BUFFALO, NY – After two days of performances and a considerable deliberation period for the judges, three international classical guitarists were chosen to progress to the finals round of the third biennial JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, produced by WNED and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Benjamin Beirs, USA; Laura U. Klemke, Germany; and Marco Sartor, Uruguay were selected to compete following semifinal rounds held on Tuesday and Wednesday. (See biographies below.) Guido Sánchez, Costa Ricawon the Composer’s Choice Award, selected by 2007 JoAnn Falletta International Composers’ Competition Winner Nikola Starcevicof of Belgrade, Serbia, whose Asiana V was required competition repertoire for all of the semifinalists.
“It was a very difficult selection, but three wonderful, diverse performers emerged,” said Falletta Competition Artistic Directors Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio. “The night of the finals is going to be a very hard choice.”
The three finalists will perform concerti for judges and a live audience on Friday, June 13 at 7:30 pm in Kleinhans Music Hall with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta.
The winner, announced immediately following the performances, will receive a prize package worth more than $31,000, including $7,500 cash (US); paid engagements with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony Orchestras (JoAnn Falletta, Music Director); a recording contract with Fleur de Son Classics (value $12,500); a concert guitar by Dake Traphagen, one of North America’s most preferred luthiers ($10,000) as well as a Karura Flight Case (value $1,350).
The competition is judged by Castellani and Andriaccio, internationally acclaimed touring and recording artists; John Landis, Classical 94.5/WNED program host; David Dusman, president of Dusman Audio, Inc.; renowned virtuoso guitarist and composer David Leisner; producer and host of NPR’s “Classical Guitar Alive” Tony Morris; Spanish virtuoso guitarist Enrique Muñoz Teruel; one of today’s leading international guitarists Eduardo Fernandez; and president of the Guitar Foundation of America Brian Head.
Tickets for the finals event are available at the door; at the BPO box office (weekdays, 9 am to 6 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm) at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY 14201 (Porter Avenue entrance); by phone at 716-885-5000; or online at www.bpo.org.
For more information, call Wendy Diina Ceppaglia, WNED Director of Special Events, at (716) 845-7000, ext. 371, or visit www.fallettacompetition.org.
Financial support for the Competition is provided by: HSBC Bank, NOCO Energy Corporation, Clover Management, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Robertson & Bach Fine Jewelry, Monaco Violin & Music Centre, Mercedes Benz of Buffalo, Western Regional Off-Track Betting, Fichte Endl & Elmer Eye Associates, Keyser-Cadillac, Fleur de Son Classics and Savarez. The Competition has also received support from the Adam’s Mark, GSP and Editions Orphee.
Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright Lifelong Learning, Classical 94.5/WNED-FM and WNED-AM 970 The Information Station, the member-supported Western New York Public Broadcasting Association provides high quality programming and services that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate our communities.
Currently in its 70th season, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is an internationally recognized symphony of the highest artistic caliber and an indispensable part of the Western New York community’s quality of life.
JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition
2008 Top 3 Finalists--Bios
Benjamin Beirs, USA
A native of the Philadelphia area, Benjamin Beirs recently released his debut recording, Distant Places & Different Times, a varied and colorful collection of his favorite guitar music. He maintains a busy performance schedule, frequently traveling to France to perform as the American half of “Duo Transatlantique.” The duo also features Beirs’ Peabody colleague, renowned French guitarist Maud Laforest.
Laura U. Klemke, Germany
A graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar, Germany, Laura U. Klemke has demonstrated her talent through 500 performances, including radio and television appearances all over the world. She has performed concerts solo and with orchestras as well as chamber music. Her debut solo CD, Paganini, Bach, Ponce, Searle, was released in 2006.
Marco Sartor, Uruguay
Marco Sartor has given master classes, performed live and appeared on radio and television across three continents, in Europe and the Americas. Sartor’s recording projects include collaborations with his former mentor, guitarist Marc Regnier, and counter-tenor José Lemos. He also started the guitar programs at the Charleston (South Carolina) Academy of Music and the Carnegie Mellon Music Preparatory School in Pittsburgh.