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Atanas Ourkouzounov

Atanas Ourkouzounov is one of the most interesting personalities in the Bulgarian contemporary music. Guitar player and composer with a rich musical background, he is considered one of the main authors in the domain of the new generation’s music for guitar.
The wide inspiration of his musical language is the result of a subtle use of the forms, an endless and original rhythmical search and a colour work which leads the guitar to explore new territories and sonorities.
Atanas Ourkouzounov grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he began guitar studies with Dimitar Doitchinov. Starting from 1992, he continued his studies in France with Arnaud Dumond, Alexandre Lagoya and Olivier Chassain. He studied guitar, chamber music, analysis, ethnomusicology and improvisation at the Paris Conservatory and graduated in 1997 with unanimous vote the first prize in guitar.
As composer he has been awarded with several prizes (« Michele Pittaluga – Città di Alessandria » – Italy, 1997 – ; « Paolo Barsacchi » – Italy, 1997 – ; « Il fronimo – Suvini Zerboni » – Italy, 1998 – ; « Ciudad de Montevideo » – Uruguay, 1998 – ; « Carrefour mondial des guitares » – Martinique, 1998-).
Ourkouzounov has written over 100 works for guitar—solos, duos, trios, quartets, instrumental ensembles, and four concerti—a number of which have won important prizes, and a majority of which have been published by leading publishers (Doberman-Yppan , Henry Lemoine).
Several internationally recognized performers have played his works. Among them Zoran Dukic, Denis Azabagic,Goran Krivokapić, Scott Tennant, Shin-ichi Fukuda, Alberto Vingiano, Eduardo Isaac, Pablo Marquez, Antigoni Goni, Judicaël Perroy , Duo Gruber-Maklar, Miscelanea Guitar Quartet, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Thibault Cauvin, Dimitri Illarionov, Jérémy Jouve , Gabriel Bianco , Carlos Perez, Juan Carlos Laguna , Thomas Muller-Pering, Duo Palissandre, Ensemble Nomad, Kostas Tosidis, Dimitris Kotronakis, Patrick Kearney, etc.
Atanas Ourkouzounov performs widely as soloist and with the Japanese flautist Mie Ogura. In addition to eight CDs on which Ourkouzounov plays, more than 60 CDs of his music performed by others are currently available.
Ourkouzounov is also in demand as a teacher and juror at conferences and conservatories in Europe, USA and Japan and he holds a full-time position at the Conservatoire “Maurice Ravel” in Paris.

EzraGuitarAtanas Ourkouzounov
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Ben Verdery

Benjamin Verdery guitarist / composer

Hailed for his innovative and eclectic musical career, Benjamin Verdery tours regularly throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, performing at venues and festivals including Ottawa ChamberFest, 92Y Kaufmann Auditorium, Verona Guitar Festival, Guitar Festival of Belgrade, International Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Taxco (Mexico), Theatre Carré (Amsterdam), the International Guitar Festival in Havana, Wigmore Hall (London), and Metropolitan Opera in New York. 

As a recording artist, Ben has released more than 15 albums and has recorded and/or performed with such diverse artists as Andy Summers, Frederic Hand, William Coulter, Leo Kottke, Anthony Newman, Jessye Norman, Paco Peña, Hermann Prey, John Williams, hip‐hop artist Billy Dean Thomas, beat box/vocal percussionist Marc Martin and Nano Stern.

A prolific, published composer in his own right, many of Ben’s compositions have been performed, recorded and published (Doberman‐Yppan, Alfred Music) over the years. He has composed works for The Assad Duo, guitarists David Russell, Scott Tennant, David Tanenbaum, John Williams and John Etheridge, The Changsha International Guitar Festival, the Chilean Guitar Ensemble, the Pensacola Guitar Orchestra (FL), Kyo‐Shin‐An Arts (NY), Wake Forest University, Thomas Offermann and the guitar ensemble of the Hochschule for Music and Theatre (Rostock, Germany) and the score for the documentary film Corida Goyesque. Ben’s Scenes from Ellis Island, for guitar orchestra, has been extensively broadcast and performed at festivals and universities in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Europe, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet included it on their CD, Air and Ground (Sony Classical). 

By turn, many of the leading composers of our time have created music for Ben, including Ezra Laderman, Daniel Asia, Martin Bresnick, Bryce Dessner, Javier Farias, Aaron Kernis, John Anthony Lennon, David Leisner, Hannah Lash, Ingram Marshall, Anthony Newman, Roberto Sierra, Van Stiefel, Christopher Theofanitis, and Jack Vees. 

Ben owes much to his guitar teachers Philip De Fremery and Frederic Hand, both of whom he studied with at SUNY Purchase. The Master Classes he took in Arles, France with Leo Brouwer were seminal for Ben as well. He continued his studies with his mentor Anthony Newman and still receives coaching from his other mentor, Seymour Bernstein. He will always feel greatly indebted to what these and many others have given him over the many years.

Since 1985 Ben has been guitar professor at the Yale School of Music, Artistic Director of 92Y’s Art of the Guitar series since 2007 and Producer of his Maui Summer Master Class since 1999.  Ben is also an Honorary Board Member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. 

Web links:

Benjamin Verdery is represented by GAMI/Simonds

EzraGuitarBen Verdery
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Yehuda Schryer

Yehuda Schryer was born in Argentina and grew up in Italy. He studied at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music with Joseph Urshalmi, and later with Charles Ramirez in London. While in London he was accepted by the late Andres Segovia to attend a series of individual lessons with him and a few weeks later Yehuda Schryer was unanimously awarded the first prize in the François Shapira interdisciplinary music competition. A few months later he was performing the Guitar Concerto by Villa-Lobos with the Israel Philharmonic orchestra, that marked the beginning of his professional career.  

In addition to several recordings for the radio and television, Yehuda Schryer regularly performs in recitals and chamber music concerts in Israel and abroad, including musical centers such as Salzburg, Berlin, Munich, Brussels, Milan, Zürich etc; he was also invited to give Masterclasses in France, Germany and England.

He has founded a yearly guitar Festival named the “Tel-Aviv Guitar week” and has served as its musical advisor for 15 years. 

He is the founder and Head of the Classical Guitar Department at the Israel Rubin Academy of Music at the Tel-Aviv University and nowadays he teaches at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. 

EzraGuitarYehuda Schryer
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