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Apr 06

Assad Brothers Concert

The Assad Brothers

William Jenks and Portland Classic Guitar are proud to present internationally renowned guitarists the Assad Brothers—Sérgio and Odair Assad—live in concert on Thursday, April 27, at the First Congregational Church in downtown Portland. The music will begin at 8 p.m. This concert will be preceded by a master class on Wednesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. in Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall.

Hailing from Brazil, the Assad Brothers’ rich artistic sensibility—what the New York Times has called their “supple, flawless unified sound”—can be partially traced to their musical family. Their father was mandolinist Jorge Assad, and their mother is singer Angelina Assad (their sister Badi, and their children Clarice, Rodrigo, and Carolina are also celebrated musicians). The brothers studied with the guitarist/lutenist Monina Távora, a disciple of Andrés Segovia, and their career began in earnest in 1979, with a major prize win at the Young Artists Competition in Bratislava. The Assads have since toured the world together, to great acclaim, recording important works for major labels like Nonesuch, and introducing compelling new music for the two-guitar format.

The brothers’ wide-ranging taste is reflected in their repertoire. Their virtuosity has inspired commissions from numerous prominent composers, including Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Radamés Gnattali, Marlos Nobre, Nikita Koshkin, Roland Dyens, Jorge Morel, Edino Krieger, and Francisco Mignone. Brother Sérgio Assad is also a gifted composer, and many of his own original works—strongly influenced by folk and jazz, as well as Latin music of almost every style—have become audience favorites. A typical Assad performance might also include transcriptions of the great Baroque keyboard literature of Bach, Rameau, and Scarlatti, as well as adaptations of works by such diverse figures as Gershwin, Ginastera, and Debussy.

The Assads frequently work with other beloved artists, including Yo-Yo Ma (they appeared on his Grammy-winning 2009 release, Songs of Joy & Peace) and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (they appeared on her 2000 Nonesuch collection, based on Gypsy folk tunes)—not to mention their collaborations with such luminaries as Fernando Suarez Paz, Paquito D’Rivera, Gidon Kremer, and Dawn Upshaw. They recently toured a project entitled “De Volta as Raizes” (“Back to Our Roots”), featuring Lebanese-American singer Christiane Karam, percussionist Jamey Haddad, and composer/pianist Clarice Assad.

Come hear why the Washington Post calls the Assads “the best two-guitar team in existence, maybe even in history,” and lauds their playing as “daringly flexible” and “eerily unanimous.” This is a concert not to be missed!

The First Congregational Church is located at 1126 SW Park Ave, in downtown Portland. Marylhurst University is located at 17600 Pacific Highway, Marylhurst, OR (97036).

Mar 16

Marylhurst University Spring Guitar Area Recital

The Marylhurst University Music Department, under the direction of William Jenks, is proud to present a free guitar recital of ensemble and solo works on Saturday, March 18th at 4 PM at Marylhurst University's Wiegand Hall. This quickly developing guitar ensemble recently performed in the Romeros’ master class, and is preparing to go on tour to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico later this month.

Come hear a set of beautiful ensemble pieces for seven guitars: including Concierto op. 4, no. 6 by George Frederick Handel; “Pavane for a Dead Princess,” by Maurice Ravel, and “Dance of the Corregidor,” by Manuel de Falla. This recital will also include exciting solo works by Astor Piazzolla, Francisco Tarrega, John Dowland, Matteo Carcassi, Ferdinando Carulli, and more.

This is a great time to experience Marylhurst’s cultural offerings, because there are many exciting things happening in the university’s music department right now! With a commitment to award-winning faculty and small classes, Marylhurst’s guitar program and general music department have both grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.

Jenks, the proprietor of Portland Classic Guitar, also started that establishment’s world-renowned concert series, which has featured such prominent guitarists as the Romeros, Manuel Barrueco, Ana Vidović, and even the reclusive John Williams. This too has been a boon for Marylhurst: not only do students have an opportunity to experience the world’s best musicians in concert—they also get to interact with them on campus, in intimate, focused master classes.

The rest of the Marylhurst Music Department is thriving as well. The Marylhurst University Chamber Choir, for example, under the direction of Justin Smith, was recently invited to Latvia, to compete in the Grand Prix of Nations choral competition—becoming the first US choir invited to participate in this prestigious event. Marylhurst also has a fast-growing and highly respected music therapy program, under the direction of Dr. Laura Beer.

