Artist Bios 2019-2020
Guitarist Mark Edwards has been hailed by the Montgomery Advertiser as a player who “transfers to another zone, effortlessly strumming, plucking and picking a variety of classical masterpieces with clarity.” Susan Brall says, “If you want to hear the best, you will want to catch Mark Edwards performing…His talent is unbelievable.”
“His talent is unbelievable.” – Susan Brall
Mark began his life dedication to the classical guitar after seeing guitarist Benjamin Verdery perform a concert in Boaz, Alabama. For further inspiration, he looked to the great masters of the guitar, such as Andres Segovia, Julian Bream, and David Russell. Mark’s major teachers during this formative time were Dr. Andrew Zohn and Douglas Back. Mark earned his undergraduate diploma Magna Cum Laude from Columbus State University’s Honors Program, his Master of Music in Guitar Performance and Guitar Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute of Music, and his Graduate Performance Diploma also from Peabody. He is currently completing his Doctorate in music under the mentorship of Julian Gray.
Mark has been performing concerts since the young age of 14 and competing since 13. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany, Philippines, Thailand, and Russia. Recent engagements include Carnegie Hall and Trinity Church in New York City, ArtScape in Baltimore, The Toronto Guitar Symposium, The Columbia Festival of the Arts, the Mississippi Guitar Festival, the Guitar Forum Guest Artist Series at Salisbury University, the Peabody FretFestival, and the AfterNow Music Series at the Red Room, a venue featured in Rolling Stone. In 2009, Mark joined the Maryland State Arts Council Touring Artist Roster, a program that offers concert presenters funding to showcase Maryland artists.
From 1998 to present, Mark has earned 34 top prizes in Thailand, Canada, and the United States. These prizes include the 2010 Asia International Guitar Competition, the 2009 Montreal International Guitar Competition, the 2008 National Guitar Workshop/National D’Addario Solo Competition, Le Concours International de Guitare de Lachine in Montreal, Canada, the 2007 Columbus State University Guitar Symposium, the Portland Guitar Festival XVI, the 2006 Appalachian GuitarFest Solo Guitar Competition, the 2011 East Carolina University Guitar Competition, the Rosario International Guitar Competition, and the Baltimore Music Clubs Competition. Mark has also been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Peabody Institute of Music.
Since the spring of 2000, Mark has been featured on 7 recordings. With the Baldwin Ensemble; El Cumbanchero, Cathedral Hill, and Fretworks, and then, three recordings featuring music of Baltimore composer Karen Amrhein: …for Moonlight, Yule Like This, and Giving Voice (ASCAP). Most recently, Mark appeared on Mark Lackey’s album Fairytale, which is an album for new music ensemble – remixed by a DJ.
As an educator, Mark serves as guitar director at River Bend Middle School in Sterling, Virginia and is on faculty at the Preparatory Division of the Peabody Institute of Music. When not performing, teaching, arranging, or writing, Mark is an avid tennis and soccer amateur, and enjoys spending time with friends and reading literature.
Born in 1996, Raphaël Feuillâtre began classical guitar lessons at the age of nine with Hacène Addadi at Cholet Conservatory. In 2012, he entered Michel Grizard’s class at the Conservatory of Nantes and, three years later, he was accepted to Paris National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance (CNSMDP) into the class of Roland Dyens where he obtained his Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in 2017 with highest honors. Recently, Raphaël completed his Master’s in Classical Guitar Performance with Tristan Manoukian in 2019.
As a result of his 2018 win of classical guitar’s most prestigious competition, Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) , Raphaël completed the recording of his second opus for the Naxos Label (2019) and will set out for a nine month tour of North America. In June 2019 he will be a featured soloist at the GFA conference in Miami followed by several tours to North America September 2019 through April 2020. He will present solo concerts, conduct masterclasses and outreach activities in over 50 cities across the United States and Canada.
