November Meeting: A Discussion with Michael Lorimer

A discussion with acclaimed performer, scholar, arranger, publisher, and teacher Michael Lorimer.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Manhattan Theatre Club Creative Center
311 West 43rd St. between Eighth and Ninth Avenues
New York City

See below for a brief biography of Mr. Lorimer and check out the links to articles and interviews. Also, see Mr. Lorimer’s web site at

Michael Lorimer was a favorite student of Andrés Segovia who said in 1984, “Michael Lorimer is one of the most talented young guitarists of these times and is the one I appreciate the most.” In this article, Lorimer gives his perspective on Segovia’s teaching.

An in-depth interview from 2011 for a Russian guitar magazine covering Lorimer’s tours of the USSR, history of the baroque and classical guitars, working with composers, arrangements and new music for guitar, Segovia, and so forth.

Interview in 2009 with Michael Lorimer by Eduardo Fernández for the Italian guitar magazine Il Fronimo.

A beautifully illustrated 1983 article for Guitar Review focusing on guitar history and repertoire.

A 1980 interview for Frets magazine.

A 1976 article for Guitar Player by Alice Gilbert, wife of the guitar builder John Gilbert, on Lorimer’s first USSR tour.

Lorimer’s recording Remembranza — A Tribute to Andrés Segovia
Liner notes for Remembranza — A Tribute to Andrés Segovia

Track 1 — Capricho Arabe (Tarrega)
Track 2 — Fantasia Sevillana (Turina)
Track 3 — Study Without Light (Segovia)
Track 4 — Prayer (Segovia)
Track 5 — Remembrance (Segovia)
Track 6 — Zambra Granadina (Albeniz)
Track 7 — Memories of the Alhambra (Tarrega)
Track 8 — Homage to J. S. Bach (Villa-Lobos)
Track 9 — Cello Suite I: Prelude (Bach)
Track 10 — Cello Suite I: Allemande (Bach)
Track 11 — Cello Suite I: Courante (Bach)
Track 12 — Cello Suite I: Sarabande (Bach)
Track 13 — Cello Suite I: Menuets I & II (Bach)
Track 14 — Cello Suite I: Gigue (Bach)

Prefaces to several of Lorimer’s editions:

Ernesto García de Léon — Volume 1
Ernesto García de León — Volume 2

Atanas Ourkouzounov — Volume 1
Atanas Ourkouzounov — Volume 2

Silvius Leopold Weiss

John Anthony Lennon

Michael Lorimer, a favorite protégé of Andrés Segovia, caught the attention of American audiences in the early 1970s through tours arranged by the great impresario Sol Hurok. His popularity soon extended beyond the shores of America. The first American guitarist invited to perform in the USSR, he concertized there in 1975 and 1977 on two extensive tours. He has appeared in Israel, Cuba, throughout Europe, on most major North American recital series, with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Orpheus, with Kronos, and with the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Louisville, New Orleans, San Francisco and others.

At the same time that Michael Lorimer is an enthusiastic exponent of new music and of traditional classics, he is also the first world-class guitarist to regularly feature the baroque guitar in recital. Forty years ago, long before the present vogue in original instruments, Michael Lorimer was a pioneer bringing attention to the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century predecessor to the modern instrument. By the mid-1970s one London critic said, “If Lorimer is not the best baroque guitarist in the world at present the competition has still to present itself.”

In 1987, Michael Lorimer brought to light a milestone of the guitar repertoire, the best surviving collection for any instrument of early eighteenth-century Spanish dance music, when he published a detailed study and facsimile of the Saldívar Codex No. 4, a large, hitherto anonymous manuscript from a private collection in Mexico, and identified it as the companion volume to the British Library manuscript Passacalles y Obras (1732), a legacy of Santiago de Murcia.

In addition to concerts, Michael Lorimer gives master classes at North American universities and conservatories from coast to coast. He is an engaging spokesman in demand for experimental programs in arts presentation. From 1965-1978, he lead the guitar department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During the academic years 1980-1982, he was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Many of today’s American performers and teachers studied with Lorimer and/or with Lorimer’s students.

Michael Lorimer has written for the Guitar Review and for six years contributed a widely-praised, monthly column to Guitar Player. He edits the Michael Lorimer Editions which now numbers over forty volumes and is comprised of the Composers Series, a special forum for new guitar music; and the Classics Series, which features Lorimer’s arrangements, including his well-known editions of Bach’s Cello Suites 1-6, the first ever published of all six Bach suites.

Michael Lorimer was the star of the television special The Artistry of Michael Lorimer which appeared nationwide on PBS.