In short, there has been no better time to become a member of the Marylhurst family! Students interested in applying for the 2017-18 school year should call our admissions department, at 503-699-6268—or email us at In-person visits are also welcome: the admissions office is located at 17600 Pacific Hwy (HWY 43), Marylhurst, OR 97036, in Nancy Wilgenbusch Hall.

Feb 28

Los Romeros Concert

Los Romeros

William Jenks and Portland Classic Guitar, in cooperation with Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, are proud to present Los Romeros, in concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, in downtown Portland. The performance will be on Friday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. A master class will follow on Saturday, March 11, at 11 a.m. at Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall.

Over half a century after Celedonio Romero invented the classical guitar quartet, Los Romeros—currently featuring Celin Romero, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Lito Romero, and Celino Romero—remain an institution in the world of classical music, dazzling audiences and critics everywhere. Indeed, they are rightly known as “the Royal Family of the Guitar.” To have so many virtuosi of the same instrument in one family is unique in the world of musical performance—but in the realm of the classical guitar it is absolutely without precedent, allowing for an uncanny musical telepathy onstage.

There are few conductors, ensembles, or composers who wouldn’t jump at the chance to work with this incredible group. Los Romeros has enjoyed repeat engagements with some of the best symphony orchestras in the world, and has also appeared frequently at such venerable venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Wolf Trap, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, the 92nd Street Y, Vienna’s Gesangsverein and Konzerthaus, the Berlin Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Madrid Auditorio Nacional de Musica, and the Beijing Concert Hall. They are particularly popular with college audiences, and have performed on multiple occasions at the White House. In 1983, they appeared at the Vatican in a special concert for John Paul II, and in 1986, they gave a command performance for his Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. In 2000, His Royal Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain knighted Celin, Pepe, and Angel into the Order of “Isabel la Católica.”

Given their long history, Los Romeros have built an enviable discography. In February 2007, they were granted the Recording Academy’s President’s Merit Award from the GRAMMYs, in honor of their artistic achievements. Television fans have seen and heard the group on such shows as The Tonight Show and The Today Show, PBS's Evening at the Boston Pops, the KPBS/PBS biographical documentary Los Romeros: The Royal Family of the Guitar, and other PBS specials.

Perhaps Los Romeros’ most lasting legacy is the creation of an entirely new repertoire for guitar quartet, both as a chamber ensemble and as concerto soloists. For fifty-five years, the group has inspired distinguished composers—including Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Morton Gould, Francisco de Madina, and Lorenzo Palomo—to write new works and re-arrange existing ones. As Rodrigo has said, “the Romeros have developed the technique of the guitar by making what is difficult to be easy. They are, without a doubt, the grand masters of the guitar.”

Tickets can be purchased at the Portland’5 box office, at their web site (, by phone (800.273.1530), or at TicketsWest outlets. Arlene Schnitzer Hall is located at 1037 SW Broadway, Portland OR 97205. Wiegand Hall is located at Marylhurst University: 17600 Pacific Highway, Marylhurst, OR (97036).

Concert Program

Los Romeros Program

Feb 03

Iranian Guitarist Lily Afshar in Concert February 17

Concert: Friday, February 17 at 8:00 PM
Marylhurst University - St. Anne's Chapel
17600 Pacific Hwy, Marylhurst, OR 97036 
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Master Class: Sat, February 18 at 11 AM
Marylhurst University - Wiegand Hall

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Portland Classic Guitar’s artistic director William Jenks is proud to present internationally renowned Iranian guitarist Lily Afshar, live in concert on Friday, February 17, in Marylhurst University’s St. Anne’s Chapel. The music will begin at 8 p.m. that evening, with a master class to follow on Saturday, February 18, at 11 a.m. in Marylhurst’s Wiegand Hall. Please note: William Jenks, Portland Classic Guitar, and Marylhurst University all remain committed to presenting artists from many diverse backgrounds. We value each and every student, and each and every faculty, staff, and audience member—no matter your race, religion, sexual orientation, or country of origin.

Born in Iran to a musical family, Ms. Afshar’s artistry has been broadly celebrated. She won a top prize in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the Grand Prize in the Aspen Music Festival Guitar Competition, the Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist, and a National Endowment for the Arts Recording Award. She was also chosen as an “Artistic Ambassador” to Africa for the United States Information Agency.

