Tidewater Classical Guitar - Artist Bios 2017-2018
November 9 & 10
Xavier Jara [Guitar Federation of America Winner]
American classical guitarist, Xavier Jara (1993), is the 1st prize winner of the 2016 GFA International Concert Artist Competition. A native of Minnesota, Jara was a student of Alan Johnston at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis until 2011 when he moved to Paris, France to study with Judicael Perroy.
Jara studied in Paris for six years with Perroy. During this time he completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris where he also studied with French guitarist, Olivier Chassain, and lute master, Eric Bellocq. He received 1st place in a number of international competitions including the Viseu International Competition (2014), the Boston Guitarfest (2014), the Gargnano, Italy Competition (2015), the Ciudad de Coria Competition (2015), and the Tokyo International Competition (2016). In 2016 Jara returned home to the United States to win the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America’s Rose Augustine Grand Prize.
Jara's 2017-2018 concert tour begins in September 2017. He will perform more than 50 concerts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala & Panama, including a concert at Carnegie Hall (April 5, 2018.)
January 25 & 26
Matt Palmer has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South America, and the Caribbean. A recent recipient of the “Up and Coming Guitarist of the Year” award by Guitar International Magazine, Matt has been described by critics as “a young artist about to make a real dent in the world of classical guitar” (Premier Guitar Magazine), “highly expressive and technically virtuosic” (Modern Guitars Magazine), “a truly accomplished and refined musician” (Cleveland Classical), and “one of the world’s best guitar players” (The Royal Gazette). An active performer, winner of numerous guitar competitions, and author of The Virtuoso Guitarist method, Matt Palmer has gained worldwide recognition as a virtuosic and soulful concert artist.
His numerous CD and DVD recordings have been applauded by Guitar International Magazine as “of the highest quality…with flawless technique, deep levels of personal expression, and an artistic integrity that seems far too rare these days.” Classical Voice of North Carolina proclaims Matt’s “positively nuclear” recordings display “stunning precision and unwavering accuracy enclosed in a huge dynamic envelope.” In addition, Matt’s pioneering guitar method, The Virtuoso Guitarist, has been recognized as a valuable addition to guitar pedagogy, and “indispensable for any advanced guitarist or teacher to include in their library” (Classical Guitar Review).
Matt Palmer has collaborated with many important composers to write new music for the guitar, and has premiered and recorded over three hours of new works by Tanya Anisimova, Rafael Scarfullery, Sergei Rudnev, Giuseppe Torrisi, Roger Hudson, Olga Amelkina-Vera, Lane Harder, Konstantin Vassiliev, and Fedor Kondenko.
Matt Palmer holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Arizona, where he studied with Thomas Patterson and Artists-in-Residence David Russell, Sergio Assad, and Odair Assad. In demand as a performer, his recent concert engagements have taken him to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Shakespeare Theatre, Benaroya Hall, The Guitar Foundation of America International Convention, numerous universities, guitar societies, and dozens of international guitar festivals throughout the world. Matt is the Director of Guitar Studies at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and Coordinator of the Eastern Shore Guitar Festival and Workshop. Matt Palmer is a Strings By Mail sponsored artist and plays D’Addario strings. Matt plays a handmade guitar by luthier Michael Thames.