You are cordially invited to the superb guitar performances - International Guitar Festival Postojna!

 
Guitar Festival Postojna

MAK GRGIĆ


Program:

Sean Hayward (1988): THROUGH THE FOG
 

Nina Šenk (1982): TWISTED ZA KITARO SOLO
 

Peter Šavli (1961): LAMENTO ZA KITARO
 

Miroslav Tadic (1957): CHICO
 

Igor Lunder (1969): KAPA ZA KITARO

 

 

“Grgić has quickly established himself as one of the up-and-coming performers in the guitar genre.” Mak is an innovative player, who programs music as far reaching as works from the avant-garde, film music to the great classics of guitar repertoire and transcriptions of Brahms and Kreisler.

His new recording on Marquis Music entitled Cinema Verismo focuses on music used in cinema over the last few decades, which mixes classical works used in films and transcriptions of cinematic scores. The CD includes Asturias by Albeniz, for which one critic stated that “Grgic did an excellent job of catering to the expectations of the audience while still make the piece his own.” Cinema Verismo also offers music ranging from films such as The Godfather, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Volver, The Mission, West Side Story and Chariots of Fire.

Mak, who was recently a Young Artist in Residence at The Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, is a co-founder of DC8, Da Camera’s contemporary music ensemble, which strives to expand the definition of what a modern music ensemble can be. In particular, it makes use of the acoustic guitar and brings to the fore a mixture of a classic Pierrot Ensemble and the drums and bass used in the Bang on a Can All-Stars. In February 2014 the group will premiere a newly commissioned work from the renowned American composer Michael Gordon, co-founder of Bang on a Can of New York City.

His collaborators have so far included Martin Chalifour (Concertmaster of The Los Angeles Philharmonic), cellist Jay Campbell, Joshua Roman, The Assad Brothers, Ashley Bathgate (cellist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars), John Sant’Ambrogio (former principal cello of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra), flutist Christopher Matthews, Paul Vasile and Stephen Ackert on the organ, guitarists Christopher McGuire and Taso Comanescu, percussionist Ian Rosenbaum, and guitarist-composer Nejc Kuhar, with whom Mak made his first album, sponsored by The National Radio of Slovenia and the Ministry of Culture in Slovenia.

Grgic has performed with orchestras such as the Spokane Symphony at The Festival at Sandpoint under Maestro Gary Sheldon, conductor of The Miami City Ballet, as well as the festival orchestra at Lancaster Festival, The RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Ivo Lipanovic, the Croatian Chamber Philharmonic with Maestro Mladen Tarbuk, the SNG Maribor Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Simon Krecic and St. Petersburg Symphony with conductor Vladimir Lande, former principal oboe of The St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

Recent and upcoming recitals include the Sarasota Guitar Society, Austin Classical Guitar in recital with Martin Chalifour, two appearances at the Allegro Guitar Series in Texas, the University of Las Vegas in Nevada, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Newman Center for Performing Arts, Denver in performance with the Assad Brothers and cellist Joshua Roman for a show called Strings on Fire, Strathmore Hall in North Bethesda, MD, Pepperdine University as a guest of Christopher Parkening, Portland Classical Guitar, Guitar Festival Mikulov, Triangle Guitar Society, Piran Music Nights and The Sounds of Six Strings, Cankarjev Dom, Slovenia as well as Lyrica Chamber Music Society in New Jersey with Ashley Bathgate, and percussionist Ian Rosenbaum in a program entitled Bach in a Fresh Context, combining Bach with Michael Harrison and Philip Glass, Arts at the Park in NYC and the New York Classical Guitar Society.

Other dates have included performances at the Grande Auditorium di Espinho, Espinho and Teatro di Fafe, Fafe Municipality in Portugal, Teatro Cervantes de Bejar, Salamanca, Castile-Leon in Spain, International Music Council of the European Broadcasting Union in an all instrument “New Talent” Competition in Bratislava, representing the Republic of Slovenia as well as The Dallas Opera with Chamber Orchestra in performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse.

