Grammy award-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux, called “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists” by Gramophone magazine, is the Santa Fe Symphony’s special guest artist during the month of February.
The symphony is thrilled that Vieaux will be giving two concerts-a solo recital and an orchestra performance-that will showcase his internationally-recognized talent.
Vieaux’s solo recital takes place on February 16, including works by such icons as J.S. Bach and Duke Ellington and by contemporary composers including Paulo Bellinati, Pat Metheny and Jose Luis Merlin. This solo recital will be the second in a new series launched by the symphony this season.
“The recital series is an intimate opportunity to share the experience with some of our brilliant guest artists during the week before their appearance with the full orchestra,” explains executive director Gregory Heltman, who presented pianist Olga Kern in recital earlier in the season.
On February 19, Vieaux joins the full orchestra to perform Joaquin Rodrigo’s guitar concerto “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre.” Conductor Guillermo Figueroa leads the orchestra in Dvorak’s Symphony No. 3 and Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony.
Vieaux is extremely enthusiastic about the 2013 custom-built Gernot Wagner guitar he’ll be playing in the concerts. “This guitar does everything,” says Vieaux, who purchased his first Wagner guitar in 2006 and played his current model on his most recent solo album “Play,” which won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. “This guitar was built, on my request, from both spruce and cedar woods. The cedar gives the sound ‘oomph,’ while the spruce enhances its quality. This is the best sounding guitar I have ever played.”
Vieaux has played quite a few guitars during his more than two decade-long career. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, he is a guitar teacher at his alma mater and at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. He also teaches online through the Jason Vieaux School of Classical Guitar which he launched with ArtistWorks Inc. in 2012.
Vieaux’s demanding teaching obligations are balanced with an active touring schedule that takes him to both the East and West coasts after his Santa Fe performances.