Archive for the ‘Arts Residency’ Category

Days of American Culture in Russia Festival 2014

From May 13th through May 26th I had the great honor of attending the Days of American Culture in Russia Festival 2014 organized by the Educational Bridge Project. This was my second festival, though the first in which I participated in events in both Moscow and St. Petersburg. Being the first guitarist accepted into the program in 2013, I found some hesitation in what I, or my instrument could do, but that disappeared after my performances and the directors made my acquaintance, enough so that I received an invitation to return in 2014.

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St. Petersburg (click to enlarge)

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Kremlin Red Square, Moscow

The 2014 edition was packed tight. I arrived in Moscow on the morning of Tuesday May 13th. After checking into my quaint hotel close to the Bolshoi, I met with the EBP director Dr. Ludmilla Leibman and board member Barbara Turnow. We started visiting the Kremlin and Red Square, and to get my strength back from travel ate some tasty Georgian food. I tuned and practiced a bit before going to bed to sleep.

Show time! The next evening I played a two-hour solo recital with two encores in Oval Hall at the State Foreign Library. An extremely hospitable support with cultural curiosity and a vast knowledge of the reserves in the Library, my liaison, Nina Borisova Chief Methodologist, Department of Cultural Programs, treated me royally. The Oval Room is medium sized with high ceilings, and though without a stage, still perfect for a solo recital. A concert grand piano sat back to my left and chairs had been set out on the wood inlaid floor. Besides a couple of large windows on the far sides, the walls were lined with books behind locked glass doors. On closer inspection, the books, mainly in German and quite old, made me wondering why they were locked up and in German. I learned that they came to

Director Ludmilla Leibman, Director Elena Barash and EBP Board Member Barbara Turnow

Director Ludmilla Leibman, Director Nina Borisova and EBP Board Member Barbara Tornow

Russia after the surrender of WWII. At that moment, being an artistic bridge via music took on a different meaning. This was real, the books, the space all represented different cultures and though it is nice to think how they can bring people together, the trophies came at a cost. To find myself in such a culturally historic setting, already full of love and loss, which does not include written adventures found in the books made the moment of Art that much more important. If the books could speak…

Oval Hall, Moscow

Oval Hall was full with over 100 attendees of all ages, including many teenagers, and from many social levels and with only some being musicians. Though the program included three Russian premieres written for me by US composers Ken Ueno, Francine Trester and Kevin Siegfried, and a contemporary Japanese work Keigo Fuji, the audience did not have an issue taking in this modern music; rather I received quite a bit of very positive feedback. Though the musical languages were not standard, minimalist and a quartertone piece, dances and lullabies do not intimidate. I introduced each of the compositions, with translation provided by Dr. Leibman, and enjoyed even a little banter with the audience before the encores. The diverse and colorful program featured music from 19th century to today and from seven countries. Still the audience was impressive in their listening and sitting skills. After the concert I spoke with new fansany timbres of the guitar and explored the sounds of my Sicilian beauty alongside the Russian language.

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Aaron, Georges Devdariani, Ivan Eubanks and Yulia Tskhvediani

Another full house! The director of the festival, Dr. Leibman opened the event with a brief history of the Educational Bridge Project and a taste of her piano prowess with a Chopin Mazurka. The opportunity to collaborate with writers and actors in a performance was extremely special and satisfying. Though a lot of work and a bit nerve racking, I found it rewarding and I hope to be able to do it again both in Russia and closer to home. A very colorful reception followed the concert and then the three Americans took a quick taxi to the train station where we boarded the Red Arrow, an overnight train to St. Petersburg and formerly part of the Orient Express. The rocking of the train did not lull me to sleep as it did my cabin mates; rather I felt the side-to-side rocking well into the next day, but enjoying stories in the dining car, wondering who was around each corner felt exciting and a bit mysterious. My time in the historic city was done. She welcomed me warmly, listened to my music with great passion, and treated me well. I did not get into the politics nor did I worry for my

Savoy Hotel Capuccino

Savoy Hotel Cappuccino

safety. I also did not look for either. I can say: watch out for the $10 cappuccino! …that hurt.

Prior to Friday’s concert I traveled to northern Moscow where I taught a master class at the State University of Arts and Culture, organized by Zinaida Kartasheva. For the master class two young guitarists performed a duet by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Displaying their fine technique, their spirited performance and openness to new ideas of phrasing and musical

Masterclass Sergei Mikhail

Masterclass with host Sergei Matokhin

goals made for a very pleasant time. I also noticed that the master class was attended by instrumentalists of all stripes, not just guitarists, which impressed me. I’m also grateful for translators and the wonderful job in conveying my guitar lingo to the non-guitarist. A wonderful host, guitar professor Sergei Matokhin gave me a tour of the grounds and made sure all was well. Even the traffic back to the subway wasn’t so bad.

