15th Annual Radford University International Guitar Festival

This year's performers: (clockwise) Cavatina Duo, Luciano Cesar Morais, Marcin Dylla, Rob Plier and Maharajah Flamenco Trio.

The 15th Annual Radford University International Guitar Festival is living up to its name with guitarists from Bosnia, Spain, Poland, Brazil and the United States. These renowned artists will present masterclasses and free concerts April 8-9 at the Performance Hall of the Covington Center.

From Bosnia and Spain respectively, Cavatina Duo is Denis Azabagic, guitar and Eugenia Moliner, flute. Both are chamber musicians and soloist, but together they provide a unique combination of instruments. According to their website, they prefer making daring choices in their varied and versatile musical repertoire.

Guitarist Marcin Dylla is from Poland. Between 1996-2007, he earned 19 first prizes in international music competitions culminating with the Gold Medal from the 2007 Guitar Foundation of America International Competition in Los Angeles. With this he toured of over 50 cities in North America, Mexico and Canada during 2008-09 season. Mel Bay Publications and CD recorded his live recital for Naxos, which reached the Naxos Top 10 Bestselling Albums in September 2008. He received a nomination for the 2010 Fryderyk Award (equal to an American Grammy) in the category of Solo Classical Music Album of the Year for his live recital DVD “Wawel Royal Castle at Dusk.”

Romanian-born guitarist and vocalist, Silviu Ciulei leads Maharajah Flamenco Trio in Tallahassee, Florida. The ensemble also includes bassist David Cobb and Ramin Yazdanpanah, who is its rhythm section. Featuring original compositions, they build upon Flamenco Puro styles of buleria, solea, farruca, alegria and fandango. This is blended with international traditions, such as American jazz, Argentine tango, Brazilian samba, and the Flamenca Rhumba.

The Brazilian guitarist Luciano Morais is both an educator and an active soloist and a chamber musician. He recorded the CD “Ibirá – Quarteto de violões” in 2003 with the Brazilian Guitar Quartette. A visiting professor at the Prados Music Festival, he was also a professor at the Guri Project, teaching children, between 2009 and 2013. He concluded his doctorate degree at University of São Paulo in 2014, and is a professor of guitar and Educational Philosophy at UNIESP, a private school in music teaching.

As is the tradition of the festival, Radford University alumni are also featured. This year, Rob Plier ‘14 returns to perform at his alma mater. He lives in Reston, Virginia and teaches guitar and bass. In addition he has organized and booked music festivals that Radford guitar majors have participated in, such as Reston, Virginia’s “Nature Fest” in July 2015. Additionally, he has performed with bands at local venues, including The Velvet Lounge (Washington D.C.) and Empire (Springfield, Virginia). He is currently completing a studio album as the bass guitarist and producer for his new band “Onyx Travelers.”

“Clearly our most impressive roster of artists yet,” said Robert Trent, professor of music and festival director. “Marcin Dylla is a young artist who has won 19(!) international guitar competitions.

“World music has a strong presence this year, as Duo Cavatina’s appearance coincides with their CD release featuring Sephardic music and the fusion of flamenco, jazz, middle-eastern music presented by the Maharjah Flamenco Trio will be fantastic, who will also give a Flamenco workshop open to all area guitarists. And we continue the tradition of an RU alumni showcase with Rob Plier. Alumni and current students will join children and adults of the region in a guitar orchestra performance of Leo Brouwer’s colorful and evocative ‘Cuban Landscape with Rain.’ All in all a fantastic year for our campus and the community!”

The weekend events start April 8 at 4 p.m. with two masterclasses with Morais and Dylla. The first concert is Cavatina Duo at 8 p.m. Plier’s concert is at 10 p.m. and the Maharajah Flamenco Trio follows at 11 p.m.

Another tradition for the festival is the community concert, made up of local guitarists of all ages. Joining them are alumni, the university Honors Guitar Quartet, and the Graduate Duo. This concert is at 6:30 p.m., April 9.

The festival offers free admission to its recitals and its masterclasses. Visit www.radford.edu/guitarfest for more information and for the schedule or call 540-831-5177.

Mar 31, 2016