Los Angeles Guitar Quartet Dec. 11

Department of Music and Saint Louis Classical Guitar Society present virtuoso ensemble

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet will perform Dec. 11 in the 560 Music Center.

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, a Grammy Award-winning ensemble known for its inventive, virtuoso transcriptions of concert masterworks, will visit St. Louis for a special one-night-only performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.

Sponsored by the Saint Louis Classical Guitar Society and Washington University’s Department of Music in Arts & Sciences, the concert will take place in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall of the university’s 560 Music Center.

Tickets are $32, $28 and $24. The 560 Music Center is located at 560 Trinity Ave. in University City. To order tickets or for more information, call the Edison Theatre Box Office, at (314) 935-6543, or visit metrotix.com.

The program will open with the Overture to Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Giacomo Rossini (1792-1868). A staple of the symphonic repertoire, the piece was famously used as a Bugs Bunny cartoon soundtrack.

Next will be Capriol Suite by British historian and musicologist Peter Warlock (1894-1930), followed by excerpts from “Music from the Time of Cervantes,” the quartet’s ongoing project — developed in collaboration with actor John Cleese — to highlight music of the Spanish Renaissance.

Following intermission, the program will continue with Paisaje Cubano con Lluvia (Cuban Landscape with Rain) by the influential guitarist and composer Leo Brouwer (b. 1939). Next will be Cumba-Quin, a recent work based on the guaguancó and Columbian forms of rumba by Carlos Rafael Rivera, a graduate student in composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.

Concluding the concert will be an arrangement of six movements — Aragonaise, Habanera, Seguidilla, Toreadors, Entr’acte and Gypsy Dance — from Carmen, the beloved opera by George Bizet (1838-1875).

Now celebrating its 30th season, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet today comprises William Kanengiser, John Dearman, Scott Tennant and newest member Matt Greif. Together they toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages, including Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Tokyo Opera City and New York’s Alice Tully Hall.

Over the last two decades, the quartet has recorded more than a dozen albums, ranging from transcriptions of classical works to world music and contemporary styles. Their first album on the Telarc International Label, LAGQ: Latin, was nominated for a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover, while their subsequent album, LAGQ’s Guitar Heroes, won the 2005 Grammy in the same category.

Their most recent recordings are Spin (2006), which continues their explorations of jazz and contemporary music; LAGQ Brazil (2007), which includes collaborations with vocalist Luciana Souza; and Interchange: Concertos by Rodrigo and Assad (2010).

Support for the performance has been provided by the Whitaker Foundation, the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is presented in cooperation with the Seven Gables Inn and welcomed by public television station KETC-TV Channel 9.

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