Ms. Afshar’s wide-ranging musicality has led her beyond the traditional guitar repertoire. She is well-known for drawing from Persian and Azerbaijani folk music traditions—this concert will feature a number of ballads from both regions—and has inspired commissions by such contemporary classical composers as Carlo Domeniconi, John Baur, Reza Vali, Garry Eister, Gerard Drozd, Loris Chobanian, Arne Mellnas, Kamran Ince, Barbara Kolb, Marilyn Ziffrin, David Kechley, and Salvador Brotons. But she is also hailed for her performances of canonical composers, like Niccolo Paganini, Astor Piazzolla, and J.S. Bach. In addition, Ms. Afshar has been a pioneer of multimedia concerts for classical guitar, with performances involving narration and images along with the music. And although she is mostly known for her work on guitar, she has also performed on the sehtar, a traditional Persian string instrument.

Ms. Afshar is very active in the world of music education. She has degrees from the Boston Conservatory, the New England Conservatory of Music, and Florida State University, where she became the first woman to earn a Doctorate of Music in guitar performance. She pursued further studies at the Banff Centre for the Fine Arts, the Aspen Music Festival, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, and the University of Southern California, where she took master classes with Andrés Segovia. Since becoming a tenured professor and head of the guitar program at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, Afshar has received the Eminent Faculty Award. In 2011 she was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Boston Conservatory. She conducts master classes worldwide and has released numerous educational DVDs.

A true citizen of the world, Afshar’s concert touring has taken her to solo, chamber music, and orchestral performance venues in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. From Wigmore Hall in London to the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, she has played before a wide range of audiences, and learned to bridge gaps of culture and distance through her music.

Complimentary appetizers, coffee, tea, and water will be provided in the lobby of St. Anne’s Chapel beginning at 7:15 p.m., and at intermission. Beer, wine and soft drinks will also be available for purchase. Marylhurst University is located at 17600 Pacific Highway, Marylhurst, OR (97036). To order tickets, call 503-830-1417, or visit

Jan 09

Pablo Sainz Villegas Concert on January 22 at Portland'5 Newmark Theatre

Pablo Sainz VillegasWilliam Jenks is proud to announce the first PCG concert series engagement of 2017, and the first of three concerts Portland Classic Guitar will be co-presenting with Portland’5 Centers for the Arts (the others being Los Romeros on March 10, and Eliot Fisk and Angel Romero on June 5). Pablo Sainz Villegas, a world-class talent who has appeared twice with the Oregon Symphony, will perform on Sunday, February 22, at 8:00 p.m., in downtown Portland’5 Newmark Theater. He will also give a master class at 11 a.m. the following day, at Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall.

Born and raised in La Rioja, Spain, Villegas is a guitarist known for his “subtlety, passion, technical command, and dramatic flair,” as the San Francisco Classical Voice recently put it. His music conjures the deep feeling, playfulness, and drama of his homeland’s rich musical heritage.

After giving his first public performance at just seven years old, Villegas went on to graduate at the top of his class at the Royal Conservatoire in Madrid. He would later study with David Starobin at the Manhattan School of Music. At fifteen, he began earning a string of honors that includes the Andrés Segovia Award, the Gold Medal in the inaugural Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition, and El Ojo Crítico, Spain’s top classical music honor (which Villegas was the first guitarist to win).

Villegas also became the youngest of his generation to appear with the New York Philharmonic, in an auspicious debut under the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at Avery Fisher Hall. He has since performed for the Dalai Lama and the Spanish royal family, and at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall. Indeed; he has performed with orchestras in more than thirty countries, and was recently featured in a cover story for Classical Guitar Magazine.

Villegas’s solo album, Americano, released on the Harmonia Mundi label, is a compelling exploration of the multiple guitar traditions of the New World, from tango to bluegrass. It features the world premiere recording of Rounds (by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams); music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story; preludes by Brazilian master Heitor Villa-Lobos; and the popular standard “Granada,” by Mexico’s Agustin Lara. Previous releases include Histoire du Tango, a collection of violin-guitar works with Augustin Hadelich for the AVIE label; and Manuel Ponce’s Concierto del Sur, a platinum title that Villegas recorded with Alondra de la Parra for Sony Classical.

Villegas’s commitment to his art has a strong humanitarian component. In 2007 he founded the Music Without Borders Legacy (MWBL), a non-profit organization that seeks to bridge cultural, social, and political boundaries through classical music. Since its inception, the foundation has reached more than 15,000 at-risk children and youth around the world, through music programs in the US, Mexico, and Spain.