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St. Petersburg Sun

We disembarked from the Red Arrow in St. Petersburg early on Saturday morning. The morning light on this already beautiful city stole my heart. With six days to explore and work, I spent much time walking along the many rivers that moved quietly next to the refurbished palaces, ducking in and out of cafés, hearing music in the Grand Philharmonic, visiting museums, and laying in the parks that spot the city as oasis’ in the desert, watching people especially the many that love the late spring sun. A beautiful cultural center with more performance venues than I ever imagined, I walked and walked. Not quite White Nights, one could already feel the excitement of the longer days. With light after midnight and the magic of summer on the tip of the tongue, many couples walked hand in hand watching many bridges being raised at 1am along the Neva, attending concerts, creating sweet nothings on park benches and in café booths.

My performances in St. Petersburg were shared with other EBP participants from Boston, Cambridge, New York and local Russians. My main performance included the Moscow repertoire of the new contemporary works by Ken Ueno and Francine Trester, some Spanish pieces, a tango and the world premiere of Concert Champêtre by Thomas L. Read for cello and guitar. Written in 2013, the cello-guitar duo represents his third composition to feature guitar in the last 5 years. The others are a new lullaby for guitar solo and a quintet for stings and guitar titled Capricci released on Navona Records in 2013.

Anton Andreev and Aaron at the St. Petersburg Conservatory

Anton Andreev and Aaron at the St. Petersburg Conservatory

Concert Champêtre is a 9-minute single movement work full of rhythmic vitality and melodic beauty. The cello has a lead role singing in the upper register throughout, while the guitar is both accompanist and brief soloist with a great tremolo section and hearty scales. With its rhythmic complexities, the dueling percussion section rocks, and nuance the work requires both players to be tip top. Thankfully I had the great honor of working alongside Anton Andreev, cellist with the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet. We rehearsed for three days at Fontanka 41, a music association in St. Petersburg, and the premiere took place at the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg Conservatory as part of a contemporary music concert. *The Concert Champêtre score is to be published very soon by the American Composers Association (ACA) with the guitar part edited by me. More performances of this important addition to the repertoire will take place in the upcoming season both in the US and abroad.

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Aaron, Luba and her Creation

A spontaneous collaboration with Russian painter Luba Kostenko stirred many of youthful and idealistic emotions about Art, one of the high-points of the festival. I played at her studio for a salon concert during my first visit to Russia in 2013, and returned this year for a smaller more intimate event. After the performance and while we ate, sipped vodka she told me that when younger she would often go to the Marinksy Theater during rehearsals and paint the musicians, a rare honor. She found the sounds of the music and the structure of the rehearsals to be  complimentary to her work. So yes, I returned the next day and for 45 minutes I played while she drew and drew. Though she was my only audience I was also hers and we fed each other as Artists do. While she filled her sketchbook and then larger paper on her easel, the afternoon light colored the walls of her studio and I filled the room with Bach, Mertz, Spanish dances, Gershwin and contemporary works. The timbres danced with the rhythm of her chalk strokes and my heart raced to capture the moment. Not enough time for a full painting, inspired she still created. Over tea and cake with homemade jam from her dacha we discussed the arts and the world, the arts in the world and the arts as the world. Such an artistic experience I always dreamed about and yearned for in my life as artist. Being a direct part of creation in such a manner, both fleeting (me) and permanent (her), moved me and opened my heart to the roles we can play in society; they are both objective and subjective, and the need for each, organized and spontaneously, throughout our lives facilitates greater life and understanding of self and culture. This brief but intense artistic adventure embodies my creative life for which I am grateful.

The colors of St. Petersburg

The colors of St. Petersburg

Some other EBP festival events include a daylong cross-cultural collaboration at Baltic State University with performances by Americans and Russians, which featured wonderful essays and history lessons of the surrounding area given by our young hosts. A concert at the Izmailovsky Library, where our youngest participant (16 years-old) performed his own composition for trumpet and piano, and where I found a thirsty guitar audience with many autograph requests, not an everyday occurrence especially from 15-22 year-olds.  I also met the young American musicians: conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya and pianist Han Nah Son.  Both are very talented and I look forward to hearing more of their work.

