Cellist/composer/mystic Tanya Anisimova is a unique artist whose performances often encompass standard repertoire, original compositions and arrangements, and even otherworldly improvisations with her own vocal accompaniment. Her formal training and early career could be called “mainstream” – a graduate of Yale University, Boston University, Moscow Conservatory, and Moscow Central Music School, First Prize winner at Concertino Prague International Competition and the All-U.S.S.R. String Quartet Competition, and a top prizewinner at Min-On International Competition in Tokyo and First Shostakovich International Competition in St. Petersburg.
But her art has broadened into an exploration of music of all kinds. International recognition first came to Anisimova upon the CD release of her cello arrangements of J.S. Bachʼs Complete Violin Sonatas and Partitas. In 2007, she and Paul Katz premiered her “Caravan” for two cellos; a saxophone arrangement of the piece was selected as the favorite work at the 2012 World Saxophone Congress in UK.
Recent highlights include sold-out recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York, International Port Fairy Festival in Australia, a video performance of Bachʼs Chaconne, as well as performances of Shostakovich Concerto #1 in New Orleans and Tchaikovskyʼs Rococo Variations in Virginia Beach, Dvorak Concerto with McLean Symphony, Stage8 TV and “The Red Door Series” in Connecticut. She gives improvisation workshops around the U.S.
The Washington Post has described cellist Anisimova as a “highly focused artist” graced with “spiritual authority” and “an easy mastery of her instrument” and her original music as “melodious, mystical, and deeply emotional.”
Matt Palmer has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South America, and the Caribbean. A recent recipient of the “Up and Coming Guitarist of the Year” award by Guitar International Magazine, Matt has been described by critics as “a young artist about to make a real dent in the world of classical guitar” (Premier Guitar Magazine), “highly expressive and technically virtuosic” (Modern Guitars Magazine), “a truly accomplished and refined musician” (Cleveland Classical) and “one of the world’s best guitar players” (The Royal Gazette). An active performer, winner of numerous guitar competitions, and author of The Virtuoso Guitarist method, Matt Palmer has gained worldwide recognition as a virtuosic and soulful concert artist.
His numerous CD and DVD recordings have been applauded by Guitar International Magazine as “of the highest quality…with flawless technique, deep levels of personal expression, and an artistic integrity that seems far too rare these days.” Classical Voice of North Carolina proclaims Matt’s “positively nuclear” recordings display “stunning precision and unwavering accuracy enclosed in a huge dynamic envelope.” In addition, Matt’s pioneering guitar method, The Virtuoso Guitarist, has been recognized as a valuable addition to guitar pedagogy, and “indispensable for any advanced guitarist or teacher to include in their library” (Classical Guitar Review).
Matt Palmer has collaborated with many important composers to write new music for the guitar, and has premiered and recorded over three hours of new works by Tanya Anisimova, Rafael Scarfullery, Sergei Rudnev, Giuseppe Torrisi, Roger Hudson, Olga Amelkina-Vera, Lane Harder, Konstantin Vassiliev, Itamar Erez, Holly Gwin, and Fedor Kondenko.
Matt Palmer holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Arizona, where he studied with Thomas Patterson and Artists-in-Residence David Russell, Sergio Assad, and Odair Assad. In demand as a performer, his recent concert engagements have taken him to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Shakespeare Theatre, Benaroya Hall, The Guitar Foundation of America International Convention, numerous universities, guitar societies, and dozens of international guitar festivals throughout the world. Matt is the Director of Guitar Studies at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and Coordinator of the Eastern Shore Guitar Festival and Workshop. Matt Palmer is a Strings By Mail sponsored artist and plays D’Addario strings. Matt plays a handmade guitar by luthier Michael Thames.
