November 2014 Meeting: Jerry Willard

A Brief History of the Guitar
Played on original instruments, including Baroque guitar, 19th-century guitars (Rene Lacote original 1820, Louis Panormo original 1831), and modern classical guitar, with works by Sanz, Mertz, Alexsandrov, Sainz de la Maza, and Kondo Koji

The presentation will be followed by open-mic playing time for members. Sign up in advance to play — see the Member Events page for details. NYCCGS Member Events are free and open to all members and first-time guests, and are supported by a generous grant from the D’Addario Music Foundation.

Thursday, November 6, 2014, 7:00 PM

Manhattan Theatre Club Creative Center
311 West 43rd Street, 8th floor, between 8th and 9th Ave. (map)
New York City

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jerry Willard’s first teacher was his father, Jeff Willard, an accomplished guitarist in his own right. The guitar pedagogue Sophocles Papas recognized Jerry’s talent and invited him to study in Washington, D.C. He also studied with guitarists Richard Lurie and Alirio Diaz, who developed his musical and technical approach to the guitar. He also worked with violinist Misha Mishakoff and cellist Warren Downs, who expanded his knowledge of musical interpretation.

Mr. Willard has performed at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York City. He has concertized extensively throughout Europe and the United States. Raymond Ericson of The New York Times wrote, “The recital was exemplary. Mr. Willard took lute in hand for some pieces by Adrian LeRoy and John Dowland and turned that normally pale-sounding predecessor of the guitar into a brilliant and vivid instrument. Back with the guitar, the performer played his own transcriptions of Bach’s Lute Suite in E minor and five dances from Britten’s Gloriana plus Henze’s attractive Drei Tentos. It was again the clarity of Mr. Willard’s playing that gave special pleasure.”

Mr. Willard is an accomplished player of all types of fretted instruments, including the arch-lute, the Renaissance lute, and the Baroque, nineteenth-century, and modern guitars. Well known as an ensemble player, Mr. Willard has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, The New York Opera Company, The New York Consort of Viols, and The Queen’s Chamber Band.

He has published many editions for guitar, including The Complete Lute Music of J. S. Bach and The Complete Works of Gaspar Sanz, both available through Music Sales Corporation. Mr. Willard records for Lyrichord Discs. He has recorded music for arch-lute, Baroque Guitar, and Renaissance lute. He has just finished a recording of opera potpourris by Giuliani and Mertz on a Lacote guitar made in Paris in 1820. He resides in New York City and is on the faculty of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.