August 4, 2015

On September 11, Pablo Villegas kicks off the new season with the international release of Americano, which marks his first recording on the Harmonia Mundi label. To celebrate this debut, the charismatic Spanish guitarist performs selections from the new recording at Joe’s Pub in New York City on Tuesday, September 29, and upcoming Americano showcases in other cities will be announced shortly. Produced by two-time Grammy Award-winner Adam Abeshouse, Americano takes listeners on a musical journey through the myriad guitar traditions of the New World. Highlights include music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, preludes by Brazilian master Heitor Villa-Lobos, the popular standard Granada by Mexico’s Agustín Lara, original bluegrass arrangements, Roland Dyens’s beloved Tango en Skaï, and the world premiere recording of Rounds, the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams. (Click here to learn more about Americano, and see full track listing below.)

It was Villegas who first premiered Rounds in live performance; Williams comments:

“I feel privileged in having Pablo Villegas do the world premiere recording of Rounds. Also, it’s very exciting to see the appreciation of his exquisite artistry growing worldwide. It is a recognition that he so richly deserves!”

Click here to see a video preview of Americano.

In the coming season, Villegas makes no fewer than seven orchestral debuts. For his first appearances with the Pacific, Grand Rapids, Hawaii, and Cincinnati Symphonies, he plays Rodrigo’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre, which is also the vehicle for his returns to the Pittsburgh and Oregon Symphonies, following triumphant debuts with both last season. It is with Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez – a signature work – that the guitarist makes his debut with Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic and returns to Alabama’s Mobile Symphony, where he pairs Rodrigo’s masterpiece with Concierto Popular do Rio, which was written for him by Grammy Award-winner Sérgio Assad; the Classical Guitar Review pronounced his world premiere performance of the new concerto at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention one of the “Top 10 Guitawesomest Events of 2015.” For debuts with the Edmonton and Santa Barbara Symphonies, Villegas plays Elmer Bernstein’s Guitar Concerto, and to round out the season he reunites with violinist Augustin Hadelich and pianist Joyce Yang to reprise their critically lauded “Tango, Song, and Dance” program in a pair of recitals in California.

High-resolution promotional photos may be downloaded here.

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Pablo Villegas: Americano (Harmonia Mundi): track listing:

Pedro Elías Gutiérrez (1870-1954), arr. A. Diaz: Alma Llanera – Joropo
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959): Prelude No. 1, Melodia Lirica: Homenagem ao sertanejo brasileiro
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959): Prelude No. 3, Homenagem a Bach
Antonio Lauro (1917-86): Vals Venezolano No. 2
João Pernambuco (1883-1947): Sons de Carrilhões – Maxixe
Roland Dyens (b. 1955): Tango en Skaï
Luis Bonfá (1922-2001) arr. C. Barbosa-Lima: Passeio No Rio – Samba
Agustín Barrio-Mangoré (1885-1944): Danza Paraguaya No. 1
Antonio Lauro (1917-86), arr. P. Villegas: Seis Por Derecho – Joropo
Agustín Barrio-Mangoré (1885-1944): Un Sueño en la Floresta
John Williams (b. 1932): Rounds (world premiere recording)
Agustín Lara (1897-1970), arr. J. Morel / M. Ubis: Granada
Leonard Bernstein (1918-90), arr. J. Morel / M. Ubis: I Feel Pretty
Leonard Bernstein (1918-90), arr. J. Morel / M. Ubis: Maria
Leonard Bernstein (1918-90), arr. J. Morel / M. Ubis: America
Trad., arr. E. Scruggs / P. Villegas: Dear Old Dixie
Trad., arr. E. Scruggs / P. Villegas: Kansas City Kitty
Trad., arr. E. Scruggs / P. Villegas: Big Eared Mule

Pablo Villegas: 2015-16 engagements

Sep 11 & 12
Portland, OR
Oregon Symphony / Carlos Kalmar
John Corigliano: Troubadours
Joaquín Rodrigo: Fantasía para un gentilhombre

Sep 17 & 18
Bergen, Norway
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Carlo Rizzi (debut)
Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez

Sep 26 & 27
Mobile, AL
Mobile Symphony / Scott Speck
Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Sérgio Assad: Concierto Popular do Rio

Sep 29
New York, NY
Joe’s Pub
Americano CD release launch

Oct 9 & 11
Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / Gustavo Gimeno
Joaquín Rodrigo: Fantasía para un gentilhombre

 Nov 15
Honolulu, HI
Hawaii Symphony Orchestra / Scott Yoo (debut)
Joaquín Rodrigo: Fantasía para un gentilhombre
Francisco Tárrega: Gran Jota de Concierto

Jan 8
Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Symphony / Jacomo Bairos (debut)
Joaquín Rodrigo: Fantasía para un gentilhombre

March 10–12
Orange County, CA
Pacific Symphony / Manuel López-Gómez (debut)
Joaquín Rodrigo: Fantasía para un gentilhombre

March 17
Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Symphony / Kayoko Dan
Joaquín Rodrigo: Fantasía para un gentilhombre

April 8
Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra / Juanjo Mena (debut)
Joaquín Rodrigo: Fantasía para un gentilhombre

April 15
La Jolla, CA
La Jolla Music Society
Recital with Joyce Yang, piano; Augustin Hadelich, violin

April 16
Orange County, CA
Philharmonic Society at Orange County (debut)
Recital with Joyce Yang, piano; Augustin Hadelich, violin

April 30
Edmonton, Canada
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra / Cristian Macelaru (debut)
Elmer Bernstein: Guitar Concerto

May 14 & 15
Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Symphony / Nir Kabaretti (debut)
Season-closing concert
Elmer Bernstein: Guitar Concerto

 

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© 21C Media Group, July 2015