As SoloDuo, Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli have performed throughout Europe, Asia, the USA, Canada and Latin America, and have been acclaimed everywhere – from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Seoul’s Sejong Chamber Hall, from Kiev’s Hall of Columns to Vienna’s Konzerthaus – as one of the best ensembles ever heard. About one of their performances, “The Washington Post” wrote: “the duo’s playing was nothing less than rapturous – profound and unforgettable musicianship of the highest order.”
In addition to classic, romantic and modern repertoire, Matteo and Lorenzo – joined by lutenist Massimo Lonardi – have extensively explored Italian music from the XVII and XVIII century for baroque guitar and theorbo. Together, Matteo and Lorenzo have recorded François de Fossa’s Three Quartets, op. 19 (2004), a CD of 17th Century Italian music for baroque guitar, archlute and theorbo (“La Suave Melodia” with Massimo Lonardi, 2008), a CD of Arias and Cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti (“Clori, ninfa e amante”, 2013), an anthology of 20th Century masterpieces for two guitars (“Solaria”, 2007), the Duos Concertants by Antoine De Lhoyer (2007), a collection of chamber works by Mauro Giuliani (2008), a collection of 19th Century pieces for two guitars (“Noesis”, 2009), the Sonatas of Ferdinand Rebay (2010), the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (2012), and the album “Metamorphoses” (2014), as well as a dozen solo recordings on the labels Naxos, Brilliant, Contrastes, Kookaburra, Mel Bay, and Stradivarius.
They are the Editors of the “SoloDuo Collection” for the Canadian publisher Productions d’Oz.
Matteo resides in Geneva, Switzerland, where he teaches at the Conservatoire Populaire. Lorenzo lives in Milan, Italy, and teaches at the University School of Music in Lugano, Switzerland. Since 2015, they are Artists in Residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Maharajah Flamenco Trio
Maharajah Flamenco Trio delivers a moving and dynamic expression of Flamenco Nuevo (New or “modern” Flamenco), by blending traditional Spanish rhythms with jazz, classical, and world music.
Founded in 2011, Maharajah Flamenco Trio is the brainchild of Silviu Ciulei. After successfully leading flamenco bands in Romania and Tennessee, Silviu was looking to put something together in his new home, Tallahassee, Florida. He wanted this group to be smaller than previous endeavors, more intimate, with players virtuosic enough to fully accompany and realize his compositions. He met David Cobb by chance. Both were hired through a mutual friend to play a city festival and both were intrigued by each other’s playing style. Once Silviu met Ramin, he realized he had found the perfect players, and brought them together to create Maharajah Flamenco Trio. Not long after, they began to tour, playing theatres, universities, and venues along the east coast, from the Dixie Theatre in Apalachicola, FL to The Shrine in Harlem, NY. They have appeared on television, as well as NPR, college, and internet radio, and in print around the southeast. They have been the featured artist two years running at the Southern Guitar Festival and were recently featured in Florida State University’s annual Rainbow Concert, a showcase of the great world music scene in Tallahassee.
In 2013, they released their first studio album, Encuentro, a musical encounter that transports the listener around the world. Rich and finely-nuanced, the album captures the diverse musical backgrounds and technical virtuosity of the trio to create a singular listening experience of unique and daring music.
Dr. Miroslav Lončar (pronounced Lonchar) - a teacher, performing artist, and composer for guitar, is a native of Croatia living in Sterling, Virginia. He teaches guitar and the multicultural performance group World View at Park View High School. Dr. Lončar directs the Loudoun Youth Guitars and is the president of the Aguado Guitar Concerts - a group of guitar enthusiasts that promotes classical guitar and provides a variety of performance opportunities for guitarists in Loudoun County. Dr. Lončar has served on the Guitar Foundation of America Education Committee and is a member of the Composer Society of Montgomery County and the Association of Croatian American Professionals.
Dr. Lončar started his music education in his native Croatia and went on to study in Austria, where he received his master’s degree, and later in the United States, where he earned his doctorate. Dr. Lončar has taught classical guitar, music history, music theory, music appreciation, and German, and during the twenty years of teaching has worked with students at all levels, from primary to university. Prior to joining the music department at Park View High School, he taught at the University of Southern Mississippi, William Carey University, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, and Sacred Heart Elementary School. Seventeen years ago, Dr. Lončar began conducting the Karlovac International Summer Guitar School and the Imotski Summer Guitar School in his native Croatia, where young guitarists and world-class teachers meet every summer for classes, concerts, and other fun activities. A number of students who attended the Karlovac International Summer Guitar School have gone on to study guitar at prestigious universities. Most of them are now successful performers and teachers.
In addition to teaching, Miroslav Lončar has been performing on classical guitar throughout Europe and the United States, mosty in the Klasinc&Lončar Guitar Duo with his wife, and recently with the Lončar Trio that includes their daughter Maya, and with the NOVA Guitar Quartet which includes the Loudoun County Guitar teachers Dr. Adam Kossler, and Dr. Matthew Dunlap. Lončar has appeared as solo artist with the Dubrovnik Festival Orchestra, the Graz Philharmonics, the Mississippi Symphony, the Meridian Symphony, the Gulf Coast Symphony, the Symphony of West Florida, the Loudoun Symphony and other orchestras. He has recorded several albums; solo, with the Klasinc&Lončar Duo, Trio Bolero, the calypso group Kaiso, and 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.
