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Segovia Classical Guitar Series Showcases World Artists

Top talent from Croatia, U.S.A., Ireland, China and Azerbaijan to perform during series

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The 21st annual Segovia Classical Guitar Series will shine a spotlight on both award-winning and up-and-coming artists from around the globe. Croatia’s Zoran Dukic, America’s Eliot Fisk with Israeli-American cellist Yehuda Hanani, Ireland’s Dublin Guitar Quartet, China’s Wu Man and the Republic of Azerbaijan’s Rovshan Mamedkuliev are its featured performers. 

Co-presented by the Northwestern University Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music and the Chicago Classical Guitar Society, the five-concert festival runs from Jan. 19 through April 13. Three of the Evanston campus programs will be held in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, and two in the more intimate Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place, as noted.

The festival honors Andres Segovia (1893-1987), a virtuoso Spanish classical guitarist, who is widely considered by scholars to be one of the greatest classical guitarists of the 20th century and the father of the modern classical guitar movement.

This season acclaimed guitarist Eliot Fisk, who will be performing at Northwestern for the third time, will perform alongside cellist Yehuda Hanani. Their Feb. 2 classical program will feature works by Boccherini, Schubert and Spanish masterpieces.

Making her Evanston campus debut is Wu Man, considered one of the world’s greatest pipa players and named 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America. She not only performs traditional works for the pipa -- a four-stringed Chinese lute -- but also Grammy nominated contemporary pieces that she has written or that top composers have written for her. During her April 9 campus appearance, Man will present the Chicago premiere of one of her own multi-media compositions, “Ancient Dances,” with percussionist Robert Schulz. 

Another series highlight is the Dublin Guitar Quartet, which will perform arrangements of contemporary masterpieces by Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Arvo Part as well as an arrangement by an Irish punk band.

Subscriptions for this year’s five-concert series, which include prime reserved seating and a savings of more than 10 percent off single-ticket prices, are $95 for the general public and $45 for students. Northwestern faculty and staff who present a valid WildCARD receive a 15 percent discount off the general-public price for single tickets only.

SEGOVIA CLASSICAL GUITAR SERIES

  • Croatian guitarist Zoran Dukic opens the 2014 Segovia series at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, in Lutkin Hall. Praised for his “passionate interpretations, sensitive musicality and bravura technique,” Dukic has won more than 30 prizes at prestigious international competitions. The only guitarist to have won both of the Andres Segovia competitions in Granada and Palma de Mallorca, he has inspired commissions from composers Sergio Assad, Dusan Bogdanovic and Vojislav Ivanovic. Dukic is currently on the faculties of the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and the Escuela Superior de Musica in Barcelona. His program will include works by Llobet, Malats, Piazzolla and Barrios. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs. 
  • Eliot Fisk will be joined by cellist Yehuda Hanani at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The last direct pupil of Andres Segovia, Fisk has been hailed as “the king of the American classical guitar.” He is known worldwide for his expansive repertoire, including works that he has transcribed himself as well as commissioned works from composers Luciano Berio, William Bolcom, Xavier Montsalvatge and others. Fisk has collaborated with flamenco, jazz and world music artists, including Paco Pena, Bill Frisell and the Miro Quartet. In 2006, he was awarded the Cruz de Isabel la Catolica by King Juan Carlos of Spain for his service to the cause of Spanish music. Fisk, who teaches at the New England Conservatory, is the founder and artistic director of Boston Guitarfest. Cellist Yehuda Hanani has appeared with many of the world’s top orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony and Philadelphia orchestras, and has collaborated with Aaron Copland, Christoph Eschenbach and Itzhak Perlman. Together, Fisk and Hanani will perform a wide range of repertoire, including a Boccherini sonata, Schubert lieder and Spanish classics. Tickets are $24 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
  • The Dublin Guitar Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Dubbed a “quartet with a difference,” the ensemble is devoted exclusively to contemporary music and has expanded the classical guitar canon through arrangements of works by modern masters, including Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Arvo Part. Comprised of Brian Bolger, Pat Burnnock, David Creevy and Tomas O’Durcain, the quartet is releasing a new album available on Glass’ Orange Mountain Music label. The ensemble has collaborated with rock artists The Redneck Manifesto and Owen Pallett (formerly known as Final Fantasy). The concert will feature works by Glass, Reich, Part, Ligeti and others. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
  • Grammy-nominated pipa virtuoso Wu Man will perform with percussionist Robert Schulz at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Wu Man has been called a “one-woman force of nature” and is credited with giving new life to the 2,000-year-old pipa, a four-stringed Chinese lute. She has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet and Silk Road Project; commissioned works from leading composers Tan Dun and Philip Glass; and performed as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Man has recorded for numerous labels, receiving a Grammy nomination both for her performance of Lou Harrison’s Pipa Concerto with the Silk Road Project and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as her performance of Tan Dun’s Pipa Concerto with the Moscow Soloists. Man is currently a Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Grammy-nominated percussionist Robert Schulz, who serves as principal percussionist for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Boston Landmarks Orchestra, will also perform. Man’s program will include traditional Chinese and contemporary works as well as the Chicago-area premiere of her own multi-media composition, “Ancient Dances,” with Schulz. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.
  • Rovshan Mamedkuliev will bring the Segovia Classical Guitar Series to a close with a performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 13, in Lutkin Hall. Winner of 23 international competitions, including the 2012 Guitar Foundation of America prize, guitar virtuoso Mamedkuliev has toured Europe extensively. An advocate of new music, he has premiered new works by Philippe Lemaigre and Elena Lebedeva. Mamedkuliev will perform works by Stepan Rak, Leo Brouwer, Andrew York, Turina, de Falla and others. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit Pick-Staiger. To order subscriptions or single tickets call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000; to order single tickets online, visit Pick-Staiger.

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