Tickets for this concert can be purchased at the Portland’5 box office, at their web site (, by phone (800.273.1530), or at TicketsWest outlets. The Newmark Theater is located in Antoinette Hatfield Hall, at 1111 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon 97205. Wiegand Hall is located at Marylhurst University: 17600 Pacific Highway, Marylhurst, OR (97036).

Dec 07

Marylhurst University Guitar Ensemble

Marylhurst University Guitar Ensemble
Performs Friday, December 10

Marylhurst University Guitar Ensemble Performs Saturday at 4:00 PM

William Jenks is proud to announce a recital by the Marylhurst University Guitar Ensemble, under his direction. The performance will begin at 4 p.m. on December 10, and will be held in Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall. Listeners are further invited to stay for the Marylhurst Jazz Ensemble, which performs at 6 p.m. in neighboring Flavia Hall, with an all-instrumental program of jazz standards under the direction of Thomas Sandahl. This afternoon and evening of music is a fantastic way to celebrate the holiday season with your family! The Marylhurst University Guitar Ensemble and Jazz Ensembleperformances are free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be served in Flavia Hall from 5:30-6:00 PM.

The six members of the Marylhurst University Guitar Ensemble will perform works by G.F. Handel (1685-1759); Maurice Ravel (1875-1937); and by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla (1876-1945). In addition, the recital will include various solo performances by the classical guitar students of William Jenks. Jenks himself will perform with the ensemble.

Please note that Jenks will be teaching another guitar ensemble class this winter. It will run from January 9 through March 24, 2017, and will be open to both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and work with other guitarists, and to work on your skills as both a soloist and ensemble player. There will be two times offered: MWF from 11:30-12:45, or Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. Please visit HERE for more information, or call 503-830-1417.

Later that same evening (at 8 p.m.), Scott Kritzer will perform a second concert as part of Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series since his December 9th concert sold out. His program includes works by JS Bach, William Walton, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Sylvius Leopold Weiss, and others. Mr. Kritzer will preview this concert on 89.9 All Classical Portland’s “Thursdays @ Three” program on Thursday, December 8, at 3 p.m.Tickets are $32-$37 and can be purchased at the door or at the link below.

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Nov 28

Scott Kritzer Concerts

Scott Kritzer Concerts
Two Dates: December 9 & 10

Scott Kritzer

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Concert: Friday, December 9 at 8:00 PM (SOLD OUT)
Concert: Saturday, December 10 at 8:00 PM
Marylhurst University - Wiegand Hall
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Portland Classic Guitar (PCG) is proud to present classical guitarist Scott Kritzer, appearing in concert on December 9 and 10, at Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall. The December 9 concert is already sold out, and the December 10 show has been added to meet demand. On the program are works by JS Bach, William Walton, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Sylvius Leopold Weiss, and others. Mr. Kritzer will preview this concert on 89.9 All Classical Portland’s “Thursdays @ Three”program on Thursday, December 8, at 3 P.M.

Mr. Kritzer, known for his musical sensitivity and technical excellence, has been actively touring for over three decades and across two continents. His performances have been hailed in cities such as Frankfurt, Munich, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver (British Columbia), and Sapporo (Japan), and he has given critically acclaimed debuts at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall. Bernard Holland of the New York Times writes that Mr. Kritzer’s performance of Bach creates “an inner life,” while London-based Classical Guitar Magazine calls him “a guitarist in the best modern American mold.” Closer to home, Willamette Week describes Mr. Kritzer as “a champion of living American composers,” and he is a frequent guest on the Portland, Oregon radio station, All Classical Portland. In 1996 Mr. Kritzer was chosen by Senator Bob Packwood to represent the state of Oregon in a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Mr. Kritzer studied with one of Segovia’s favorite students, Michael Lorimer, for whom he also served as an assistant in a year-long master class held in North Carolina. In the decades since, Mr. Kritzer was an instructor of guitar at both Reed and Lewis & Clark colleges and currently teaches out of his private studio in Beaverton, Oregon.. Many of Kritzer’s own students have gone on to win regional, national, and international guitar competitions, and to attend such notable institutions as The Julliard School, the Royal Conservatory of Music in London, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Kritzer has released two celebrated solo recordings (Romance for Guitar and A Classical Guitar Christmas) and two marvelous collaborations with soprano Janet Chvatal (In the Blue Hour—featuring the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Munich—and Songs of the Americas). He has performed as soloist with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Ballet, and multiple chamber orchestras and string quartets throughout the Pacific Northwest. He has also served as performer and Artistic Director to Portland’s Third Angle New Music Ensemble.

