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Guitar Festival Comes to SUNY Plattsburgh

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Sept. 10, 2009) - On Oct. 2 and 3, the SUNY Plattsburgh music department will present the fourth annual Guitar Festival directed by Dr. William Pfaff, composer and assistant professor of music at SUNY Plattsburgh. Festival events include a lecture/performance, masterclass and concert. All events are free and open to the public.The festival opens with a lecture/performance by guest artist Dr. Jose Lezcano on Friday, Oct. 2, at 4 p.m. in Krinovitz Recital Hall, Hawkins Hall. His program, "The Guitar and the Devil: Music, Magic, and Ritual in the Andes," explores the interaction of culture, archetypes and traditional music styles. An informal question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.

Lezcano is an active composer and performer and teaches at Keene State College in Keene, N.H.

Jose Lezcano

On Saturday, Oct. 3, at 11 a.m. in Room 300 of the Myers Fine Arts Building, festival performers will host a special masterclass on composition and improvisation for the guitar.

"We encourage players of all ages and abilities to attend, whether you live in the community or are from the college," said Pfaff. "Everyone is welcome. Just bring your guitar."

Festival guest artists Dr. Whitman Brown and Ted Mann will join Pfaff and Lezcano in leading the guitar masterclass. An active composer and guitarist, Brown heads the composition and theory program at the Walnut Hill School, a private performing arts high school located outside Boston, Mass.

Ted Mann "Last year, our participants included community members as well as students and faculty from SUNY Plattsburgh. Working together, individually and in small groups, we explored folk, rock, jazz, blues and classical music," said Brown.

"We enjoyed the opportunity to work with participants individually and in small groups," said Mann, a composer and performer who lectures at Keene State College.

On Saturday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Krinovitz Recital Hall, the Guitar Festival concert will showcase the guitar in a variety of musical styles from classical to contemporary and feature several world premieres. Lezcano will perform a series of works including original compositions. Brown and Pfaff will join Mann to perform his new composition for three electric guitars: "Ricercars."  Pfaff's premiere, "Give Me an A," is scored for two electric guitars. 

Described by New Millennium Guitar Magazine as "a superb guitarist as well as a first-rate composer and arranger," Lezcano has captivated audiences on four continents. His programs featuring both classical and Andean music have taken him as recitalist, collaborative musician, and concerto soloist from Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City to major venues and festivals in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1960, Lezcano was invited to join the faculty of Keene State College in New Hampshire in 1991, where he is professor of music and teaches courses in guitar, music theory, and Latin American music, and directs the Guitar Orchestra and Latin American ensemble. He earned degrees from Peabody Conservatory, University of South Carolina, and Florida State University where his teachers included Aaron Shearer and Christopher Berg. He also participated in master classes taught by Michael Lorimer, Sharon Isbin, and Leo Brouwer, the noted Cuban guitarist and composer who referred to him as "a magnificent guitarist, un guitaristo magnifico."

For more information, contact William Pfaff at [email protected] or 518-564-2469.

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