Brasil Guitar Duo
Friday, February 15, 2019
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, Canada, South Korea, Colombia, Brazil, Austria, Panama, Poland, and Bermuda. Recent and current U.S. engagements include recitals at venues in New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, St. Louis, Tucson, Seattle, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Nashville, San Jose, and Oakland.
Committed to performing new chamber music employing the guitar, the Duo joined cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Carlos Prieto for 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, which was nominated for a 2016 Latin Grammy award for Best New Composition.
Eager advocates for both traditional and new concerti for two guitars and orchestra, the Duo premiered "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. In February 2016, they recorded the Bellinati concerto along with Leo Brouwer’s concerto "Book of Signs" with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Amado, and the new CD—also titled "Book of Signs"—was just released in April 2018. Other career concerto highlights include the Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Lancaster (Ohio) Symphony and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in New York City.
Very active in the recording studio, the Duo’s latest release is "Ghosting," (CAG Records; July 2017), featuring their unique mixture of both classical and Brazilian music, including their own compositions and the title track written for them by guitar master David Leisner. This recording is very similar in spirit to the Duo’s first CAG Records CD, "Bom Partido" (2007), featuring all-Brazilian repertoire that prompted Classical Guitar to write: “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 Lora comfortably stand alongside the ‘big names’ on the rest of the programme and are well crafted and very appealing.” Next came two critically acclaimed CDs containing the complete works for two guitars by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, released by Naxos in 2008-09. The Duo has also won praise for its recent CD ("Avie") in collaboration with flutist Marina Piccinini featuring all of J.S. Bach’s flute sonatas, 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 combines a broad repertoire of classical guitar duos (Bach, Sor, Scarlatti, Rameau, Debussy, etc.) with such traditional Brazilian dance forms as choro, samba, maxixe, and baião.