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Marko Feri (Slovenia)
Marko Feri

Marko Feri took his Diploma in guitar at the “G.Tartini” conservatory in Trieste (Italy) and then attended many masterclasses with D.Russell, M.Barrueco and A.Ponce. He plays regularly in important music festivals in Europe (Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Spain, Germany, France, Romania, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary), USA (GFA 2006 – Columbus GA, GFA 2012 – Charleston SC, and other festivals in New York State, Texas, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee), Canada (Toronto Guitar Society Series 2011,2012), Mexico, Australia and Japan, both as a soloist and with chamber music ensembles - “Gorni Kramer Quartet”, duo with accordeonist S.Zorza, with flutist A.Zupan, with Natissa and Cappella Civica choirs, with jazz singer Martina Feri, with “Concordia Chamber Orchestra” (Operita Maria de Buenos Aires by A.Piazzolla, The Threepenny Opera by Kurt Weill). . He has recorded several CD’s: “Vivo” (2014) and “Nocturnal” as soloist; “Strolic” (2014) with Natissa choir (music by Sivilotti); “Castelli friulani” (2014) with flutist N.Mazzanti (music by G.Tortora); “Notes Vagabondes - Live” and “Modulante” with the Gorni Kramer Quartet; “20th Century Original Works For Flute And Guitar” with E.Michelazzi; “Viva Sevilla” with the “Italian Guitar Consort”; “Astor Piazzolla-Orchestral Works” with the Concordia Chamber Orchestra; “Evasion” (music by Piazzolla and Bolling) with Evasion group. He teaches guitar at the Glasbena Matica “Marij Kogoj” in Trieste-Italy and gives masterclasses in Europe, USA, Canada and Mexico. He is also the art director of the International Guitar Festival “Kras” (Italy/Slovenia).



Daniel Bolshoy (Canada)
Daniel Boyshoy

Daniel Bolshoy is committed to bringing the guitar to the attention of audiences everywhere. He is regularly praised for his friendly and informative spoken introductions, and progressive programming of solo and chamber music. His concert tours take him from prestigious international concert stages to remote villages and house-concerts.

Mr. Bolshoy has performed as a soloist with many orchestras internationally and across Canada, including: the Mexico City Philharmonic, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Beer Sheva Symphony (Israel), Volgograd Symphony Orchestra (Russia), New Mexico Symphony (United States), Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, Edmonton Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic, Vancouver Island Symphony, Peterborough Symphony, Huntsville Festival Orchestra, Red Deer Symphony, Symphony of the Kootenays, Oakville Symphony, Etobicoke Philharmonic, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra. This season he performs with the Kingston Symphony, the Canada West Chamber Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra.

Daniel Bolshoy has performed for many prestigious festivals including, Guitar-Gems (Israel), Tabula Rasa (Russia), the Abbey Bach (United Stated), the International Music Festival in Macao, GuitarfestWest (Calgary), Halifax Guitar Festival, Music and Beyond (Ottawa), Indian River Music Festival, Guelph Spring Festival, Elora music Festival, Westben Arts Festival, Festival des arts Bore-Art, Ottawa and Vancouver International Chamber Music Festivals and many more. He has toured under the auspices of Prairie Debut, Debut Atlantic, Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and Musique Royale; and has performed for the Debut Series in Montreal and Vancouver and for the CBC/NAC Debut series in Ottawa. Concerts in the United States include a tour for Live on Stage and numerous appearances at music festivals and universities.

Jeffrey McFadden (Canada)
McFadden
Over the last twenty years, Jeffrey McFadden has established a place among the preeminent guitarists of his generation. Concert engagements have taken him throughout Canada, across the United States and to Europe. He has been a featured performer at several international music festivals, including "Guitar '87" and GuitarFest '91 in Toronto, The Guitar Foundation of America Convention, Gitarren-Symposium Iserlohn, the National Flute Association (USA) Convention, the Festival Mediterraneo della Chitarra and many others.

