In a versatile and distinguished career as one of the world’s leading concert performers, American flutist Amy Porter has become one of the most skillful and creative muses for composers of our time. Critics uniquely note her “strength, beauty, a captivating and seductive force, sensitivity, perfection and a sense of humor.” Ms. Porter combines her exceptional musical talent with her passion for scholarship and her musical achievements have resulted in many awards and accolades for her concerts and discography. Regarding German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert, a reviewer from Spain notes, “from the other world he has been inspired and taking pride in the soul of his true muse, Amy Porter.”
Ms. Porter first leapt to international attention winning the Third Kobe International Flute Competition in Japan, which led to invitations to perform throughout the world. In 2005 she returned to Kobe, Japan to serve as the American jury member at the Sixth Kobe International Flute Competition. In 2001 she won the Paris/Ville d’Avray International Flute Competition in France, combined with the Alphonse Leduc Prize for outstanding musicianship. In the United States, Ms. Porter has won first prizes in the Young Artists Competitions of the National Flute Association, Artists International, Ima Hogg, and Flute Talk, among others. In 2006 Ms. Porter became the first performing artist by the University of Michigan to be named a Henry Russel Award recipient for distinguished scholarship and conspicuous ability as a teacher.
Ms. Porter is a Haynes Artist who performs recitals in the major concert halls of Asia and the United States with pianist Christopher Harding. She has performed as concerto soloist with orchestras throughout the world. Ms. Porter has been heard in recital on National Public Radio, highlighted on PBS Live From Lincoln Center. She has been featured on the covers and written articles for Flute Talk Magazine in the USA and The Flute Magazine in Japan.
In the 2014-15 season, Ms. Porter gives recitals in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Augusta, and Ames (IA) and she will perform and record her commissioned concerto “Trail of Tears” by Michael Daugherty with the Albany (NY) Symphony. An avid arranger and editor of educational study guides, Carl Fischer Publishers produced Ms. Porter’s arrangement of the Six Cello Suites by J.S. Bach for Flute. Simultaneously she released a two-CD set of selections from the Cello Suites, recorded in Ann Arbor’s historic Hill Auditorium and now available on the Equilibrium record label.
A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Ms. Porter is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York. Her teachers at Juilliard were Samuel Baron and Jeanne Baxtresser, and in Austria her teachers were Alain Marion and Peter-Lukas Graf. After Juilliard, she held the position of Associate Principal Flute in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for eight years before becoming Professor of Flute at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor. She is the founder and Past President of the non-profit Southeast Michigan Flute Association. She is founder of the popular workshop, “Amy Porter’s Anatomy of Sound” held annually in Ann Arbor with Professor of Theatre (Movement) Jerald Schwiebert and internationally renowned guests. She also is the master teacher for the MPULSE Summer Institute for advanced High School students at U of M.
JUAN-MIGUEL HERNANDEZ (www.jmhernandez.com)
An Artist Defined By The Critics As "…Tender, Lyrical, Loaded With Personality" (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pierre Ruhe), Violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez Is Also Recognized For Drawing "...The Sweetest, Most Sonorous Tone..." (Washington Post, Charles T. Downey). In September 2009, Juan-Miguel Won The First Prize At The 16th International Johannes Brahms Competition In Austria, Adding To Other Top Prizes Won At The National Canadian Music Competition, And The 9th National Sphinx Competition In 2006, Presented By JPMorgan Chase. As A Featured Guest Soloist, Juan-Miguel Has Appeared With The Atlanta, Seattle, Colorado Symphonies, As Well As The Rochester Philharmonic And The Chicago Sinfonietta. Performances In Recent Seasons Have Brought Juan-Miguel On Tour Throughout Europe, The Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America, Canada And The United States. In 2010, He Was Honored With The Medal Of The National Assembly Of Quebec.
Juan-Miguel Has Collaborated With Distinguished Artists Such As Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Robert Spano, Misha Dichter, The Weilerstein Trio, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Stanley Clark And Paquito D’Rivera To Name A Few. Recent Festival And Program Appearances As Guest Artist And Teacher Include The Festival Pablo Casal (Prades, France), The Festival Des Arcs (France), The Amalfi Coast Music Festival (Italy), Festival Des Graves (Bordeaux, France), The Salzburg Festival, The Brevard Summer Institute, The Mozaic Festival, Festicamara (Colombia), Montreal Jazz & Panama Jazz Festivals And Musica Mundi International Festival (Belgium).
A Dedicated Chamber Musician, Juan-Miguel Is The Newest Member Of The Legendary Fine Arts Quartet And A Founding Member Of The Harlem Quartet With Whom He Performed From 2006 To 2012. Juan-Miguel Is Also A Founder And Member Of The "Trio Virado" (Flute, Viola, Guitar) As Well As The "Boreal Trio” (Clarinet, Viola, Piano), Both Specializing In The Creation Of New Repertoire. From 2005 To 2010, He Was Also An Active Member Of The I Palpiti Orchestra, A Cast Of International Laureates Forming A World Class String Orchestra Based In Los Angeles.
