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Guitar virtuoso Michael Nicolella in concert at Wofford Jan. 29

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Guitar virtuoso Michael Nicolella will perform at Wofford College on Monday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. as a part of the Troubadour Series concerts. The performance will be in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building.

With a repertoire spanning from J.S. Bach to Jimi Hendrix, Michael Nicolella is recognized as one of America’s most innovative classical guitar virtuosos. He has received wide critical acclaim for his performances, recordings and compositions. The Washington Post calls him “an artist with eclectic taste and a contemplative beat.”

Nicolella blurs the lines between musical styles and disciplines. He is part of a growing trend in classical music to revitalize the role of the composer/performer. Known for his creative programming, he has introduced electric guitar into his “classical” programs and extended the repertoire and audience of his instrument not only with his own compositions and transcriptions, but also by premiering and commissioning works by some of today’s most exciting emerging composers. In the past five years, he has premiered more than a dozen new works for classical and electric guitar in solo, chamber and orchestral settings.

Nicolella has performed throughout North America and Europe, including performances with the Seattle Symphony, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Seattle Creative Orchestra, Ensemble Sospeso, Seattle Guitar Quartet, Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Seattle Choral Company and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra.

His latest CD, “Shard,” was released in May 2005. It is the stylistic follow-up to Nicolella’s critically acclaimed 2000 CD release of contemporary music for classical and electric guitar titled “Push.”

As a performer and composer, Nicolella has received awards, grants, commissions and fellowships from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, 4Culture, Wisconsin Arts Board, Washington State Arts Commission, King County Office of Cultural Resources and the Seattle Arts Commission. He was first prize winner of both the Portland and Northwest solo classical guitar competitions.

Nicolella attended Berklee College of Music, where he studied improvisation with jazz greats Gary Burton and Billy Pierce, and Yale University, where he received his master of music degree. He has also completed post-graduate studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, as a scholarship student of Oscar Ghiglia.

Nicolella currently resides in Seattle.

The concert is free to the Wofford community and to students; a small contribution is suggested for non-Wofford adults ($10) and senior citizens ($5).

For more information, contact Dr. Jhon Akers at (864) 597-4261, or go to http://webs.wofford.edu/akersjc.