(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet brings its eclectic blend of critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks to the Mahaiwe on Saturday, May 6, at 6pm, as part of the Close Encounters With Music series. The program includes haunting works from the time of Cervantes; an arrangement of the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 6; a transcription from the opera “Carmen”; Far East and Irish classics; and works by famed guitarists Chet Atkins and Pat Metheny.
The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is comprised of four uniquely accomplished musicians bringing a new energy to the concert stage with programs ranging from bluegrass to Bach. They consistently play to sold-out houses worldwide. Their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground.
Unable to pin them down to any one narrow identity, the Los Angeles Times has called them “Either the world’s hottest classical ensemble or its tightest pop band. However it helps you to think about the LAGQ, keep the emphasis on superlatives for its unrivaled joy, technical élan and questing spirits.”
CEWM Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani anticipates their performance: “It was the instrument of choice in the Renaissance, as seen in countless paintings from the age, and re-emerged in full force as the voice of the counterculture Sixties. Leonardo da Vinci and Bob Dylan played it. It was a central erotic symbol in Braque’s work and the heartthrob of Mexican Latin American Music. Multiplied by four, it’s a sonic extravaganza.”
Originally from Minneapolis, John Dearman is a versatile guitarist whose repertoire ranges from samba to bluegrass, and from flamenco to classical. He enriches the sound of the LAGQ by performing on a unique seven-string guitar with extended upper and lower registers. John is currently director of the Guitar Chamber Music program at California State University, Northridge, in Los Angeles.
Matthew Greif is the newest member of the Quartet. In addition to being a classical guitarist, he has an extensive background playing in other styles, such as jazz, rock, flamenco, and bluegrass. Matthew’s recordings include Permanent Transition, which features duo improvisations with Andrew York and Dusan Bogdanovic. Matthew was named Outstanding Graduate of the U.S.C. guitar department, where he studied with William Kanengiser, James Smith, and Scott Tennant. He also studied jazz with Joe Diorio and Frank Potenza. Matthew currently teaches classical and jazz guitar at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, in the Los Angeles area.
Acclaimed soloist, recording artist and professor at the USC Thornton School of Music, William Kanengiser is one of the few guitarists to have won the Concert Artists Guild New York Competition. His solo recordings on the GSP label display his unique approach to programming, ranging from the music of the Old World to the Caribbean to his latest disc Classical Cool, an exploration of jazz currents for classical guitar. He has earned critical acclaim for his imaginative arrangements for solo guitar and guitar quartet, and for producing two instructional videos for Hot Licks. Kanengiser may be best known as the classical guitarist in the 1986 film Crossroads.
Celebrated as a world-class performer, author and teacher, Detroit-born Scott Tennant has been concertizing since the age of twelve. Much in demand as a solo artist, Scott has recorded for Delos International and is currently completing a recording project of the complete solo guitar works of Joaquin Rodrigo for GHA, Belgium. He is the author of the best-selling book and video Pumping Nylon, a technical handbook for the classical guitarist, and the five-part series Scott Tennant’s Basic Classical Guitar Method. He has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is now on the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music.
The performance is followed by an AFTERGLOW reception, with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by local restaurants.