Mak is a passionate advocate for new music and has therefore premiered numerous new pieces, including the music of Nina Senk with JACK Quartet, the music of David Crowell, a new version of Toby Twining’s 9/11 Blues, Michael Harrison’s Hijaz Prelude, in a version for guitar and cello, and music by Christian Carey, Julia Adolphe, Thomas Kotcheff, Sven-David Sandström, Hakki Cengiz Eren, and William Harvey, who is presently living in Afghanistan.

He has been interviewed around the world by magazines, newspapers and radio stations such as KPBX in Spokane, Washington, Sarasota Public Radio, UNIVOX and National Radio in Slovenia, National TV and Radio in Croatia, Thüringische Landeszeitung in Germany, Jutarnji List in Croatia, the popular family magazine Jana in Slovenia, the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio, Classical Guitar Magazine in the UK and Il Messaggero and Chitarra Classica in Italy.

Mak recently took first prize at the Guitar Competition “Luigi Mozzani” in Italy and has been honored with highest prizes at: the Andres Segovia International Competition for young guitarists in Velbert, Germany, the Forum Gitarre Wien International Competition in Vienna, Austria, the International Guitar Competition in Arrenzano, Italy, the Anna Amalia Competition for young guitarists in Weimar, Germany, the International Guitarart Festival and Competition in Belgrade, Serbia and the European Classical Guitar Competition “Enrico Mercatali” in Italy.

Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he studied guitar in Zagreb with the revered Ante Cagalj at the Elly Basic Conservatory of Music and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree with Alvaro Pierri at the Universitaet fuer Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria. At the moment he is pursuing his Doctoral Degree at the USC Thornton School of Music as a student of William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. He is also a teaching assistant at USC under the direction of Brian Head. His charitable activities include fundraising for Bosnian children with financial issues, including a recent recital in Zenica, BIH, where funds were raised for a local orphanage. Mak currently plays a Jose Ramirez guitar MC made in 1966 in Madrid and a double top guitar made by Slovenia’s brilliant luthier Samo Sali, whom he proudly supports.


“On this disc, the gifted young guitarist Mak Grgic uses different guitars to perform arrangements of music featured in film soundtracks; a flamenco instrument, for example, for Alberto Iglesias’s “Volverino.” Mr. Grgic’s imaginative, expressive playing is also heard in Stanley Myers’s “Cavatina”; an excerpt from Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana”; and selections by Bach, Albeniz, Albinoni, Bernstein and Nino Rota.”

The New York Times


“Weiss’s Passacaglia in D Major was proclaimed a “high point of the evening” offering “a superb, finely detailed reading that showed Grgic is a guitarist to keep an eye on.” “He turned in a beautiful account of Weiss’s six-movement “L’Infidel” suite, exploring its contrasts and fascinating twists and turns — from the deeply personal Sarabande to the slow-gathering power of the Paisanne — with real intelligence. It was a treat to hear the Slovenian guitarist Mak Grgic spotlight two rarely heard works by Weiss in a fine performance of Renaissance and Baroque music on Sunday night at the National Gallery of Art.”

Washington Post


“[On] Cinema Verismo…rest assured the 14 tracks add up to a well-contrasted and satisfying hour-long recital. More importantly Mak Grgic’s abundant, yet tasteful guitar virtuosity leaves a powerful impression…The accompanimental clusters in Granados’ Spanish Dance No. 5 provide an urgent commentary alongside the curvaceous main tune…Grgic brings understated eloquence to a simple and effective arrangement of Bernstein’s “Somewhere” from West Side Story…Aside from Grgic’s own talent for nuance and multi-hued voicings, the coloristic variety also is due to his use of different instruments throughout the recital.”

Classics Today


“Following in the footsteps of fellow Balkan virtuoso Milos, Slovenian guitarist Mak Grgic’s talents are showcased on a cleverly compiled selection of classical pieces familiar from the Movies–not just the mandatory Cavatina, but orchestral pieces ingeniously arranged for solo guitar…the poignancy of Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe is deftly sustained by the solitude of solo guitar, Elsewhere, Nino Rota’s Godfather’s Waltz is even more stately than in the film, while Albeniz’s Asturias allows Grgic to indulge the core classical repertoire.”