In 1992, Jeffery McFadden was awarded a Silver Medal in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition and was also a prize-winner in the 1993 Great Lakes Guitar Competition. His debut recording was the first in the "Laureate Series" on Naxos and was released world-wide. Since its release, this recording has sold in the tens of thousands of copies. The Daily Telegraph of London (UK) exclaimed "McFadden's ability to make the guitar sing is second to none", and Classic CD has described his playing as "major artistry".  Soundboard called one of his recent performances “a highlight of the (GFA) festival”.

McFadden formed Duo Spritoso in 2004, with American guitarist and composer Andrew Zohn. The duo has toured extensively and released one CD to date on Clearnote which was lauded as “a powerhouse of duo playing and a treasure trove of inventive transcriptions,” and was said to mark the arrival of …”a great new duo.”  

He is frequently heard on CBC/Radio-Canada and NPR in the United States both as soloist and ensemble player. His arrangements of Bach’s first three Cello Suites have been published recently and are available from ClearNote Publications. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Sauble Beach Festival of the Classical Guitar.

McFadden is the first person to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University if Toronto. As an Eaton Graduate Fellow, he completed his thesis in 2010. The textbook extracted from the thesis, Fretboard Harmony will be published in the spring of 2010 by Les Productions d’OZ, Canada.
Iliana Matos (Spain)
MAntos
Hailed by the critics as “The guitar guru” (E-Veritas. University of Miami) “the powerful and intense style of Iliana Matos" (Classical Guitar Magazine) has made possible the beginning of an extraordinary career following the tradition set by María Luisa Anido, the great Lady of the guitar, what upon hearing Iliana Matos play, wrote: “I am admired by your wonderful guitar art!, and I am proud to know that a woman (and Cuban!) came to such a degree of artistic perfection”. Her acclaimed CD "Angels in the street", released in 2007 on the GSP label has earned accolades such as: “Her name deserves to go down in guitar history as one of the great players of our time." (Classical Guitar Magazine); "a match-made-in-heaven recording that is about as perfect as guitar records get... she simply, radiantly shines, a virtuoso in service to the music" (American Record Guide); "she has sufficient of all credentials necessary to take her place in the annals of guitar as one of its truly gifted and outstanding exponents." (musicweb-international.com), "it's impossible while listening to 'Angels' to believe that her name will not someday ring the same peal of recognition as does Bream and Williams" (Minor7th.com).

Iliana Matos has a long history of prestigious awards including first prizes in the Andrés Segovia, Luys Milán, and Manuel Ponce International Guitar Competitions.

She made history by becoming the first woman to win the prestigious ‘S.A.R. La Infanta Doña Cristina’ International Guitar Competition, and the only guitarist who has the special prize for the best Interpretation of Spanish music in two consecutive years, 1995 & 1996,   Showing astounding mastery in a wide variety of musical periods and styles she has also won Special Awards for the best interpretation of the works dedicated to Leo Brouwer, Manuel Ponce, Joaquín Rodrigo, Manuel de Falla, Dionisio Aguado, Luys Milan, Anton García Abril, Tomás Marco, Eduardo Martin and Ernesto Cordero.

Matos's commitment to contemporary music and to the growth of the guitar repertoire has led her to premiere works by numerous composers such as Eduardo Morales, Tomás Marco, Zulema de la Cruz, Gabriel Estarellas, Flores Chaviano, Ileana Pérez, Madays Andino, Ñico Rojas, Yalil Guerra, Luis Mario Ochoa and Eduardo Martín.
Michael Kolk (Canada)
Kolk
Michael Kolk has performed at music festivals and concert halls throughout Europe and North America and has been called "one of the most musical guitarists performing and recording today" (This is Classical Guitar). Liona Boyd has described him as "one of the most brilliant and expressive classical guitarists I have heard in my life". A winner of numerous guitar competitions, he has released two solo albums to date, as well as two albums as part of the Henderson-Kolk Guitar Duo. Michael has collaborated with musicians in both classical and popular genres and made his orchestral debut as soloist with the Toronto Philharmonia. His most recent solo album, Mosaic, released by Alma Records in February 2014, was praised as "playing and musicianship of the highest order" by Whole Note Magazine. Originally from Vancouver, Michael currently lives and teaches in Toronto. He holds a Performer's ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a Master's Degree in Guitar Performance from the University of Toronto where he studied with Jeffrey McFadden.
Graham Banfield (USA)
Graham Banfield

