March 2021 Online Meeting: Michael Kudirka

Thursday, March 4, 2021, at 7:00 PM EST

Online Zoom meeting — click here to join

How Microtonal Fretboards Can Save Harmony (And Why You Should Care)

Since the 19th century, frets on the guitar have been placed according to the principles of 12-tone equal temperament. This tuning system was known throughout the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical eras, but rejected because musicians felt its harmonic intervals were discordant and out of tune. In this talk, guitarist Michael Kudirka will use a microtonal guitar with interchangeable fretboards to introduce the tuning systems of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and play examples of music from that time in their corresponding tuning systems. New vistas of harmony, with added shadings of consonance and dissonance will be experienced in several pieces from the guitarist’s repertoire, including music by Francesco da Milano, John Dowland, J.S. Bach, Fernando Sor, and Dusan Bogdanovic.

The presentation will be followed by our Open Mic. 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.

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “the excellent guitarist in Henze’s unsettled score” and by Classical Guitar Magazine as “a leading proponent of new directions in classical guitar music,” Michael Kudirka is among the most committed, daring, and diversely talented of the current generation of virtuoso guitarists. An avid and long-time advocate of cutting-edge new music, Kudirka has maintained a close collaboration with Los Angeles-based composer Jeffrey Holmes since 2002, and a retrospective album of Holmes’s microtonal guitar works has been released by MicroFest Records (USA) in 2019. In the same year Kudirka also released the world-premiere recording of Bryan Johanson’s epic album-length composition 13 Ways of Looking at 12 Strings with Eric Benzant-Feldra on Les Productions d’Oz (Canada).

In November 2017 Michael Kudirka completed his third production run of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel at The Metropolitan Opera of New York, following performances at the Salzburger Festspiele (Austria) and The Royal Opera House (UK). Kudirka worked personally with Adès on the composer’s first-ever music written for guitar, and a DVD of The Met’s Fall 2017 production will be released by Deutsche Grammophon. Kudirka has also collaborated with 2017 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” winner Yuval Sharon in his production of Veronika Krausas’s chamber opera The Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth.

Michael Kudirka performs around the globe as a recitalist and chamber musician, and has appeared at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (China), Darmstadt Ferienkurse Für Neue Musik (Germany), Le Chappelle Historique du Bon Pasteur (Montreal), Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), Conservatorio de Las Rosas (Mexico), Ono Guitar School (Japan), Palace of Fine Arts (San Francisco), Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Zipper Recital Hall (Los Angeles), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Flatfile Galleries (Chicago), Lincoln Recital Hall (Portland), and many others. He has performed at numerous festivals and guitar societies including the 2011 Guitar Foundation of America Convention, Portland Guitar Festival, American Guitar Society, Jacaranda – Music at the Edge, Pacific Standard Time’s Stravinsky Retrospective, New Mexico Guitar Festival, Grand Canyon Guitar Society, Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s “Sunday’s Live,” American Composers Forum, EUROMicroFest, Seattle Classical Guitar Society, Northwest Guitar Society, Other Minds 8, and Music of Changes.

He has taught at the Idyllwild Arts Academy, California Institute of the Arts, University of Southern California, Interlochen Arts Academy, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He is currently a faculty member at Arkansas State University.

Michael Kudirka is sponsored by D’Addario and Augustine strings.