The Independent, U.K.


“Grgic is a young guitarist whose reputation is on the rise. This CD Cinema Verismo features classic, well-loved melodies from film scores alongside traditional favorites of guitar repertoire. The inventive “concept” of this “recital CD” keeps it fresh and accessible. When people ask me for a good way to “introduce” others to classical music, I often reach for a CD like this one. The combination of guitar, great works, and film tunes make it an excellent, musically non-threatening introduction to the world of fine music. Another good pick to start your music library.”

Radio Del Marva


“Grgic has quickly established himself as one of the up-and-coming performers in the guitar genre… Music from Enrico Morricone’s The Mission and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was placed alongside Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story to give a wide-ranging, yet sophisticated recital… Grgic’s energy on stage was infectious, and added a nice contrast to the old stereotype of “sit stoically and play… The concert proved that not all movie music belongs in the pops oeuvre, and that—at least on a solo recital level—the artistic merit of the music drives its programming, not its genre.”

North Texas Performing Arts News


“…a program that would have needed a bucket of popcorn to be any more cinematic. The Spanish Dance No. 5 by Spanish composer Enrique Granados offered an interestingly different arrangement of a familiar work…Asturias…this passionate, driving work makes frequent appearances at recitals such as this one, but never wears out its welcome. And Grgic did an excellent job of catering to the expectations of the audience while still make the piece his own…Bach’s incredible Chaconne from the Partita for Solo Violin No. 2…the longest piece on the program, this highly complex, 13-minute work is almost operatic in its structure. Employing a slightly darker-than-average tone, Grgic managed to clearly articulate the work’s many voices without getting lost in its daunting architecture…“And now, the fun one,” Grgic said, before launching into a wonderfully clever arrangement of the main theme from Ennio Morriconi’s score for Sergio Leone’s legendary spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. His intro proved to be right on the money… you would have to give this concert a thumbs up.”

Star-Telegram, Texas


“…the program launching the innovative season for Guitar Sarasota, performed to a sold-out hall and providing intriguing examples of the use of great classical music to support great cinematic moments, was fascinating…A secret pleasure revealed: what fun it was to see J.S. Bach’s iconic Chaconne (BMV 1004) listed in the program as “From the movie ‘The Beast with Five Fingers’”…More important, this was one of the best performances by the young guitarist, providing an appropriate outlet for his lyric interpretive preferences rather than adhering to conventional academic norms…his technique is impressive and the rich tone he drew from his instrument was often striking… positive results were found in fine music from other sources, such as two melodies from Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and both Morricone’s ubiquitous “Gabriel’s Oboe” and his score for “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.”

Herald Tribune, Sarasota, Florida


“An alluring combination of masterful guitar skills, dedication to playing and an engaging stage presence fascinated the multigenerational audience, who refused to let the guitar virtuoso of the stage.”

Manca Cujez, siol.net


“Mak Grgic, introduced himself to our audience with the Rodrigo Fantasia para un Gentilhombre and Adiós Nonino by Astor Piazolla. He is a prominent young guitarist whose virtuosity is made transparent through a blend of pure talent and hard work…he has an excellent technique. He is attentive to both the beauty of his sound and a sense of responsibility to the written page. With such important opportunities he moves closer to becoming the crème de la crème.”

Helena Novak, klasika.hr


“Mak Grgic is a young artist with an undoubtedly luminous career ahead of him…he portrayed an immense capability of developing the thematic material with a certain profound sense, which goes the same for his tendency for clarity of a phrase…his playing is, in fact, full of personality and wide musical range.”

Franco Di Lena, Il Messaggero,


 

The weeping of the guitar
begins.
The goblets of dawn
are smashed.
The weeping of the guitar
begins.
Useless
to silence it.
Impossible
to silence it.
It weeps monotonously
as water weeps
as the wind weeps
over snowfields.
Impossible
to silence it.
It weeps for distant
things.
Hot southern sands
yearning for white camellias.
Weeps arrow without target
evening without morning
and the first dead bird
on the branch.
Oh, guitar!
Heart mortally wounded
by five swords.

F. Garcia Lorca

 

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