Loudon Co. / Heritage High School ensemble (Performance Hall)
Masterclass: Marco Battaglia
Masterclass: Mesut Özgen (Stage)
Masterclass: Dr. Robert Trent (Covington 121)
World Music Group - Park High School (Scartelli Atrium)
Performance: Mesut Özgen
Performance: Marco Battaglia
2018 Festival Performers Bios
Marco Battaglia was born in Milan (Italy) where his high school studies were concentrated in the classics and afterwards he dedicated himself to the guitar, studying at the Civic School of Music. In 1995 he graduated from the Conservatory and went on to specialize in the interpretation of 19th century music paying close attention to matters of performance practice utilizing original guitars. Carring out an intense career as a soloist, he gives concerts in more than 27 nations through the five continents (New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Belgrade, Rome, Milan, Moskow, Jakarta, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Sydney, Wellington) in universities, festivals, institutes of culture, and through radio and television broadcasts (RAI - Italy, RTS Serbia, Kultura TV- Russia, TVB – Hong Kong, ABC, SBS – Australia, Radio New Zealand). He is artistic director of ‘800MusicaFestival, Milano Classical Guitar Festival and Martesana International Guitar Festival. “A guitar from the 19th century” and other CDs are published by MAP.
Classical guitarist Danielle Cumming is well known as a performer and teacher. Her performances have been broadcast in the United States and in Canada on national television and radio. In addition to giving recitals in North America and Europe, Cumming has served on international guitar competition juries and is in high demand for her skill as a teacher in master class settings. As such, she is regularly featured at festivals in Canada and Germany.
Danielle holds a Doctor of Music in Performance from McGill University and a Master of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, where she studied with the renowned guitarist Norbert Kraft. After a year of study in Spain, Cumming released her solo CD, postcards, a recording of 20th century repertoire with world music influences.
Danielle is Artistic Director of the Marlow Guitar Series which presents concerts, masterclasses and education outreach in schools, and the Beatty Youth Competition, in the Washington DC area. She has been head of Guitar Studies at Salisbury University on Maryland’s Eastern Shore since 2007, and since 2008 been a teacher at the annual International Guitar Symposium in Iserlohn, Germany.
Danielle is a D’Addario artist.
Matthew Denman is the Director of Guitar Studies at Oklahoma City University, Director of Education for the Guitar Foundation of America, Director of the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute, founder of the Oklahoma Guitar Orchestra, and former Director of Guitar at Classen School of Advanced Studies. Matthew is a student of Pepe Romero who has said, "What José Antonio Abreu is to El Sistema, Matt Denman is to the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute."
Recently, the Oklahoma City University Guitar Studio has won several national awards including first place at the GFA Symposiums, the GFA Ensemble Showcase, and the UT Brownsville guitar festival and competition. In just three years, six OCU guitar graduate students have secured higher education positions as professors of guitar. In the spring of 2014, the OCU guitar studio performed on stage with Ballet Oklahoma for the world premiere of the reinvented Carmen.
Awards and honors include New Mexico Guitar Festival Artist in Residence (2016), All Virginia Guitar Conductor and Clinician (2016) the GFA Augustine Award for excellence in guitar education (2013), Images of Excellence Award (2013, 2012, 2010, 2009), and Teacher of the Year (2010-2011 Classen SAS). In the summer of 2013 Matthew was featured on the cover of Soundboard magazine Vol 39 No. 2. In 2015, Matthew conducted Brad Richter's Once We Moved Like The Wind with Carlos Bonell (Royal College of Music), Brad Richter, and the OCU guitar ensemble. He hosted the 2015 Guitar Foundation of America convention held at Oklahoma City University. During the convention, Matthew premiered his guitar orchestra piece, Picture on a Train, which has become very popular with guitar programs across the nation.
Critically acclaimed as a “highly accomplished and exciting player who gets the most out of the music he plays” (Classical Guitar Magazine), Mesut Özgen is also a composer whose works show the deep influence of traditional Turkish music. Özgen has performed and taught master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and Turkey and has been teaching at the Florida International University School of Music as director of guitar studies since 2013. Previously he taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 1998-2013. He has performed as featured soloist in many festivals, including the International Paco Peña Guitar Festival in Cordoba, Spain, Yale Guitar Extravaganza, Sierra Nevada Guitar Festival, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, Healdsburg Guitar Festival, Istanbul CRR Concert Series, April in Santa Cruz: Contemporary Music Festival, Cabrillo College Distinguished Artists Series, Ankara METU Art Festival, Kars Art Festival, Konya Mevlana (Rumi) Cultural Center, Lahontan International Guitar Festival, and UCSC Arts & Lectures Series.
Özgen's “Anatolian Fantasy” CD features entirely his own compositions for solo and duo guitar, as well as chamber music with kemençe, voice, flute, and cello, including Blue Journey and Rumeli Türküsü among others. His solo CD "Troubadour" features classical guitar works inspired by Turkish, Spanish, Argentinean, and American folk traditions and was reviewed by the Acoustic Guitar magazine as "stunningly versatile and expressive throughout." Özgen's award-winning multimedia concert DVD "New Dimensions in Classical Guitar" includes premiere performances of new guitar works with visual accompaniments comprising video, interactive computer images, and particularized lighting design. It was reviewed by the Classical GuitarMagazine as "the finest music DVD ever to have come my way, remarkable achievement."
Özgen received Master of Music and Artist Diploma from Yale School of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State University, as well as an MD from Hacettepe University Medical School, Turkey. He was the first guitarist to be awarded the “Dean’s Prize,” the highest honorary prize at the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery.