June 22nd - 26th, 2022 BGFest XVII: Toward the Light
BGFest XVII will continue the online successes of BGFest XV and XVI (virtual events held in 2020 and 2021) but in 2022 a significant portion of BGFest XVII will be held in person. Two online competitions will help build enthusiasm towards an exciting 5 day live- whenever- possible event in Boston. We will continue to use the facilities of the New England Conservatory, but In 2022 all administration of the Festival will shift from NEC to the international and polyglot Eliot Fisk Guitar Academy (“EFGA”) team, most of whom are already experienced veterans of previous Boston GuitarFest events.
Boston GuitarFest History
Boston GuitarFest was founded by Eliot Fisk, Zaira Meneses and Steve Lin at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2006. Since its inception it has aimed to become an international, cross disciplinary, outward looking festival and has presented an astonishing variety of events including individual lessons, master classes, seminars, lectures, outreach performances in unusual venues, performances with myriad chamber music formations and with full orchestra as well as solo guitar, and annual competitions for guitar performance and for composition. Boston GuitarFest has commissioned major works for solo guitar, guitar and orchestra and guitar in chamber music from some of the most eminent composers of today including Leo Brouwer, Robert Beaser, and Kurt Schwertsik.
Boston GuitarFest COVID Guidlines
- NEC requires all program faculty, staff, and students ages 5 and above to be fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19.
- NEC requires all program faculty, staff, and students living on campus to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered no more than 72 hours prior to arrival to campus.
- Masking requirements are in the process of being lifted for all persons on campus who are fully vaccinated.
- Distancing requirements between ensemble members have been lifted.
- Event duration restrictions and ventilation periods have been lifted, with the exception of the following:
- All performances taking place on the NEC campus are restricted to 90 minutes total, without intermission.
- Audience members for all performances must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the point of entry to all events.
BGFest XVII Administration Team
is an award-winning classical guitarist that performs worldwide. He has received both national and international prizes in performance. Levin was honored as a Fulbright Scholar, Program for Cultural Cooperation Fellow, and Kate Neal Kinley Fellow to research contemporary Spanish repertoire in Spain. Levin commissioned over 30 solo and chamber guitar works from Spanish composers and has completed three out of four albums for Naxos. Levin’s discography includes nine commercially released recordings.
Levin is on faculty at University of Rhode Island and UMass Boston, a founder of the guitar education non-profit organization Kithara Project, as well as the artistic director of the University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival and Rhode Island Guitar Guild. He is endorsed by Augustine Strings and performs on guitars by Stephan Connor and Dominique Field.
International Liaison / Event Coordinator
Maurice (Songyuan) Liu is a classical guitarist and artist who has performed on many stages and venues around the world. Liu premiered Joaquín Rodrigo’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre in China with Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016. Liu graduated from New England Conservatory of music with honors and completed his Master’s Degree and Graduate Diploma in guitar performance with Eliot Fisk in 2020. He has been working closely with Boston GuitarFest since 2019, and with Latin American Music Festival since 2021.
Is a Boston based performer, teacher, and artistic administrator. She received her Masters degree in classical guitar performance at the New England Conservatory of Music under the primary instruction of Eliot Fisk and Jerome Mouffe and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Rhode Island. As a Rhode Island native, she holds a faculty position at the Community College of Rhode Island while maintaining a private studio in Boston, as well as the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, EKS Music School, and the Kithara Project.
BGFest XVII Guest Artists
Su Meng (苏萌; born 1988) is a classical guitarist. She was born in Qingdao, Shandong. She started studying classical guitar in 1997 under the tuition of Chen Zhi of the Central Conservatory of Music. In 2006 she was under full scholarship of Manuel Barrueco of the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. She has also performed in a quartet formation with Wang Yameng, Li Jie, and Chen Shanshan (Four Angels). Currently she is concertizing as a soloist and also in duo with Wang Yameng, as the Beijing Guitar Duo.
Born: August 13, 1938 - Livorno (Leghorn), Italy
The Italian guitarist, Oscar Ghiglia (pronounced "GHEE-lyah" with the hard G), was born of an artistic family - his father and grandfather were both famed painters and his mother an accomplished pianist. Oscar Ghiglia had to choose between a path strewn with brushes and colours and a world cut into harmony and melody. Though his early choice produced a few hundred water colours and a number of oil paintings, he soon realised music was his way. For this decision he thanks his father, who one day made him pose for a painting showing a guitarist. For this he had to hold his father’s guitar, a companion to his artistic musings in front of his forming works. This painting was the start to a lifetime of disciplined dedication to music.
At the age of fourteen young Oscar Ghiglia decided to study classical guitar at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, where he won certificates of honour not only in guitar but also in theoretical subjects as well. In 1957 he began study with the Spanish guitar master Andrés Segovia at the Academia Chigiana in Siena and at Santiago de Compostela in Spain (1958-1963). Segovia was his major influence and inspiration during his formative years. The young guitarist has also studied with Venezuelan virtuoso Alirio Díaz.
Oscar Ghiglia's graduation from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in 1962 was followed by several important awards: 1stPrize at the Orense Guitar Competition, 1st Prize at the Santiago de Compostela Guitar Competition (1963) and 1st Prize at the International Guitar Competition of Radio France (ORTF) (1963, Unanimous Winner). After the latter winning, he received scholarship to the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he studied music history with Jacques Chailley in 1963-1964. Andrés Segovia chose Oscar Ghiglia as his assistant for classes at the University of California in Berkeley in the summer of 1964.
