Cuarteto Casals with Manuel Barrueco, guitar
29 October 2013 at 7:30 p.m.Toldrà: Quartet "Vistes al mar"
Debussy: Quartet in G minor, Op.10
Sierra: New work
Boccherini: Quintet in D Major, G.448, "Fandango"
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"A quartet for the new millennium if I ever heard one" wrote Strad magazine upon hearing Cuarteto Casals for the first time, shortly after its inception in 1997 at the Escuela Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Since winning First Prizes at the London and Brahms-Hamburg competitions, Cuarteto Casals has been a repeated guest at the world's most prestigious concert halls including Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, Musikverein Vienna, Philharmonie Cologne, Cité de la Musique Paris, Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Philharmonie in Berlin, among many others throughout Europe, North America and Japan.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in the 2012-13 season, Cuarteto Casals will perform the rarely heard cycle of 15 quartets of Franz Schubert in cities including Madrid, Florence, London, Lisbon, and Schwarzenberg. In tandem, Harmonia Mundi has released a new recording including the great G major quartet, Schubert's last contribution to the genre.
The quartet has compiled a substantial discography with the Harmonia Mundi label, including to date 9 CD's, with repertoire ranging from lesser known Spanish composers Arriaga and Toldrá to Viennese classics Mozart, Haydn and Brahms, through 20th Century greats Bartok, Kurtag and Ligeti.
"A sonic signature entirely its own," raved the New York Times, describing Cuarteto Casals' distinctive range of expression. A prize from the prestigious Burletti-Buitoni Trust in London enabled the quartet to purchase a matching set of Classical period bows which it uses for works from Purcell through Schubert, refining its ability to distinguish between diverse musical styles. In addition, the quartet has been profoundly influenced by its work with living composers, especially Gyorgy Kurtag, and has given the world premiere of quartets written by leading Spanish composers.
In recognition of Cuarteto Casals' unique position as the first Spanish string quartet with a truly international profile, the quartet has been honored with the Premio Nacional de Música as well as the Premi Ciutat Barcelona. The quartet has accompanied the King of Spain on diplomatic visits and performed on the peerless collection of decorated Stradivarius instruments in the Royal Palace in Madrid.
Cuarteto Casals often appears on television and radio throughout Europe and North America and is Quartet in Residence at the Auditori in Barcelona, where all four members reside and teach at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya.
Manuel Barrueco, guitar
Manuel Barrueco is internationally recognized as one of the most important guitarists of our time. His unique artistry has been continually described as that of a superb instrumentalist and a superior and elegant musician, possessing a seductive sound and uncommon lyrical gifts.
His career has been dedicated to bringing the guitar to the main musical centers of the world. During three decades of concertizing, he has performed across the United Sates from the New World Symphony in Miami to the Seattle Symphony, and from the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to New York's Lincoln Center. He has appeared with such prestigious orchestras as the Philadelphia Orchestra and with the Boston Symphony under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, in the American premiere of ToruTakemitsu's "To the Edge of Dream." In addition, he appears regularly with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and with San Francisco Performances.
His international tours have taken him to some of the most important musical centers in the world. Highlights include the Royal Albert Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philharmonie in Berlin, Teatro Real in Madrid, and Palau de la Musica in Barcelona. In Asia he has completed close to a dozen tours of Japan and made repeated appearances in Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Barrueco's tours of Latin America have included performances in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico. He has also performed as a guest soloist with other international orchestras such as the Russian State Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Auckland Symphony in New Zealand, and the radio symphonies of Munich and Frankfurt.
This coming season 2013-2014 includes solo recitals in the United States, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Holland, and he will also tour the United States with the Casals Quartet, premiering a new work written for him by Roberto Sierra. Other scheduled performances include concertos with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo (OSESP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Asturias Symphony Orchestra in Spain; the Florida Orchestra; the Daytona Philharmonic; and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra where he will premiere a new concerto written for him by composer Jonathan Leshnoff. He will continue being an Artist-in-residence for the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico and the University of Alicante, Spain.
Barrueco's recording catalogue includes over a dozen recordings for the EMI label. His recording of Joaquín Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" with conductor and tenor Plácido Domingo and the Philharmonia Orchestra was cited as the best recording of that piece in Classic CD Magazine, while Cuba! was called "an extraordinary musical achievement" by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Nylon & Steel, a collection of duos with guitar greats Al Di Meola, Steve Morse (Deep Purple), and Andy Summers (The Police), demonstrates Barrueco's outstanding versatility and imaginative programming. His Concierto Barroco, with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and conductor Víctor Pablo Pérez, received a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Classical Recording. This CD contains the world premiere recordings of new works for guitar and orchestra by Roberto Sierra and Arvo Part, as well as two guitar concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Other recordings encompass many of the works from the Spanish and Latin American repertoire, as well as Bach and Mozart, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea etcetera. He collaborated with soprano Barbara Hendricks and flutist Emmanuel Pahud in Cantos y Danzas, with The King's Singers on a Strauss album, and with the London Symphony on Manuel Barrueco plays Lennon & McCartney. His early recordings, available on VOX, have become a classic amongst guitar recordings.
Barrueco's commitment to contemporary music and to the expansion of the guitar repertoire has led him to collaborations with many distinguished composers such as Steven Stucky, Michael Daugherty, Roberto Sierra, Arvo Part, Gabriela Lena Frank, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, Jonathan Leshnof, and Toru Takemitsu, whose last orchestral work Spectral Canticle was a double concerto written specifically for Manuel Barrueco and violinist Frank Peter Zimmerman.
Manuel Barrueco has appeared on a wide array of American television programs including "CBS Sunday Morning", A&E's "Breakfast with the Arts", and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" on PBS. His work in music also inspired Michael Lawrence's biographical documentary: "Manuel Barrueco: A Gift and a Life" which has been aired by PBS stations around the United States including WNET-TV in New York. He was also featured in a Lexus car commercial. Barrueco's performances have been broadcast by television stations around the world such as NHK in Japan, Bayerische Rundfunk in Germany, and RTVE in Spain.
In 2007 Manuel Barrueco received a Grammy nomination for the "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance" for his Solo Piazzolla, which was the first recording to be released on the exclusive Manuel Barrueco Collection on Tonar Music. Tango Sensations and Sounds of the Americas came out subsequently in collaboration with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. The latter received a Latin Grammy Award for "Inca Dances" by Gabriela Lena Frank as the "Best Classical Contemporary Composition." Virtuoso Guitar Duos, which includes the most breathtaking guitar duos from the Spanish and Latin-American repertoire was released in August 2009 and in 2010 he released Tárrega! which received a Latin Grammy nomination for "Best Classical Album." His latest release Chaconne-A Baroque Recital came out in December 2012. In the 2013-2014 season he will release two recordings: Medea, which includes Barrueco's arrangement of the ballet by flamenco guitarist/composer Manolo Sanlúcar. Later in the season he will release China West, a recording of guitar trios in collaboration with his proteges, the Beijing Guitar Duo (Meng Su & Yameng Wang).
Manuel Barrueco began playing the guitar at the age of eight, and he attended the Esteban Salas Conservatory in his native Cuba. He immigrated with his family to the United States in 1967, as political refugees. Later, he completed his advanced studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he now shares his love for music with a small number of exceptionally gifted young guitarists from all over the world.http://www.barrueco.com/