Raphaël Feuillâtre has appeared at classical guitar festivals and venues including the International Guitar Festival, Budapest, Hungary; Festival of Guitar, Ciutat d’Elx, Spain; Guitar Art Festival, Subotica, Serbia; International Guitar Festival Jose Tomas – Villa Petrer, Spain; UPF Guitar Festival, Brazil as well as festivals and venues in Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Holland, Montenegro and Argentina.
In France he is regularly invited to perform chamber music with the Orchestral Ensemble of Pau (France) at the Folle Journée de Nantes Festival and as a soloist at guitar festivals and venues, among them the Paris International Guitar Festival, Sul Tasto Festival, Festival de Baume-les-Messieurs and Guitars in Picardy Festival. In 2019 he will have residencies at 6 Cordes au Fil de l’Allier Festival and Guitare en France.
Prior to his 2018 GFA win, Raphaël Feuillâtre participated in various other international guitar competitions obtaining several major awards. In 2017, he won 1st prize in the I nternational Guitar Competition Jose Tomas – Villa Petrer in Spain which awarded him the opportunity to record his first album with JSM Guitar Records in 2018 (Bach, Granados, Tansman, Assad, Dyens). In 2015, Raphaël won 1st prize in the Concours & Festival de guitare de Fontenay sous Bois (France). He is also a laureate of Festival International de Guitarra Ciudad de
Coria in Coria, Spain (2nd prize, 2014) and Festival Internacional de Musica da Primavera de Viseu in Viseu, Portugal (3rd prize, 2016).
Raphael is an endorsee of Savarez guitar strings, one of the world’s leading string manufacturers (founded in 1770).
Raphaël divides his time between performing and teaching. He is regularly invited to give masterclasses during his numerous engagements and holds a permanent teaching position at the Music School of Villeneuve-la-Garenne in Paris region.
Tidewater Guitar Orchestra
The Tidewater Guitar Orchestra, one of the first of its kind in the United States, is an ensemble of more than a dozen accomplished guitarists who use the lush timbral resources of an orchestra of guitars of different sizes to explore a rich repertoire ranging from Bach to Bartok and specializing in music of the Americas. Founded in 1995 by Sam Dorsey, the Tidewater Guitar Orchestra was inspired by a similar orchestra in Costa Rica led by Luis Zumbado. The orchestra is composed of traditional classical guitars supplemented by requintos (soprano guitars tuned a fifth higher) and bajas (baritone guitars tuned a fourth lower). The TGO has commissioned new works from composers Andrew York and Ben Verdery and is particularly pleased to perform works written and arranged by its own members. The orchestra has made numerous appearances locally and represented the United States at the International Guitar Festival in Costa Rica in October of 1999 and again in 2010.
Multifaceted guitarist Meng Su is captivating audiences around the world with her stunning virtuosity and refined artistry. New York Concert Review called her performance “seemingly effortless and stunningly polished…. Add to that a beautiful – and fashionable! – stage presence, and she is poised to be in high demand” while Classical Guitar Magazine wrote that “she has already reached the status of a seasoned artist.”
In addition to her busy solo career, Meng Su is an avid chamber musician who tours regularly in the Beijing Guitar Duo and as a soloist with orchestras. This season, Ms. Su will make her solo debut with China Philharmonic Orchestra in the Chinese premiere of Tan Dun’s concerto Yi2; with the Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez; and with the Adelaide Symphony with her duo partner Yameng Wang in Rodrigo’s double concerto, Concierto Madrigal.
Meng Su formed the widely acclaimed Beijing Guitar Duo with Yameng Wang. The duo received the “Solomon H. Snyder Award” in 2010 which launched their international career. This season, the Beijing Guitar Duo will perform in Copenhagen, Milwaukee, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, St. Louis, and they will tour Canada (Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto) and Australia. As a soloist, Meng Su will perform in Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Sarasota, Poznan (Poland), Iserlohn (Germany); and she will tour in Japan, with concerts in Kobe, Nagoya, and Tokyo.
