Marc Bélanger studied classic guitar at the Conservatory of Quebec and at Laval University. He then went on to study jazz at Ithaca College in New York State. He is an accomplished pedagogue and has trained hundreds of students in his 15 years of teaching at the Laval University. He is now continuing his work at the Montreal Guitar Academy.
His musical career includes many appearances in both Quebec and France presenting numerous and highly diverse musical styles. He likes baroque music as well as jazz, and has a great passion for bossa-nova and blues, Marc Bélanger's enormous versatility.
The contemporary style composer and guitarist Nadia Boríslova is born in Moscow in 1969.
She has been living in Puebla Mexico since 1992, where she works at the Music College of BUAP (Arts-School of Puebla University). She is the artistic director of the National Guitar Festival in Puebla, Mexico.
In 1995, she records her first CD playing her own compositions. Two new CDs in 1999 feature Mexican and Russian compositions, and her own. In 2001, she celebrates Mauro Giuliani's 220th birthday with two CDs.
Nadia Boríslova's career is brimful with prizes and grants: the National Award of the 2nd Guitar Competition in Xalapa Veracruz University, the special prize for the best Mexican music interpretation and a special mention delivered by the composer Ramon Noble for the best "Passacaille in D minor" interpretation (1996); the FONCA-PUEBLA grant in composition for young creators (1997); the National FONCA (National Fund for Cultural Art's) grant for the best guitar player (1998 and 2000); the recognition for her Artistic Merit given by the International Festival of the Arts Navachiste (2000) and, in 2003, the First National Award in Composition for her work for guitar "Under the influence of poetry", in the First National Guitar Competition "Without borders" in Chihuahua, Mexico. Nadia Boríslova's works are published in Russia, Italy, Sweden, Mexico, Spain and Quebec.
Born in Argentina in 1957, Claudio Camisassa began learning the guitar and his country's folk music when he was eight. Two years later, he was admitted to the conservatory of Córdoba and then to the conservatory of Buenos Aires from which he graduated in 1981. He was then granted the Grand Prize of the City of Buenos Aires and awarded First Prize in guitar, harmony and counterpoint. He undertook a teaching career at the conservatory in Buenos Aires while continuing his performances in concerts, which he had begun in 1975. He had the opportunity to play in the most famous concert halls in Argentina and in Europe.
From 1987 to 1992, he studied first with vihuelist and musicologist Javier Hinojosa in Paris and then with Hopkinson Smith in Basel, to specialize in early music performance on the original instruments (lute, theorbo, and baroque guitar). Claudio Camisassa has been successful in defining his own musical personality through Argentinian folk music (tango and folklore) as well as early music performed on the original instruments (vihuela, baroque guitar, lute) and contemporary music for guitar.
As a teacher or lecturer, Jorge Cardoso is frequently invited in congresses, seminars and classes in different countries. His composition catalogue has more than 350 titles published by numerous publishing houses. In Argentina, he has been awarded many prizes: Primer Festival de la Música Litoraleí±a (Posadas, 1963), VIIe Festival Nacional del Folklore (Cosquín, 1967), Cuarto Concurso Nacional de Composicin (Salta,1971) et IIe Concurso Nacional de Guitarra Clásica (Morón, Buenos Aires, 1973).
Jorge Cardoso - concert artist, composer and scholar - has founded and directed the Guitar Chamber Orchestra of Madrid. He is still today director of the Stage et Festival International de Guitare d'Alsace, of Posedas in Argentina, of the Festival Iberoamericano de Guitarra of Morroco (Cervantes Institute), and preside the GUIA (Guitarists of America).
Born in Colombia in 1946, Jaime Córdoba began his musical studies with his father. At the early age of fourteen, he wrote his first Colombian works for duets, trios and quartets. During the seventies, he studied advanced classical guitar with Homero Hidrovo, in Ecuador, where he devoted his efforts to studying South-American folk musical rhythms, an area in which he gained considerable experience. Next, he went to Europe to pursue his studies in composition (harmony, counterpoint and orchestration) at the Conservatoire national de Metz (France), under Jean-Jacques Griesser and Claude Poletti. He also composes film music for cinema and television, among others for the Spanish International Television Channel.
