International Guitar Festival lineup

2013-11-07T00:00:00Z International Guitar Festival lineupCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 


Student Competition:

Beeston Guitar Competition Finals

Sunday, November 10, 2:30 p.m.

Holsclaw Hall, $5

Guest Artist Recital:

Grisha Goryachev, flamenco and classical guitar

Friday, November 15, 7:00 p.m.

Holsclaw Hall, $25 general, $15 students

Guest Artist Recitals:

Sergio Assad and Odair Assad, Grammy winning guitar duo

Saturday, November 16, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 17, 2:30 p.m.

Holsclaw Hall, $30 general, $25 UA employees and seniors 55+, $20 students

For festival information and updates, please visit the Bolton Guitar Studies website:


Grisha Goryachev

Known for his technical precision and fast arpeggios, Grisha Goryachev performs many styles of Flamenco with infallible rhythm. As a flamenco guitarist, his interpretations of some of the great Flamenco composers in a striking display of pure virtuosity keep bringing audiences back to his art. There is an incredible amount of intensity and emotion in this music.

Grisha is one of very few guitarists in the world who is reviving the tradition of solo flamenco guitar in a concert setting that was practiced by legendary flamenco masters such as Ramon Montoya and Sabicas.

Grigory Goryachev began to play the guitar at the age of six, studying first with his father, Dmitry, an acknowledged master teacher of the instrument. Following his debut at the age of nine, Grisha enjoyed an extensive career as a child prodigy, performing regularly before large audiences in the most prestigious concert halls of his native St. Petersburg, Moscow, Minsk, Riga, and other major cities in the then Soviet Union. He also appeared regularly on Soviet television. His participation at the age of 13 in the TV marathon "Revival of St. Petersburg," was transmitted live to more than one hundred countries worldwide.

In 1991, Goryachev was awarded second prize in the Danny Kaye International Children's Awards held in The Hague, Netherlands. Sponsored by UNICEF, this competition featured participants on all instruments from 26 countries. Following a tour of Spain, Goryachev was invited to play for flamenco legend, Paco de Lucía, who soon after personally intervened in support of his application for an American visa, subsequently awarded in the year 1997 on the basis of extraordinary ability. Since coming to the United States, Mr. Goryachev has continued his lifelong love affair with flamenco while deepening his involvement with the classical style.

As the flamenco repertoire is for the most part unpublished, Grisha has performed the somewhat incredible feat of transcribing entirely by ear from the recordings. He strives to keep alive older flamenco masterpieces that now exist only on records, by performing them in concerts. Grisha exposes the audiences to some of the best guitar compositions flamenco has to offer. Instead of merely copying, he creates his own interpretations of these masterpieces, using dynamics and tone colors usually associated with classical music.

Grisha received his Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Musical Arts (dissertation pending) degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied under famous guitar virtuoso Eliot Fisk. He was one of the 30 people selected for the prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship in 2006, recognizing him for exceptional achievement in his chosen field. Since his immigration to the United States, Grisha has toured extensively in the States and abroad as a performer, instructor, and judge for many prominent festivals and venues. A believer in exposing young people to the beauty of classical and flamenco guitar, he likes to include outreach performances and workshops at schools as part of his concert tours.

Grisha's YouTube videos have collected over two million views and many notable comments (see a link below). He has recorded two CDs, "Alma Flamenca" and "Homenaje a Sabicas."

Grisha currently plays the following instruments: flamenco blanca and flamenco negra by Lester DeVoe of Nipomo, California (also played by Paco De Lucía); seven-string flamenco negra by Matthew Morello (Ogden, Utah); and classical guitar also by Matthew Morello. Flamenca Negra guitars are made out of rosewood back and sides, contrary to the traditional Flamenco guitar which uses cypress wood for the back and sides. The guitar which Grisha is currently using in his concerts is a DeVoe Flamenco guitar with cypress back and sides too. However, the back and sides are lacquered with a striking blue dye mixed in!

Sergio and Odair Assad

Brazilian-born brothers Sergio and Odair Assad have set the benchmark for all other guitarists by creating a new standard of guitar innovation, ingenuity and expression. Their exceptional artistry and uncanny ensemble playing come from both a family rich in Brazilian musical tradition and from studies with the best guitarists in South America. In addition to setting new performance standards, the Assads have played a major role in creating and introducing new music for two guitars. Their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers to write for them, among them Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Radamés Gnattali, Marlos Nobre, Nikita Koshkin, Roland Dyens, Jorge Morel, Edino Krieger and Francisco Mignone. Now Sergio Assad is adding to their repertoire by composing music for the duo and for various musical partners both with Symphony Orchestra and in recitals. They have worked extensively with such renowned artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Fernando Suarez Paz, Paquito D’Rivera, Gidon Kremer and Dawn Upshaw.

