On June 4, guitarist David Starobin (BM ’73), joined by pianist Vassily Primakov, premiered new works by Starobin and William Bland in a concert at the Carl Nielsen Museum in Odense, Denmark. Starobin’s Variations on a Theme by Carl Nielsen for solo guitar is based on Nielsen’s Song Behind the Plow (Sang bag Ploven).
Piotr Pakhomkin (BM ’08, MM ’10), who studied with Manuel Barrueco, took first prize at the Great Lakes Guitar Competition in Rochester, N.Y., and second prize at the Montreal International Classical Guitar Competition. On May 24, he headlined the Panama Guitar Encounters Festival, where he taught several master classes.
Concierto Cubanero, the second guitar concerto by José Lezcano (BM ’81) will have its world premiere at Christ & St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in New York City on May 22. Lezcano will perform the concerto with the North-South Consonance Orchestra, conducted by Max Lifchitz.
Lezcano received two GRAMMY nominations in 2009 for his work on the CD Remembrances/Recuerdos released by North-South Consonance. He received nominations and was semi-finalist for Best Contemporary Composition (for his guitar concerto) and Best Performance, Soloist with Orchestra (for his solo performance in the concerto). Lezcano was also interviewed in January on Classical Guitar Alive, a radio program broadcast on 200 stations nationwide; selections from two of his CDs (Remembrances and Latin Landscapes) were played.
GPD candidate Petrit Çeku, a student of Manuel Barrueco, won the 2011 Schadt String Competition for Classical Guitar in Allentown, Pa., on Mar. 7. He will perform on Mar. 10 and 11, 2012, with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin Beirs (BM ’06, Guitar; MM ’07, Guitar Pedagogy; GPD ’09, Guitar) took second place. Judges for the competition were William Kanengiser, Sergio Assad, and Diane Wittry.