On the last day of the festival Mikhail Bondarev first violin of the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet, treated me for a day at Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin just south of St. Petersburg. For the first time in 12 days, or five months if one wants to be picky, I did not have my guitar on my back. I traveled as a tourist and had to decline the requests for me to play with each of the introductions Mikhail made. I found myself in awe of the beauty and history of the grand historic residence. Destroyed by

With the Queen and her Escort

With the Queen and Her Escort

the Germans in WWII, the palace has been completely rebuilt based on pictures, drawings and paintings done before the war. Returned to its former grandeur with exuberant colors, maintained gardens, and exquisite architectural details, it happened to be the perfect way to close such a glorious musical adventure.

A great depth of gratitude goes to the founder and director of the festival Ludmilla Leibman. She organizes the concerts, raises the funds, and makes sure we try Russian foods. Barbara Tornow also deserves a big thank you for her hosting skills, making herself available at any time to assist in making the festival a positive experience for all participants. Many more people in the US and Russia makes sure the festival continues its high standards and stays true to its mission to be an Educational Bridge between cultures using the arts.

The Educational Bridge Project and the Eleanor Hale Wilson Summer Scholarship presented by the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation provided me with the financial support to attend. To both of these organizations I say спасибо!

 

 

 

2013 – A Listen Back on a Musical Year

Until I put this together I hadn’t realized what a year 2013 was… it was awesome!

A big thanks to all of the Artists who shared in the creative process this year.  I have great gratitude to the listeners from around the world who came to concerts, watched videos, bought CD and downloads and made each evening extremely special.   Special thanks to my wife Catherine and her sister Caroline for being my partners in this amazing adventure that is a musical life.

To 2014!  Another year of Music in Life and Life in Music!

Besides some amazing cups of coffee, here are a few of my musical happenings:

My Greater Boston House Concerts showcased five outstanding Artists: author Glenn Kurtz, pianist Sarah Takagi, Archguitarist Peter Blanchette, The AronBerkner Duo, and composer Kathryn Salfelder.

GBHConcerts on the web:  www.GBHConcerts.com
GBHConcerts on FB: www.facebook.com/gbhconcerts (lots of photos)

PREMIERES:

  • Capricci by Thomas L. Read for string quartet and guitar (iTunes)
  • Pravasa – Travels of the Guitar by Vineet Shende for SATB choir and guitar (FB photos HERE)
  • Six Pieces for Violin and Keyboard by John Cage (arrangement by Aaron L-C) 
  • White Potatoes by Charles Turner (New Lullaby Project)
  • A World of Your Own by Jim Dalton (New Lullaby Project)
  • Lullaby for Ewe by David Patterson (New Lullaby Project)
  • Ed è Subito Sera by Ken Ueno (New Lullaby Project)
  • Wheaton College Composers: Siv Anderson, Gordon Jones, Tim Larson, Montana Rogers (New Lullaby Project)

COLLABORATORS:

Boston Conservatory Feb. 2013

Boston Conservatory Feb. 2013

  • Sharan Leventhal, violin
  • Irina Muresanu, violin
  • Robert Sheena, English horn
  • Oratorio Chorale of Maine
  • Meghan Jacoby, flute
  • Betany Coffland, mezzo-soprano
  • Nicole Parks, violin
  • Farley Kelly-Masterton, violin
  • Faith Jones, viola
  • Nora Karakousoglou, cello
  • Andrea Nolin, flute
  • Colin Davis, violin
  • Natalie Favaloro, violin
  • Kenneth Stalberg, viola
  • Sarah Freiberg, cello
  • Berit Strong, guitar
  • Olav Chris Henriksen, guitar
  • Wheaton College Residency

PLACES:

  • St. Petersburg, Russia with the Educational Bridge Project (FB photos HERE and Read Blog HERE)
  • Messina, Reggio Calabria and Mantova, Italy (FB photos HERE)
  • Monaco
  • France
  • Highway 101 Tour: Oregon Coast (FB photos HERE)
  • Highway 101 Tour: Sacramento – San Jose- San Francisco – Willits – Chico – Petaluma
  • Maine
  • New York City
  • Louisville – GFA
  • Boston and New England

VIDEOS

  • Granada by Isaac Albeniz
  • España Cañi by Pascual Marquina
  • Shard by Elliott Carter
  • Six Pieces for Violin and Keyboard by John Cage (arrangement by Aaron L-C) 
  • A World of Your Own by Jim Dalton (New Lullaby Project)
  • Tango en Skai by Roland Dyens (with string quartet)
  • Japanese Program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRsdqstthxA
  • Fugue, BWV 962 by J.S. Bach

Watch them all at: http://www.youtube.com/aaronlcguitar/videos

Fun with camera:

NEW LULLABY PROJECT

The New Lullaby Project turned 7 in December!

Read the Blog post:

www.aaronlc.com/blog/new-lullaby-project-celebrates-7-years/

Meet the 41 composers at www.NewLullabyProject.com

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

There’s probably a few more items that I missed, but I got to get back to practicing.