Juan Manuel Cortés teaches at the Conservatoire Padre Antonio Soler (El Escorial-Madrid), directing the guitar department and collaborating with the Department of Electroacoustics. He is a composer, player and conductor. He is the author of the book Historia de una Guitarra (Cummunidad de Madrid). He has also won the Spanish National Ministry of Culture Award for his Cahiers didactiques and Lessons pour débutants.
Claude Engel is born in 1948 in Paris. His musical training almost coincides with his stage debut, since, as early as 1960, he plays the guitar in the show orchestra his father conducts. During eight years, he familiarizes himself with the many aspects of popular music while pursuing parallel studies at the Conservatoire musical de Tours in parallel.
From Charles Aznavour to Serge Gainsbourg via Vladimir Cosma, Catherine Lara, Francis Cabrel, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Astor Piazzola and Herbie Hancock, many are the renowned stars, in Europe as well as in North and South-America, who have had the opportunity to enjoy Claude Engel's collaboration. For Claude Engel, writing for the classical guitar has always remained a true secret garden whose borders and wealth are still unimagined. The few recordings we have only allow us to fancy their interest. It is mainly works as yet unpublished, true treasures accumulated over decades and transcribing the composer's evolution, that will allow us to capture its full worth.
Claude Gagnon, presently classic guitar teacher at the Sainte-Foy College (Quebec), performs regularly as a member of various ensembles and as an accompanist for voice and violin. He is interested in Renaissance and Baroque music and occasionally collaborates in projects where he plays cittern with singers and instrumentalists playing lute, viola da gamba and recorder. As a composer, his works include Alice aux pays des merveilles for three guitars, Hello Cello for cello and guitar, Douze préludes en forme d'études for solo guitar as well as Kamendja for two guitars.
Claude Gagnon has published twenty volumes of music for guitar with Productions d'OZ and Éditions Doberman-Yppan. He has also taken part in several recordings as instrumentalist or as producer for the Atma and Analekta labels.
Born in Montreal in 1959, David Gaudreau began learning classical guitar at the age of nine under the guidance of Antonin Bartos with whom he studied ten years. He also studied with Abel Nagytothy-Toth, Davis Joachim and Alvaro Pierri. He completed his academic training at McGill University and at the Université du Québec í Montréal and obtained his teaching license. While maintaining his involvement in his art, he is a teacher at Marguerite-de Lajemmerais secondary school (CSDM) where he has designed a classical guitar program.
Described by Classical Guitar Magazine as "an outstanding guitarist/composer," Mark Houghton was born in Liverpool in 1959 and began playing guitar at the age of 7. He was initially tutored by his father.
After making his stage debut at the age of 12, he became a regular stage performer throughout the Northwest of England. Mark was also awarded an Associate Diploma in guitar performance from the London College of Music (for which, after receiving high pass marks, he was chosen to play at the annual Lloyd-Webber Concert - the only guitarist to do so).
In 2003, Mark's works have been given first performances by internationally acclaimed guitarist / music scholar Stanley Yates (Sonatina Op. 39), Appassionata Trio (Sonata Andaluz Op. 30), Milena & Valentin Valchev Guitar Duo (Phantasy Op. 42) and Bleasdale / Heywood Guitar Duo (Impressions Op. 41), the latter naming their debut CD after the premiered works, "Impressions".
Simone Iannarelli is born in Rome, in 1970. After a short stint in rock and Brazilian guitar, he studies classical guitar with Prof. Massimo Delle Cese. He is granted First Prize at the A. Casella Conservatory, in L'Aquila.
He takes part in many workshops including with Manuel Barrueco and David Russell. He has lived in Paris for a while, studying performance with Roland Dyens for two years. His concerts, whether in solo or in duo (with violin or soprano) are greatly appreciated and his works, for guitar, for guitar and violin, and for guitar, violin and bandoneon are played by an ever-growing number of performers. He teaches classical guitar at the University of Colima (Mexico).