Winner of the 2010 Northwest Guitar Festival international competition. Graham Banfield has performed at Carnegie Hall, throughout the US, Europe and Japan. His program will include works by Takemitsu, Bennet, Britten and Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint“. He holds degrees from Yale University, the Conservatory Italian Switzerland, and is now pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto on a full scholarship under the tutelage of Dr. Jeffrey McFadden. As a researcher, he is particularly interested in the discourse surrounding non-normative approaches to career building and pedagogy within classic guitar communities. He was also featured on Garth Neustadter’s EMMY award winning PBS soundtrack “John Muir in the New World”.

James Renwick (Canada)
James Renwick

James Renwick was born in Hamilton, Ontario and grew up with many musical opportunities. However, it was not until he discovered the classical guitar that he decided to pursue a formal education in music. His formal studies on the classical guitar began at McMaster University under Patrick Feely. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Music, he entered the Master's Performance program at the University of Toronto. At U of T, he studied with Dr. Jeffrey McFadden for two years and has very recently completed the degree. In the coming September, James plans to continue his musical education by pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Toronto with Dr. McFadden.

During his time studying guitar, James has performed a number of recitals throughout Ontario, including performances for the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and Brantford Future Stars of the Guitar series. He has also performed in masterclasses with many notable guitarists such as Pavel Steidl, Ana Vidovic and Jérôme Ducharme.

Outside of solo guitar, James is enthusiastic about collaborations with other instruments having performed with voice, cello, flute, orchestra and recently as an on-stage guitarist and chorister in U of T's production of the opera Paul Bunyan. James is also passionate about singing and sings with high level choral groups like the Exultate Chamber Singers (ECS), the MacMillan Singers and the Baroque-specialized Arcady Singers. He looks forward to bringing these interests together in the fall when he will be collaborating with the ECS on a piece for choir and guitar. 

Patrick Kearney (Canada)
Kearney
Classical guitarist Patrick Kearney represents a rare balance between sheer technical virtuosity and intense musicality. A true artist, he consistently spellbinds audiences through his deep musical insight and natural dramatic flair, interspersing his performances with narration and anecdotes discovered through deliberate research into the guitar repertoire.

Born in Montreal, Canada, Patrick Kearney discovered the classical guitar early on in life. Having won his first national competition in Ottawa at the age of ten, he pursued his studies first under Daniel Boyer and then with Jacques Joubert at Vanier College. Convinced that music was his true calling, Patrick went on to complete his Superior Diploma in Performance at the École Normale de Musique de Paris, where he received the highest honours under the direction of Rafaël Andia and Alberto Ponce.

Upon his return from France in 1993, Patrick began his professional career as an international competitor and touring artist, winning top prizes in several international competitions. Patrick has performed in concert and conducted master classes on numerous tours throughout Europe, the United States, Mexico, and Canada. He has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de l’Îsle, the Shenandoah University Orchestra, Montreal’s I Musici, and the Ensemble Appassionata. In 1997 he completes his Master’s Degree under the guidance of Peter McCutcheon.

Never content to remain confined within the standard guitar repertoire, Patrick has taken steps to contribute significantly to the world of art music. He has commissioned and premiered several works by contemporary composers such as Andrew Zohn, Atanas Ourkouzounov, Jay Kauffman, Ginette Bellevance, and Robert F. Jones, and has inspired composers such as Daniel Boyer and Claude Engel to create and dedicate new works to him. 

Patrick Kearney has released four guitar albums: Bouquet(1997); Stringendo (2002), which is a tribute to contemporary Montreal-related composers and was nominated for the prestigious OPUS Prize; the powerful Diabolico (2004), in which the listener follows a musical timeline between ambitious youth and understated maturity; and recently the acclaimed Impressions (2009), featuring the works of M.M.Ponce, on the ATMA classique label. 