Classical and flamenco guitarist Silviu Octavian Ciulei was born in Constanta, Romania. He began his musical studies at the early age of six and attended the High School of Arts, a Conservatory style school in Constanta. By age thirteen, he had won his first performance prize. Many awards soon followed including First Prizes in the National Music Olympics, and was First Prize winner and Gold Medalist three times consecutively in the “George Georgescu” International Music Performance Competition. He graduated at the top of his class and was selected to perform a Concerto with the Black Sea National Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2004, Silviu was awarded a Full International Scholarship to study guitar performance with Dr. William Yelverton at Middle Tennessee State University in the Nashville Music City area of Tennessee. Silviu is the MTSU School of Music’s first Full International Music Scholar and first four-time Undergraduate Research and Creativity Scholar and Grant recipient. Upon his graduation from MTSU he was awarded an Outstanding Achievement in Guitar Performance Award. Since coming to the United States, Silviu has won an impressive collection of prizes. Among these, First Prize at the Indiana International Guitar Competition, First Prize at the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Festival and Competition, FirstPrize in the Texas International Guitar Competition, First Prize in the Columbus Guitar Symposium, First Prize in the Appalachian Guitar Festival, First Prize in the Schadt String International Concerto Competition. A recent top prize winner in some of the most prestigious competitions in the world including the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition and the Parkening International Guitar Competition, Silviu is a world class performer. While competing in the Parkening Competition, Soundboard Magazine said Silviu …”gave a solid performance”… Silviu is also an acclaimed flamenco guitarist. He traveled to the south of Spain to study flamenco guitar and lived in Cadiz, Madrid and Seville. Some of his flamenco mentors include Adam del Monte, Ricardo Nunez, and Oscar Guzman. He has performed with his flamenco quintet Tequila Flamenco Group at the Guitar Foundation of America International Festival at Oberlin Conservatory, Eastfield Guitar Festival in Dallas, TX. Recent engagements with his new flamenco project Maharajah Flamenco Trio include an array of performances at many festivals such as the Southern Guitar Festival, the Eastern Shore Guitar Festival, Florida Folk Festival, Radford Guitar Festival and a tour of the eastern coast of the United States from Florida to New York. Silviu has also appeared as soloist with the Nashville, Allentown, Tallahassee, Hendersonville symphony orchestras, just to mention a few of the more recent concerto performances. Silviu holds a Bachelor of Music (BM) from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Master of Music (MM) and Doctor of Music (DM) in Guitar Performance from the Florida State University College of Music where he was graduate teaching assistant to distinguished professor Bruce Holzman. In addition to being a classical and flamenco guitarist, Silviu is also a fine flamenco singer and always fascinated with languages, Silviu speaks five fluently. After a few years teaching at FSU and other colleges in Florida, Silviu recently accepted a position at Furman University in Greenville, Soouth Carolina where he currently resides and is Professor of Guitar. A very sought after modern and dynamic artist, teacher, mentor and judge, Silviu appears regularly at many guitar festivals, workshops and conventions in the US and around the world.
Klasinc & Lončar Duo
…precise ensemble… high degree of technical mastery… stunning.
One of the highly experianced guitar duos, the Klasinc & Lončar Guitar Duo has been concertizing for over twenty years. This husband-and-wife duo has performed at numerous music festivals and concert series across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe. Their performances have been described as “eye-opening”, “outstanding”, “one of the best”, a “moving musical experience”, “enlightening”, “sparkling”, and “performed with uncommon virtuosity and musicality of the highest order” by concert presenters and music critics on both continents. Klasinc & Lončar’s concert programs blend baroque, classical and romantic compositions with Lončar’s original works, transcriptions, and arrangements of Croatian and other Mediterranean folk styles and music of the Viennese tradition.
Recent performances include the University of Ottawa, the University of Puerto Rico, the Marlow Guitar Series and the Croatian Embassy in Washington, DC, the Guitar Foundation of America Conference in Los Angeles, the Tuscan Guitar Society, the San Francisco Guitar Society, the European Guitar Teachers Association, the Appalachian GuitarFest, Tennessee Guitar Festival, the Vicksburg International Chamber Music Festival, and the Classical Guitar Ensemble Week in New Orleans. The duo has performed with the Gaudeamus Chamber Orchestra, the Karlovac Chamber Orchestra, and the Split Opera Chamber Orchestra in Croatia; with the Camerata Academica in Austria; and with the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra in the U.S.
