Portland Classic Guitar is proud to announce its 2009-2010 concert series. Now in its fifth year, this one-of-a-kind program (directed by PCG proprietor William Jenks) runs from October 2009 to October 2010, and features ten concerts. Each is an unparalleled opportunity for Portland-area music fans to experience world-renowned classical guitarists – many of whom rarely travel to Portland (and some of whom rarely travel to the United States) – in one of three fantastic settings. In addition, Jenks continues his commitment to music education by scheduling master classes to accompany many of these concerts.

This year’s schedule is distinguished by two rather astonishing bookings, both of which raise the bar on a series that is already well on the way to becoming a Portland-area cultural institution. The first is the eagerly anticipated reunion of guitarist Angel Romero with the Romeros, the family-based guitar group that he helped found. Rightly called the “Royal Family of the Guitar” – not least because of their invention and perfection of the guitar quartet format – this ensemble is the world’s only dynasty of guitar virtuosi (composer Joaquin Roderigo referred to them as “the grand masters of the guitar”). Angel Romero has not performed with the Romeros since the 1970s – but on January 22, 2010, he rejoins them for this special PCG concert, which will in turn be the world premiere of a quintet version of the group, as well as the kickoff engagement for a national tour. This concert promises to be a must-see event.

The other standout booking this season will also be the first Oregon appearance of an artist who needs no introduction, but whose US concertizing has been, unfortunately, all-too-rare: the legendary John Williams. Arguably the greatest living guitarist in the world – and one of those rare guitarists who is well-loved by many who are not otherwise fans of the genre – Williams will be appearing in the series on October 22, 2010. Again, Williams needs no introduction, though it should be noted that he studied with Segovia; has worked with such luminaries as Julian Bream, Itzhak Perlman, Andre Previn, Cleo Laine, John Dankworth and Daniel Barenboim; and records for Sony Classical. Again, a concert not to be missed.

Both the Romeros and John Williams will be appearing at the brand new Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin – a venue that features great acoustics, excellent parking, and comfortable seating for up to 2500 people. But another portion of the 2009-2010 PCG season will take place at the First Congregational Church, in downtown Portland (this stellar venue hosted last season’s sold-out performance by Angel Romero and Elliot Fisk).

Perhaps the best known of the artists to be featured in this second venue is Grammy-winner David Russell, who is both critically acclaimed (the New York Times called him “a talent of extraordinary dimension”) and an audience favorite. Russell will be performing on April 20, 2010 (and offering a master class on Wednesday, April 21). Rising star Ana Vidovic will precede Russell on November 14, 2009 (with a master class on Friday, November 13). A former student of Manuel Barrueco, and one of the youngest guitar virtuosos in the world (she was also the youngest student to attend the prestigious National Musical Academy in her native Croatia), Vidovic has been wowing audiences internationally since she was 11. In her short career, she has already given over one thousand public performances.

Rounding out the First Congregational Church portion of the 2009-2010 PCG series are two other in-demand artists. First is Portland-based Latin American guitarist Alfredo Muro (appearing on May 22, 2010). Originally from Peru, Mr. Muro specializes in a wide range of musical styles, though he has a particular love for Brazilian music. Among other honors, he was the featured artist at the Kennedy Center for the Millennium Concert Series in Washington D.C. And finally, there is the Acoustic Guitar Summit, featuring Grammy-winning guitarists Doug Smith, Mark Hanson, and Terry Rob (appearing on September 11, 2010). This group, widely recognized as one of the premiere fingerstyle ensembles in the country, will perform a program of blues, jazz, folk, and pop pieces.

The remaining concerts in the 2009-2010 PCG series will be held in Milwaukie, in Jenks’ well-known teaching studio – providing a rare opportunity to hear world-class music in a more intimate and engaging space. First up (October 2, 2009) is the Paris Guitar Duo, an exciting French group featuring Judicaël Perroy and Jeremy Jouve – two recent Guitar Foundation of America First Prize winners, and each a highly sought-after artist in his own right. Another new pairing, well known on the concert circuit for their performances of works by composers like François de Fossa and Antoine de Lhoyer, is the Italian group SoloDuo, featuring Lorenzo Micheli and Matteo Mela (February 26, 2010). The other two PCG-based concerts of the season are equally promising: Duo Spiritoso, featuring Jeffery McFadden and Dr. Andrew Zohn (June 5, 2010), have made a name for themselves in part by exploring the oeuvre of such diverse composers as Rossini, Vivaldi, Bartok, Sergio Assad, and Celso Machado. And Gabriel Bianco (March 20, 2010) has won numerous awards (including the 2008 Guitar Foundation of America International Solo Competition – the prize for which was the 50-concert tour that brings him to Portland) and has been featured in over 30 music festivals.

In short, with the announcement of the 2009-2010 PCG concert series, Jenks continues to raise the artistic and cultural profile of the Portland area. Each event promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience. These performances will sell out, so please consider purchasing tickets in advance. Season passes are also available.

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