Best,

Aaron

New Lullaby Project Celebrates 7 Years!

New Lullaby

In December 2006, I received the first commission for the New Lullaby Project from David Leisner titled, Disturbed, a Lullaby.  At first I thought that the project would not last with such an ominously titled first New Lullaby, but I was wrong.  The New Lullaby Project (www.NewLullabyProject.com) has proven that it will live through all parts of life’s successes and failures, including a house fire, injuries, and multiple moves.  Many of the early lullabies written during the early period of upheaval have a darker tone as if the composers wished to commemorate the personal trials and tribulations I was going through.  Needless to say, the obligation I felt to the many composers who entrusted their dots on the page with me kept me going through many a sleepless night.   

A Youtube channel for the New Lullaby Project features an interview and 18 videos of New Lullabies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B21nluWjFME&list=PL7E006D64BC311C6C

I had originally planned for the New Lullaby Project to run its course in a year or so with  New Lullaby, a CD featuring 14 New Lullabies by 13 composers, recorded in 2009 at Futura Productions and released in 2010, but as I kept receiving New Lullabies from composers I kept premiering new works.  New Lullaby garnered very positive reviews in Classical Guitar Magazine (UK), Audiophile, Fanfare and more.  One of my favorite quotes:  “This is not some godawful Classics-for-Baby CD, something new has been attempted here…” (Fanfare)

And then this from author and friend Glenn Kurtz:

New Lullaby CD 2010

New Lullaby CD 2010

New Lullaby is a beautiful, perceptive, and evocative performance that earns and deserves your rapt appreciation. Most of all, however, it felt to me like a courageous exploration of a mood or a state that is rarely identified, and these days all-too rarely enjoyed: attentive peacefulness. 
– Glenn Kurtz, author of ‘Practicing, A Musician’s Return To Music’

I knew a few of the composers featured on the CD prior to the project, but The New Lullaby CD also attracted the attention of many more new composers.  Since 2010 I have premiered New Lullabies by 23 composers, with some living as far as Australia and Poland.  I have also received another 20 or so by composers throughout the world…I know I have much practice and many performances to give!

Studying, practicing and performing so many new works by different composers challenged me as a musician and person in ways that I did not expect.  Each composer writes in their own voice with their own idiosyncrasies and understanding of the guitar, musical notation and symbols, and I have had to learn to decipher their dots and line and search for their voice in the music.  I could just play the notes of each piece and call it done, but I believe that happens all too often and is one reason new music gets a bad rap by musicians and audiences.  I could also make the works fit my personality, but I believe the performer should not overshadow the composer’s voice, which also means the composer must have a voice.  Luckily, all of the composers who have submitted New Lullabies are alive and well, and willing to discuss and collaborate on their compositions.  Sometimes this means re-voicing chords, adding or subtracting a section on occasion a whole new lullaby.  Occasionally these discussions are heated with disagreements about notation or intent, but all of them are extremely fruitful for both parties, at least I hope!

Some of the New Lullabies require unusual scordatura (alternate) tunings of one or more strings on the guitar, which has made my ears and tuning flexibility improve greatly.  Most notably Shhh by Ryan Vigil (6-E-flat, 4-D-flat, 2-B-flat), Cradle Song by Kevin Siegfried (6-C#), Whispering into the night by Kathryn Salfelder (4- D#), Ed è Subito Sera by Ken Ueno (1- D ¼ sharp), and Sui-huo by Kota Nakamura (5-G).  On two occasions the performer is asked to hum, whistle or sing: Berceuse by David Vayo (all three) and Cancion de cuna by Hayg Boyadjian.  Whistling and playing is an endeavor the conservatory did not prepare me for!

My intent with the New Lullaby Project is to expand the repertoire of the guitar, create beautiful music that demonstrate the guitar’s versatility and natural gifts, that are also approachable by the general public.  On a professional level I also wish entice composers who are intimidated by the guitar and its idiosyncrasies, it’s not a piano, to write for it, for Who is Afraid of a Lullaby?   The first couple of composers to submit New Lullabies were actually guitarists who are composers, but only six of the 36 composers whose submissions have been premiered to date have a background in guitar.  I find this to be one of the greatest success of the New Lullaby Project.

I have received New Lullabies inspired by Adam & Eve’s first night of sleep (Lynn Job), a leaky roof (Jonathan Feist), a television gone to snow (Eric Schwartz), a Cheyenne lullaby (McDonald), a newborn child (Michael Veloso), death (Jacob Mashak) and even exhaustion (Patricia Julien).  There are 12-tone lullabies by Mashak and Julian, and contrapuntal lullabies by Leisner and Alan Fletcher.

