Thursday February 14, 2013

BELLOWS FALLS -- Guitarist José Manuel Lezcano and harpist Franziska Huhn join forces to present a concert titled "Bards & Troubadors: Mostly Mediterranean Music" at Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church St., on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Cuban-born guitarist, composer, educator and folklorist Lezcano has performed on four continents. His programs of traditional and South American guitar repertory, and his own solo, concerto and chamber works, have taken him from Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City to venues and festivals in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, China, Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Lezcano has earned two Grammy nominations, the N.H. State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship and a Fulbright Award to Ecuador where he performed and pursued research on indigenous guitar traditions.

He premiered his second guitar concerto, "Concierto Cubanero," in 2011 in New York City and in Quito, Ecuador. In 2012, his "Tango-Overture" for strings received its debut recording on the North-South label. Lezcano’s first Guitar Concerto (2004), which he premiered in New York City as soloist with the North-South Consonance Chamber Orchestra directed by Max Lifschitz, received critical acclaim after release on the North-South label in 2007 as "Remembrances/Recuerdos."

Lezcano is professor of music at Keene State College, where he has taught since 1991. He coordinates and teaches in the guitar program, conducts the KSC Guitar Orchestra and Latin American ensembles and courses in Latin American Music, Society and Culture.

At age of 14, harpist Franziska Huhn took first prize in the Jugend Musiziert Competition in Germany. Subsequently, she received a full scholarship to study with Lucille Lawrence and earned a bachelor’s degree at Boston University. Huhn continued her studies on a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she completed a master’s degree in harp performance, in addition to becoming the first harpist ever to be awarded the Artist’s Diploma in 2005. In 2007, she received an Artist Diploma from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany.

An active performer, Huhn has participated in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra (1994), the Pacific Music Festival in Japan (2001, 2002) and the Tanglewood Music Center (1999, 2000). She later returned to Tanglewood to perform contemporary music and has been the assistant director of the Harp Seminar at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute since 2003.

As a solo performer, Huhn has given recitals throughout the United States, as well as in Norway, Poland, Georgia, Russia, Syria, Pakistan and Germany, including several performances for the German President (Johannes Rau, Horst Köhler). A proponent of contemporary music, Huhn’s solo repertoire includes works written especially for her by Daniel Pinkham and Lior Navok.

Since 2007, Huhn has been on the faculty at the Longy School of Music at Bard College, Cambridge, and the New England Conservatory, Boston.

Admission is $17 for adults ($13 for seniors and children under 12) in advance and $20, $15 at the door. Tickets are available at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, N.H., Brattleboro Books, Misty Valley Books in Chester, and at www.brattleborotix.com or available at the door.

For more information, visit www.stonechurcharts.org or call 802-463-3100.