On Radio Airwaves And Television Broadcasts, Juan-Miguel Has Been Heard And Seen On Nationally-Syndicated Programs Throughout Canada, And The United States Including NBC's Good Morning America, The Today Show And The Telemundo Network. His Discography Includes Three Quartet CDs, Released On The Naxos, Cedille Records, The White Pine And Navona Labels As Well As Multiple Collaborations On Various Other Labels Including The Album "Hot House" Playing Alongside Chick Corea And Gary Burton For Which They Won A Grammy, As Well As Norah Jones’ Album “Broken Little Hearts”. 2015 Will See The Release Of Trio Virado’s Debut Album, “Mangabeira”, Featuring Music By Piazzolla, Leo Brouwer And Original Music By Sergio Assad. In Autumn 2015, PBS Will Feature Juan-Miguel On Its “Adelante” Show In A Short Documentary.
His Strong Commitment To Educate And Engage New Audiences All Around The Globe Have Brought Him To Reach Young Musicians And Various Communities Through Art Convoys In South Africa And Venezuela, Various Music Festivals In South America And Outreach Projects In Europe And North America. This Commitment Has Led Him To Initiate A Large-Scale Project In Which The “Musical Heights Foundation”, A Nonprofit In The Making, Would Bring Continual High-Level Musical Teaching To Developing Countries. Juan-Miguel Is A Visiting Faculty/Artist At La Sierra University (Riverside, CA).
Juan-Miguel Hernandez Was Born In Montreal, Canada In 1985 And Began Studying The Violin At Age Seven, Then Switched To Viola At Age Twelve. He Received His Bachelor Degree From The Colburn Conservatory In 2010 Studying With Paul Coletti And Graduate Diploma In The Professional String Quartet Program In 2012 With Paul Katz At The New England Conservatory, Working Privately With Kim Kashkashian And Dimitri Murrath. He Also Worked Before Pinchas Zukerman, Roberto Diaz, Paul Neubauer, Karen Tuttle, Steven Dann, James Dunham, Barbara Westphal And Robert Vernon.
Juan-Miguel Plays A Beautiful 2008 Miralles Viola From Altadena CA.
JOÃO LUIZ (www.brasilguitarduo.org)
Brasil Guitar Duo, a 2006 winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and hailed by Classical Guitar magazine for its "maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity," is equally at home on a classical or a world-music series. Its innovative programming features a seamless blend of traditional and Brazilian works, resulting in a full global touring schedule and a growing catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings. The Duo has appeared internationally on major concert series and at festivals in Cuba, Germany, England, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil, Austria, Panama, Poland, and Bermuda. Recent and upcoming U.S. engagements include recitals in such major venues as New York, Santa Barbara, Miami, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, St. Louis, Tucson, Portland, Nashville, San Jose, and Oakland.
Committed to performing new chamber music employing the guitar, the Duo joined cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto in the October 2014 world premiere of El arco y la lira, a work for two cellos and two guitars by the esteemed Cuban composer Leo Brouwer. On the same program—a highlight of the sixth annual Festival Leo Brouwer in Havana—the Duo gave the Cuban premiere of Brouwer’s Sonata de Los Viajeros, which they had presented in its U.S. premiere the previous month and recorded for a Naxos CD of Brouwer’s complete works for two guitars, scheduled for release in 2015.
Eager advocates for both traditional and new concerti for two guitars and orchestra, the Duo premiered a Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra by Brazilian composer Paulo Bellinati with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in June 2012,, under the direction of Giancarlo Guerrero, and gave the work its U.S. premiere in April 2013. Recent concerto engagements include concerts with the Dallas and Houston symphony orchestras, Ohio's Dayton Philharmonic and Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in New York City, and the Heartland Festival Orchestra in Peoria, Illinois.
The Duo's first CD, in 2007, was Bom Partido, a CAG Records release featuring all Brazilian repertoire that prompted Steve Marsh to write in Classical Guitar, "The maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity displayed on this debut recording by João Luiz and Douglas Lora is simply outstanding...The original compositions by Douglas Lora comfortably stand alongside the ‘big names' on the rest of the programme and are well crafted and very appealing new works." Two critically acclaimed CDs on the Naxos label, released in 2008 and 2009, contain the complete works for two guitars by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. The Duo has also won praise for its most recent CD, released on the Avie label: a collaboration with flutist Marina Piccinini that features all of J.S. Bach's sonatas for flute and harpsichord, as arranged by the Duo for flute and two guitars.
Brasil Guitar Duo actively strives to expand the repertoire for two guitars, with Lora contributing works of his own and Luiz arranging both classical and Brazilian music. Appearing frequently in diverse non-traditional spaces, the Duo brings a broad repertoire of classical guitar duos (Bach, Sor, Scarlatti, Debussy, etc.) combined with such traditional Brazilian dance forms as choro, samba, maxixe, and baião.
Duo members João Luiz and Douglas Lora met in São Paulo as teenage guitar students and have been performing together for more than fifteen years. The Duo's primary studies were with Henrique Pinto, Fabio Zanon, Paulo Martelli, Sergio Abreu, and Alice Artz. Douglas Lora earned his Master's degree at the University of Miami as a student of Dr. Rene Gonzalez. João Luiz received his Master’s degree from Mannes College the New School for Music under Michael Newman, and with sponsorship from the Augustine Guitar Scholarship Fund he is pursuing a Doctoral degree at Manhattan School of Music as a student of David Leisner. He is head of the guitar department at the State University of New York-Purchase, and also teaches guitar at New Jersey City University.