The San Francisco Conservatory Guitar Department has nearly forty students and five teachers, and the Conservatory Guitar Ensemble has a storied history of promoting new music. The Ensemble frequently commissions and premieres new pieces; it helped open the Conservatory’s new Concert Hall with the world premiere of Measures of Turbulence by Steve Mackey. The Ensemble recorded that piece for Naxos, and it has been featured in Guitar Foundation of America festivals in San Francisco and South Carolina as well as the FENAM festival in Sacramento.
Performing frequently off campus, the ensemble went on a three city tour with composer Steve Reich in 2000, performing his Electric Counterpoint, and in 2001 it gave the U.S. premiere of Terry Riley’s Y Bolanzero. Tonight’s program features new guitar solo and ensemble music from throughout the Americas. Guitar faculty member Sérgio Assad will be represented by his piece Aquarelle, the ensemble will perform a new work written for it by Montreal composer (and Conservatory alum) Renaud Côté-Giguère and chair David Tanenbaum will perform Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronisms No. 10 for guitar and tape.