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Segovia Classical Guitar Series Opens Nov. 13

Top guitarists from around the world will dazzle audiences with their repertoire

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University’s 2014-15 Segovia Classical Guitar Series will spotlight Russian repertoire, a blend of American and Brazilian jazz, and performances that explore the colorful sounds and international styles of the guitar. The series begins Nov. 13 and runs through April 4.

Co-presented by the University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music and the Chicago Classical Guitar Society, this season’s array of globally-renowned guest artists includes the Russian Guitar Quartet, Croatian virtuosa Ana Vidovic, Russia’s Anton Baranov, the Brazilian-born brothers Sergio and Odair Assad and Brazilian jazz guitarist Romero Lubambo, Belgium’s Raphaella Smits and Adrien Brogna, and the Canadian Guitar Quartet.

The annual event 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.

The following concerts will take place on the University’s Evanston campus at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, and Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place, as noted.

2014-15 Segovia Classical Guitar Series

• The Russian Guitar Quartet, a group devoted to preserving the rare seven-string Russian guitar, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in Lutkin Hall. Since almost no music for this instrument remains, the ensemble has based its repertoire on paraphrases of orchestral, operatic and piano music. Founder Oleg Timofeyev has focused his research and concerts on “Moguchaia Kuchka,” the influential “Russian Five” composers -- Mussorgsky, Borodin, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov and Balakirev. Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

Ana Vidovic, who will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, in Lutkin Hall, has been praised for her “finely-honed technique and stylistic sensitivity” that sent her career to great heights early in life. At age 3, she became the youngest student to attend the prestigious National Musical Academy in Zagreb. She later studied with Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore where she graduated in 2005. Vidovic went on to win several international competitions, including New York's Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Eurovision Competition for Young Artists and Rome's Fernando Sor Competition. Boasting a recorded repertoire ranging from Bach violin sonatas to Piazzolla tangos, she continues to captivate audiences across Europe and the United States. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

Anton Baranov, known for his daring interpretations and innovative program, will appear on stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Lutkin Hall. His repertoire includes works by Legnani, Barrios and Anton Abril. Baranov has won more than 15 prestigious international guitar competitions, including the Andres Segovia, Agustin Barrios and Michele Pittaluga competitions. He has performed throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada and Brazil and recently completed his first recording on the Naxos label. Baranov also teaches at his alma mater, the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

• The Assad Brothers will share the stage with Romero Lubambo in a showcase entitled “Samba Exotico” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Sergio and Odair Assad have played a major role in creating and introducing new music for two guitars, winning Latin Grammy awards both for performance and composition. Their repertoire includes Sergio Assad’s original compositions and arrangements, transcriptions of baroque keyboard literature and adaptations of works by Gershwin, Ginastera and Debussy. Romero Lubambo brings his improvisatory skills to music drawn from his Brazilian roots and American jazz influences. He also has established himself as a composer and performer on his own projects as well as those of Trio Da Paz, a Brazilian jazz group. The Assads and Lubambo have worked with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Cuban saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, American jazz singer Dianne Reeves, violinists Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Argentina’s Fernando Suarez Paz, and American soprano Dawn Upshaw. Tickets are $26 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

Raphaella Smits and Adrien Brogna will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, in Lutkin Hall.  Influenced by composers Mertz and Coste, Smits and Brogna will play mid-19th-century repertoire on eight-string guitars in a historically authentic presentation. Smits has completed 17 recordings, and has been praised by collector, recording artist and historian Gregg Miner as “one of the world’s premier performers of the eight-string guitar.” Brogna, a talented young Belgian guitarist, has played with the Spanish National Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia. This fall, Soundset will release the first recording by Smits and Brogna, who have earned international acclaim for their faithful interpretations and musicality. Tickets are $22 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

• The Canadian Guitar Quartet will bring Latin-inspired rhythms and virtuosity to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 4, in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Formed in 1999, the group has often been featured on national broadcasts in North and South America and in Europe on a “Classical Guitar Alive” webcast and with orchestras worldwide. Their second compact disc in 2005 was awarded “Le Prix Trille Or” (Instrumental Album of the Year) by the Association de Professionnels de la Chanson et de la Musique. Tickets are $24 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.

Subscriptions and single tickets for the Segovia Classical Guitar Series are available now. Subscriptions are $115 for the general public and $54 for students with valid IDs. For more information, call the Pick-Staiger Concert Office at (847) 491-5441 or visit To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000.