Mr. Kearney teaches guitar at Concordia University in Montreal as well as at Vanier College. He is the founder and director of the Montreal International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition (www.guitaremontreal.com), which is hosted by Concordia Music. 
Robert Hamilton (Canada)
Hamilton

Mr. Hamilton holds a Performer's A.R.C.T. in classical guitar as well as a Teacher's A.R.C.T. in classical guitar pedagogy. Both diplomas were obtained at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Mr. Hamilton studied solo guitar repertoire and the RCM examination curriculum with his principle teachers Carol Van Feggelen and Norbert Kraft at the RCM. As well, he specialized in the study of classical guitar technique with Aaron Shearer at the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD) and guitar ensemble performance, teaching techniques and guitar pedagogy with Jacques Chandonnet at Laval University (Quebec). He is a founding member of Associate Guitarists of Toronto, a member of the AFM and the Toronto Guitar Society.

Mr. Hamilton began his professional teaching career in Sudbury as the guitar instructor at Cambrian College. Later he established the guitar program at Laurentian University and in 1979 became a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory of Music. In addition to his teaching activities Mr. Hamilton is also a juror of guitar exams and recitals for students in the music programs at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, as well as a workshop clinician and festival adjudicator throughout the country. He is the Co-editor of the RCM Guitar Series and Syllabus and founder and director of the Avondale Ensemble performing group. As a senior member of the RCM college of examiners Mr. Hamilton examines for all levels of the RCM classical guitar practical examinations throughout Canada as well as sets and marks the A.R.C.T. guitar teachers written examination papers.

Mr. Hamilton welcomes and teaches all levels of classical guitar students from beginners to advanced and believes anyone can learn to play the guitar regardless of age or musical background. His lessons are tailored to each students' individual goals and abilities and he maintains an easy and relaxed studio atmosphere. Mr. Hamilton specializes in classical guitar instruction for fun and relaxation, for the preparation of RCM practical guitar examinations (preparatory through A.R.C.T.), audition and performance preparation, and the development of classical guitar technique. Numerous students of Mr. Hamilton have won the silver medal for the highest exam mark in Ontario and he has produced many RCM graduates in both guitar performance and pedagogy, some now with teaching and performing careers across Canada and the U.S.

Emma Rush (Canada)

Over the last decade guitarist Emma Rush has established herself as one of Canada's top classical guitarists. She was involved with music from an early age and played many instruments before discovering a love for the guitar.  After initial studies, Emma Rush moved to Nova Scotia to complete an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax.  During her years in Halifax, she was active in playing solo and chamber music concerts and participating in numerous masterclasses and quickly became known for her warm sound and expressive playing.

From 2002-2006 Emma Rush lived in Dortmund, Germany.  She completed post-graduate studies with world renowned guitarist Dale Kavanagh at the Hochschule fur Musik in Detmold (completed February 2006).  She graduated at the top of her class.  The years in Germany offered her many opportunities to refine her skills in masterclasses with David Russell, Roland Dyens, Carlo Marchione, and Tilman Hoppstock, among others.

In 2011 Emma Rush was a top prize winner at the Columbus State International Guitar Competition and the Great Lakes International Guitar Competition.  She has been the recipient of three City of Hamilton Arts Awards (Music, Arts Administration, Education) and was nominated for a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture.  Her much anticipated debut album, Folklórica, was released in the summer of 2014.

Emma Rush is now based Hamilton where she maintains a busy teaching studio in addition to faculty appointments at Mohawk College and Redeemer University College.  She performs throughout North America and Europe and appears regularly as a performer and teacher at international music festivals (Iserlohn, Acadia, Great Lakes).  Emma Rush is the founder and artistic director of the Guitar Hamilton concert series and the Hamilton International Guitar Festival.  Recent performance highlights include Shanghai Guitar Festival, China, the Philadelphia Guitar Society, the Fort Worth Masters Series (Texas), and a tour of the eastern provinces of Canada.  Upcoming appearances include concerts in Canada, Germany, Mexico, and the United States.