Since then, Oscar Ghiglia has given numerous concerts and master-classes throughout the world. He made his first tours to the USA and Japan in 1964-1965, and his British debut in 1966. In addition to appearing extensively in all parts of North and South America and Europe (Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands), he is a frequent performer in the Far East, Turkey, Israel, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Besides touring as a solo performer, Oscar Ghiglia has played and recorded with such names as singers Victoria de Los Angeles, Jan DeGaetani, Gerald English, John McCollum; flutists as Jean-Pierre Rampal and Julius Baker; ensembles as the Juilliard String Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, the Cleveland String Quartet, the Quartetto d’archi di Venezia and the Tokyo String Quartet; violinists as Giuliano Carmignola, Franco Gulli, Salvatore Accardo and Regis Pasquier; violists such as B. Giuranna, and P. Zuckerman; cellists as K. Adam, A. Roman and L. Varga; guitarists such as Eliot Fisk, S. Fukuda, Loretta Guerra, Antigoni Goni, and Elena Papandreou. Oscar Ghiglia was a founding member of the International Classic Guitar Quartet (with, in different turns: Benjamin Bunch, O. Koga, Anders Miolin, S. Schmidt, and Andreas von Wangenheim).
While being active as a concert artist, Oscar Ghiglia has always favoured teaching as a sister profession, and spreading his own teaching around the five continents. Very few well-known guitarists today have not at one time or another been in his classes and profited from his lessons. In 1969 he founded the Guitar Department at the Aspen Music Festival (Aspen, Colorado USA) and taught there for twenty years. He also founded the Festival de Musique des Arcs and the “Incontri Chitarristici di Gargnano”, and have been artist in residence, or visiting professor in such centres as the Cincinnati and San Francisco conservatories, the Juilliard School, the Hartt School, University of Hartford, the Northwestern University of Evanston, Illinois, and the Banff Centre of the Arts in Canada (from 1978). In all these centres and elsewhere Ghiglia has been nurturing talents and forming or perfecting young artists' musical outlook and interpretation. In 1976 he “inherited” Segovia’s class in Siena's Accademia Chigiana. From 1983 to 2004 he was professor of guitar at the Basel Music-Akademie where he taught post-graduate students. He now regularly gives summer classes in Europe (at the Festival d'Arc in southern France, at the Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy, and at the Festival Garnanno, Italy), America and the Middle East. Founder of the International Guitar Competition of Gargnano (Italy), Ghiglia boasts a very high number of first prize winners among his students, in competitions around the world.
Oscar Ghiglia has recorded for Angel and Nonesuch Records. His recordings include "Paganini Sonata", "The Guitar in Spain", "The Spanish Guitar of Oscar Ghiglia", and numerous others. Presently, after his newest CD “Manuel Ponce’ Guitar music”, a new set of recording projects is under way (note a J.S. Bach lute works CD, in the final editing process)
Daniel Strong Godfrey has earned awards and commissions from the J.S.Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Music Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, among many others. His music has been performed by soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is founder and co-director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music (on the Maine coast) and is co-author of Music Since 1945, published by Schirmer Books. Godfrey's works are recorded on Albany, Bridge, CRI, GM, Innova, Klavier, Koch, and Mark compact discs. His music is available through publishers Carl Fischer and G.Schirmer.
Professor of Guitar at the Florida State University, has been Director of the Guitar Program since 1972. Holzman's students have won many prestigious prizes in competitions worldwide, a partial list includes winners in: Guitar Foundation of America Solo/Duo Competition, Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artists Competition (12), Alirio Diaz Competition of Caracas, Venezuela, Toronto International Festival Competition, Concours Internationale de Guitare of Paris, France, Incontri Chitarristici de Gargnano, Italy, Columbus State Guitar Symposium, Lachine International Guitar Competition, Montreal, Canada, Boston Guitarfest Competition, and Rantucci International Competition. Many of his students hold teaching positions at prominent Universities, Colleges and High Schools. These include, but not limited to: Stetson University, Kennesaw College, University of New Mexico, University of Memphis, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Texas, Austin, University of Texas, San Antonio, East Carolina University, Columbus State University, Montgomery Alabama Magnet Schools.
Acclaimed as one of America's outstanding ensembles, the Manhattan based Cassatt String Quartet has performed throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East, with appearances in London for the Sapphire Jubilee Celebration of Queen Elizabeth II, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, New York's Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Theater, the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the Theatre des Champs - in Paris and Maeda Hall in Tokyo. The Quartet has been presented on major radio stations such as National Public Radio's Performance Today, Boston's WGBH, New York's WQXR and WNYC, and on Canada's CBC Radio and Radio France.
Formed in 1985 with the encouragement of the Juilliard Quartet, the Cassatt initiated and served as the inaugural participants in Juilliard's Young Artists Quartet Program. Their numerous awards include a Tanglewood Chamber Music Fellowship, the Wardwell Chamber Music Fellowship at Yale (where they served as teaching assistants to the Tokyo Quartet), First Prizes at the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions, two top prizes at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, two CMA/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, a recording grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and commissioning grants from Meet the Composer and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2004, they were selected for the centennial celebration of the Coleman Chamber Music Association in Pasadena, California.
Is an American guitarist, composer and arranger. Frisell came to prominence as a jazz guitarist at ECM Records in the 1980s, and went on to work in a variety of contexts, notably as a member of the New York City Downtown Scene where he formed a long partnership with John Zorn. He was also a longtime member of Paul Motian's groups from the early 1980s until Motian's death in 2011. Since 2000, Frisell's output as a bandleader has included folk, country music, and Americana.
Daniel Strong Godfrey
is an American composer who has written for symphonic bands as well as a large body of chamber and orchestral music.
He began composing at the age of eight while his family was living in Ankara and later studied with Mario Davidovsky, Robert Morris, Martin Jenni and Richard Hervig, earning degrees from Yale and the University of Iowa.