Klasinc and Lončar formed their duo at the University of Graz, Austria, where they both studied the classic guitar with Marga Bäuml and Martin Mysliveček. They received their doctor of musical arts degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi. Klasinc & Lončar are winners of the Best Guitar Duo prize at the International Guitar Competition Toyoko Yamashita in Berlin.
In addition to performing, and teaching, Miroslav Lončar is also active as a composer. A grant from the Music Teachers National Association allowed him to study composition with Dušan Bogdanović in San Francisco. Lončar was recently commissioned to write the feature composition for the Loudoun County Public School All-County Middle School Guitar Festival. He is a member of the Education Committee for the Guitar Foundation of America.
Nataša Klasinc won numerous prizes at a number of national competitions in Croatia, including the Competition for Music Artists of Yugoslavia. While a student in Graz, she was a recipient of the Austrian National Scholarship. Nataša was also a winner of the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Concerto Competition.
Klasinc & Lončar have released two recordings: Images, featuring music for two guitars, and Con Spirito, which consists mostly of Lončar’s transcriptions for two guitars and cello. Miroslav’s solo album, From Foreign Lands, features some of the most famous works for solo guitar.
William Hart Wells
William Hart Wells is the Director of Guitar at Potomac Falls High School in Sterling, VA. Originally from Kings Mountain, NC, Hart studied under Dr. Douglas James at Appalachian State University. A North Carolina Teaching Fellow scholarship recipient, Wells graduated with his Bachelor’s in Music Education and began teaching K-5 general music at Granite Falls Elementary School in Granite Falls, NC and directing the guitar program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, NC. In 2004, Wells accepted a teaching position with Loudoun County Public Schools and has since served as the Director of Guitar for Potomac Falls High School in Sterling, VA. The program has received much acclaim with invitational performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington DC), the Department of Education (Washington DC), the Virginia Music Educator’s Association Convention at the famed Homestead Resort (Hot Springs, VA), the Cathedrals of Saint Paul the Apostle and Saint John the Devine (New York City, NY), the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD), as well as adjudicated performances in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Orlando. Mr. Wells’ students have won numerous prizes in the Beatty Music Scholarship Competition, the East Carolina University Summer Guitar Festival Competition, the Appalachian State University GuitarFest Competition, the Salisbury University Guitar Competition, the Aguado Guitar Competition, among others. In 2013, Wells completed his Master’s of Music in Guitar Performance at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA studying under the direction of Dr. Glenn Caluda. Mr. Wells has performed in masterclasses with Oscar Ghiglia, Eduardo Fernandez, Jason Vieaux, Bruce Holzman, Julian Gray, Matteo Mela, Stanley Yates, Raphaella Smits, Andrew Zohn, among others.
Loudoun Youth Guitars
Loudoun Youth Guitars is a performing group made up of select guitar students from Loudoun County, or students by Loudoun teachers. LYG performs throughout Loudoun County and the Metropolitan Area. They have given performances at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Croatian Embassy, the National Institute of Health, the Composer Society of Montgomery County, Loudoun County Public Libraries, Salisbury University, and other venues. Dr. Miroslav Lončar conducts the orchestra and Dr. Nataša Klasinc-Lončar is the assistant director.
Composer, performer, and recording artist Aaron Spoor performs a range of classical guitar repertoire from the Baroque to the Twentieth-Century periods. Mr. Spoor’s second album, Sans Souci, was released February 25, 2011 and features two premiere recordings: Saudades by Grammy- nominated artist Clarice Assad and the album’s title track, Spoor’s own original composition. The entire album was produced in Mr. Spoor’s studio in Mt. Baldy, California.
Offering an eclectic program, Mr. Spoor’s concerts have included works by Bach, Aguado, Giuliani, Tarrega, Martin, Rodrigo, and Piazzolla. Mr. Spoor has performed in a wide range of venues including Chicago’s Rudolf Ganz Memorial Recital Hall, Denver’s King Center Recital Hall, and the Feddersen Recital Hall in Walnut, California. Other performances include concerts for the Ventura County Classical Guitar Society, Pasadena Presbyterian Church’s Music at Noon Concert Series, First Congregational Church in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and Claremont United Church of Christ in Claremont, California.
