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Guitar duo in concert March 8

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Spartanburg, S.C. - The duo of Italian guitarist Pasquale Rucco and American guitarist Douglas James will be at Wofford College March 8 as a part of the Troubadour Series concerts. Their performance will be at 7 p.m. in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building. Admission is free and open to the public.

The duo specializes in the guitar literature of the early 19th century, performed on authentic instruments of the period.

The duo’s repertoire features some of the most famous of the early 19th century guitar duo masterpieces, as well as newly discovered works. Their concert programs frequently include works by the more familiar composers such as Carulli, Giuliani and Sor, combined with their lesser known contemporaries including Filipo Gragnani, François de Fossa, Antoine Baron de Barcó, Frederic Spina, and Antoine de Lloyer.

Their debut CD featured works by Gragnani, Fossa and Barcó as well as Giuliani’s arrangements of Rossini’s popular overtures to “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” and “La Gazza Ladra.” This critically acclaimed disc was recently followed by “A Night at the Opera,” an all-Rossini recording featuring 19th century arrangements of popular opera overtures and the famous “La Danza” tarantella.

Rucco and James are internationally recognized authorities in the early Romantic style. Recent performances have included concerts throughout the United States, Italy, and Austria, in such prestigious venues as the Oberlin Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Early Music Houston and the Stetson International Guitar Summer Workshop.

Douglas James has received numerous prizes and awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowships. He performs frequently throughout the United States and in Europe, and has been featured on major classical radio broadcasts including National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” He is director of guitar studies and Appalachian Guitar Fest at Appalachian State University, and is currently the chairman of the advisory board of the Guitar Foundation of America.  James holds the doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Arizona, where he studied guitar with Thomas Patterson.

Pasquale Rucco is the winner of several European guitar competitions, including the 1989 Arturo Toscannini Solo Guitar Competition for the performance of 19th century music. Since then, he has performed regularly in Europe and the United States, both as a soloist and chamber musician specializing in the 19th century literature played on period instruments. He also is the founding director of A.C.I.F., a consortium of music academies operating in the greater Naples region.