci Mendel and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Gibson has won prizes in several competitions including the Appalachian Guitar Festival Competition, the U.T.S.A Concerto Competition, and the M.T.N.A. National Competition. Robert received the Alumni of the Year Award in 2014 from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Masterclass, February 2nd, 2019 @10am
Chattanooga State Community College
David Leisner is an extraordinarily versatile musician with a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, a distinguished composer, and a master teacher.
“Among the finest guitarists of all time”, according to American Record Guide, David Leisner’s career began auspiciously with top prizes in both the 1975 Toronto and 1981 Geneva International Guitar Competitions. His recent seasons have taken him around the US, including his solo debut with the Atlanta Symphony, a major tour of Australia and New Zealand, and debuts and reappearances in China, Japan, the Philippines, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, the U.K., Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Puerto Rico and Mexico. An innovative three-concert series at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall included the first all-Bach guitar recital in New York’s history, and currently he is the Artistic Director of Guitar Plus, a New York series devoted to chamber music with the guitar. He has also performed chamber music at the Santa Fe, Music in the Vineyards, Vail Valley, Rockport, Cape and Islands, Bargemusic, Bay Chamber, Maui, Portland, Sitka and Angel Fire Festivals, with Zuill Bailey, Tara O’Connor, Eugenia Zukerman, Kurt Ollmann, Lucy Shelton, Ida Kavafian, the St. Lawrence, Enso and Vermeer Quartets and many others. Celebrated for expanding the guitar repertoire, David Leisner has premiered works by many important composers, including David Del Tredici, Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Philip Glass, Richard Rodney Bennett, Peter Sculthorpe and Osvaldo Golijov, while championing the works of neglected 19th-century guitar composers J.K. Mertz and Wenzeslaus Matiegka.
A featured recording artist for Azica Records, Leisner has released 9 highly acclaimed CDs, including the most recent, Arpeggione with cellist Zuill Bailey, and Facts of Life, featuring the premiere recordings of commissioned works by Del Tredici and Golijov. Naxos produced his recording of the Hovhaness Guitar Concerto with Gerard Schwarz and the Berlin Radio Orchestra. Other CDs include the Koch recording of Haydn Quartet in D with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Hovhaness Spirit of Trees for Telarc with harpist Yolanda Kondonassis. And Mel Bay Co. released a solo concert DVD called Classics and Discoveries.
Mr. Leisner is also a highly respected composer noted for the emotional and dramatic power of his music. Fanfare magazine described it as “rich in invention and melody, emotionally direct, and beautiful”. South Florida Classical Review called him “an original and arresting compositional voice.” Recent commissioners include the baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, Arc Duo, Stones River Chamber Players (TN), Fairfield Orchestra (CT), Red Cedar Chamber Music (IA), and the Twentieth Century Unlimited Series (NM). Recordings of his works are currently available on the Sony Classical, ABC, Dorian, Azica, Cedille, Centaur, Town Hall, Signum, Acoustic Music, Athena and Barking Dog labels. The Cavatina Duo’s recording of his complete works for flute and guitar, Acrobats (Cedille) was released to exceptionally strong reviews. His compositions are mostly published by Merion Music/Theodore Presser Co., as well as AMP/G. Schirmer, Doberman-Yppan and Columbia Music.
David Leisner is currently the Chair of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music. Primarily self-taught as both guitarist and composer, he briefly studied guitar with John Duarte, David Starobin and Angelo Gilardino and composition with Richard Winslow, Virgil Thomson, Charles Turner and David Del Tredici. His book, Playing with Ease: a healthy approach to guitar technique, is published by Oxford University Press.
April 16, 2019 @7:30 PM
Chattanooga State Community College
Rene Izquierdo, a native from Cuba, graduated from the Guillermo Tomas, Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and Superior Institute of Art in Havana. In the United States, Mr. Izquierdo earned a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma degrees from the Yale University School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery. While at Yale he represented the university in an exchange program with the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse du Paris and worked with guitarists Olivie Chassain and Roland Dyens. Rene has appeared as a guest soloist and in chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Cuba and Europe. He has shared the stage with prestigious guitarists including Eliot Fisk, Benjamin Verdery and Jorge Morel, as well as renowned flutist Ransom Wilson, soprano Lucy Shelton, David Jolley and Paquito d’Rivera. Renowned composers such as Jorge Morel and Carlos R. Rivera have dedicated works to him.
Mr. Izquierdo is a recipient of numerous awards. He is a winner of JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition in 2004, Extremadura International Guitar Competition, Schadt String competition, Stotsenberg International Guitar Competition among others.
He is currently a professor of classical guitar at the Wisconsin State University in Milwaukee and an active solo performer and chamber musician. Rene has studied with Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Eli Kassner, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, David Starobin, Eduardo Fernandez, Jorge Morel, Robert Beaser and Anthony Newman among others.