One of the criticisms, besides lullabies are for kids, which is just not true, is that some of the lullabies are not what many consider music to fall asleep with.  I let each composer be inspired by the project in their own way.  Some saw the composition as representing the process of sleeping, others the transition from one world to another, others the desire for sleep and some a piece that one should not hear the end of as the listener is sleeping, and even one wondered if we, as society, deserved such a simple lullaby as Brahms wrote as are world has changed.  Also, not each dance composed in the 20th-21st century is meant to be danced to either:

In a New Hampshire high school

In a New Hampshire high school

One of the joys of the New Lullaby Project is that it has taken me into colleges and universities across the country to work with young composers on writing for guitar.  Residencies at University of Nevada Las Vegas, CSU Bakersfield, Wheaton College, The Boston Conservatory, Tufts University and Boston University have garnered over a dozen New Lullabies by composers who see the guitar as an important instrument in their music education and future professional careers.  As many can attest, this has not always been the case in music circles.  I do not take credit for this change, but I am happy to be a part of it.

New Lullaby Concert, 12/10/11, Francine Trester, Hayg Boyadjian, John McDonald, Martin Schreiner, Demetrius Spaneas, Patricia Julien and Jacob Mashak

New Lullaby Concert, 12/10/11, Francine Trester, Hayg Boyadjian, John McDonald, Martin Schreiner, Demetrius Spaneas, Patricia Julien and Jacob Mashak

One of my fondest memories of the last few years of concertizing and including New Lullabies in my programs is my December 2011 New Lullaby Project Premiere Concert in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the complete program featured New Lullaby submissions, and five of the 12 pieces performed were world premieres.  With many of the composers in attendance, it was a fascinating night of music.

In Littleton, New Hampshire in April 2011, the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire sponsored an early evening family program featuring my New Lullabies.  I arranged the program so that each half had 4 New Lullabies followed by a dance, where many of the participants actually got up and danced.  Over 50 Parents and kids of All-Ages (newborn through H.S.) came and packed the hall, with many of the young-ins in their pajamas.  With kids sitting just a bit away from my feet, I had a rapt audience like I had never experienced.  Milk and cookies were served and it was good.New Lullabies in Littleton, NH

The future of the New Lullaby Project is exciting!

In New Lullaby Project premiere queue:

  • Scott Scharf, Chicago
  • Colin Homiski, London/Boston
  • Frank Warren, Boston
  • Marc Giacone, Monaco
  • Anton Tanonov, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Pamela Marshal, Boston
  • Ricardo Odriozola, Norway/Spain
  • Stanley Hoffman, Boston

A few of the New Lullabies are now published and available to the public.  Three of them by Jonathan Feist and Francine Trester were recently selected as required works by the MA-ASTA youth and senior division 2014 competition!

Plans are in the works for another CD of New Lullabies.

To ALL of those who have supported and participated in the New Lullaby Project, I thank you for making the last 7 years extremely satisfying and beautiful.  And to the MANY friends made through the sharing of music, I am eternally grateful for your trust and friendship.  I look forward to sharing more music with audiences, students and colleagues over the next 7 years.  Stay tuned!

Jonathan Feist & Aaron on Jonathan's pond

Jonathan Feist & Aaron on Jonathan’s pond

*A complete list of composers, reviews, videos and articles can be found at www.NewLullabyProject.com

Find the New Lullaby CD at:

iTunes

Amazon

CDBaby

Buy an autographed copy directly from the Artist:  wwww.AaronLC.com/store

 

Arts Residency Recital – 4 New Lullabies!

I am happy to announce that as part of a year long Guest Artist Residency at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, I’ll be performing a free recital on Wednesday, April 17th in the Woolley Room at Mary Lyon Hall.  The program features music by J.S. Bach; Elliott Carter; Boston-based composer Kevin Siegfried; new works by young Wheaton composers, and a duo with violinist Irina Muresanu of music by Ravi Shankar, in honor of the international music hero’s recent passing.  I am most excited by the fact that the program will feature four new lullabies by Wheaton composition students as part of my New Lullaby Project.   Click HERE for concert info.

Wheaton College Concert

I first came to the school in December 2012 to perform the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo with the student orchestra, The Great Woods Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Delvyn Case.  I returned in late February to work with four composition student, none of which had written for guitar.  I performed some solo pieces for them (Carter, Siegfried, Feist), discussed writing for the guitar (tunings, notation, possibilities and pitfalls) and took their questions.

