July Meeting: Isabella Abbonizio and Gaëlle Solal

The Guitar Music of Maurice Ohana

Composer Maurice Ohana (1913–1992) is one of the most obscure figures of 20th-century guitar literature. Renowned for his Tiento (1957), his name has for a long time been exclusively paired with this single work. Only in the last two decades have other guitar pieces by Ohana started to become popular. Ohana’s complex cultural origins and multiple sources of inspiration are reflected in his music, and are the keys to understanding his work. In anticipation of the upcoming centennial in 2013 of the birth of Ohana, the presentation will feature discussion and performance of his guitar music.

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, July 5, 2012, 7:00 PM

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

About the presenters:

Isabella Abbonizio is an Italian guitarist and musicologist. Currently she is a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Center for European and Mediterranean Studies and is on the faculty of The Harlem School of the Arts. As a musicologist, Isabella received her Ph.D. at the University of Rome in 2010. Her research interests are focused on 20th-century Italian and French music, music and politics, and music and colonialism. She realized the first extensive analysis of the guitar works of Maurice Ohana (1913–1992), published in the journal Il Fronimo. Isabella is author of the first study about 20th-century Italian music and colonialism. Her research is presented at academic institutions and international conferences, including the International Musicological Society.

As a guitarist, Isabella received her Diploma at the Conservatory of Bologna (Italy), under the guidance of Griselda Ponce de Leòn, a student of Segovia. She has performed in master classes with Roland Dyens, Frédéric Zigante, Piero Bonaguri, Martha Masters, and João Luiz. She performs both as soloist and in chamber ensembles, in Italy and the United States. Isabella is a member of the Contemporanea Guitar Duo (with John Olson) and the Brooklyn Guitar Quartet (with Lars Frandsen, Carlos Cuestas, and Jesse Miller). Her repertoire is focused on 20th-century music and she has premiered a number of works for the guitar. A guitar promoter, she is the North American correspondent for the Italian guitar magazine GuitArt.

Born in Marseilles (France) in 1978, Gaëlle Solal began the guitar at age of six with René Bartoli. At fourteen, she won three gold medals at the Conservatoire de Marseilles, and as the best student of all instruments, was awarded the Prix de la Ville de Marseille. Afterwards, she studied with Alberto Ponce at Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Roberto Aussel at Musikhochscule Köln (Germany), and Alvaro Pierri at Université du Québec à Montreal (Canada). She has participated in many masterclasses with legendary guitarists such as Pepe Romero, Antigoni Goni, Roland Dyens, Oscar Ghiglia, Leo Brouwer, Alvaro Pierri, and Joaquin Clerch. She has won numerous prizes in international competitions, including 1st Grand Prix at the Alessandria Competition, 1st Prize in Locquémeau, 1st Prize in Savona, 1st Prize in Sernancehle, Finalist at Concert Artists Guild New York, Honor Diplom at Accademia Chigiana, and 2nd Prize at Guitar Foundation of America. She has performed in Festival d’Ile de France, Noches en los Reales Alcázares in Sevilla, Festival d’Avignon, Festival Montpellier-Radio France and at Zellerbach Hall (Berkeley), Tsuda Hall, Nikkei Hall, Oji Hall in Tokyo, and Merkin Concert Hall (NY). She recorded for NHK, France Musiques, RFI, and RAI. Gaëlle has played with the Berkeley Symphony, the Garde Républicaine Orchestra and the Philharmonic Turin Orchestra. She has toured in more than 30 countries including Germany, Myanmar, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Israel, Spain, France, Gabon, India, Iceland, Italy, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, Mexico, Palestine, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland, Tunisia, and the United States. Having a passion for contemporary music, Gaëlle performed the first interpretation in Italy of the Concerto by Maurice Ohana, the creation of the Double Concerto by Naomi Sekiya with Kent Nagano in Berkeley, and the creation of three new compositions at the Cordoba Guitar Festival 2006. Her curiosity to explore the boundaries between classical music and popular music lead her to begin a “Meisterklasse” program with Thomas Fellow at the Musikhoschschule of Dresden.

Gaëlle has taught at the Superior Conservatories of Cordoba (2002-04) and Sevilla (2003-09) in Spain. Appreciated as a teacher, she now travels all over the world to give concerts and masterclasses and to serve on juries at national and international competitions.