Jurg Kindle, Swiss composer and guitarist born in 1960. He is the author of several pedagogical works for the guitar, which today form part of standard guitar literature. The guitar compositions of Jurg Kindle have received numerous distinctions and are used regularly as compulsory pieces around the world. He teaches at the conservatory and music school of the city of St. Gallen (Switzerland). His compositions and arrangements include solo pieces, chamber music and scores for guitar orchestra.
Born in Paris in 1951, Francis Kleynjans begins his classical guitar studies at the age of 14. He works with Alexandre Lagoya at the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris and later, with the renowned Venezuelan guitarist Alirio Diaz. He holds a scholarship from the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. Not only a talented performer but also a well-known composer, he is granted First Prize at the 22nd Paris Guitar Competition for his piece entitled A L'Aube du Dernier Jour. His output includes more than 600 pieces and they are played everywhere in the world. In Europe, Francis Kleynjans takes part in prestigious festivals broadcast on radio and TV. His three concertos are played in Canada and in the U.S.A.
Francis Kleynjans' discography includes eleven CDs with more than 200 of his works.
Érik Marchelie is born in 1957 in Périgueux (France). He studied in the conservatories of Tours, Versailles, then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. As an concert artist of the international level, he often plays in recitals with other instrumentalists or ensembles and often inserts his own compositions into concert programs. His works, which include pedagogical compositions, are published in France by Lemoine, Combre and Billaudot; in Canada by Les Productions d'OZ. Music festivals like Les journées lyriques de Chartres, as well as many conservatories of music have commissioned him works to be performed at these events. Many composers, like Jean-Jacques Werner, Antonio Ruiz-Pipo, Paul Lewis or Stéphane Bortoli have dedicated works to him.
He his presently guitar teacher at the École Nationale de Musique of Mantes in Yvelines, and supervises a Summer International Academy in Albi.
Takashi Ogawa was born in Japan in 1960. At 17 he won first place in a guitar contest and was invited to perform with the Yokohama Orchestra. Fascinated by Western culture since his childhood, Takashi Ogawa was to see one of his dreams come true when he went to live in Europe. There he took courses with Hector Quine and also studied musical analysis and interpretation with Joan Kemp-Potter at the Guildhall School of Music in London. Having worked with Segovia in Grenada, then with Rafael Andia and Francois Martin at the École normale de Musique de Paris, he studied analysis, music history, and chamber music at the feet of the renowned Alberto Ponce. Takashi Ogawa has won awards in any number of musical competitions: the Carpentras and René Bartoli International Competitions; first place in Alberto Ponce's class at the d'Aubervilliers - La Courneuve Conservatoire National; the International Chanterelles competition and the International competition of Île-de-France; and first place in the UFAM International competition in Paris. Takashi Ogawa went on to study harmony and counterpoint with Gérard Castagnet, Jean-Michel Bardez, and Pierrette Mari. When the time was ripe for Ogawa to undertake his first musical compositions, his works were immediately admired and performed in Paris, Japan, Brazil, the United States, the Near East, and Taiwan. In 1995, he would receive Japan's Takei Award for his Elegie pour la stèle d'un inconnu that ; has published. Takashi Ogawa's curiosity and musical inventiveness lead him to compose pieces in a wide variety of styles, ranging from the classical to the more contemporary.
A pupil of Jean Rodiac, then René Bartoli, Bernard Piris has been studying guitar, sight-singing, harmony and analysis at the Conservatoire National de Marseille, where he obtained unanimously a Gold Medal in guitar. At Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, Bernard Piris organises the Biennales de Guitare en Tricastin, a festival in which Alberto Ponce, René Bartoli, Arnaud Dumond, Narciso Yepes, Roland Dyens, Alirio Diaz, Roberto Aussel, Hopkinson Smith, Betho Davezac, Pierre Bensusan, Ralph Towner, Francis Kleynjans, Egberto Gismonti, Vladimir Mikulka, Oscar Ghiglia, Eduardo Isaac, Leo Brouwer, David Russell, among others, have played. His book Fernando Sor, une guitare l'orée du Romantisme (Éd. Aubier / Flammarion), commissioned by the Arles Festival, is considered as a reference in the guitar circles. Bernard Piris is teacher of guitar and lute at the Conservatoire of Tricastin (Pierrelatte et Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, la Drôme).