In late March I came back with drafts of their new compositions and read through them for the class.  The experience was exhilarating and a bit nerve racking.   I had received two of the four the night before and only read through them that morning, some had some issue with their notation software, they were not sure what to expect and the first time can be a bit brutal for all of us.  After two hours, I think the students came away with an idea of how to improve the music (notation, voicing) to get their ideas across, take better advantage of the guitar and not kill the player’s hands.  Since then and over many emails I have received ‘new’ versions and am practicing away!  I am very excited for the upcoming concert.

It is a great honor to work with these young minds and present their work.  I hope you will join me for the concert!

-Aaron

New Lullabies by Young Composers:
Berceuse for Iris by Gordon Jones ‘14
The Edge bMontana Rogers ‘15y
Icarion by Siv Anderson ‘15
Post-Bedtime Adventure by Tim Larson ‘15

Also on the Program:
Suite BWV 996 by J.S. Bach
Shard by Elliott Carter (watch video HERE)
Tracing a wheel on Water by Kevin Siegfried
L’Aube Enchantée by Ravi Shankar, in honor of the music hero’s recent passing, with violinist Irina Muresanu

2011 – A Musical Year in Review

El Show de Fernandito w/Marisela Marrero & Leonard Caplan

Welcome to my first Year-in-Review.  All of the names words with underlines are links.  Please check out the amazing collaborators, awesome publications and very cool video and recordings.   Enjoy,

-Aaron

2011 started off with a bang with a program titled, “A Minor Concert of Major Works”.  The last third featuring the awesome Kai-Ching Chang on piano for the Concierto de Aranjuez.  The concert earned my first review with the Boston Musical Intelligencer (Read Here). I also returned to El Show de Fernandito for a performance & interview (Watch).  Got moving on Twitter:  @AaronLC

John McDonald

February: A return to Harvard University’s Pusey Room Series, directed by Carson Cooman with the wonderful Duo Diavolo (Orlando Cela).  My debut at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester (cupcakes included) was followed by a return to John McDonald’s Composition Seminar at Tufts University for a new lullaby sharing, and a trip out west to CSU Bakersfield, where Jim Scully & Roger Allen Cope hosted me for a recital and master class on their Guitar Arts Concert Series. Reviews of my New Lullaby CD appeared in Classical Guitar Magazine, Fanfare Magazine (2x), The Triangle, American Record Guide.

Woodville H.S., New Hampshire

Explaining the magic of nails at Lakeway Elem., Littleton, NH

March: A concert of contemporary music and a master class at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas was made possible by the wonderful New Lullaby composer Nolan Stolz (listen & watch on YouTube).  I returned to Colorado for concerts with the Alamosa Live Music Association (go Lucas Salazar!) at Adams State College, house concerts in Denver and Boulder, as well as much needed downtime in some amazing hot springs.  My return to Boston heard concerts for the Ligue Francophone and one of the most fantastic endeavors of 2011: a 13-performance, 3-concert and 3-workshop (20 events!) residency in one week in Northern New Hampshire (900 miles of driving!), sponsored by the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire (AANNH) and NEFA.  Amazing!

Alamosa after-party, Mexican style

Gabriela Granados

April: After a giant blizzard, the AANNH Residency finished with a concert by Duo Diavolo.  The magical dancer Gabriela Granados & I brought ¡Con Fuego! to Springfield for a lively concert with City Music Springfield.  I appeared solo on Canary Burton’s ‘The Latest Score’ on WOMR, Provincetown.  Reached 600 fans on Facebook!

May: Premieres of New Lullabies by Thomas Schuttenhelm and Michael Veloso in Cohasset & Boston, Mass.  Started Greater Boston House Concerts with the first performance by violinist Shaw-Pong Liu. Joined the faculty of the Boston Conservatory with Berit Strong and Olav Chris Henriksen to revamp the classical guitar program; a very cool month!

Thomas Schuttenhelm

June: Repeat performance of the May New Lullabies and ¡Con Fuego! was joined by cellist Rafael Popper-Keizer for its debut, during a downpour, at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT.  A repeat performance in Cambridge rocked!  WATCH Polo by De Falla (cello & guitar)

Rafael Popper-Keizer at Arts Ideas

July: Demonstrated how to say ¡Olé¡ at an Enrichment Program in the Berkshires (watch). Read review.  I gave a Spanish themed performance for the 2nd Greater Boston House Concert. (Read review)

Teo Morca, Catherine, Gabriela, Cee Bearden

August: ¡Con Fuego! set out west with Gabriela Granados, Catherine Larget-Caplan as navigator, for performances in Taos, NM (Taos Academy of Arts), & Alamosa (KRZA), Leadville (Tabor Opera House) and Centennial, Colorado.