Mr. Spoor received his Master’s degree in Music Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts where he received a conservatory scholarship to study under Sergio Assad. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he studied guitar under Alex Komodore, and composition under Dr. Nancy Gunn and Dr. Fred Hess. Mr. Spoor’s secondary teachers include Denis Azabagic, and David Evans and he has also had lessons with Pamela Kimmel, Angelo Favis and Paul Henry. In addition to his core curriculum, Mr. Spoor performed in master classes with David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Paul Galbraith, Lorenzo Micheli, Johan Fostier, and Judicael Perroy.
Since 1997 Aaron Spoor has operated and managed his own private studio where he teaches guitar, composition and music theory. From January 2004 through May 2006 Mr. Spoor served on the faculty of the McHenry County Music Center, in Crystal Lake, Illinois. August 2005 through August 2011 he served on the faculty at Mt. San Antonio College, in Walnut, California, where he taught Fundamentals of Music Theory, World Music, Rock History, Class Guitar, Guitar Ensemble, and Private Instruction. Currently he is on the faculty at Montgomery College, in Rockville, Maryland, where he teaches Class Guitar, World Music, and American Popular Music; and the International School of Music, in Bethesda, Maryland, where he teaches guitar and music composition.
Kevin Michaels has been performing for over a decade. Originally a self-taught guitarist, he attended Washington College, where he studied classical and jazz performance with Tom Anthony and Matt Palmer. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance in 2015. After graduating, Kevin moved to California, where he and his band Outram performed in many renowned venues, including the Whisky-a-Go-Go on Sunset Boulevard. From 2017 to 2018, he taught at Irvine’s WePlay Music Academy, a music school certified by the Royal Conservatory of Music. Kevin Michaels has performed on the east and west coasts, sharing the stage with artists such as the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Paul Reed Smith Experience, and members of the Afro Bop Alliance big band, as well as musicians such as Lloyd Grant (early Metallica guitarist), and Tony Castaneda and Eddie Veliz of the metal band Kyng. He has played guitar in the musical “Next to Normal”, and has recorded guitars for a number artists.
Luthier Bill Fonvielle, of Alexandria, VA, will be displaying his latest hand-crafted guitars at the Eastern Shore Guitar Festival. Stop by and try out his excellent guitars!
With a string of international scholarships and awards under his belt, Australian guitarist Scott Borg has been praised as a daring and innovative artist with “enormous facility on the guitar, a fluent technique, who plays with total confidence and professional expertise, panache and artful spontaneity.” As a winner of Artists International, New York Concert Review described his Carnegie Hall debut as “gracefully presented, and expertly played…each note was purposeful and focused, as was each rest.” His previous engagements have included performances in Spain, Mexico, Peru, Australia, New York’s Apollo Theatre and Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and a performance for the Westminster Kennel Club “Best in Show”. Additionally, he has collaborated with members of The Silk Road, Brooklyn Rider, Catalyst Quartet, Vail Dance Festival Remix: NYC, and members of the New York City Ballet.
Scott received his D.M.A from New England Conservatory, an Artist Diploma from Yale University, M.M from the Juilliard School, and a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong graduating valedictorian with first class honors. His primary teachers have been Eliot Fisk, Benjamin Verdery, Sharon Isbin, and Gregory Pikler. In 2001, he was the only recipient of the Australian Music Examinations Board highest honor, the Fellowship of Music.
He is currently director and conductor Baltimore Classical Guitar Society Orchestra, and is on faculty at Montgomery College where he is Artistic Director of the Mid-Maryland Guitar Festival. He is also a member of the breakthrough trio “the GREAT NECKS” whose album will be released later this year. His debut CD “On an Overgrown Path” was released on the Odradek Label. He is an Augustine Artist and uses Augustine Regal strings. He plays “Aranda”, a guitar by Stephan Connor.