The Assads began playing the guitar together at an early age and went on to study for seven years with guitar/lutenist Monina Távora, a disciple of Andrés Segovia. Their international career began with a major prize at the 1979 Young Artists Competition in Bratislava. Odair is based in Brussels where he teaches at École Supérieure des Arts, and Sérgio resides in San Francisco and in Paris. He is on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory.

The Assads' repertoire includes original music composed by Sérgio Assad and his re-workings of folk and jazz music as well as Latin music of almost every style. Their standard classical repertoire includes transcriptions of the great Baroque keyboard literature of Bach, Rameau and Scarlatti; and adaptations of works by such diverse figures as Gershwin, Ginastera and Debussy. Their touring programs are always a compelling blend of styles, periods and cultures.

The Assads are also recognized as prolific recording artists, primarily for the Nonesuch and GHA labels. In 2001, Nonesuch Records released “Sérgio and Odair Assad Play Piazzolla,” which later won a Latin Grammy. Their seventh Nonesuch recording, released in the fall of 2007, is called "Jardim Abandonado" after a piece by Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was nominated for Best Classical Album and Sérgio went on to win the Latin Grammy for his composition, “Tahiiyya Li Oussilina.”

A Nonesuch collaboration with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg in 2000 featured a collection of pieces based on traditional and Gypsy folk tunes from around the world. The Assads and Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg continue to tour together, displaying unique chemistry, humor and stunning virtuosity. In 2003, Sérgio Assad wrote a triple concerto for this trio that has been performed with the orchestras of São Paulo, Seattle and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In the summer of 2004, Sérgio and Odair arranged a very special tour featuring three generations of the Assad Family. The family presented a wide variety of Brazilian music featuring their father Jorge Assad on the mandolin and the voice of mother Angelina Assad. GHA Records has released a live recording and a DVD of the Assad Family live at Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts.

The Assad Brothers’ collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma is ongoing. In 2003 the Brazilian record “Obrigado Brazil” was released, featuring Rosa Passos, Egberto Gismonti and Cyro Baptista. Sérgio arranged several of the works on the disc, which captured a Grammy in 2004. A world tour followed, culminating in live concerts at the opening of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and another Sony release of the live concert. In the fall of 2008, the Assads are featured on Yo-Yo’s chart topping release, “Songs of Joy and Peace,” which features guest artists as diverse as James Taylor and Dave Brubeck. In the piece “Familia” Yo-Yo plays Sérgio’s composition, featuring mother, Angelina Assad, sister Badi and children Clarice, Rodrigo and Carolina.

In the 2006-2007 season, the Assad Brothers performed Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto Madrigal for Two Guitars” and Sérgio’s arrangement of the “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2007, and again in 2008, the brothers toured with the Turtle Island Quartet in a program called “String Theory.” In the winter of 2008, the Assads curated a guitar festival at the 92nd St. Y in New York, and then toured with some of those artists in a project called “Brazilian Guitar Festival” featuring Badi Assad, Romero Lubambo and Celso Machado. In February 2009, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is premiering a new concerto for orchestra and four guitars at the Southwest Guitar Festival in San Antonio, Texas. Recent projects include a tour with Lebanese singer, Christiane Karam, percussionist Jamey Haddad and composer/pianist Clarice Assad in a project entitled, “Da Volta as Raizes” (Back to Our Roots). The music explores the brothers’ Middle Eastern heritage. The Assads were also featured performers on James Newton Howard’s soundtrack of the Universal Pictures movie, “Duplicity.”

About Thomas H. Beeston

The final round of the Ninth Annual Thomas H. Beeston Memorial Guitar Competition will feature four finalists, chosen from the semi-final round held the previous day. Each finalist will perform a 20-minute program in this public recital venue. Thomas Beeston believed that music is our common denominator and that it has the power to heal, to inspire and to transform. It is in this spirit of heart-felt music that we celebrate the guitar and his memory. Highly regarded as a guitarist and luthier, Tom was a leading figure in the evolution of Tucson as an international center for the classical guitar. He was a friend and mentor to Norman Douglas Sholin, founder of the UA Guitar Program, as well as Sholin’s first classical guitar teacher. Thomas served as an advisor to the UA guitar program until his death in 1999.

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