September: Hurricane moved concerts and I moved people, musically speaking, on Cape Cod and at the University of Vermont in Burlington, where I premiered the first two 12-tone New Lullabies by Jacob Mashak and Patricia Julien and a 3-voice lullaby by Alan Fletcher.

October: Performances with pianist John Thomas and a solo enrichment program on the Cape and New Hampshire.  A new lullaby by Canary Burton was premiered as well.  Went down to Texas for debut performances at Esquina Tango in Austin & the Greater Houston Guitar Guild (radio too LISTEN). Sadly, Fort Worth fell through thanks to United/Continental (not fun!).  Texas premieres by Hayg Boyadjian, Jonathan Feist, Alan Fletcher, and Michael Veloso.  My work as an Artist Entrepreneur was featured in an article in the International Music Fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon’s magazine, The Triangle:  Building a career through talent and savvy.

Valerie Hartzell & GHGG

Apple Store Boston

November: Duo Diavolo teamed up for more concerts with Greater Boston House Concerts performing in Boston, Newton and Cape Cod the awesome music of Ravi Shankar, Astor Piazzolla, Enrique Granados and Toru Takemitsu. Reached 800 fans on Facebook!

Aaron & Orlando - Duo Diavolo

December: Duo Diavolo performed for the NEFA Idea Swap. The awesome chamber work Sextour Mystique (Mystic Sextet) by Villa-Lobos was performed by myself and  students from the Boston Conservatory.
• I recorded & released my first digital single:  Summertime by Gershwin arranged by Takemitsu (click to listen).
New Lullaby Project Concert was featured in the Jewish Advocate and the Dorchester Reporter.
A solo performance at the Apple Store was followed by a New Lullaby Project Premiere Concert of 12 New Lullabies (#’s 18-30) in Cambridge, MA and at Studio 99 in Nashua, NH, with seven composers present and milk & cookies.  The year ended with a performance and interview on Jewish Perspectives, a monthly program on Boston NBC 7.

New Lullaby Concert, 12/10/11, Francine Trester, Hayg Boyadjian, John McDonald, Martin Schreiner, Demetrius Spaneas, Patricia Julien and Jacob Mashak

2011 turned out to be pretty darn awesome!

***I know none of this would not be possible with the great love and support I receive from my wife Catherine Larget-Caplan and her sister Caroline. Thanks to the amazing composers who entrust their music to me; my duo partner Orlando Cela; all the organizations and people listed for making the concert/piece/article possible.  And to each person who takes a moment to just listen.  You rock!

Most Photos & Video courtesy of Catherine


Testimonial from the Berkshire Athenaeum All-Ages program

Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield, Mass.
July 6, 2011

Program:  Latin & Spanish Travels (click HERE to find out about Aaron’s Enrichment Programs)

Aaron Larget-Caplan performed today at The Berkshire Athenaeum to an audience of 90 children and parents.  Aaron’s musical talent surpassed my expectations; he is a true musician capable of playing alongside John Williams or any other famed classical guitarist.  When I closed my eyes and listened, I was transposed by his music.

So maybe you’re asking how this was appropriate for Children’s programming?  Aaron gave wonderful explanations about his instrument and music.  He told stories and explained how his music was itself a story.  He played and asked the children to guess what the music was about.  One little girl gave a great story about the music of F.M. Torroba:  “A prince met a princess and they lived in a castle and had a daughter named Marial, and she would ride her horse from castle to castle and then she was lonely and then…(pause)…¡Olé!”

Aaron was great at keeping the children’s interest in a genre of music and style that they had probably not heard before.  He introduced them to musical terms and stories of the Latin world which fit right in with our Summer Reading Program them: “One World Many Stories.”  It was a fun and educational performance.

As the Children’s Librarian and an administrator it was a pleasure to work with him.  He was easy to work with, pleasant and kind.  On a side note, he was also great and gracious to tune my guitar and give a short private performance after the main event.

– Miss. Nan

No you Can't Touch my guitar!!

No you Can't Touch my guitar!!

5-day Arts Residency in Northern New Hampshire

Join Aaron for Concerts (in Berlin, Littleton & Gorham) & “Artist as Entrepreneur” & Guitar Workshops

Aaron Larget-Caplan, a brilliant young Boston-based guitarist, is our guest artist for a five-day residency at North Country schools and other community sites Monday, March 28, through Friday, April 1.
“Aaron Larget-Caplan is a riveting artist whose musical styling begs immediate attention. His classical guitar performance was a treasure…”  –Washington Post
In addition to his work with students in area schools from Errol to Piermont, this talented artist will present three concerts, along with two guitar workshops and a lecture/discussion on “The Artist as Entrepreneur.”  Music lovers, artists, educators and community members — including families with children of all ages — are invited to join us at one or more of the public events!