Oct 10

Oregon Guitar Quartet Concert

Oregon Guitar Quartet in Concert October 28, 2016 

Oregon Guitar Quartet Concert October 28, 2016 at Marylhurst University

Portland Classic Guitar proprietor William Jenks is proud to present a local favorite: brilliant native sons, Oregon Guitar Quartet, performing on Friday, October 28, at 8 p.m., at Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall. This is a concert not to be missed, and classical guitar fans should act quickly since season tickets for the series and the inaugural concert sold out.

Oregon Guitar Quartet—Mario Diaz, John Mery, Jesse McCann, and Bryan Johanson (who also composes and arranges for the group)—has been performing and recording together for nearly a decade. Given its remarkable versatility and prolific repertoire, the group has become known for its adventurous programs: listeners rarely hear the same set twice. This performance will be no exception: the group has prepared an adventurous program that includes Bach, selections from renowned Spanish composers Isaac Albéniz and Manuel de Falla, a traditional Greek song, a jazz standard, and a beautiful work by Johanson.

Oregon Guitar Quartet has been featured at the Guitar Foundation of America Festival, and, more recently, at the Loudoun County Guitar Festival, in Washington, DC. It performs frequently up and down the West Coast, and in 2014 toured Costa Rica as part of the Credomatic Music Festival—often for sold-out crowds. Its debut recording, Something Wondrous Fair, was released in 2010, and met with instant praise. Soundboard’s Jim McCutcheon wrote that “the joyousness, energy, and precision of the performance . . . convinces me that this group is one to hear.” Since then, Oregon Guitar Quartet has released five more recordings—each uniquely exciting, each garnering rave reviews. A seventh is currently in the works.

The group’s momentum is a force to be reckoned with, and we highly recommend hearing them while you can in this relatively intimate setting.

Aug 12

William Jenks Accepts Faculty Position at Marylhurst University

William Jenks at Marylhurst University

Portland Classic Guitar is proud to announce that PCG founder and internationally renowned classical guitarist William Jenks has just accepted a faculty position at Marylhurst University. Jenks will be training Marylhurst University classical guitar students working toward their Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance or music therapy, and also directing the Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble beginning in the fall of 2016.

Jenks is already well-known to fans of classical guitar. In addition to being the proprietor of Portland Classic Guitar, he is the mastermind behind the world-class and world-renowned PCG concert series, bringing such luminaries as the Romeros, Eliot Fisk, John Williams, the Assad Brothers, and Manuel Barrueco to the Portland area (Tickets are now on sale for the exciting upcoming 2016-2017 Portland Guitar Series). He is also a prolific performing and recording artist who has toured throughout United States, Europe, and Latin America, and released four CDs. 

As a guitar instructor with more than fifteen years of experience, Jenks has developed a unique and powerfully effective teaching method; many of his students have gone on to become professional musicians. Now Jenks is poised to help elevate Marylhurst into one of the best guitar programs on the West Coast, if not the nation. In addition to the highest-quality private instruction and ensemble leadership, Jenks will provide students with an unparalleled opportunity to experience firsthand the great masters of the classical guitar world, in concert and master-class settings. In addition, the repertoire he has prepared for public performances of the Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble promises to be both exciting and fresh.

As a top-tier accredited school of music, Marylhurst has a strong and quickly growing Bachelor of Arts in music therapy program under the leadership of department chair Dr. Laura Beer, and an award-winning choral department directed by Dr. Justin Smith. Marylhurst University boasts a beautiful campus and facilities, excellent instructors, and intimate classrooms. Auditions for the fall term will be September 1, 2016 beginning at 9:00 AM; the term begins on September 26th. Non-music majors, high school students, and continuing education adults can (and are encouraged to) audition for the Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble.

Interested students should contact William Jenks directly at 503-830-1417, or at For Admissions and general music school information please contact Julia McBride at 503-548-7763.

Jun 30

PCG 2016-2017 Series

Portland Classic Guitar - 2016-2017 Concert Series

Portland Classic Guitar (PCG) is proud to announce its 2016-17 concert season, with lots of exciting news to share. For more than a decade, we have been bringing world-class guitarists to the greater Portland area. This year we also add two important new venues to our schedule: the incomparable Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and Newmark Theatre. Our commitment to education also continues, as we help lay the groundwork for the next generation of artists, with six master classes, four student recitals, and, of course, private lessons. Additionally, we are proud to announce that PCG proprietor William Jenks has joined the faculty at Marylhurst University as guitar instructor.