Meng Su’s performances and recordings have impressed the public with “an ability and artistry that exceeds her years.” (Baltimore Sun) Her debut duo CD “Maracaípe” received a Latin Grammy nomination for the titled piece, which was dedicated to the Duo by renowned guitarist/composer Sergio Assad. Their second CD, “Bach to Tan Dun,” a "must-listen" according to composer Tan Dun, has been widely noted for the world-premiere recording of his “Eight Memories in Watercolor.” A recording in trio, “China West,” with Maestro Barrueco and the Beijing Guitar Duo was released in May 2014 to critical acclaim. Meng Su’s debut solo recording “Meng,” released in 2016 was called “awe-inspiring” and “this year’s finest debut by far” by Classical Guitar Magazine.
Born in Qingdao, China, Meng Su began studying the guitar at the age of 5 and showed her talents from an early age under the guidance of Prof. Chen Zhi at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. Meng Su has won first-prize in numerous international competitions around the world, the last one being in the prestigious Parkening International Guitar competition in 2015. She obtained a Master’s Degree and an Artist Diploma with Maestro Manuel Barrueco at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.
Meng Su teaches at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts.
Legendary guitarist Manuel Barrueco is internationally recognized as one of the most important guitarists of our time. His unique artistry has been continually described as that of a superb instrumentalist and a superior and elegant musician, possessing a seductive sound and uncommon lyrical gifts.
His career has been dedicated to bringing the guitar to the main musical centers of the world such as the Musikverein in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall in London, Philharmonie in Berlin, Teatro Real in Madrid, and Palau de la Musica in Barcelona. He has completed a dozen tours of Japan and made repeated appearances in Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, and Hong Kong, and in Latin America he has performed in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Puerto Rico.
Barrueco's commitment to contemporary music and to the expansion of the guitar repertoire has led him to collaborations with many distinguished composers such as Steven Stucky, Michael Daugherty, Roberto Sierra, Arvo Pärt, Jonathan Leshnoff, Gabriela Lena Frank, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, and Toru Takemitsu.
Manuel Barrueco has appeared on a wide array of television programs including "CBS Sunday Morning," A&E's "Breakfast with the Arts," and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" on PBS. He was featured in a Lexus car commercial, and his work in music inspired Michael Lawrence’s biographical documentary: “Manuel Barrueco: A Gift and a Life.”
Barrueco’s recording catalogue includes over a dozen recordings for the EMI label. His recording of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with conductor and tenor Plácido Domingo and the Philharmonia Orchestra was cited as the best recording of that piece in Classic CD Magazine.
In 2007 Manuel Barrueco received a Grammy nomination for the “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance” for his Solo Piazzolla, the first recording to be released on his exclusive Manuel Barrueco Collection on Tonar Music. Tango Sensations and Sounds of the Americas followed in collaboration with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the latter received a Latin Grammy Award for “Inca Dances” by Gabriela Lena Frank for “Best Classical Contemporary Composition.” Subsecuently he released, Tárrega! which received a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Album.” Medea was recorded with the Tenerife Symphony and Víctor Pablo Pérez conducting and includes Barrueco’s arrangement of the ballet by flamenco guitarist and composer Manolo Sanlúcar. It received a Latin Grammy nomination for “Best Classical Album.” China West, a recording of guitar trios with his protégés, the Beijing Guitar Duo came out in 2014 and his latest release is Fernando Sor: The Beethoven of the Guitar released in Dec. 2016.
Manuel Barrueco began playing the guitar at the age of eight in his native Cuba and he immigrated with his family to the United States in 1967 as political refugees. He completed his advanced studies at the Peabody Conservatory, where he now shares his love for music with a small number of exceptionally gifted young guitarists from all over the world.
In 2011, Manuel Barrueco received the United States Artist Fontanals Fellowship for Artistic Excellence.