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L.A. Guitar Quartet in Potsdam on April 20

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POTSDAM — The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet consistently plays to sold-out venues worldwide with its programs ranging from Bach to bluegrass. The quartet will continue that diverse repertoire April 20 here with a program that will feature traditional Japanese melodies and two arrangements by American composer Aaron Copland.

The quartet won a Grammy in 2005 for its “Guitar Heroes” album, which was selected as best classical crossover album. Its latest album is “Interchange, Concertos by Rodrigo and Assad.”

The quartet’s 7:30 p.m. April 20 performance in SUNY Potsdam’s Helen M. Hosmer Hall is part of the Community Performance Series. It will feature Spanish, Cuban and Latin American works along with a Japanese composition by Shingo Fujii. His “Shikki” is based on traditional Japanese melodies that follow the changing of the seasons. It was written to honor the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet will be joined by a guitar orchestra composed of 24 musicians for “Shikki.” Members will include current and former Crane School of Music guitar students and guest guitarists from around the state. Crane guitar professor Douglas Rubio will conduct.

“Guitar orchestras can create sounds that are subtle, colorful and sometimes very powerful,” Mr. Rubio said in a press release. “All three are exhibited in ‘Shikki.’”

Mr. Rubio will give a pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m.

“The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet’s performances are always very exciting,” said Mr. Rubio. “But especially with this repertoire, it should be an incredible concert.”

The members of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet are:

John Dearman: The Minnesota native is a versatile guitarist who enriches the sound of the quartet by performing on a seven-string guitar with extended upper and lower registers. He is director of the Guitar Chamber Music program at California State University, Northridge, in Los Angeles.

William Kanengiser: This acclaimed soloist, recording artist and professor at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music is one of the few guitarists to have won the Concert Artists Guild New York Competition. He has earned critical acclaim for his imaginative arrangements for solo guitar and guitar quartet, and for producing two instructional videos for Hot Licks.

Scott Tennant: This Detroit native is a world-class performer, author and teacher. He is the author of the best-selling book and video “Pumping Nylon,” a technical handbook for the classical guitarist, and the five-part series “Scott Tennant’s Basic Classical Guitar Method.” He has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is on the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Matthew Greif: Heis the newest member of the quartet, joining in 2006. In addition to being a classical guitarist, he has an extensive background playing in other styles such as jazz, rock, flamenco and bluegrass. His recordings include “Permanent Transition.”

the details
WHAT: Community Performance Series presents the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m. April 20 in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at SUNY Potsdam.
COST: Ticket prices range from $24 to $40 for adults with discounts for students, senior citizens and SUNY Potsdam faculty/staff. Tickets may be purchased at the CPS box office in the lobby of Snell Theatre at SUNY Potsdam or at Northern Music and Video, 29 Market St., Potsdam. They can also be purchased by calling CPS at 267-2277 or online at www.cpspotsdam.org.
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