Alain Reiher was born in 1955 in Port-au-Prince (Haiti), immigrating to Montreal, Canada in 1965. At age 21 he began his musical studies with Stephen Fentok at the "Conservatoire du Québec Montréal" from 1976 to 1981 and obtained a First prize diploma in classical guitar interpretation. He subsequently created the guitar accompaniment for two documentaries by Jacques Godbout of the National Film Board of Canada. He also worked with the Haitian poet Antony Phelps creating the segue music for his album of poems "Mon pays que voici". Alain's first composition Préambule et Rhapsodie was chosen among the ten top compositions to be published by Mel Bay in its "Winner's Circle 1994: The GFA Set Piece Competition". Alain has taught both children and adults privately and in group settings and continues to teach classical guitar at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby where he has been employed since 1996.
Patrick Roux was born in Marseille, France, in 1962 and came to Canada in 1967. He began studying music at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec in Hull under Jean Vallier, where he was unanimously awarded first prize in 1984. A bursary from the Arts Council of Canada enabled Patrick to study with David Russell in London, England. He has also studied with such masters as Manuel Barrueco, Leo Brouwer, Hubert Käppel and Roberto Aussel. In 1989, Patrick took first place at the National Guitar Competition and, in 1983 was awarded third place at the International Competition of the D'Addario Guitar Foundation of America. Since 1990, his passion has been composition, and his works have been published by Les Productions d'OZ. In 1998, he founded with the famous Canadian guitarist Philip Candelaria, the Canadian Guitar Quartet that made his concert debut in march 1999. Patrick Roux has many times been invited soloist with the Orchestre de Chambre de Hull and the Quatuor Morency and has performed often on CBC FM radio, both the french and english networks. He performed the word premiere of the concerto Four Dialogues for guitar and chamber orchestra by the Canadian composer Violet Archer with the contemporary ensemble Espace Musique. He is a tenure professor of guitar at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec in Hull and teaches at the Faculty of Music at the University of Ottawa. During the summer, he teaches at the Music Academy of the Domaine Forget.
Thierry Tisserand has studied at the Conservatoire National de région de Lille, where he obtained a Gold Medal in classical guitar in the class of Jean-Philippe Gruneissen. He developped at the same time an interest for jazz, harmony and arrangement, which he studied at the C.I.M. in Paris in the class of Pierre Cullaz. As a concertist, he played with many different groups, from jazz quintet to guitar quartet, when he is not accompanying singers.
In the last few years, he has dedicated more time in the writing for classical guitar, composing many pieces for all levels, from beginner to concertist, in the form of duos, trios, quartets...
He presently teaches guitar in many schools of Lille and the surrounding area.
Guitarist, composer and arranger Andrew Zohn has been hailed as "one of the finest guitarists of his generation" by Anthony Morris, host of the nationally syndicated radio program Guitar Alive. He has won prizes in five national and international competitions including the Guitar Foundation of America and the Stotsenberg International. On demand as a soloist and chamber musician, Zohn has performed extensively throughout North America and in Europe. He is also widely sought after as a lecturer and clinician at Universities and guitar festivals in North America.
Currently, he resides in Georgia, and serves on the faculty of Columbus State University and I Seminari di Primavera Corso Internazionale in Imperia, Italy. He is the founder and director of the annual CSU Guitar Symposium and Competition. Andrew Zohn began composing for the guitar in 1998, and has already received commissions for new works from La Flame Records, Canada, and the Campbell University Foundation for the Arts. Classical Guitar Magazine has commented that his compositions "deserve to be heard," and has characterized his arrangements as "charming and entirely convincing. More of the same please!"
Recorded by: Frédéric Pascal
Producer: Claude Gagnon