This season we will be presenting three concerts with Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. The first, on March 10, will be at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and will feature the return to the PCG series the incomparable Romeros—internationally renowned as the “The Royal Family of the Guitar.” This concert will include the entire Romero Quintet including Celin, Pepe, Angel, Lito and Celino. The Romeros, as most guitar fans know, were founded by patriarch Celedonio Romero (who passed away in 1996). It was he who invented the guitar quartet format for the concert stage, and also helped provide its core repertoire. His sons (and now their sons) have carried that historic tradition forward, specializing in the kind of uncanny telepathy that can only be found in family-based ensembles. It is safe to say that there are few conductors, ensembles, or composers who wouldn’t jump at the chance to work with this amazing group. And you should jump at the chance to hear them—especially in this unbelievable venue. Not to be missed.

Two other equally exciting shows, also produced in tandem with Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, will be held at the venerable Newmark Theatre. The first Newmark Theatre concert, on January 20, will feature Harmonia Mundi recording artist Pablo Sainz Villegas, affectionately known as “the soul of the Spanish guitar.” Winner of the Gold Medal at the inaugural Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition, Villejas was the first guitarist to win El Ojo Crítico, Spain’s top classical music honor—as well as the youngest of his generation to appear with the New York Philharmonic. He has since performed for both the Dalai Lama and the Spanish royal family, and it was he who gave the world premiere of Rounds, the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams. He has appeared with orchestras in more than thirty countries, and in 2007 he founded the Music Without Borders Legacy (MWBL), a non-profit organization that seeks to bridge cultural, social, and political boundaries through classical music.

The second, on June 5, will feature a pairing of Angel Romero and Eliot Fisk, two celebrated masters. Fisk, the last direct pupil of Andres Segovia, is a brilliant, virtuosic performer who has appeared as soloist with prominent orchestras around the world, and has collaborated with luminaries outside of classical music as well—including the many contemporary composers who have written works for him. Founder of the guitar department at the Yale School of Music, Fisk teaches at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria—and also in Boston, at the New England Conservatory. Romero is the youngest son of Celedonio Romero. He had his first public performance at age six. Enjoying a long association with famed Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo, Romero is a triple threat: a soloist, a conductor, and a composer. In the latter role, he is responsible for several cinematic scores, including the soundtrack to Robert Redford’s acclaimed 1989 film, The Milagro Beanfield War. For his contributions to the world of music, Romero has received the highest honors from his native country, as well as a Merit Award from the Recording Academy.

Other artists featured in the 2016-17 season will appear at the PCG venues listeners have loved in previous years. Latin Grammy winners, the Brazilian Assad Brothers—who the Washington Post called “the best two-guitar team in existence, maybe even in history”—will appear at downtown Portland’s First Congregational Church on April 27. Loved for their wide-ranging repertoire, which can vary from jazz to folk to Latin to Baroque, the Assads have collaborated with such esteemed artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Fernando Suarez Paz, Paquito D’Rivera, and Dawn Upshaw. This is sure to be a wonderful evening!

Furthermore, there will be a string of top-notch concerts at Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall: recent GFA winner Thibaut Garcia (October 7), the Oregon Guitar Quartet (October 28), Scott Kritzer (December 9), Lily Afshar (February 17), and Antigoni Goni (May 4). Still in his early twenties, Garcia has an impressive string of first-place wins at international festivals. The OGQ has released seven recordings and performs frequently up and down the West Coast; they toured Costa Rica in 2014. Local legend Kritzer has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe including concerts in New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Iranian-born Afshar is the first woman to earn a doctorate in guitar performance; she excels not only in the standard repertoire, but has also helped introduce classical guitar audiences to quarter-tone-based music, or arrangements of Persian and Azerbaijani pieces. And the Greek guitarist Goni is a truly cosmopolitan artist; she teaches or has taught at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, Columbia University in NYC, and the Royal Academy of Music in London; she is also artist-in-residence for San Francisco Performances.

PCG mastermind William Jenks will close the series on July 14, in concert with guitarists Alberto Cumplido, from Chile, and Ruben Gonzalez, from the Dominican Republic. This will be an outdoor performance at Marylhurst’s Lajos Balogh Performance Shell. Recommended for the whole family! Jenks has recorded four CDs, and has recently toured internationally in countries such as Italy, Chile, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.