Guitarist 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 debut CD, Un tiempo fue Itálica famosa, has been applauded by Guitar International Magazine as “an album 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” debut displays “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 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, Matt’s recent concert engagements have taken him to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Shakespeare Theatre, 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 guitar made by esteemed luthier Michael Thames.
Rafael Scarfullery is a classical guitarist, composer, orchestral/choral conductor, and organist. He has performed in the USA and abroad, including solo recitals at Carnegie Hall in NY and El Teatro Nacional in Santo Domingo. He was the recipient to the most important classical music award in the Dominican Republic and has organized seven international guitar festivals there. Rafael has a BM, MM and DMA in guitar performance and a MM in orchestral conducting. He has four professional certifications from the American Guild of Organists and is the music director at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Charlottesville. Rafael’s Youtube Channel (scarfulleryguitar) features 100’s of his guitar compositions. He has his guitar music scores and CD’s available for purchase and his website is: www.RafaelScarfullery.com.
Douglas Seth has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary and has appeared on both TV and radio. Douglas has been described as “an incredibly skilled musician…” (Morning Star Publications) and “virtuosic…” (Delaware Arts Info). His guitar works have been published through Mel Bay Publications. Douglas performs regularly in the cross genre ensemble, Mosaic String Duo, drawing from a variety of musical influences and cultures. Mosaic String Duo recently released their debut recording of original music entitled, Dead Reckoning. He holds a Master of Music degree from Austin Peay State University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Before moving to Delaware, Douglas directed a thriving guitar program at Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Florida, where he was also the music department chairperson. Douglas has also served on the faculty of Delaware State University and Salisbury University. Currently, he is teaching at the Guitar Academy of Southern Delaware which Douglas founded in 2010 and the Music School of Delaware. Douglas’ students have won competitions and gained admission into university guitar programs.
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.
Charles Mokotoff holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in guitar performance from Syracuse University and Ithaca College, respectively. He has served on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities in New York and the New England area as a lecturer in classical guitar and lute.
Prior to settling in the Washington, DC area, Mr. Mokotoff made his home in New England where he was widely recognized as an active guitarist and lutenist. During that period his career culminated with two Far East tours and a well-received New York City debut at Carnegie Hall. Solo and ensemble recitals over the past few seasons have centered around the Mid-Atlantic states, but include performances in Chicago, Boston, and most recently two performances at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library in New York City.
Classical Guitar Magazine (U.K.) has called his playing, “truly monumental” as well as “engaging and rhapsodic”. ClassicalGuitarMusic.org has written that his playing shows “a mix of strong tone, pianistic at times, but also capable of beautiful legato phrasing and a natural feel for forward movement.” Earlier in his career, Mr. Mokotoff was described by the New York Times as “exceptional among debutantes…a thoughtful, gentlemanly artist, technically fastidious and able to coax a range of sounds from his instrument.”
Mr. Mokotoff, hearing-impaired for a good deal of his life, is an outspoken proponent of making music with hearing loss. For further information, please see the website http://www.charlesmokotoff.com.
Ian Wardenski began his musical studies at age 15 under the guidance of John Lahovski, Peter Sittler, and Frank DiBussolo. During this time Ian attended the Creative Music Institute in Emmaus, Pa., where he studied music theory, composition, and improvisation. He also participated in various ensembles, which performed throughout the Pennsylvania Tri-State Area.
Wardenski graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, Ca., with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. While there he studied music theory/musicianship under Denis Moreen and Michael Schmitz, and classical guitar under Richard Patterson and David Dueñas. He performed in a number of chamber ensembles and jazz ensembles which appeared throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Wardenski also gave numerous solo recitals throughout Northern California.
In fall 2004, Ian received a Master of Music in Music Theory from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. While there he studied music theory/musicianship under Robert Shankovich, and classical guitar under Thomas Kikta and Aaron Shearer, author of the Learning the Classic Guitar series. Wardenski completed his Ph.D. in Music Theory at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he studied music theory/musicianship under Steven Strunk, author of Harmony (New Grove Dictionary of Jazz), Linear Intervallic Patterns in Jazz Repertory and Harmony of Early Bop: A Layered Approach. In addition to his work with Strunk, Ian studied music theory with Paul Taylor and Andrew Simpson, and classical guitar with Richard Miller.
Wardenski believes strongly in a close relationship between scholarship and performance, and promotes this relationship in his classes. This passion for research and performance can be seen in his graduate thesis Engaging the Musical Mind: Promoting the Value of Music Theory and Analysis Toward Authentic Interpretation and Performance of Selected Works of Francisco Tarrega, as well as in his dissertation Harmonic and Phrase Rhythm Analysis of the Core Dance Movements from the Four Lute Suites of J.S. Bach. Further, Wardenski brings his enthusiasm of scholarship and performance to the concert stage. He has given lecture recitals throughout the United Sates, as well as Europe. Additionally, Ian has shared the stage with many jazz greats including Ray Ascione, Jerry Ascione, Marty Knepp, Jason Gano, Tom Pitta, and Frank Russo. Ian recently formed the Ian Wardenski Quintet – an innovative ensemble that combines the esthetics of a chamber group with the freedom and improvisation of a small jazz combo.
Wardenski is Chair of Performing Arts, and is an Assistant Professor of Music at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md. He teaches courses in music theory, sight singing and ear training, jazz harmony, jazz history, and guitar. Ian is also the music director for the AACC Small Jazz Combo, as well as the AACC World Class Jazz series. Ian currently resides in Annapolis, Md., with his wife, soprano Tamara Tucker.