Guitar Plus

Friday, January 18, 2019, at 7:30 PM

Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York City

Renowned guitarist/composer David Leisner, with guitarists Benjamin Verdery and João Luiz and vocalists Courtenay Budd, Devony Smith, and Janna Baty, in a celebration of Mr. Leisner’s 65th birthday, featuring three of his song cycles for voice and guitar

“Leisner’s songs have proved popular with the younger generation of American singers, and with reason. He has good literary judgement and shows imagination and taste in taking poems from disparate sources and putting them into cycles that trace emotional progress and develop dramatic shape. His prosody is excellent, and he sets words with an ear for sound, rhythm and sense…Best of all, Leisner has a gift for eloquently shaping a vocal line that is also grateful to sing.” — Richard Dyer, Boston Globe


Confiding for soprano and guitar (poems by women: Emily Dickinson, Emily Brontë, Gene Scaramellino, and Elissa Ely) performed by Devony Smith and João Luiz

Eve’s Diary for soprano and guitar (texts by Mark Twain) performed by Courtenay Budd and David Leisner

Five Songs of Devotion for mezzo soprano and guitar (devotional texts from 5 different religions: Jewish, Native American, Zen, Christian, and Hindu) performed by Janna Baty and Ben Verdery