Concerts

·  Noon, Monday, March 28 · The Bistro, White Mountains Community College,

Berlin (free, sponsored by the WMCC Student Senate)

· 6:30 pm, Tuesday, March 29 · Littleton Opera House, 2 Union St., Littleton ($10 adults, $15 families) — tickets at the door. This special concert, “New Lullabies & Dances,” is for everyone!  Children of all ages are invited to come in their PJs, join us for milk and cookies (supplied by the Littleton Food Coop), and hear lullabies new and old, by composers from Gershwin to UNH faculty member Ryan Vigil, who will be at the concert.  Read about Aaron’s New Lullaby Project athttp://www.aaronlc.com/newlullaby/
· 7 pm, Friday, April 1 · Gorham Auditorium, 20 Park St., Gorham ($10, $5 students, $20 families) — tickets at the door.  “The Nature of Dances and Dreams” is the first concert at the beautiful, newly renovated auditorium, and it’s a great start: Aaron is joined by Venezuelan cuatro player and flutist Orlando Cela, in a concert of Latin dances and works inspired by nature. The program includes “Venezuelan Waltzes” by Antonio Lauro, “History of the Tango” by Astor Piazzolla, and muisc of Erik Satie, Toru Takemitsu, David Vayo (NH premiere) and New Hampshire’s own Kevin Siegfried.

Workshops
All workshops are $10, $5 for students; preregistration requested (emailinfo@aannh.org or call 323-7302).

· 6:30 pm, Monday, March 28, at Old Mill Studio, 36 King Square, Whitefield:

The Artist as Entrepreneur. Artists in all disciplines are invited to this program about the value of being an entrepreneur for artists in the 21st century.  Aaron will cover topics addressing what the artist needs to do beyond his or her artwork, including using technology, the realities of operating a small business, marketing and promotion, and collaboration. Aaron will primarily use examples from music, but the lecture/discussion is appropriate for – and open to – all artists.

· 7 pm, Wednesday, March 30, Guitar Workshop at The Art Cellar, 75Main St., Plymouth (presented in partnership with Friends of the Arts). $10, $5 students.

· 6:30 pm, Thursday, March 31-  Guitar Workshop, Gorham Auditorium, 20 Park St., Gorham ($10, $5 students).

From tuning to stretching, scales and arpeggios to rasqueado (flamenco strumming), Aaron will introduce and work on warm-up techniques for guitarists at all levels, beginners to advanced. Though most of the focus will be on classical/fingerstyle techniques, all styles are welcome. Topics covered will include posture, right-hand technique, sound production, metronome work and more. Bring your guitar!

As part of each workshop, Aaron will offer a master-class session to one to three individuals who would like to perform and receive individual feedback in the group setting. If you would like to perform a piece, please call 323-7302 or emailinfo@aannh.org.  Bring your music as well as your guitar.

About Aaron Larget-Caplan

Boston-based guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan was born in Oklahoma and raised in Colorado; he made his debut at the Tabor Opera House at 17 years of age and has since performed as a soloist and chamber musician in venues around the US and Europe.  In 2006 Aaron released “Tracing a wheel on water,” which the great American composer Ned Rorem called “Musical, affecting and skilled.”  That year he also founded the Spanish classical music and flamenco dance group ¡Con Fuego!

In 2007 Aaron began the New Lullaby Project, a multi-compositonal endeavor that collects new lullabies from composers throughout the world for guitar solo.

Aaron has received awards and grants from the American Composers Forum, D’Addario Foundation, Denver Classical Guitar Society, music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he received an award as Outstanding Educator and Performer. He was the youngest solo roster artist with Young Audiences of Massachusetts.  His Arts Enrichment programs, “The Spirit of Spain” and “Latin Travels,”  have been called “enriching for all ages” & “a feast of sounds, colors and dance..” They are also educational and include stories, activities, poetry and anecdotes on the pieces and cultural history that allow the students of all ages and to approach music and life with better understanding.
Aaron’s residency is funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the NEA Regional Touring Progam, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of New England, including the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and by the New Hampshire Electric Co-op Foundation and TransCanada. Thanks also to our community partners and sponsors, including the Old Mill Studio,  the Town of Gorham,  White Mountains Community College, Laconia Savings Bank, Loon Mountain, Littleton Coin, the Sunset Hill House (Sugar Hill), Libby’s Bistro (Gorham), 150 Main St. (Errol), and Town & Country Motor Inn (Shelburne).

Click here to download a schedule and event posters..

Please help us spread the word by forwarding this email to friends, colleagues and anyone you think may be interested!